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Bruce Willis stars as vigilante Paul Kersey in "Death Wish," Eli Roth's remake of the 1974 Charles Bronson revenge vehicle.

Takashi Seida/MGM Studios

In the mood for a little Oscar cramming this weekend? Here are our suggestions, focused mostly on films we think will win an Oscar. The best picture race (an intriguing one this year) might be down to “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,” “Dunkirk” and “The Shape of Water,” and those three are playing in mid-valley theaters. “Billboards” will almost certainly win Oscars for star Frances McDormand, supporting actor Sam Rockwell and writer (and director) Martin McDonagh. Gary Oldman is a virtual lock to win an Oscar for “Darkest Hour” and Allison Janney has the inside track for supporting actress for “I, Tonya.” Oscar completists will want to take note that the Darkside is showing this year’s animated short nominees.

This week’s new titles include Bruce Willis channeling the late Charles Bronson in the reboot of “Death Wish” and Jennifer Lawrence taking on the spy game in the tepidly reviewed “Red Sparrow.”



(Action-adventure, R, 107 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Bruce Willis stars in this reboot of the Charles Bronson vigilante justice film series. Willis plays a surgeon who decides to take matters into his own hands when home intruders brutally attack his wife and young daughter. Eli Roth ("Hostel") directs.


(Animated, no MPAA rating, but not suitable for children, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) The five nominees for best animated short film at this year’s Academy Awards: “Dear Basketball” and “Lou,” from the United States; “Garden Party” and “Negative Space” from Franche; and “Revolting Rhymes,” from the United Kingdom.


1 star

(Spy thriller, R, 139 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Jennifer Lawrence stars in this dark, muddled and meandering spy thriller. Lawrence plays a Moscow ballerina who has to rethink her career after an injury. She becomes a “sparrow” training in the art of seduction and embarks on intrigue with Joel Edgerton, Jeremy Irons and Mary-Louise Parker. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)



4 stars

(Sci-fi thriller, R, 115 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12). In this bold and innovative sci-fi horror thriller from the director of "Ex Machina," Natalie Portman plays a biologist venturing into a mysterious environmental disaster zone to find her missing husband. Her work here rivals her Oscar-winning turn in "Black Swan." (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


3 stars

(Comedy, action-adventure, R, 100 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Max and Annie’s weekly game night gets kicked up a notch when Max’s brother, Brooks, arranges a murder mystery party. But when Brooks is kidnapped, is it part of the game? Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Sharon Horgan and Kyle Chandler star. Winning chemistry among the stars help keep this agreeable and generally clever comedy afloat. (Lindsay Bahr, Associated Press)


3 ½ stars

(Sci-fi action-adventure, PG-13, 134 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Ryan Coogler delivers a flick that somehow lives up to the hype, as he brings Marvel’s black superhero to the big screen. Chadwick Boseman, Daniel Kaluuya, Michael B. Jordan, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright star, but it’s Coogler who electrifies the comic-book movie with a new perspective and a rare talent for marrying naturalistic character development with spectacle muscle. (Jake Coyle, Associated Press)


4 stars

(Dark comedy, R, 115 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis and 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)


(Romance, PG-13, 95 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis) A 16-year-old girl falls in love with a mysterious soul named “A,” who inhabits a different body every day. Rhiannon and “A” work every day to find in other in this romance, based on the David Levithan novel. Angourie Rice and Maria Bello star.


3 ½ stars

(Animated, 99 minutes, PG, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Aardman Animation’s Nick Park, creator of Wallace and Gromit, checks in with a new animated flick, about the clash between a group of cave dwellers and a slightly more advanced civilization — a clash that will be settled over a game of soccer. Voice actors include Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Maisie Williams, and they all sound like they’re having a grand time with Park’s pun-filled script and unmistakable stop-motion animation. (Rick Bentley, Tribune News Service)


4 stars

(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)


4 stars

(Historical drama, PG-13, 115 minutes, playing at the Pix 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)


3 ½ stars

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


3 ½ stars

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


4 stars

(War drama, PG-13, 106 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) Christopher Nolan's faithful and deeply respectful retelling of one of the most pivotal battles in World War II is a gripping, deeply involving and unforgettable film that ranks among the best war movies of the decade. (Richard Roeper, Universal Press Syndicate)


3 ½ stars

(Comedy horror, R, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) When a young black man (Daniel Kaluuya) meets the parents of his white girlfriend (Allison Williams), it's the start of a cutting-edge, fresh and sometimes bat-bleep-crazy mash-up of "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "Rosemary's Baby" and "The Stepford Wives." Writer-director Jordan Peele pays homage to some great horror films while carving out his own fantastically creative path. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


3 ½ stars

(Fantasy/sci-fi action, PG-13, 152 minutes, playing at 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)


3 ½ stars

(Family comedy, PG, 103 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) 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)


3 stars

(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)


1 star

(Drama thriller, R, 105 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) In the third and (thank the cinema gods) final chapter in the vapid, lurid, S&M-sprinkled trilogy of slick trash, newlyweds Ana (Dakota Johnson) and Christian (Jamie Dornan) eventually leave the sexy stuff behind and fall into a combo platter of cheesy, easily solved mystery-thriller and overwrought daytime soap opera melodrama. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)


2 ½ stars

(Animated, PG, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal 4 in Corvallis and the Regal 7 in Albany) 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)


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)


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