Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for April 6

Grumpy old men with guns in Going in Style.
Photo: Warner Bros. / Courtesy
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Bolshoi Ballet

4/9, broadcast of A Hero of Our Time from Moscow, 12:55 p.m., $15-$18. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Cinema in the Circle

First Fri of month, 6 p.m., free. 4/7, FernGully: The Last Rainforest. Huntridge Circle Park, 1251 S. Maryland Parkway. Info:

Cinemark Classic Series

Sun 2 p.m., Wed 2 & 7 p.m., $7.50-$10.75. 4/9, 4/12, Clue. Theaters: ORL, SF, SP, ST

Daddy Loves Me

4/6 premiere of short film plus cast and crew Q&A, 7 p.m., $5. Theaters: TC. Info:

Facing Darkness

4/10, faith-based documentary feature plus bonus content, 7 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: SF, VS. Info:

Inside the Director’s Cut

4/11, Interstellar Civil War plus discussion with director Albert Pyun, 7 p.m., $20 (includes two drinks), 21+ only. Millennium Fandom Bar, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-405-0816.

RiffTrax Live

4/13, 4/18, Samurai Cop with comedic commentary, Thu 8 p.m., Mon 7:30 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Saturday Movie Matinee

4/8, Fences, 2 p.m., free. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400. 4/8, 1 p.m., free. Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, 702-507-6036.

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 4/8, The Rocky Horror Picture Show with live shadow cast, 10 p.m., $10. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335,

Second Sunday Movie Club

4/9, 2 p.m., free. Whitney Library, 5175 E. Tropicana Ave., 702-507-4010.

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 4/11, Holiday (1938). Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

New this week

The Case for Christ (Not reviewed)

Mike Vogel, Erika Christensen, Faye Dunaway. Directed by Jon Gunn. 112 minutes. Rated PG. An atheist journalist attempts to disprove the existence of Christ after his wife becomes a born-again Christian.

Theaters: AL, COL, FH, RP, RR, SF, SP, ST, TS, VS

Extraordinary Mission (Not reviewed)

Huang Xuan, Duan Yihong, Lang Yueting. Directed by Alan Mak and Anthony Pun. 120 minutes. Not rated. In Mandarin with English subtitles. An undercover police officer infiltrates a drug cartel.

Theaters: VS

Going in Style Two stars

Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Alan Arkin. Directed by Zach Braff. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. This remake of the 1979 dramedy about three senior citizens plotting a bank robbery gets rid of the melancholy ruminations and replaces them with broad, obvious comedy. What once was a story about the loneliness and neglect of old age ends up a forced, wacky comedy about seniors behaving badly. —JB

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

Queen of the Desert Two stars

Nicole Kidman, Damian Lewis, James Franco. Directed by Werner Herzog. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13. This biopic about early-20th-century British explorer, writer, archaeologist and diplomat Gertrude Bell (Kidman), who helped shape Middle East policy, is less insightful than her Wikipedia entry. Writer-director Herzog fails to give any sense of Bell’s motivation or connection to the place she devoted so much of her time to exploring. —JB

Theaters: TS

Smurfs: The Lost Village Two stars

Voices of Demi Lovato, Danny Pudi, Jack McBrayer. Directed by Kelly Asbury. 89 minutes. Rated PG. The little blue creatures return to their fully animated roots in this story about lone female Smurf Smurfette discovering a hidden village of Smurf ladies. Lots of slapstick humor and lessons about tolerance ensue, but there’s not nearly enough story for 90 minutes, and the animation is functional and uninspired. —JB

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

Your Name Three and a half stars

Voices of Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Mone Kamishiraishi, Ryô Narita. Directed by Makoto Shinkai. 106 minutes. Rated PG. In Japanese with English subtitles. Teenagers Mitsuha, a girl living in a small town, and Taki, a boy in the heart of Tokyo, find themselves inexplicably switching bodies at random in this globally successful and beautifully animated Japanese movie. The story touches on themes of destiny and longing, with a romance that is both epic and intimate. —JB

Theaters: ORL, SF, VS

Now playing

Beauty and the Beast Two and a half stars

Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans. Directed by Bill Condon. 129 minutes. Rated PG. This live-action/CGI remake of Disney’s classic animated musical drains much of the charm from the movie, rendering expressive cartoon designs as hyper-detailed, antiseptic computer effects, bloating a simple fairy tale into a plodding narrative complete with dead parents and placing some of Disney’s most memorable songs alongside mediocre new compositions. —JB


The Belko Experiment Two and a half stars

John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona. Directed by Greg McLean. 88 minutes. Rated R. Eighty employees trapped in an isolated Colombia office building are ordered to murder each other by an anonymous voice on the intercom, or be killed themselves. James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy) wrote the script, but it basically amounts to an especially gory indoor Hunger Games. —MD

Theaters: COL, ST

The Boss Baby Two stars

Voices of Miles Bakshi, Alec Baldwin, Lisa Kudrow. Directed by Tom McGrath. 97 minutes. Rated PG. This is a baffling, bizarrely misconceived animated movie about a baby dressed in a business suit and spouting corporate speak in the voice of Alec Baldwin. Some visuals are well-designed, and Baldwin gets in a few funny lines, but the plot is so weirdly off the mark that everything else is just background noise. —JB


CHiPs One and a half stars

Dax Shepard, Michael Peña, Vincent D’Onofrio. Directed by Dax Shepard. 100 minutes. Rated R. Writer/director/star Shepard turns the ’70s/’80s TV cop drama into a lowbrow comedy, with two bumbling California Highway Patrol officers on the trail of a ring of dirty cops. The central conspiracy makes no sense, the jokes are vulgar and repetitive, and the pacing is a total mess. —JB

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

A Dog’s Purpose Two stars

K.J. Apa, Dennis Quaid, voice of Josh Gad. Directed by Lasse Hallström. 120 minutes. Rated PG. Gad cloyingly voices the thoughts of a dog who is reincarnated through several lives in this treacly combination of kid-movie animal antics and Nicholas Sparks-style romance. The pacing is uneven, the human characters are one-dimensional and the tone is sappy and manipulative, with multiple tearjerking dog deaths. —JB

Theaters: TC

Fifty Shades Darker Two stars

Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Marcia Gay Harden. Directed by James Foley. 115 minutes. Rated R. The second movie based on E.L. James’ series of erotic novels immediately reunites billionaire sadist Christian Grey and naive college grad Anastasia Steele. The relative lack of conflict between the main characters is just one of the reasons that Darker ends up as possibly the most boring movie ever made about kinky sex. —JB

Theaters: TC

Fist Fight One star

Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Jillian Bell. Directed by Richie Keen. 91 minutes. Rated R. There’s almost nothing to like about this comedy starring Cube as an angry history teacher who challenges Day’s nervous English teacher to a fight after a misunderstanding gets the former fired. It’s dreadful, with unpleasant characters, moronic jokes, a paper-thin plot and a disingenuous message that pretends to excuse the repetitive vulgarity. —JB

Theaters: TC

Get Out Three and a half stars

Daniel Kaluuya, Allison Williams, Bradley Whitford. Directed by Jordan Peele. 103 minutes. Rated R. A black photographer (Kaluuya) encounters a sinister conspiracy when he visits the family of his white girlfriend (Williams). Peele is mostly successful at balancing comedy, horror and social commentary in his promising debut as a writer-director. The movie never lectures the audience, providing a grotesque exaggeration to highlight very real social problems. —JB

Theaters: AL, COL, DI, FH, ORL, RR, SC, SF, SHO, ST, TS, TX, VS

Ghost in the Shell Three stars

Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbæk, Takeshi Kitano. Directed by Rupert Sanders. 105 minutes. Rated PG-13. This live-action remake of the groundbreaking 1995 Japanese animated movie about a future cyborg cop is inherently derivative, but at least it copies from the best. Even if the plot doesn’t hold together, the visuals make up for it, with director Sanders putting together stunning images and creative action sequences. —JB

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

The Great Wall Two stars

Matt Damon, Tian Jing, Pedro Pascal. Directed by Zhang Yimou. 103 minutes. Rated PG-13. This American-Chinese co-production is carefully composed to provide an equally inoffensive balance for both markets, ending up with the worst of both worlds. Damon sports a terrible, constantly varying accent as an 11th-century European trader who comes to China and ends up in a fight against crappy CGI monsters. —JB

Theaters: ST

Hidden Figures Two stars

Taraji P. Henson, Kevin Costner, Octavia Spencer. Directed by Theodore Melfi. 127 minutes. Rated PG. The story of three real-life black women who overcame prejudice while working at NASA in the early days of the space program is told with cheesy, crowd-pleasing moments that often simplify and diminish the struggles that the real people endured. Eventually its account of actual triumph over adversity becomes chintzy and disingenuous. —JB

Theaters: VS

John Wick: Chapter 2 Three stars

Keanu Reeves, Riccardo Scamarcio, Ruby Rose. Directed by Chad Stahelski. 122 minutes. Rated R. Reeves returns as the weary, unstoppable assassin who just wants to retire in peace, this time drawn back into action by an Italian mob boss. The story lacks the laser focus of the original, and the increased emphasis on franchise-building is a distraction, but Stahelski still knows how to stage stunning action sequences. —JB

Theaters: COL, VS

Kong: Skull Island Three stars

Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson. Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. After gathering a motley crew for a trip to the previously uncharted Skull Island, the movie wastes little time in revealing its giant ape title character, delivering near-constant action on an island filled with brilliantly rendered monstrosities. Its social commentary, however, is mostly used just as superficially as its overqualified cast. —JB

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

La La Land Three and a half stars

Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend. Directed by Damien Chazelle. 128 minutes. Rated PG-13. Stone and Gosling are so terrific together, as an aspiring actress and a jazz pianist struggling to realize their respective dreams in cutthroat Los Angeles, that one can sort of forgive this being a throwback musical in which neither lead is a first-rate singer or dancer. ­—MD

Theaters: TC

Land of Mine Two and a half stars

Roland Møller, Louis Hofmann, Mikkel Boe Følsgaard. Directed by Martin Zandvliet. 100 minutes. Rated R. In Danish with English subtitles. In the aftermath of World War II, a group of young German POWs are forced to clear land mines from the Danish coast. The movie inverts some of the typical sympathies of WWII stories, but is otherwise predictable and heavy-handed, and a bit manipulative in its use of exploding kids for suspense. —JB

Theaters: SC

The Last Word One and a half stars

Shirley MacLaine, Amanda Seyfried, Thomas Sadoski. Directed by Mark Pellington. 108 minutes. Rated R. MacLaine plays a wealthy, cranky old lady who decides that she needs to micromanage her own obituary, forcing a local newspaper obituary writer (Seyfried) to craft a loving tribute. Obviously, the two women learn to open up to one another, but not a single emotion feels genuine. —JB

Theaters: GVR, VS

The Lego Batman Movie Three and a half stars

Voices of Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Zach Galifianakis. Directed by Chris McKay. 104 minutes. Rated PG. This animated spinoff of The Lego Movie, starring Arnett’s vain, arrogant version of Batman, retains much of its predecessor’s charm, packing in nonstop visual and verbal jokes while telling a simple, fun story with some solid lessons for the family audience. —JB

Theaters: COL

Life Three stars

Jake Gyllenhaal, Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson. Directed by Daniel Espinosa. 103 minutes. Rated R. Life is nothing we haven’t seen before, just a bad alien from outer space out to get us. It’s cobbled together from bits of Alien and Gravity and even Friday the 13th. But the execution by director Espinosa feels fresh, focusing on smooth, succinct technical attributes, interesting casting and even characters who seem smart. —JMA

Theaters: AL, ET, GVL, GVR, ORL, PAL, RR, SF, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

Lion Three stars

Sunny Pawar, Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman. Directed by Garth Davis. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. Based on a true story, Lion stars Patel as a young man who was raised in Australia (Kidman plays his mom) after getting hopelessly lost at age 5, but who uses Google Earth in an effort to locate the tiny village in India where he was born. Sluggish at the start, moving by the end. —MD

Theaters: VS

Logan Three stars

Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen. Directed by James Mangold. 137 minutes. Rated R. Jackman makes his allegedly final appearance as mutant superhero Wolverine in this grim, violent future-set drama. The relationship among the central trio of Wolverine, Professor X and a young mutant girl is strong, but the lengthy plot heads off on too many detours, and the serious tone gets a bit numbing over time. —JB

Theaters: AL, COL, DTS, FH, ORL, RP, RR, SHO, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

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: TC

Monster Trucks (Not reviewed)

Lucas Till, Jane Levy, Amy Ryan. Directed by Chris Wedge. 104 minutes. Rated PG. A teenager discovers a strange friendly creature inhabiting the souped-up truck he’s building.

Theaters: TC

Northern Lights: A Journey to Love (Not reviewed)

Piolo Pascual, Yen Santos, Raikko Mateo. Directed by Dondon S. Santos. 98 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. Two Filipino expats living in Alaska develop a romance.

Theaters: VS

Power Rangers One star

Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler. Directed by Dean Israelite. 124 minutes. Rated PG-13. Power Rangers wants both to represent a dark, gritty take on the source material and to recapture the cheesy, campy tone of the ’90s TV show. The balance is way off, though, and the movie is far too silly to be taken seriously and yet takes itself far too seriously to be any fun. —JB

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

Rings One and a half stars

Matilda Lutz, Alex Roe, Johnny Galecki. Directed by F. Javier Gutiérrez. 102 minutes. Rated PG-13. In this long-delayed third Ring movie, a bland teenager (Lutz) and a college professor (Galecki) encounter the cursed videotape and go in search of soggy ghost girl Samara’s horrific history. Apart from a standalone opening sequence set on an airplane, the film just traffics in the usual clichéd jump scares. —MD

Theaters: ST

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story Three and a half stars

Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn. Directed by Gareth Edwards. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13. This Star Wars prequel/spinoff, set just before the events of the original 1977 movie, struggles between fan-pleasing callbacks and telling its own story, about a group of Rebels stealing the plans to the Death Star. Although the individual elements are uneven, they come together in an entertaining and satisfying way. —JB

Theaters: TC

The Shack One and a half stars

Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Avraham Aviv Alush. Directed by Stuart Hazeldine. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. Based on the mega-selling Christian novel, The Shack follows bereaved father Mack (Worthington) as he meets literal representations of the Holy Trinity in the remote cabin where his daughter was murdered. As much a self-help book as a sermon, the movie fails as drama, offering up superficial, simplistic lessons for the ill-defined protagonist. —JB

Theaters: COL, SC

Sing Two stars

Voices of Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson. Directed by Garth Jennings. 110 minutes. Rated PG. In a city full of anthropomorphic animals, a koala stage impresario (McConaughey) mounts a singing competition to save his failing theater. The story evokes the “let’s put on a show” narratives of classic musicals, but the style is all crass 2016 Hollywood, with a soundtrack full of squeaky-clean, soulless versions of pop songs. —JB

Theaters: TC

Sleepless Two stars

Jamie Foxx, Dermot Mulroney, Michelle Monaghan. Directed by Baran bo Odar. 95 minutes. Rated R. This Vegas-set crime drama (mostly shot in Atlanta) takes a superficial view of the city and could have been set anywhere, really, with its by-the- numbers story of corrupt cop Vincent Downs (Foxx, barely awake), who’s targeted by underworld figures after he and his partner steal a large shipment of cocaine. —JB

Theaters: TC

Song to Song Two stars

Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, Michael Fassbender. Directed by Terrence Malick. 129 minutes. Rated R. A host of terrific actors—including Gosling, Mara, Fassbender, Natalie Portman and Cate Blanchett—get nothing much to do in Malick’s latest feature, which sets several vacuous romantic relationships against the backdrop of the Austin, Texas, music scene. This director’s stylistic tics have become empty crutches. —MD

Theaters: GVR

T2 Trainspotting Two and a half stars

Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle. Directed by Danny Boyle. 117 minutes. Rated R. The surviving gang from 1996’s Trainspotting returns in this 20-years-later sequel, featuring the same cast, the same director and the same screenwriter. As a self-referential portrait of middle-aged regret, it works reasonably well; as a story, less so. —MD

Theaters: DTS

A United Kingdom Two and a half stars

David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport. Directed by Amma Asante. 111 minutes. Rated PG-13. This drama based on the true story of the politcally charged marriage between a Botswanan royal heir (Oyelowo) and a white British clerk (Pike) in the 1940s is respectable and mostly dull, only slightly more stirring than a Wikipedia entry. The leads have strong chemistry, but the movie never brings the historical events to life. —JB

Theaters: SC

The Zookeeper’s Wife Two and a half stars

Jessica Chastain, Johan Heldenbergh, Daniel Brühl. Directed by Niki Caro. 124 minutes. Rated PG-13. The true story of a couple in Poland who used their zoo to shelter Jews during World War II deserves recognition, but the movie about them isn’t nearly as bold or risk-taking, following a familiar, predictable narrative with mild suspense and bland inspirational moments. —JB

Theaters: DTS, GVR, SC, TS

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

(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

(PAL) Brenden Theatres at the Palms

4321 W. Flamingo Road, 702-507-4849

(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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