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Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for December 28

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Pitch Perfect 3
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Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Doctor Who: Twice Upon a Time

12/28, Doctor Who Christmas special plus bonus features, 7 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 12/30, Insidious trilogy, 6 p.m., $2.50-$5. 12/31, New Year’s Eve movie marathon, 2 p.m.-midnight, $10. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335, thescificenter.com.

New this week

Gandarrappido!: The Revenger Squad (Not reviewed)

Vice Ganda, Daniel Padilla, Pia Wurtzbach. Directed by Joyce Bernal. 111 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A superhero team reveals itself after its latest member manifests his powers.

Theaters: ORL

The Liquidator (Not reviewed)

Chao Deng, Ethan Juan, Shi Shi Liu. Directed by Xu Jizhou. 126 minutes. Not rated. In Mandarin with English subtitles. A serial killer targets people who’ve been acquitted of controversial crimes.

Theaters: TS

Youth (Not reviewed)

Huang Xuan, Miao Miao, Zhong Chuxi. Directed by Feng Xiaogang. 137 minutes. Not rated. In Mandarin with English subtitles. The members of a Chinese performing-arts troupe experience personal upheavals over a period of two decades starting in the 1970s.

Theaters: TS

Now playing

All the Money in the World Three and a half stars

Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer. Directed by Ridley Scott. 132 minutes. Rated R. Scott’s slick, tense film about the 1973 kidnapping of J. Paul Getty III is sometimes overly concerned with laying out every detail of the case, but it features a number of taut, suspenseful set pieces and strong performances from Williams (as the kidnapped teen’s mother) and Plummer (as his wealthy, miserly grandfather). —JB

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

A Bad Moms Christmas Two stars

Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn. Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. 104 minutes. Rated R. It’s barely November, but last year’s trio of bad moms (Kunis, Bell and Hahn) are already coping with the holidays—and with their own respective bad moms (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon). Just like the original, but louder and cruder. It’s a comedy sequel. —MD

Theaters: ST

Boo 2! A Madea Halloween (Not reviewed)

Tyler Perry, Patrice Lovely, Cassi Davis. Directed by Tyler Perry. 101 minutes. Rated PG-13. Tough grandma Madea follows her granddaughter to a party at a supposedly haunted campground.

Theaters: TC

Coco Three and a half stars

Voices of Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt. Directed by Lee Unkrich. 109 minutes. Rated PG. Young Miguel gets trapped in the land of the dead during the Mexican Dia de los Muertos holiday in Pixar’s bright, family-friendly animated movie. Miguel’s quest is a mostly simple story about family bonds, but the journey is still well worth taking, thanks to the gorgeously realized world. —JB

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

Daddy’s Home 2 (Not reviewed)

Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini. Directed by Sean Anders. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13. The shared parenthood of former rivals Brad (Ferrell) and Dusty (Wahlberg) is challenged when their own dads (played by John Lithgow and Mel Gibson) come to visit.

Theaters: DI, ST

Darkest Hour Three stars

Gary Oldman, Lily James, Ben Mendelsohn. Directed by Joe Wright. 125 minutes. Rated PG-13. Oldman’s astounding transformation into Winston Churchill is Darkest Hour’s main selling point, but there’s compelling drama in its portrait of the prime minister’s crucial first weeks on the job, as he orchestrates the evacuation of Dunkirk and is pressured to negotiate with Hitler. Too bad an invented sequence toward the end shamelessly betrays history. —MD

Theaters: GVR, SC, TS, TX

Despicable Me 3 Two stars

Voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, Trey Parker. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. 90 minutes. Rated PG. There’s a sense of tired obligation to the third movie in the animated series about reformed supervillain Gru (Carell), which runs barely 90 minutes and throws together a handful of haphazard storylines. Nothing in the plot carries much of an impact, despite the series of apparently momentous developments. —JB

Theaters: TC

The Disaster Artist Three stars

James Franco, Dave Franco, Alison Brie. Directed by James Franco. 103 minutes. Rated PG-13. Franco’s film about the making of notorious cult movie The Room is more of a loving tribute than an exposé. People unfamiliar with The Room may be underwhelmed by this mildly affecting story of friendship among misfits, but Franco packs the cast with enough comedy ringers to make the movie consistently amusing. —JB

Theaters: GVR, PAL, SC, SF, SP

Downsizing Two stars

Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau. Directed by Alexander Payne. 135 minutes. Rated R. This sprawling sci-fi story (in which people voluntarily shrink themselves to a few inches in height in order to help both the environment and their own financial security) is part satire, part domestic drama, part political commentary, and almost all a disjointed mess. At 135 minutes, it’s like several misguided movies strung together. —JB

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

Father Figures (Not reviewed)

Ed Helms, Owen Wilson, Glenn Close. Directed by Lawrence Sher. 113 minutes. Rated R. After learning that their mother had been lying to them about their supposedly deceased father, two brothers set out to find him.

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

Ferdinand Two stars

Voices of John Cena, Kate McKinnon, Bobby Cannavale. Directed by Carlos Saldanha. 106 minutes. Rated PG. This loose adaptation of the beloved children’s book features Cena voicing the title character, a kind-hearted, nature-loving, non-confrontational bull who shuns fighting. The jokes are mostly painful, the voice work is perfunctory and the story’s themes are muddled. Even the animation and character designs are second-rate. —JB

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

Geostorm (Not reviewed)

Gerard Butler, Jim Sturgess, Abbie Cornish. Directed by Dean Devlin. 109 minutes. Rated PG-13. A network of weather-controlling satellites is hijacked, causing worldwide disaster.

Theaters: TC

The Greatest Showman Two and a half stars

Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron. Directed by Michael Gracey. 105 minutes. Rated PG. As sugary and insubstantial as cotton candy, this old-fashioned musical turns the life of circus pioneer P.T. Barnum (Jackman) into an all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza that bears essentially no resemblance to reality. It’s a cloyingly inspirational story about following your dreams, with bombastic, overproduced songs that sound more like modern pop than Broadway standards. —JB

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

Happy Death Day Three stars

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine. Directed by Christopher Landon. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. A spoiled sorority girl (Rothe) relives the day of her murder over and over again in this surprisingly entertaining (if completely silly) horror movie. The filmmakers have fun with the goofy premise, and Rothe gives a winning performance as the seemingly vapid hero who embraces her supernatural fate. —JB

Theaters: TC

Hello! (Not reviewed)

Akhil Akkineni, Kalyani Priyadarshan, Jagapati Babu. Directed by Vikram Kumar. 135 minutes. Not rated. In Telugu with English subtitles. A man goes on an adventure to meet his soulmate.

Theaters: VS

Jigsaw One and a half stars

Matt Passmore, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson. Directed by Michael Spierig and Peter Spierig. 92 minutes. Rated R. The Saw horror series returns after a long hiatus with no new ideas, merely rehashing the same elaborate death traps and moralistic lessons, and further convoluting the back story of serial killer Jigsaw. The performances are especially bad, and even the gore is uninspired. —JB

Theaters: TC

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Three stars

Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black. Directed by Jake Kasdan. 119 minutes. Rated PG-13. This quasi-sequel to 1995’s Jumanji boasts a fresh take on the central premise (changing the jungle-adventure board game that comes to life into a video game that pulls players inside its world), some surprisingly sharp writing and a talented, enthusiastic cast with genuine chemistry. —JB

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

Just Getting Started (Not reviewed)

Tommy Lee Jones, Morgan Freeman, Rene Russo. Directed by Ron Shelton. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13. A former FBI agent and a former mob lawyer team up to stop a hitman at a Palm Springs golf resort.

Theaters: SC

Justice League Two and a half stars

Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ezra Miller. Directed by Zack Snyder. 121 minutes. Rated PG-13. This team-up of DC’s biggest superheroes is a simple, streamlined superhero story, with one hero (Affleck’s Batman) gathering others (including Wonder Woman and Aquaman) to take on a world-ending threat. The action is rote, the special effects are surprisingly poor, and the character interactions are only occasionally entertaining. —JB

Theaters: AL, CAN, CH, DI, GVL, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SF, TX, VS

Kingsman: The Golden Circle Two stars

Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Julianne Moore. Directed by Matthew Vaughn. 141 minutes. Rated R. Egerton returns as an agent of ultra-secret spy agency Kingsman in the sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: The Secret Service, with Moore as his latest adversary. For fans of the first movie’s cacophonous, CGI-filled assault on the senses, Circle offers a louder, brighter version that’s just as empty and even more exhausting. —JB

Theaters: TC

Lady Bird Three and a half stars

Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Beanie Feldstein. Directed by Greta Gerwig. 93 minutes. Rated R. Gerwig’s solo writing and directing debut follows many of the familiar beats of the teenage coming-of-age story, but Gerwig gives it a personal specificity that sets it apart, depicting the sullen, sensitive title character (Ronan) with a low-key authenticity and a sharp (but not unrealistic) wit. —JB

Theaters: GVR, VS

The Lego Ninjago Movie Two and a half stars

Voices of Dave Franco, Justin Theroux, Jackie Chan. Directed by Charlie Bean, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan. 90 minutes. Rated PG. The formula has worn a little thin by the third movie in the animated Lego franchise, which adapts a long-established toy line that’s already had its own TV series, necessitating a combination of serious, mythology-laden existing storylines with the new movies’ joke-heavy, self-aware style. It’s a well-made feature-length toy commercial. —JB

Theaters: TC

MCA Middle Class Abbayi (Not reviewed)

Nani, Sai Pallavi, Bhoomika Chawla. Directed by Venu Sriram. 144 minutes. Not rated. In Telugu with English subtitles. An insecure middle-class guy clashes with his sister-in-law.

Theaters: SP

Molly’s Game Three and a half stars

Jessica Chastain, Idris Elba, Kevin Costner. Directed by Aaron Sorkin. 140 minutes. Rated R. Chastain’s Molly Bloom is a prime Sorkin protagonist, a type-A overachiever who makes millions of dollars running underground poker games for the ultra-wealthy. Based on the real-life Bloom’s memoir, the smart, witty movie charts her rise and fall, and is more entertaining at its dizzying heights than at its sometimes heavy-handed emotional lows. —JB

Theaters: SP, TS

Murder on the Orient Express Two and a half stars

Kenneth Branagh, Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley. Directed by Kenneth Branagh. 114 minutes. Rated PG-13. Director and star Branagh never quite finds a good reason for yet another screen version of Agatha Christie’s famous 1934 mystery novel starring snooty Belgian detective Hercule Poirot. He packs the cast with stars and adds distracting visual flair, but it’s all just window dressing for a musty, exposition-filled plot. —JB

Theaters: ST, VS

Only the Brave Two stars

Josh Brolin, Miles Teller, Taylor Kitsch. Directed by Joseph Kosinski. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13. This plodding true-life drama is yet another reminder that real-life heroism doesn’t necessarily make for effective movie storytelling. As a tribute to the 19 firefighters who died in the 2013 Yarnell Hill wildfire, Brave is honorable and well-intentioned, but it’s about as narratively satisfying as reading a memorial plaque. —JB

Theaters: TC

Pitch Perfect 3 Two stars

Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow. Directed by Trish Sie. 93 minutes. Rated PG-13. What was once a light, fun comedy about college a cappella singers (now reunited for a USO tour) has turned into a globe-trotting espionage story, complete with action sequences. The mess of half-formed subplots, useless new characters and underwhelming musical numbers prove that the filmmakers are thoroughly out of ideas. —JB

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

The Shape of Water Three stars

Sally Hawkins, Richard Jenkins, Michael Shannon. Directed by Guillermo del Toro. 123 minutes. Rated R. A mute woman falling in love with a sea monster sounds like the storyline for a bad B-movie, not a sensitive and visually accomplished fantasy drama. But del Toro manages to make that premise into something beautiful and occasionally moving, if not quite as emotionally rich as it aims to be. —JB

Theaters: GVR, ORL, SF, ST, TS, VS

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Three stars

Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Adam Driver. Directed by Rian Johnson. 152 minutes. Rated PG-13. The second installment in the Star Wars sequel trilogy offers less comforting familiarity, but writer-director Johnson doesn’t quite have a handle on how to take the beloved sci-fi franchise effectively into (relatively) uncharted territory. He does his best work when he stops trying for narrative complexity and just stages some cool outer-space action. —JB

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

Thank You for Your Service Two and a half stars

Miles Teller, Haley Bennett, Beulah Koale. Directed by Jason Hall. 108 minutes. Rated R. Like the platitude expressed by its title, Thank You for Your Service has the best of intentions but rings a bit hollow in its efforts to honor the sacrifices made by America’s troops. Mostly following one soldier (Teller) as he adjusts to life back home, it’s full of clunky lesson-learning moments. —JB

Theaters: TC

Thor: Ragnarok Three stars

Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett. Directed by Taika Waititi. 130 minutes. Rated PG-13. The third movie starring Marvel superhero and Norse god of thunder Thor (Hemsworth) is an improvement over the previous two, adding a colorful ensemble and a strong dose of humor (maybe a little too much) to the typical Marvel story of stopping a world-ending (but underused) villain. —JB

Theaters: SS

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri Two and a half stars

Frances McDormand, Sam Rockwell, Woody Harrelson. Directed by Martin McDonagh. 115 minutes. Rated R. McDonagh’s third film, starring McDormand as the outraged mother of a murdered teen, is quite taken with its own cleverness, to the detriment of storytelling and characterization. The strong performances smooth over some of the rough spots, but not enough to make up for the shifts in motivation and tone. —JB

Theaters: GVR, SC, ST

Tiger Zinda Hai (Not reviewed)

Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Anupriya Goenka. Directed by Ali Abbas Zafar. 161 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. Secret agents Tiger and Zoya re-team to take on a deadly terrorist threat.

Theaters: ST, VS

Wonder Three stars

Jacob Tremblay, Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson. Directed by Stephen Chbosky. 113 minutes. Rated PG. Adapted from R.J. Palacio’s 2012 children’s book about a 10-year-old boy (Room’s Tremblay) born with facial disfigurements, Wonder observes the fallout when his parents (Roberts and Wilson) finally decide it’s time for him to attend school with his peers. It’s partly a complex drama, partly an earnest anti-bullying PSA. —MD

Theaters: AL, FH, ORL, RR, SHO, ST, TX, VS

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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