Movie News & Reviews

Capsule reviews of feature films

ALADDIN. 2.5 stars. Will Smith is a genie who grants wishes to a young man who's fallen in love with a princess in Disney's live-action "Aladdin." 2 hrs. 8 PG (thematic elements) – Gary Thompson

BLINDED BY THE LIGHT. 3 stars. An alienated teen – the son of Pakistani immigrants – in 1980s Britain finds inspiration in the lyrics and music of Bruce Springsteen. Gurinder Chadha (Bend it Like Beckham) gives us a daft and somehow enjoyable musical that turns the music of The Boss into a "Mamma Mia"-style sing-along. 1 hr. 56 PG-13 (thematic material, language including some ethnic slurs) – Gary Thompson

BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON. 3 stars. A hard-partying woman (Jillian Bell) gets a wakeup call from her doctor and begins running, with the ultimate goal of entering the New York City Marathon. Sometimes, it's more about going the distance than winning. 1 hr. 44 R (language, drugs, sex) – Gary Thompson

THE FAREWELL. 3.5 stars. A Chinese family gathers for a fake wedding to give their dying grandmother, who is unaware of her dire situation, a grand sendoff. 1 hr. 38 PG (thematic material, brief language, some smoking) – Gary Thompson

HOBBS & SHAW. 2.5 stars. In this "Fast & Furious" spinoff, Dwayne Johnson and Jason Stratham return as a lawman and a lawless outcast who form an unlikely partnership to take on a genetically enhanced force that threatens humanity. 2 hrs. 17 PG-13 (violence) – Gary Thompson

IT CHAPTER TWO. 2.5 stars. Your fear that the movie will never end is the most palpable fear offered by Chapter Two, which substitutes spectacle for the creeping, escalating dread the story is meant to have, and that the first movie had in modest amounts. 2 hrs. 45 R (violence language) – Gary Thompson

THE KITCHEN. 1.5 stars. When New York mobsters are jailed by the feds, their wives keep the "family" businesses running. This very kitschy movie an attempt to re-create a 1970s Big Apple gangland milieu comes off as a cross between the Liberty Mutual LiMu emu commercials and a dinner theater production of "GoodFellas." 1 hr. 46 R (violence, profanity) – Gary Thompson

THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO. 3 stars. In a changing city where he no longer feels at home, a young man (Jimmy Fails) attempts to claim a home built by his grandfather many years earlier. The film makes brilliant use of its soundtrack. 2 hrs. R (profanity) – Gary Thompson

ONCE UPON A TIME... IN HOLLYWOOD. 3 stars. Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt star as a fading movie star and his stunt double during the dying days of Hollywood's golden age. Quentin Tarantino directs. 2 hrs. 39 R (violence) – Gary Thompson

THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON. 3.5 stars. A man with Down syndrome (Zack Gottsagen) runs away from his adult-care home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler and finds help from an unexpected source in this affecting, appealing piece of Americana. Shia LaBeouf and Dakota Johnson also star. 1 hr. 33 PG-13 – Gary Thompson

READY OR NOT. 2.5 stars. A new bride (Samara Weaving) is welcomed to her husbands family in terrifying fashion by her new in-laws in this comic-horror effort at class-war commentary. 1 hr. 35 R (violence, profanity) – Gary Thompson

SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK. 2.5 stars. Spooky things happen when teens tell scary stories in an old mansion with a dark history. 1 hr. 47 PG-13 (terror, violence, disturbing images, thematic elements, language, including racial epithets, brief sexual references) – Nick Vadala

TOY STORY 4. 3 stars. Woody (voice of Tom Hanks) and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with a new friend. If Pixar is getting bored with its franchise-extending chores for Disney, it certainly doesn't show in this funny, freaky, often profound animated adventure that is certainly the best movie ever made about a spork. 1 hr. 30 G – Gary Thompson

WHERE'D YOU GO BERNADETTE. 2.5 stars. When a mother (Cate Blanchett) who seemingly has it all suddenly disappears, her family sets about trying to find her. Kristen Wiig. Blanchett has the title role as a brilliant-but-blocked architect who never psychologically recovered from having her most celebrated dream home creation bulldozed by a billionaire philistine who replaced it with a McMansion. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (some strong language, drug material) – Gary Thompson