Short takes: This week’s movie listings and reviews

Joel Edgerton and Ruth Negga.
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Christmas Movie Series

Free admission. 12/1, Trading Places, 7 p.m.; Bad Santa, 10 p.m. 12/6, A Christmas Story, 7 p.m.; It’s a Wonderful Life, 10 p.m. 12/7, Edward Scissorhands, 7 p.m.; The Nightmare Before Christmas, 10 p.m. 12/8, A Christmas Carol, 7 p.m.; Scrooged, 10 p.m. Bunkhouse Saloon, 124 S. 11th St., 702-854-1414.

Date Skate

Mon, ice skating plus movie double feature, 6 & 9 p.m., $10-$20. 12/5, Gremlins, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. Boulevard Pool at the Cosmopolitan, 702-698-7000.

The Metropolitan Opera HD Live

12/3, Mozart’s The Magic Flute encore, 12:55 p.m., $13-$15. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:


12/6, animated movie plus bonus features, 8 p.m., $13-$15. Theaters: COL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

RiffTrax Holiday Special Double Feature

12/1, Santa Claus Conquers the Martians, Christmas short films, plus comedic commentary, 7 p.m., $13-$20. Theaters: CAN, COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show

12/3, augmented by live cast and audience participation, 10 p.m., $9. Theaters: TC. Info:

Sci Fi Center

Sun, Westworld viewing party, 7 p.m., free. Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335,

She Loves Me

12/1, broadcast of Broadway performance, 7 p.m., $18-$20. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Sherlock: The Abominable Bride

12/7, Sherlock episode plus preview of the show’s fourth season, 7 p.m., $13-$15. Theaters: SF, TS, VS. Info:

Spirited Away: 15th Anniversary

12/4-12/5, Japanese animated feature plus short film Ghiblies: Episode 2, Sun noon (dubbed), Mon 7 p.m. (subtitled), $10-$12.50. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 12/6, Remember the Night. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

New this week

Believe (Not reviewed)

Ryan O'Quinn, Shawnee Smith, Isaac Ryan Brown. Directed by Billy Dickson. 120 minutes. Rated PG. A small-town business owner works to preserve the local Christmas pageant.

Theaters: COL, RR, SP, ST, TS, VS

Incarnate (Not reviewed)

Aaron Eckhart, Carice van Houten, David Mazouz. Directed by Brad Peyton. 91 minutes. Rated PG-13. An exorcist with psychic powers attempts to save a young boy from a demon.

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, DI, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, TS, TX

Man Down One and a half stars

Shia LaBeouf, Jai Courtney, Kate Mara. Directed by Dito Montiel. 92 minutes. Rated R. LaBeouf plays a Marine dealing with trauma both on and off the battlefield in this melodramatic and manipulative psychological thriller, which pays lip service to honoring veterans while exploiting their struggles for absurd plot twists and cheap thrills. —JB

Theaters: RR, ST

Now playing

The Accountant Two stars

Ben Affleck, Anna Kendrick, Jon Bernthal, J.K. Simmons. Directed by Gavin O’Connor. 128 minutes. Rated R. Affleck plays an autistic accountant and combat expert in this ludicrous thriller that grossly mischaracterizes autism. The sometimes solid action is surrounded by increasingly far-fetched and clumsily delivered exposition. The movie piles on silly plot twists and reveals in service of a story that’s not even particularly interesting. —JB

Theaters: DTS, ET, GVR, ORL, RR, SS, ST, VS

Allied Three stars

Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. 124 minutes. Rated R. Zemeckis’ gratifyingly old-school WWII drama stars Pitt and Cotillard as spies who accidentally fall in love while pretending to be married as part of an operation. If nothing else, the film’s elegance makes for a welcome respite from endless CGI pyrotechnics aimed at bored teenagers. —MD


Almost Christmas (Not reviewed)

Kimberly Elise, Omar Epps, Danny Glover. Directed by David E. Talbert. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13. A dysfunctional family gets together for Thanksgiving following the death of the family matriarch.

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, ST, TS, TX, VS

Arrival Three and a half stars

Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Forest Whitaker. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. 116 minutes. Rated PG-13. Hard sci-fi that’s easy to enjoy, Arrival stars Adams as a linguist who’s drafted by the U.S. military to help translate an alien language—by “talking” to the bizarre creatures face to face. Here, for the first time in ages, is proof that “thrilling” and “analytical” aren’t mutually exclusive. —MD

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, TS, TX, VS

Bad Santa 2 Two stars

Billy Bob Thornton, Tony Cox, Kathy Bates. Directed by Mark Waters. 92 minutes. Rated R. This belated sequel featuring alcoholic degenerate Willie Soke (Thornton) and his partner in crime Marcus (Cox) once again posing as Santa and his elf in order to pull off a heist captures very little of the wit or surprising likability of the original, instead going right for easy vulgarity and grossness. —JB

Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, COL, DI, ET, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk Two and a half stars

Joe Alwyn, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund. Directed by Ang Lee. 110 minutes. Rated R. Adapted from Ben Fountain’s acclaimed 2012 novel, the latest film by Ang Lee is a half-earnest, half-satirical tale of Iraq War veterans performing at a Dallas Cowboys halftime show on Thanksgiving. Originally shot at a distractingly vivid 120 frames per second (it’s showing locally at the standard 24), it remains stubbornly on the glossy surface. —MD

Theaters: VS

Bleed for This Two and a half stars

Miles Teller, Aaron Eckhart, Ciaran Hinds. Directed by Ben Younger. 116 minutes. Rated R. This biopic about boxer Vinny Pazienza, focusing on his recovery from a serious car accident, is unremarkable, predictable and forgettable, slotting its real-life main character into a familiar formula. There are a handful of emotional moments, but mostly writer-director Younger sticks to the basics, and the straightforward boxing scenes are nothing special. —JB

Theaters: AL, CH, FH, ORL, PAL, SHO, ST, TS, TX, VS

Boo! A Madea Halloween (Not reviewed)

Tyler Perry, Diamond White, Bella Thorne. Directed by Tyler Perry. 103 minutes. Rated PG-13. Simmons family matriarch Madea spends Halloween watching unruly teenagers and fending off supernatural threats.

Theaters: BS, TX

Dear Zindagi (Not reviewed)

Alia Bhatt, Shah Rukh Khan, Ira Dubey. Directed by Gauri Shinde. 150 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. A young woman on a career path has her life changed when she meets an unconventional man.

Theaters: VS

Deepwater Horizon Three stars

Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Gina Rodriguez. Directed by Peter Berg. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13. Wahlberg demonstrates plausibly low-key heroism in this dramatization of the 2010 oil-rig explosion that killed 11 workers and dumped some 5 million barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico. Apart from a cartoonishly detestable BP rep played by John Malkovich, the nightmare feels distressingly accurate. —MD

Theaters: TC

Doctor Strange Three stars

Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Rachel McAdams. Directed by Scott Derrickson. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13. Marvel’s latest superhero movie follows a familiar template in telling the origin story of mystical hero Doctor Strange (Cumberbatch). While the story isn’t groundbreaking, the characters are engaging, the dialogue is snappy, the performances are lively and the special effects are dazzling, making for some astonishing action set pieces. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, DI, DTS, ET, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, TS, TX

Don’t Breathe Two stars

Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Stephen Lang. Directed by Fede Alvarez. 88 minutes. Rated R. Teens break into an isolated house, only to be confronted by the owner, a blind veteran who’s more dangerous than he appears. At first, Don’t Breathe is admirably gritty and visceral, but it’s ruined by increasingly gross and unbelievable twists. What started as an intense, gripping thriller becomes a ridiculous cartoon. —JB

Theaters: TC

The Edge of Seventeen Four stars

Hailee Steinfeld, Woody Harrelson, Haley Lu Richardson. Directed by Kelly Fremon Craig. 104 minutes. Rated R. Steinfeld is fantastic as sullen, overdramatic teen Nadine in Craig’s funny, heartfelt coming-of-age story. Craig depicts Nadine’s freak-outs with sensitivity and wit, grounding even the goofiest plot developments in real emotion. The humor and the heartbreak are equally affecting, making for the most satisfying American teen movie in years. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CH, COL, DI, FH, ORL, PAL, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, TS, TX

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Three stars

Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler. Directed by David Yates. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13. This Harry Potter spinoff set in 1926 NYC is an entertaining ride, even if it doesn’t make a case for itself as essential. Wizard Newt Scamander’s quest to recapture his weird, cute and creatively designed beasts is light and fun, but the darker storylines, mostly setting up future installments, are less thrilling. —JB


The Girl on the Train Three stars

Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Justin Theroux. Directed by Tate Taylor. 112 minutes. Rated R. For all its misdirections, at heart this thriller based on Paula Hawkins’ bestselling novel is a pretty conventional mystery with a fairly predictable outcome. But what it lacks in innovative thrills, it makes up for in engrossing, well-drawn characters, led by Blunt as an alcoholic divorcee fixated on a missing woman. —JB

Theaters: SC

Hacksaw Ridge Two stars

Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn. Directed by Mel Gibson. 131 minutes. Rated R. The first half of this biopic about nonviolent WWII hero Desmond Doss (Garfield) is an ultra-corny small-town family drama and romance, while the second half has excessively violent and gory battlefield action. The movie lays on the sentiment and the blood and guts in equal measure, and both drown out the genuine heroism. —JB

Theaters: AL, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Inferno Two stars

Tom Hanks, Felicity Jones, Ben Foster. Directed by Ron Howard. 121 minutes. Rated PG-13. Harvard symbology professor Robert Langdon (Hanks) returns to use his arcane knowledge to track down a deadly virus that could wipe out half the planet. Despite the absurdly raised stakes, though, Inferno never feels particularly urgent, and everyone involved seems to be just going through the motions. —JB

Theaters: COL

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back Two stars

Tom Cruise, Cobie Smulders, Danika Yarosh. Directed by Edward Zwick. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. The sequel to 2012’s Jack Reacher finds the title character (Cruise) determined to clear the name of his longtime military contact (Smulders), who’s been arrested and accused of espionage. He’s also saddled with a spunky teenage sidekick (Yarosh), and the generic plot and mediocre action scenes don’t help. —JB

Theaters: GVR, SC, VS

Loving Three stars

Joel Edgerton, Ruth Negga, Alano Miller. Directed by Jeff Nichols. 123 minutes. Rated PG-13. Nichols’ film dramatizes the events that led to the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision Loving v. Virginia, which legalized interracial marriage in the U.S. While the film preaches to the converted, there seem to be fewer of the converted than many of us had hoped. —MD

Theaters: COL, DTS, SC

The Magnificent Seven Two and a half stars

Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt, Ethan Hawke. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. Seven badasses (including Washington, Pratt and Hawke) band together to save a small town from a sadistic villain, each demonstrating his own specialized variant of combat-related magnificence. It’s such a durable scenario that not even a director as ham-handed as Fuqua (Southpaw, Shooter) can completely screw it up. —MD

Theaters: TC

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children Two stars

Asa Butterfield, Ella Purnell, Eva Green. Directed by Tim Burton. 127 minutes. Rated PG-13. Based on a popular series of young-adult novels, Peculiar Children is a tedious mash-up of familiar teen-fantasy tropes, starting with the ordinary kid who learns that he’s part of a secret, magical world. Burton displays none of his trademark dark creativity, and even the special effects are lackluster. —JB

Theaters: TC

Moana Three stars

Voices of Auli’i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. 113 minutes. Rated PG. Influenced by Polynesian mythology, Moana is a pleasant but not particularly distinctive addition to the Disney animated princess canon, with the title character (Cravalho) seeking out a buffoonish demigod (Johnson) in order to save her island home. The animation is lovely, but the songs and the plot are mediocre. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, TS, TX

Moonlight Three and a half stars

Alex Hibbert, Ashton Sanders, Trevante Rhodes. Directed by Barry Jenkins. 110 minutes. Rated R. Divided into three segments, Moonlight follows the introverted, gay Chiron as a kid, a teenager and a young man, coming to terms with his identity growing up in one of Miami’s poorest African-American neighborhoods. It’s rooted in real details, and each segment (even the slow-moving final third) achieves its own grace. —JB

Theaters: COL, SC, TX

Ouija: Origin of Evil Three stars

Elizabeth Reaser, Annalise Basso, Lulu Wilson. Directed by Mike Flanagan. 99 minutes. Rated PG-13. Director Flanagan (Oculus, Hush) scraps the previous, terrible Ouija (2014) and starts fresh with this sequel. It’s full of the usual white eyes and stretchy mouths, but its weird, deliberately off-putting compositions and morbidly funny twists turn it into an unexpectedly good chiller. —JMA

Theaters: BS, ST

Pete’s Dragon Two and a half stars

Oakes Fegley, Bryce Dallas Howard, Karl Urban. Directed by David Lowery. 102 minutes. Rated PG. This Disney remake is pleasant and entirely forgettable, with a bland hero (young orphan Pete, played by Oakes Fegley) and his bland CGI dragon sidekick (named Elliot) befriending some bland adults in a bland small town and overcoming a villain who’s barely even villainous. —JB

Theaters: TC

Rules Don’t Apply Two stars

Alden Ehrenreich, Lily Collins, Warren Beatty. Directed by Warren Beatty. 126 minutes. Rated PG-13. Beatty’s long-in-the-works Howard Hughes drama is really about two fictional Hughes employees played by Ehrenreich and Collins, who engage in a forbidden romance. With its awkward mix of tones, lurching plot and shifting character focus, it’s a bit of a mess, quickly losing sight of its early charm. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, ET, FH, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

The Secret Life of Pets Three stars

Voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Jenny Slate. Directed by Chris Renaud. 90 minutes. Rated PG. The hyperactive animated story, with loyal dog Max (C.K.) and his dog frenemy Duke (Stonestreet) lost in New York City, isn’t nearly as sophisticated as something from Pixar or even DreamWorks Animation, but it’s good for a few laughs and is entirely kid-friendly, with plenty of cute characters and madcap set pieces. —JB

Theaters: TC

Shut In (Not reviewed)

Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Charlie Heaton. Directed by Farren Blackburn. 91 minutes. Rated PG-13. A widowed mother tries to protect her disabled child from a mysterious threat during a storm.

Theaters: ST, TX

Storks Two and a half stars

Voices of Andy Samberg, Katie Crown, Anton Starkman. Directed by Nicholas Stoller and Doug Sweetland. 89 minutes. Rated PG. Set in a world where storks magically create and deliver actual babies, Storks gets points for weirdness, but writer and co-director Stoller mostly glosses over it in favor of kid-friendly animal antics. There are some vague lessons about family and togetherness, but the plot is too incoherent to make any of them stick. —JB

Theaters: TC

A Street Cat Named Bob Two and a half stars

Luke Treadaway, Ruta Gedmintas, Joanne Froggatt. Directed by Roger Spottiswoode. 103 minutes. Not rated. Viral cat senstion Bob stars in his own biopic, which is really about his owner, former homeless drug addict James Bowen (Treadaway). The story of how meeting Bob helped Bowen turn his life around is inherently heartwarming, and the movie handles it in a fairly straightforward fashion, ending up cute but superficial. —JB

Theaters: VS

Suicide Squad Two and a half stars

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Viola Davis, Joel Kinnaman. Directed by David Ayer. 130 minutes. Rated PG-13. This super-villain team-up features a slightly more streamlined narrative than previous DC movies. But it’s still overstuffed, an ensemble piece with nearly a dozen main characters, telling origin stories for half of them, bringing them together into a new team and facing them off against two different antagonists. —JB

Theaters: TC

Sully Two and a half stars

Tom Hanks, Aaron Eckhart, Laura Linney. Directed by Clint Eastwood. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. When pilot Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger (Hanks) landed a passenger jet on the Hudson River following dual engine failure, saving everyone on board, the incident lasted just 208 seconds. Stretching that into 96 minutes proves difficult for this true-life drama, which adds in narrative filler to build a few heart-stopping minutes into feature length. —JB

Theaters: TC

Trolls Two and a half stars

Voices of Justin Timberlake, Anna Kendrick, Zooey Deschanel. Directed by Mike Mitchell. 92 minutes. Rated PG. This animated adventure based on the tiny, colorful, tall-haired dolls manages to avoid being crass, showcasing some cute characters and amusing situations in the process. It’s mostly forgettable and sloppily plotted, but for kids entertained by bright colors and catchy music, it will be a great time-passer. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, CH, COL, DI, FH, GVL, ORL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

The Unmarried Wife (Not reviewed)

Dingdong Dantes, Angelica Panganiban, Paulo Avelino. Directed by Maryo J. De Los Reyes. 130 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A businesswoman discovers that her husband is having an affair.

Theaters: ORL, VS

Vanishing Time: A Boy Who Returned (Not reviewed)

Kang Dong-won, Shin Eun-soo, Lee Hyo-je. Directed by Um Tae-hwa. 129 minutes. Not rated. In Korean with English subtitles. A boy appears to return a few days after going missing, having grown into an adult.

Theaters: VS

JMA Jeffrey M. Anderson; JB Josh Bell; MD Mike D’Angelo


(AL) Regal Aliante

7300 Aliante Parkway, North Las Vegas, 844-462-7342 ext. 4011

(BS) Regal Boulder Station

4111 Boulder Highway, 844-462-7342 ext. 269

(PAL) Brenden Theatres at the Palms

4321 W. Flamingo Road, 702-507-4849

(CAN) Galaxy Cannery

2121 E. Craig Road, North Las Vegas, 702-639-9779

(CH) Cinedome Henderson

851 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson, 702-566-1570

(COL) Regal Colonnade

8880 S. Eastern Ave., 844-462-7342 ext. 270

(DI) Las Vegas Drive-In

4150 W. Carey Ave., North Las Vegas, 702-646-3565

(DTS) Regal Downtown Summerlin

2070 Park Center Drive, 844-462-7342 ext. 4063

(ET) Eclipse Theaters

814 S. Third St., 702-816-4300

(FH) Regal Fiesta Henderson

777 W. Lake Mead Parkway, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 1772

(GVR) Regal Green Valley Ranch

2300 Paseo Verde Parkway, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 267

(GVL) Galaxy Green Valley Luxury+

4500 E. Sunset Road, Henderson, 702-442-0244

(ORL) Century Orleans

4500 W. Tropicana Ave., 702-889-1220

(RP) AMC Rainbow Promenade

2321 N. Rainbow Blvd., 888-262-4386

(RR) Regal Red Rock

11011 W. Charleston Blvd., 844-462-7342 ext. 1756

(ST) Century Sam’s Town

5111 Boulder Highway, 702-547-1732

(SF) Century Santa Fe Station

4949 N. Rancho Drive, 702-655-8178

(SHO) United Artists Showcase

3769 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 844-462-7342 ext. 522

(SP) Century South Point

9777 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-260-4061

(SC) Century Suncoast

9090 Alta Drive, 702-869-1880

(SS) Regal Sunset Station

1301-A W. Sunset Road, Henderson, 844-462-7342 ext. 268

(TX) Regal Texas Station

2101 Texas Star Lane, North Las Vegas, 844-462-7342 ext. 271

(TS) AMC Town Square

6587 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-362-7283

(TC) Regency Tropicana Cinemas

3330 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-438-3456

(VS) Regal Village Square

9400 W. Sahara Ave., 844-462-7342 ext. 272

  • This year’s event features another packed lineup of short films, with more than 120 selections spread over 20-plus thematic programs and four days.

  • The three-day event—which will showcase more than 50 short films, along with one feature—kicks off with a free night of films at Backstage Bar and ...

  • Returning to the Palms, LVFF 2018 offers talked-about indie films shorts programs, animation, student films, parties and more.

  • Get More Film Stories
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