Good news, Oscar completists: “I, Tonya” finally skates into the mid-valley this weekend. You still can see seven of the nine Best Picture nominees at mid-valley screens, and don’t forget “Coco,” which is favored to win the Best Animated Film Oscar. Also, “The Last Jedi,” “The Greatest Showman” and “Molly’s Game” all boast Oscar nominations, although not for Best Picture.
A complete and updated Movie Scene can be found online.
THE 15:17 TO PARIS
(Drama, PG-13, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis) Director Clint Eastwood casts the real-life heroes in this recounting of the three Americans who thwarted a gun-touting attacker on board a French train. Eastwood stages the attack itself with thrilling immediacy, but overall, the script and performances don’t do justice to this true-life tale. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
FIFTY SHADES FREED
(Drama, R, 105 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany, the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) In the final installment of the “Fifty Shades” film franchise, Anastasia and Christian get married, but Jack Hyde continues to threaten their relationship. Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan star.
(Sports biography, R, 119 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Recounting the life of skater Tonya Harding in both a darkly funny comedy and a serious character study is a tricky and bold balancing act, and the "I, Tonya" team pulls it off on every level. Handed the plum title role, Margot Robbie gives the best performance of her career. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
2 ½ stars
(Animated, PG, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) James Corden, Domhnall Gleeson, Rose Byrne, Sam Neill star in this animated adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s books. The animation technology is top-notch, but the gentle spirit of Potter’s books is subsumed into a chaotic, violent mayhem, manically soundtracked to the day’s hits. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
(Drama, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) When an American graduate student (Armie Hammer) meets his professor's 17-year-old son (Timothee Chalamet) during an idyllic summer in northern Italy, they start off bickering but eventually succumb to their lust. The movie paints their weeks-long tryst as pure love, but it comes across more as an intense and passionate fling. The film itself is beautiful, finely written and well-acted, filled with gorgeous and for the most part vivacious and engaging people. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Drama, R, 130 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Reteaming with his "There Will Be Blood" director Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis delivers another Oscar-worthy performance as a fashion designer in mid-20th-century London who has a very specific (and more than a little eccentric) way of doing things. The attention to detail, the use of certain colors, the lush and vibrant photography of the dresses made -- they're honestly breathtaking. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Historical drama, PG-13, 115 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Meryl Streep has often played the most confident of characters, but as 1970s Washington Post publisher Kay Graham, she does an astonishing job of showing us someone unsure of herself as she debates publishing the Pentagon Papers and risking jail. This is a love letter to journalistic bravery and to the First Amendment, and it is the best movie about newspapers since "All the President's Men." (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE SHAPE OF WATER
3 ½ stars
(Fantasy adventure, R, 118 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis, the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Sally Hawkins gives a sweet and moving performance as a maid in a top-secret government facility who falls in love with a mysterious sea creature in captivity there. Gorgeously color-coordinated, this fairy tale from director Guillermo del Toro is one of the most romantic and most breathtakingly beautiful movies of the year. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Comedy, R, 93 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Greta Gerwig already has made a fine career for herself as an actress, but with "Lady Bird" she has written and directed a film that's smart without being smug and insightful without being condescending. Saoirse Ronan delivers a pure and honest performance as the title character, a high school senior, and the work by Laurie Metcalf and Tracy Letts as her parents is what greatness looks like. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
(Dark comedy, R, 115 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The story of a grieving mother (Frances McDormand) trying to shame the police chief (Woody Harrelson) into solving her daughter's murder provides some of the strongest laughs and most poignant moments of heartbreak of any movie in recent memory. Somehow writer-director Martin McDonagh has taken the bleakest of subject matters and treated it seriously while also serving up one of the best dark comedies I've ever seen. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
3 ½ stars
(Historical biography, PG-13, 125 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) This look back at Winston Churchill's leadership during the early days of World War II is filled with authentic touches, large and small. Most authentic of all is Gary Oldman's performance as a flawed but deeply passionate man who summoned all of his courage, all of his oratory skills and all of his love for Britain at just the right moment. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Animated, PG, 104 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) A 12-year-old boy (Anthony Gonzalez) crosses over, while alive, from his village in Mexico to the Land of the Dead, an exciting metropolis populated by deceased humans. The visuals jump off the screen, but the movie’s flights of imaginative frenzy are too constrained by formula: “Coco” is a good, but not great, Pixar flick. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI
3 ½ stars
(Fantasy/sci-fi action, PG-13, 152 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Although it doesn't pack quite the same emotional punch as "The Force Awakens" and lags a bit in the second half, this is still a worthy chapter in the "Star Wars" franchise, popping with exciting action sequences and sprinkled with good humor. Surprises big and small abound. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Biographical drama, R, 140 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). Jessica Chastain gives a nomination-worthy performance as the organizer of high-stakes, A-list poker games that aren't exactly legal. With his feature directing debut, Aaron Sorkin hits a home run — a glimpse of life in the fast lane, a sobering cautionary tale and a brilliant character study. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
THE GREATEST SHOWMAN
(Musical, PG, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) There were times when I rolled my eyes to the ceiling at the corny and cheesy and shameless sentiment of this musical starring Hugh Jackman as P.T. Barnum. But then I'd realize my foot was once again tapping in time to the beat of the catchy tunes, at which point I'd acknowledge I was thoroughly enjoying myself, despite all cynical instincts. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Suspense-thriller, PG-13, 99 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Helen Mirren stars as Sarah Winchester, the widow of famed gun manufacturer William Winchester. After her husband’s death, she convinces herself she is cursed by the ghosts of those who died because of Winchester firearms so she begins to build an enormous mansion, the Winchester Mystery House, in California. Jason Clarke co-stars.
3 ½ stars
(Western, R, 133 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Christian Bale is at the laser-focused top of his game (and perfectly cast) as an Old West soldier escorting a freed Cheyenne chief (Wes Studi) and his family to their ancestral land. The brutal violence is not for the faint of heart, but "Hostiles" winds up being about having a heart in a world that seems almost without hope. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
MAZE RUNNER: THE DEATH CURE
(Sci-fi action-adventure, PG-13, 144 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) In the latest installment in the “Maze Runner” series, Thomas leads escaped Gladers on a dangerous mission into the legendary Last City, a WCKD-controlled labyrinth that may turn out to be deadliest maze of all. Dylan O’Brien stars.
3 ½ stars
(Family comedy, PG, 103 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) The beloved bear from Michael Bond’s books returns to the big screen in this accessible and sweet romp. Paddington (voiced by Ben Whishaw) wants to buy an antique book for his aunt’s birthday, but runs afoul of an unscrupulous actor. Check out the supporting cast: Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Michael Gambon and Imelda Staunton. (Colin Colvert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE
2 ½ stars
(Comedy fantasy adventure, PG-13, 119 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan star in this stand-alone sequel, about four teenagers who are sucked into a video game set in a jungle and take on the bodies of their avatars. Generally entertaining and mostly sweet, if you don’t think about it too much. (Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press)
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi action-comedy, PG-13, 130 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) After being defeated by his evil half-sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is imprisoned as a gladiator on a distant world run by Jeff Goldblum. Director Taikia Waititi brings a welcome comedic touch, so this is the most fun of the three “Thor” flicks, but it’s still a flawed effort with egregious tonal shifts. (Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press)