Short takes: This week’s movie listings

The Witch
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Best Picture Showcase

2/20, 2/27, marathon of Oscar Best Picture nominees, 10 am, $25. Theaters: TS

Jonas Kaufmann: An Evening With Puccini

2/23, concert documentary, 7:30 pm, $15. Theaters: VS. Info:

The Last Great Circus Flyer

Through 2/22, documentary about trapeze artists plus live Q&A with filmmaker and subjects, Thu-Fri, Sun-Mon 2:15 pm, $11.50. Theaters: PAL. Info:

The Maltese Falcon

2/21, 2/24, 75th anniversary showing plus intro from Turner Classic Movies, 2 & 7 pm, $5-$12.50. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Midnight Brewvies

Mon, movie plus popcorn, midnight, free. Elixir, 2920 N. Green Valley Parkway, Henderson, 702-272-0000.

Oscar Nominated Short Films

2/19-2/21, animated and live-action programs, times vary, $8-$11. Theaters: GVR

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 pm, free. 2/20, The Evil Brain From Outer Space, Bela Lugosi Meets a Brooklyn Gorilla, 7 pm, $1. 2/23, Embryo, 8 pm, $1. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335,

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 pm, free. 2/23, In the Heat of the Night. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

Women of Faith: An Amazing Joyful Journey

2/18, 2/20, concert documentary, Thu 7 pm, Sat 12:55 pm, $15. Theaters: VS. Info:

New this week

Boy and the World (Not reviewed)

Voices of Vinicius Garcia, Felipe Zilse, Alê Abreu. Directed by Alê Abreu. 80 minutes. Rated PG. A young boy goes on an adventure to search for his father in this Oscar-nominated animated movie from Brazil.

Theaters: VS

Busco Novio Para Mi Mujer (Not reviewed)

Sandra Echeverría, Arath de la Torre, Jesús Ochoa. Directed by Enrique Begne. 92 minutes. Rated PG-13. In Spanish with English subtitles. A man hires a professional gigolo to seduce his wife and help end his marriage.

Theaters: BS, ORL, PAL, SC, TS, TX

The Lady in the Van Two and a half stars

Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Roger Allam. Directed by Nicholas Hytner. 104 minutes. Rated PG-13. Smith plays an irascible but lovable homeless woman in this genial, banal adaptation of Alan Bennett’s autobiographical stage play. Smith’s eccentric, van-dwelling Mary and Jennings’ fussy Alan form an unlikely friendship, learn important life lessons and have a few predictably wacky misunderstandings along the way. —JB

Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, VS

Neerja (Not reviewed)

Sonam Kapoor, Shabana Azmi, Shekhar Ravjiani. Directed by Ram Madhvani. 122 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. The true story of a flight attendant who lost her life saving passengers on the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 in 1986.

Theaters: ST, VS

Race Two and a half stars

Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Jeremy Irons. Directed by Stephen Hopkins. 134 minutes. Rated PG-13. Biopics don’t come much more conventional than this rote, formulaic account of the early life and career of Olympic track and field star Jesse Owens (James), most famous for winning four gold medals in the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Director Hopkins renders it all in broad strokes, with a bland, TV-movie flatness. —JB


Risen One and a half stars

Joseph Fiennes, Tom Felton, Peter Firth. Directed by Kevin Reynolds. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13. This ridiculous religious drama makes Jesus’ resurrection into a plodding procedural, led by Fiennes as a Roman tribune looking for the supposed messiah’s dead body. The movie is dull and drab and fails at both historical dramatization and religious inspiration. —JB

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

Son of Saul Three and a half stars

Géza Röhrig, Levente Molnár, Urs Rechn. Directed by László Nemes. 107 minutes. Rated R. In Hungarian, Yiddish and German with English subtitles. Hungarian filmmaker Nemes manages to make the horrors of the Holocaust immediate and visceral again with this haunting Oscar-nominated drama about a Jew forced to aid the Nazis at Auschwitz. Nemes uses a narrow visual focus to place the audience alongside his main character, experiencing the same disorientation and panic. —JB

Theaters: GVR, SC

A Violent Prosecutor (Not reviewed)

Hwang Jung-min, Kang Dong-won. Directed by Il-Hyeong Lee. 126 minutes. Not rated. In Korean with English subtitles. A lawyer wrongly convicted of murder teams up with a con artist to hunt down the real killer.

Theaters: VS

Walang Forever (Not reviewed)

Jennylyn Mercado, Jericho Rosales, Lorna Tolentino. Directed by Dan Villegas. 124 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A successful screenwriter finds her life turned upside down when her ex-boyfriend returns.

Theaters: ORL, VS

The Witch Four stars

Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie. Directed by Robert Eggers. 90 minutes. Rated R. Set in 1630, Eggers’ Sundance sensation turns the 17th century itself into a place of horror, using archaic dialogue lifted verbatim from historical documents. The film terrifies not with hackneyed jump scares, but with a dark vision of a world so divorced from our own that it might as well be another planet. —MD

Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, DI, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Now playing

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Three stars

John Krasinski, James Badge Dale, David Costabile. Directed by Michael Bay. 144 minutes. Rated R. Bay’s film about the 2012 Benghazi attacks eschews politics in favor of blowing stuff up, but the action gets monotonous over time. The portrayal of six paramilitary contractors who defended U.S. compounds has a tone of such extreme hero worship that it distorts the reality it’s meant to portray. —JB

Theaters: DTS, GVR, SF, SP, ST, VS

45 Years Three and a half stars

Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James. Directed by Andrew Haigh. 95 minutes. Rated R.

Theaters: SC

The 5th Wave Three stars

Chloë Grace Moretz, Alex Roe, Nick Robinson. Directed by J Blakeson. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13. Teenager Cassie (Moretz) fights off an alien invasion and gets caught in a love triangle in the latest adaptation of a young-adult sci-fi novel series. The 5th Wave starts out as a rote survival narrative before taking a turn for the absurd with its central romance and the aliens’ nonsensical endgame. —JB

Theaters: Theaters: AL, CH, COL, PAL, ST, TX, VS

Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (Not reviewed)

Voices of Matthew Gray Gubler, Justin Long, Jesse McCartney. Directed by Walt Becker. 86 minutes. Rated PG. Chipmunks Alvin, Simon and Theodore travel to Miami to stop their guardian Dave from getting married.

Theaters: ST, TC

The Big Short Three stars

Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling. Directed by Adam McKay. 130 minutes. Rated R. Adapted from Michael Lewis’ best-seller, this expository essay disguised as a narrative explains the 2008 subprime-mortgage crisis from the point of view of the few people who foresaw the disaster and profited from it. Director McKay works overtime to make complex financial concepts entertaining. —MD

Theaters: COL, DTS, SC

The Boy (Not reviewed)

Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell. Directed by William Brent Bell. 98 minutes. Rated PG-13. An American nanny is disturbed by her English employers’ “son”—a life-sized doll.

Theaters: AL, CH, COL, DI, ORL, SF, ST, TS, TX, VS

Brooklyn Three and a half stars

Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson. Directed by John Crowley. 111 minutes. Rated PG-13. This 1950s-set drama, based on Colm Tóibín’s award-winning novel, is old-fashioned in its optimism about life for Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey (Ronan) as she starts over in New York City. Ronan brings Eilis to life in every small gesture and interaction. —JB

Theaters: FH, SC

Carol Four stars

Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Kyle Chandler. Directed by Todd Haynes. 118 minutes. Rated R. In Haynes’ achingly beautiful adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s 1952 novel, elegant, composed housewife Carol Aird (Blanchett) and shy shopgirl/aspiring photographer Therese Belivet (Mara) have to hide their burgeoning courtship. Haynes brilliantly captures each small moment of both grace and indignity as the characters quietly rebel against societal constraints. —JB

Theaters: VS

The Choice (Not reviewed)

Benjamin Walker, Teresa Palmer, Maggie Grace. Directed by Ross Katz. 111 minutes. Rated PG-13. Two small-town neighbors fall in love.

Theaters: BS, COL, SC, SF, SP, SS

Creed Three and a half stars

Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson. Directed by Ryan Coogler. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. Retired boxer Rocky Balboa (Stallone) reluctantly agrees to train Adonis Creed (Jordan), illegitimate son of his late friend/rival Apollo Creed. Not only is Creed a solid, rousing boxing drama, but it’s also an unexpectedly affecting look at Rocky in his twilight years, with Stallone’s best performance in a long time. —JB

Theaters: TC

Daddy’s Home Two stars

Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini. Directed by Sean Anders. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. This reunion between Ferrell and Wahlberg (The Other Guys) finds both stars on autopilot, with Ferrell as a milquetoast, eager-to-please stepdad who feels threatened when his wife’s bad-boy ex (Wahlberg) comes to town. Their subsequent feud is predictable and unfunny, combining painful slapstick with uncomfortable gross-out jokes. —JB

Theaters: COL, DI, ST, TX, VS

Deadpool Three stars

Ryan Reynolds, Morena Baccarin, Ed Skrein. Directed by Tim Miller. 108 minutes. Rated R. The long-in-the-works movie starring sarcastic, ultraviolent Marvel Comics anti-hero Deadpool (Reynolds) is vulgar, gory and self-aware. In between his dirty jokes and self-referential insults, Deadpool participates in a fairly familiar superhero origin story. Only about half the jokes land, but the enthusiasm of the production makes up for the rest. —JB

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

Dirty Grandpa One star

Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Aubrey Plaza. Directed by Dan Mazer. 102 minutes. Rated R. De Niro’s career twilight reaches its latest low point in this crass comedy about a randy widower (De Niro) who drags his uptight grandson (Efron) on a road trip to spring break at Daytona Beach. The humor is nasty, misogynistic and gross, but the disingenuously heartfelt scenes might be even more offensive. —JB

Theaters: DTS, GVR, ORL, SC, SHO

Fifty Shades of Black (Not reviewed)

Marlon Wayans, Kali Hawk, Affion Crockett. Directed by Michael Tiddes. 92 minutes. Rated R. A parody of erotic drama Fifty Shades of Grey.

Theaters: DI, TC, TX

The Finest Hours Three stars

Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Holliday Grainger. Directed by Craig Gillespie. 117 minutes. Rated PG-13. This true-life drama about a daring 1952 Coast Guard rescue is old-fashioned in both good and bad ways, with some hokey writing and performances, but also some solid suspense and excitement. Affleck is particularly good as the prickly but resourceful chief engineer on a stranded oil tanker. —JB

Theaters: COL, FH, PAL, SP, ST, VS

Fitoor (Not reviewed)

Aditya Roy Kapoor, Katrina Kaif, Tabu. Directed by Abhishek Kapoor. 131 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. An adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Great Expectations, set in Kashmir.

Theaters: VS

The Forest Two stars

Natalie Dormer, Taylor Kinney, Yukiyoshi Ozawa. Directed by Jason Zada. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13. Despite a setting (the Aokigahara forest in Japan, a notorious spot for suicides) with thematic potential, once concerned American Sara Price (Dormer) enters the woods in search of her missing twin sister, the movie turns into a generic haunted-forest story, with a series of banal jump scares and pale apparitions. —JB

Theaters: ST, TX

The Good Dinosaur Three stars

Voices of Raymond Ochoa, Jack Bright, Frances McDormand. Directed by Peter Sohn. 100 minutes. Rated PG. Pixar’s long-in-the-works animated movie is gorgeous to look at, and it’s solid, pleasurable entertainment for kids. But it’s only slightly more sophisticated than the similarly themed Ice Age movies, with a straightforward story about a young dinosaur conquering his fears while on a quest through the wilderness. —JB

Theaters: TC

Hail, Caesar! Two and a half stars

Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Alden Ehrenreich. Directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13.

Theaters: AL, BS, DTS, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, SC, SP, TS

The Hateful Eight Two and a half stars

Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell, Jennifer Jason Leigh. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. 167 minutes. Rated R. Tarantino’s hyper-violent, hyper-talky Western takes place almost entirely inside a cabin during a blizzard on the Wyoming frontier. The increasingly bloody payoffs don’t quite make up for the sluggish first half, and Tarantino’s wordy dialogue has lost some of its charm, especially in its showy and often misguided use of the N-word. —JB

Theaters: ST, VS

How to Be Single Two stars

Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Mann, Alison Brie. Directed by Christian Ditter. 110 minutes. Rated R. How to Be Single mashes several mediocre romantic comedies into one movie as it chronicles the dating lives of various single New Yorkers. The cast (especially Wilson) is up for anything, but the story arcs are formulaic, and the dialogue is full of clichés, with only occasional funny lines. —JB

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

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 Three stars

Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth. Directed by Francis Lawrence. 137 minutes. Rated PG-13. The second part of Mockingjay wraps up the entire four-movie Hunger Games series (based on Suzanne Collins’ dystopian sci-fi novels) in a mostly satisfying way. Although it’s overlong and sometimes oppressively bleak, the movie features some creative action set pieces and surprisingly complex themes about the costs of warfare. —JB

Theaters: TC

Joy Three and a half stars

Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Edgar Ramirez. Directed by David O. Russell. 124 minutes. Rated PG-13. Russell’s biopic about inventor Joy Mangano (Lawrence) has a jazzy energy as it barrels through some unlikely events. The tension between the fanciful and the mundane never quite resolves over the course of the movie, and Joy is more successful at impressionistic family drama than laying out the facts of Mangano’s career. —JB

Theaters: TC, VS

Kung Fu Panda 3 Three stars

Voices of Jack Black, Bryan Cranston, J.K. Simmons. Directed by Jennifer Yuh Nelson and Alessandro Carloni. 95 minutes. Rated PG. This time around, kung fu panda Po (Black) must master the traditional Chinese concept of ch’i in order to take down a mystically powered bad guy. At this point, there’s really nothing new to discover in a KFP movie, but it’s still nice to see old friends every so often. —JB

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

The Night Before aabcc

Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anthony Mackie. Directed by Jonathan Levine. 101 minutes. Rated R. This Naughty Christmas Comedy lacks the surprise of the very similar A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas, and is too limited by its simplistic character arcs. But the actors complement one another well, and their bond gives the movie a dose of good cheer. —JMA

Theaters: TC

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies Two and a half stars

Lily James, Sam Riley, Lena Headey. Directed by Burr Steers. 108 minutes. Rated PG-13.

Theaters: BS, RP, TS

The Revenant Three stars

Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. 156 minutes. Rated R. DiCaprio makes his bid for Oscar glory as Hugh Glass, a real-life fur trapper and frontier guide who trekked 200 miles across unforgiving terrain when he was left for dead after being mauled by a bear. As a survival tale, it’s gripping entertainment; as a revenge saga, it’s largely empty. —MD

Theaters: AL, BS, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS

Ride Along 2 Two stars

Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Olivia Munn. Directed by Tim Story. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13. Hart tries not to be annoying and Cube tries to look like he wants to be there, and they actually partially succeed, but not all the time. The major laughs are at the expense of Hart, and the action/chase scenes, courtesy of director Story, are a choppy, lazy mess. —JMA

Theaters: AL, BS, CH, DI, ORL, PAL, SF, SS, TS, TX

Room Three stars

Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Joan Allen. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson. 118 minutes. Rated R. Emma Donoghue’s acclaimed 2010 novel, about a woman (Larson) and her young son (Tremblay) who’ve spent years held prisoner in a small garden shed, needed a singular directorial vision to work as a film, and it didn’t get it. Still, Larson is terrific, and the scenario’s inherent pathos is off the charts. —MD

Theaters: COL, SC

Sisters Three stars

Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Ike Barinholtz. Directed by Jason Moore. 118 minutes. Rated R. Fey and Poehler join forces again as siblings with diametrically opposed personalities who decide to throw a massive party in their soon-to-be-sold family home. That scenario is strictly a thin delivery system for semi-improvised riffing, with the jokes achieving roughly a 65-35 ratio of hits to misses. —MD

Theaters: ST

Spectre Three stars

Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux. Directed by Sam Mendes. 148 minutes. Rated PG-13. Craig’s possible final outing as secret agent James Bond focuses a bit too much on wrapping up his story and bringing back familiar elements of the Bond franchise. Spectre succeeds mainly as a series of dazzling set pieces connected by a thin plot. —JB

Theaters: TS, TX, VS

Spotlight Four stars

Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo, Rachel McAdams. Directed by Tom McCarthy. 128 minutes. Rated R. Director and co-writer McCarthy’s drama about the Boston Globe reporting on the Catholic Church molestation scandal applies the same meticulous attention to detail as the Globe writers did in their reporting. The stars manage to turn sitting and listening into riveting drama, and the acting is powerful in how subdued it is. —JB

Theaters: SC, ST

Star Wars: The Force Awakens Three and a half stars

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver. Directed by J.J. Abrams. 135 minutes. Rated PG-13. The long-awaited seventh movie in the space-opera series is a carefully crafted brand extension with a familiar story and some appealing new characters. Everything about it seems calculated to entertain the widest audience possible, and for the most part, it succeeds. —JB

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

Trumbo Three stars

Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Michael Stuhlbarg. Directed by Jay Roach. 124 minutes. Rated R. Dalton Trumbo was a brilliant writer who sacrificed his career and his family life to stand up for what he believed in, but the movie about him features neither brilliant writing nor daring social commentary. Trumbo is, however, a fitfully entertaining biopic, featuring a cast of recognizable faces playing other recognizable faces. —JB

Where to Invade Next Three stars

Directed by Michael Moore. 119 minutes. Rated R. Moore’s latest documentary sees him travel to numerous European countries in order to “invade” them, stealing their best ideas to bring back home to the U.S. Despite a lack of balance in his arguments, it’s his best film in years, largely because it’s constructive rather than just a litany of complaints. —MD

Theaters: COL, SC

Zoolander 2 Two stars

Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz. Directed by Ben Stiller. 102 minutes. Rated PG-13. Stiller and Wilson return as moronic supermodel Derek Zoolander and his rival/best friend Hansel, but this sequel to the 2001 comedy is disappointingly slapdash, with a plot even more nonsensical than the original, performances that fail to capture what made the characters entertaining, and a cavalcade of celebrity cameos in place of jokes. —JB

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

Theaters: TC, 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

(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

  • From Avengers: Endgame to Toy Story 4 to Tarantino and beyond.

  • The event’s 12th edition runs April 28 through May 4 at the Palms and Downtown’s Inspire Theater.

  • 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.

  • Get More Film Stories
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