Review: 'Thor: Ragnarok' takes the god to funny heights

Chris Hemsworth, left, and the Hulk are seen in a scene from "Thor: Ragnarok." The box-office blockbuster is continuing its run in mid-valley theaters. 

Marvel Studios via AP

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

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DADDY’S HOME 2

1 star

(Comedy, PG-13, 95 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12 and the Regal 7 in Albany) In this sour, cynical and profoundly unfunny sequel, touchy-feely Brad (Will Ferrell) and gruff Dusty (Mark Wahlberg) celebrate with their dads (John Lithgow and Mel Gibson), each an exaggerated version of his son. Much of the humor is of questionable taste at best, and hardly anybody talks or behaves in ways most of us can empathize with. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

LOVING VINCENT

3 ½ stars

(Animated, PG-13, 94 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) To tell this story about a mystery surrounding the 1890 death of artist Vincent Van Gogh, filmmakers Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman assembled a cast, found costumes and sets, and shot the film. Then every frame — more than 65,000 of them — was hand-painted over in oil paint in the style of Van Gogh. The result is rapturously beautiful. (Moira MacDonald, The Seattle Times)

MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

3 stars

(Mystery, PG-13, 114 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Kenneth Branagh stars as Agatha Christie’s famed detective Hercule Poirot, and runs away with this star-studded remake, with lavish production design and an intoxicating and dazzling display of cinematic style. But the movie’s sad ending seeps away much of its energy. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

CONTINUING

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS

1 ½ stars

(Comedy, R, 104 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Three overstressed mothers (Kristen Bell, Mila Kunis, and Kathryn Hahn) are alarmed when their own troublemaking moms (Cheryl Hines, Christine Baranski, and Susan Sarandon) visit during the Christmas holiday. Soon, the gal pals once again band together for drinking and general debauchery in order to blow off some steam. Female audiences deserve better than this shoddily made outing, which once again suggests that the enemy of women is other women. (Katie Walsh, Tribune Media Service)

GOODBYE CHRISTOPHER ROBIN

2 stars

(Biography, PG, 117 minutes, 2 stars, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) This film of rough edges and jagged twists tries to straddle the line between a whimsical origins story about the beloved Winnie the Pooh, and a harsh character study about the bear's creator, A.A. Milne (Domhnall Gleeson), and his wife (Margot Robbie), unlikable adults who are far better at exploiting a child than loving him. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

LBJ

3 stars

(Biography, R, 97 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) It took two or maybe even three scenes for me to shake off the unconvincing prosthetics and hairpiece and settle in to Woody Harrelson's excellent performance as Lyndon Baines Johnson. But we got there. It's a well-calibrated performance, conveying how Johnson felt the weight of the world on his shoulders in this conventional but absorbing biopic. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

LET THERE BE LIGHT

(Drama, PG-13, 101 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) An atheist (Kevin Sorbo) embraces a hard-partying lifestyle to deal with the pain of his son’s death from cancer. But when the drinking leads to a car accident, a near-death experience forces him to re-evaluate his beliefs. Sorbo also directed.

THOR: RAGNANOK

2 ½ stars

(Sci-fi action-comedy, PG-13, 130 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 and the AMC Corvallis 12) 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)

VICTORIA & ABDUL

2 stars

(Historical drama, PG-13, 111 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) An Indian clerk named Abdul Karim (Ali Fazal) travels to London to present Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) with a ceremonial coin for her Golden Jubilee. The pair form an unexpected bond upon meeting, but the lifelong friendship that develops is threatened by the disapproval of Victoria's inner circle. Dench is terrific, as always, but the movie isn’t able to illuminate Abdul’s character, leaving a void at its center. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)

JIGSAW

(Horror, R, 92 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the Regal 4 in Corvallis) Ten years after the “Saw” killer supposedly died, police are faced with either a copycat killer or a murderous ghost. With Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Cle Bennett, Hannah Emily Anderson, Laura Vandervoort, Mandela Van Peebles. Written by Josh Stolberg & Peter Goldfinger. Directed by the Spierig brothers.

MARSHALL

3 stars

(Biographical drama, PG-13, 118 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) Chadwick Boseman plays Thurgood Marshall, the first African-American attorney named to the U.S. Supreme Court. This well-made movie focuses on Marshall’s early career; as he works as a lawyer for the NAACP, he takes on the case of a black chauffeur who’s accused of sexual assault and attempted murder. Josh Gad and Sterling K. Brown co-star. (Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Inquirer)

LUCKY

3 stars

(Drama, no MPAA rating, 88 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) The late Harry Dean Stanton shines in this character study about a 90-year-old man slowly coming to terms with his mortality. As a movie, the film is studiously quirky and sometimes frustrating, but Stanton’s presence is constant; it’s a love letter to a great character actor. (Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press)

ONLY THE BRAVE

4 stars

(Drama, PG-13, 133 minutes, playing at the Regal 7 in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) James Brolin and Jennifer Connolly star in this drama, which recounts, in efficient and devastating detail, the 2013 Yarnell Fire in Arizona and the Granite Mountain hotshots crew. The film lifts these men from the page and brings them to life.A true-life tale that will grasp onto your heart and hold on long after the credits roll. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

HAPPY DEATH DAY

3 stars

(Horror, PG-13, PG-13, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) In this horror take on “Groundhog Day,” a college student (Jessica Rothe) is trapped in a time loop that forces her to keep reliving a birthday that ends with her murder at the hands of a masked madman. As she repeats the same day over and over again, she tries to figure out her killer's identity. It's a smart, witty and well-acted horror film. (Rick Bentley, Tribune News Service)

BLADE RUNNER 2049

4 stars

(Sci-fi action, R, 164 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) The tight control of Ryan Gosling makes him the perfect choice to play a replicant cop that just might be human. This vibrant, gorgeous and occasionally incomprehensible hallucinatory epic stands with the likes of "The Godfather Part II" as a sequel worthy of the original classic. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)

THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE

2 ½ stars

(Animated, PG, 101 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany) In this latest entry in the “Lego” series of flicks, a team of ninja warriors must defend their city from a sinister warlord. Trouble is, the sinister warlord is the father to our young hero. Jackie Chan, Justin Theroux, Dave Franco, and Olivia Munn provide the voices. It’s a light, serviceable romp, but doesn’t come close to the high-key antics of the first two films in the series. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)

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