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THE ART OF SELF-DEFENSE
(Comedy, R, 104 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) A milquetoast clerk (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a martial arts dojo in this unnerving, exacting dark comedy set at the crowded juncture of masculinity and violence. With Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots. Written and directed by Riley Stearns.
THE LION KING
(Animated, PG, 118 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany, the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth Street in Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Director Jon Favreau’s virtual reality re-creation of the Disney animated classic turns out to be a bizarre Frankenstein's monster of a film that is so distressingly unpleasant it somehow manages to even ruin the original, much-beloved 1994 hand-drawn cartoon version. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
THE BIKES OF WRATH
(Documentary, no MPAA rating, 100 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Five Australians attempt to bicycle from Oklahoma to California in honor of the westward migration undertaken by the Joad family in “The Grapes of Wrath.” Plays through Sunday.
(Horror, R, 87 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) Trapped in a flooding house during a hurricane, a young Florida woman and her father are menaced by alligators. With Kaya Scodelario, Barry Pepper. Written by Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen. Directed by Alexandre Aja.
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO
(Drama, R, 120 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Jimmie Fails plays a fictionalized version of himself in director Joe Talbot's gorgeous Sundance prize-winning debut feature, which tells a deeply personal story of friendship, community and the yearning for home. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
1 ½ stars
(Action-comedy, R, 93 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the AMC Corvallis 12) A mild-mannered Uber driver is pressed into service by a gruff undercover cop in pursuit of a violent criminal. Flat, monotonous, not terribly funny and clumsily directed and edited. With Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan. Written by Tripper Clancy. Directed by Michael Dowse. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)
(Horror, R, 100 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A young American tourist couple are drawn into the darker aspects of a pagan festival in rural Sweden. With Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Vilhelm Blomgran. Writer-director Ari Aster (last year’s “Heriditary”) creates a world of suspense and terror in the sun and flower-drenched fields of the Scandinavian countryside. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME
(Comic book action, PG-13, 128 minutes, playing at the Pix in Albany, the Regal Albany, the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis and the AMC Corvallis 12) The young web slinger's trip to Europe with his school friends is interrupted by Nick Fury and some elemental creatures. Tom Holland returns as Spidey, with a cast that includes , Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal. Jon Watts returns as the director. The film is enjoyable enough in its first half, and then takes a fascinating twist. (Mark Kennedy, Associated Press)
ANNABELLE COMES HOME
(Horror, R, 106 minutes, playing at the Regal Ninth Street in Corvallis) The deadly doll wreaks horror on the family of demonologists in this franchise entry. With Mckenna Grace, Madison Iseman, Patrick Wilson, Vera Farmiga. The movie, stealthily successful and steadily consistent, may be the best in the “Annabelle” series, although it could use a few more jump scares. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
ECHO IN THE CANYON
(Documentary, PG-13, 82 minutes, playing at the Darkside in Corvallis) Jakob Dylan is your tour guide in this sunny, sepia-toned documentary, a love letter to the Laurel Canyon music scene of the mid-1960s and its folk-rock stars, including The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Mamas and the Papas and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young. (Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times)
(Comedy, PG-13, 116 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) A struggling musician wakes up to find he's the only person on Earth who knows the music of the Beatles. With Himesh Patel, Lily James, Kate McKinnon, Ed Sheeran. The movie wobbles under the weight of an ungainly script, but director Danny Boyle throws everything he’s got at the screen and the cast, even villainous McKinnon, is impossible not to like. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
TOY STORY 4
(Animated, G, 100 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany and the Corvallis AMC 12) The gang goes on a road trip and reunites with Bo Peep in the fourth entry in Disney-Pixar's beloved computer-animated franchise. The movie is absolutely packed with humor and heart. With the voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts, Tony Hale, Keegan-Michael Key, Christina Hendricks, Jordan Peele, Keanu Reeves, Jay Hernandez, Joan Cusack, Bonnie Hunt, Kristen Schaal, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, June Squibb, Carl Weathers, Lila Sage, Don Rickles, Jeff Garlin, Estelle Harris. Directed by Josh Cooley. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
MEN IN BLACK: INTERNATIONAL
2 ½ stars
(Sci-fi comedy, PG-13, 114 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) It’s still not clear why we need this sequel to the series about undercover agents tracking aliens, but Tessa Thompson’s charisma drives this breezily entertaining summer offering; she’s more than a match for co-star Chris Hemsworth. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Musical biopic, 121 minutes, R, playing at the Darkside) Mild-mannered English piano player Reginald Dwight transforms into rock superstar Elton John in this musical fantasy biopic starring Taron Egerton. With Jamie Bell, Richard Madden, Bryce Dallas Howard. Written by Lee Hall. Directed by Dexter Fletcher. This dizzy, delirious jukebox musical has the energy and visual dynamism to truly reflect the outlandish aesthetic and performance style of its subject. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Live-action musical, PG, 128 minutes, playing at the Regal Albany) If it’s not broken, don’t try to fix it -- and director Guy Ritchie has followed that advice in this live-action remake of the Disney animated musical. Will Smith does well as the Genie, but it’s Naomi Scott who steals the show, tearing into an expanded roles for the princess Jasmine. (Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
(Superhero action, PG-13, 182 minutes, playing at the AMC Corvallis 12) The remaining Avengers, with some new faces (such as Brie Larson’s Captain Marvel) go after Thanos in this sequel to “Infinity War” and apparent capstone to the first wave of Marvel movies. It’s a stirring and satisfying finish that achieves and earns its climactic surge of feeling, even as it falls just short of real catharsis. (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times)