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Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for April 20

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Brie Larson in Free Fire.
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Boys of Summer: Second Base

4/27, documentary screening plus filmmaker discussion, 7 p.m., $7-$10.50. Theaters: PAL. Info: bosmovie.com.

Chonda Pierce: Enough

4/25, performance documentary starring Christian comedian Chonda Pierce, 7 p.m., $10.50-$14. Theaters: BS, SF, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

The Grateful Dead Movie 40th Anniversary

4/20, documentary screening plus bonus features, 7 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Las Vegas Black Film Festival

4/27-4/30, film screenings, panel discussions, workshops, parties, more, times vary, passes $30-$250, individual events $20-$100. Suncoast, 9090 Alta Drive. Info: lasvegasblackfilmfestival.com.

The Metropolitan Opera HD Live

4/22, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin live, 9:55 a.m., $17-$25. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. 4/26, Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin encore, 6:30 p.m., $16-$23. Theaters: COL, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Saturday Movie Matinee

4/22, 1 p.m., free. Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, 702-507-6068.

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 4/21, Tank Girl, 8 p.m., $1. 4/22, Ice Pirates, The Rocky Horror Picture Show with live shadow cast, 8 p.m., $10. 4/23, Fahrenheit 451, 4 p.m., $2. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335, thescificenter.com.

TCM Big Screen Classics

4/23, 4/26, The Graduate 50th-anniversary screening with introduction from Turner Classic Movies, 2 & 7 p.m., $7.50-$12.50. Theaters: CAN, COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

TED Cinema Experience

4/24, 4/25, 4/30, broadcast of presentations from the annual TED conference, Mon, Tue 8 p.m., Sun 4 p.m., $16-$20. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

New this week

Born in China (Not reviewed)

Directed by Chuan Lu. 76 minutes. Rated G. Nature documentary featuring animals in China, including pandas, monkeys and snow leopards.

Theaters: AL, BS, CAN, COL, FH, GVL, RP, RR, SF, SC, SP, SS, TS, TX

Can’t Help Falling in Love (Not reviewed)

Kathryn Bernardo, Daniel Padilla, Matteo Guidicelli. Directed by Mae Cruz-Alviar. 118 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A woman about to get married discovers that she has accidentally already married another man.

Theaters: ORL

Colossal Three and a half stars

Anne Hathaway, Jason Sudeikis, Austin Stowell. Directed by Nacho Vigalondo. 110 minutes. Rated R. In the year’s nuttiest and most foolproof premise, an American named Gloria (Hathaway) discovers that her presence in a particular location at a particular time creates a giant monster in downtown Seoul—a monster whose actions she controls. The film is thematically incoherent, but so amusing that it scarcely matters. —MD

Theaters: DTS, TS, VS

Free Fire Two and a half stars

Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley, Cillian Murphy. Directed by Ben Wheatley. 90 minutes. Rated R. The entire plot of Wheatley’s stylish, occasionally clever and completely one-note action movie amounts to little more than a bunch of idiots shooting at each other. The hip retro soundtrack, quippy dialogue and visual flair don’t do quite enough to dress up what is more or less an extended fight sequence. —JB

Theaters: AL, CAN, COL, DI, ORL, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, VS

Grow House (Not reviewed)

DeRay Davis, Lil Duval, Raquel Lee. Directed by DJ Pooh. Rated R. A pair of stoners start a marijuana-growing business to pay off their debts.

Theaters: AL, COL, SC, ST, TS, VS

The Lost City of Z Two and a half stars

Charlie Hunnam, Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson. Directed by James Gray. 141 minutes. Rated PG-13. Based on the life of early 20th-century British explorer Percy Fawcett, Lost City follows Fawcett (Hunnam) over a 20-year period, during which he becomes increasingly obsessed with discovering a lost Amazon civilization. Gray’s dull restraint is a poor substitute for all-out jungle madness, and Hunnam never really burrows into Fawcett’s obsession. —JB

Theaters: GVR, RR, SC, TS

Noor (Not reviewed)

Sonakshi Sinha, Kanan Gill, Shibani Dandekar. Directed by Sunhil Sippy. 107 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. A young journalist in Mumbai breaks an important news story.

Theaters: VS

Phoenix Forgotten (Not reviewed)

Florence Hartigan, Chelsea Lopez, Justin Matthews. Directed by Justin Roberts. 85 minutes. Rated PG-13. A group of teenagers search for evidence of an alien landing in the Arizona desert.

Theaters: FH, CAN, ORL, PAL, SF, SP, ST, TS, TX, VS

The Promise (Not reviewed)

Oscar Isaac, Charlotte Le Bon, Christian Bale. Directed by Terry George. 132 minutes. Rated PG-13. An Armenian medical student falls in love with an artist amid the World War I-era Armenian genocide.

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

Their Finest Three stars

Gemma Arterton, Sam Claflin, Bill Nighy. Directed by Lone Scherfig. 117 minutes. Rated R. This British dramedy about the production of a pro-military film during World War II is mostly charming, thanks to Arterton’s appealing lead performance as a writer finding her footing. The story turns sentimental and manipulative in its final act, though, stumbling through several endings before closing on a quietly satisfying note. —JB

Theaters: COL, DTS

Unforgettable Two stars

Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults. Directed by Denise Di Novi. 100 minutes. Rated R. Unforgettable does nothing to deviate from the established formula of romantic-obsession thrillers, with Heigl as a sinister ex-wife out to sabotage her ex-husband’s new fiancée (Dawson). The movie just plods through its expected beats, and Heigl’s unhinged villainy is all it really has going for it. —JB

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

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

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

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

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

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: CH, COL, SF, ST, VS

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: COL, TC

The Fate of the Furious Two stars

Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron. Directed by F. Gary Gray. 136 minutes. Rated PG-13. The eighth movie in the endless, bizarrely popular action series about car-racing outlaws ups the stakes even further, with a world-ending plot by a villainous hacker (Theron) and a bunch of new characters. The story is convoluted and crowded and the action is completely antiseptic. —JB

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

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, ORL, RR, SC, 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: BS, ET, GVR, PAL, RP, SF, ST, TS, TX

Gifted Two and a half stars

Chris Evans, Mckenna Grace, Octavia Spencer. Directed by Marc Webb. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13. Evans plays a sensitive, hunky, intelligent mechanic raising his niece Mary (Grace) after his sister’s suicide. He’s forced to fight his rich, snooty mother for custody when Mary is discovered to be a math genius. The story is earnest, predictable and cheesy, with likeable but bland performances. —JB

Theaters: AL, CH, DTS, GVR, ORL, SC, SF, SP, TS, TX

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, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, SHO, SP, 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: TC

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: TC, 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, CH, COL, FH, ORL, RR, SF, SHO, SP, ST, TX, VS

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 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: TC

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

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

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, SP, SS, TS, TX

Split Three and a half stars

James McAvoy, Anya Taylor-Joy, Betty Buckley. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. 117 minutes. Rated PG-13. Shyamalan’s tense thriller keeps up the suspense for its entire running time, telling the story of three teen girls abducted by a man with 23 personalities. It’s another step on Shyamalan’s comeback, telling a sometimes familiar horror story with confidence and a surprising amount of depth. —JB

Theaters: TC

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: COL, SC

Tommy’s Honour (Not reviewed)

Peter Mullan, Jack Lowden, Ophelia Lovibond. Directed by Jason Connery. 117 minutes. Rated PG. Biopic about father and son Tom and Tommy Morris, early champions of professional golf.

Theaters: COL, VS

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, VS

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: BS, GVR, RR, SC, SP

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

Theaters

(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

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  • Everything in theaters this week, plus special screenings and movie reviews.

  • The movie stumbles within the framework of the great-artist biopic, but it can be affecting as a depiction of a troubled, sometimes tender romance.

  • Hint: Two from the ’50s, two from the ’70s and one from 1998. No, not that one.

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