Paddington

Ben Whishaw provides the voice for Paddington as the bear with a fondness for marmalade returns to the big screen in the family comedy "Paddington 2." 

Warner Bros. Pictures

Movies playing in mid-valley theaters as of Friday. Complete and updated Movie Scene listings can be found online.

NEW

THE COMMUTER

2 stars

(Action thriller, PG-13, 105 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and the AMC Corvallis 12) Liam Neeson returns to his action-hero ways in this thriller, set aboard a New York commuter train. He plays a freshly fired insurance salesman who gets an intriguing offer from a mysterious woman (Vera Farmiga) on the train, and soon finds himself in a web of intrigue. The movie is slick and efficient, even if it runs out of credibility near the end. (Jake Coyle, Associated Press)

PADDINGTON 2

(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 yarn: 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.

THE POST

4 stars

(Historical drama, PG-13, 115 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and 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)

PROUD MARY

(Action drama, R, 88 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A hitwoman named Mary (Taraji P. Henson) performs assassinations for a crime syndicate in Boston, but she has a change of heart when she encounters an orphaned boy. Billy Brown, Margaret Avery, Xander Berkeley, Danny Glover, and Neal McDonough co-star. Directed by Babak Najafi, who also helmed “London Has Fallen.”

CONTINUING

INSIDIOUS: THE LAST KEY

2 stars

(Horror, PG-13, 103 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) The production elements and special effects are pretty cool in this installment of the horror franchise, a chapter about demons in the creepy childhood home of parapsychologist Elise Rainier (the wonderful Lin Shaye). The main problem: too many ghosts. Good ghosts, bad ghosts, and ghosts that might not really be ghosts at all. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

MOLLY’S GAME

4 stars

(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)

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD

3 ½ stars

(Historical drama, R, 132 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Ridley Scott's well-paced, great-looking and nimble take on one of the most famous kidnapping cases of the 20th century leaves us marveling at the enormous footprint J. Paul Getty left on the world. Playing the oil tycoon as a last-minute substitute for Kevin Spacey, Christopher Plummer delivers a powerful, magnetic, scene-stealing performance. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

DARKEST HOUR

3 ½ stars

(Historical biography, PG-13, 125 minutes, playing at the Darkside) 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)

THE SHAPE OF WATER

3 ½ stars

(Fantasy adventure, R, 118 minutes, playing at the Darkside) 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)

LADY BIRD

4 stars

(Comedy, R, 93 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis and 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)

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN

3 stars

(Musical, PG, 105 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and 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)

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)

PITCH PERFECT 3

1 star

(Musical comedy, PG-13, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Any honors-level high school creative writing class could come up with a half-dozen better story ideas for "Pitch Perfect 3" than this incomprehensibly stupid, jarringly uneven, astonishingly unfunny and just plain lazy dead fish of a three-quel. The songs remain good cheesy white-bread fun, but this feels like an encore nobody asked for as the Bellas reunite for an overseas USO tour. Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hailee Steinfeld return, along with John Michael Higgins and Elizabeth Banks. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE DISASTER ARTIST

3 stars

(Comedy biography, R, 98 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Given James Franco's sometimes perplexing resume, he's the right guy to direct and star as Tommy Wiseau in a movie about the making of the infamously bad cult debacle "The Room." Franco's film is breezy, entertaining and even affectionate. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-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)

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

4 stars

(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)

COCO

3 stars

(Animated, PG, 104 minutes, playing at 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)

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