Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for July 27

The colorful, expressive stars of The Emoji Movie.
Photo: Sony Pictures / Courtesy
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

Family Movie Night

Thu, sundown, free. 7/27, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000). 8/3, Sing. Downtown Container Park, 707 Fremont St.,

Grateful Dead Meet-Up at the Movies

8/1, 1989 Grateful Dead concert performance, 7 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Inside the Director’s Cut

7/31, local short films Get Up Joe and Black Salt plus Q&A with filmmakers, 8 p.m., free. Millennium Fandom Bar, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-405-0816.

National Theatre Live

7/27, Angels in America (Part Two) broadcast from London, 7 p.m., $20-$22. Theaters: COL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. Sun, Game of Thrones viewing party, 7 p.m., free. 7/29, Beetlejuice with live shadow cast, 7 & 10 p.m, $10. 8/3, Nosferatu (1922) with score by local musician Steven Goldfinger, 7 p.m., $10. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335,

Summer Movie Series

Wed, 11:30 a.m., free. 8/2, The Lego Batman Movie. Fashion Show Mall, 3200 Las Vegas Blvd S., 702-369-8382.

TCM Big Screen Classics

7/30, 8/2, Fast Times at Ridgemont High 35th-anniversary screening with introduction from Turner Classic Movies, 2 & 7 p.m., $5-$12.50. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info:

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 8/1, American Graffiti. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

New this week

Atomic Blonde Three and a half stars

Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Sofia Boutella. Directed by David Leitch. 115 minutes. Rated R. Theron plays a British MI6 agent in 1989 Berlin in this stylish if confusingly plotted spy thriller. Theron is fantastically cool, the supporting performances are entertaining, the set and costume design are sophisticated, and the jaw-dropping action sequences are both brutal and beautiful. —JB


The Emoji Movie (Not reviewed)

Voices of T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris. Directed by Tony Leondis. 86 minutes. Rated PG. In the world of emojis inside a smart phone, one multi-expressive emoji goes on a quest to become normal.

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

A Ghost Story Four stars

Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara. Directed by David Lowery. 92 minutes. Rated R. Writer-director Lowery delivers a layered and moving meditation on grief and the passage of time, even with his lead actor (Affleck, as a troubled musician killed in a car accident) covered entirely by a sheet for nearly the entire running time. He haunts the home he lived in, unable to move on. —JB

Theaters: GVR, SC

Wolf Warrior 2 One and a half stars

Wu Jing, Frank Grillo, Celina Jade. Directed by Wu Jing. 121 minutes. Not rated. In Mandarin with English subtitles. Chinese action star Wu co-wrote and directed this sequel featuring his disgraced Chinese Special Forces operative caught up in a civil war in an unnamed African country. It’s the Chinese equivalent of a bad ’80s Chuck Norris movie, with a hokey plot full of inconsistencies, blatant flag-waving nationalism, terrible special effects and clumsy performances. —JB

Theaters: TS

Now playing

47 Meters Down Three and a half stars

Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine. Directed by Johannes Roberts. 89 minutes. Rated PG-13. A pair of sisters end up trapped in a rickety cage at the bottom of the ocean, surrounded by deadly sharks, in this lean, suspenseful survival thriller. Occasional plot contrivances aside, most of the movie is tense and well-crafted, making great use of the murky depths surrounding the characters. —JB

Theaters: ST, TX

Alien: Covenant Three and a half stars

Katherine Waterston, Michael Fassbender, Billy Crudup. Directed by Ridley Scott. 122 minutes. Rated R. Like its predecessor Prometheus and Scott’s 1979 classic Alien, Covenant finds the crew of a deep-space vessel investigating a mysterious planet and discovering horrific monsters lurking there. Fassbender is fantastic as two unsettling androids, and while the movie focuses more on scares than on Prometheus’ philosophical questions, those scares are pretty effective. —JB

Theaters: TC

All Eyez on Me Two stars

Demetrius Shipp Jr., Danai Gurira, Kat Graham. Directed by Benny Boom. 140 minutes. Rated R. Star Shipp’s resemblance to late hip-hop legend Tupac Shakur is not enough to build a biopic around, and director Boom doesn’t have much else to offer, throwing together a Behind the Music-style series of events from Shakur’s life that provides little insight into him as a person or narrative shape to his career. —JB

Theaters: TC, TX

Baby Driver Three and a half stars

Ansel Elgort, Lily James, Kevin Spacey. Directed by Edgar Wright. 113 minutes. Rated R. The plot of Baby Driver, about a getaway driver looking to leave behind his life of crime, is nothing new, but the way that writer-director Wright tells that story is playful and virtuosic, making the movie into one long visual mixtape. It’s like a mediocre crime thriller crossed with several very good music videos. —JB

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

The Big Sick Three and a half stars

Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Ray Romano. Directed by Michael Showalter. 119 minutes. Rated R. The broad narrative arc of The Big Sick is not that different from the average Hollywood romantic comedy; the movie succeeds in the personal specificity of the story, written by comedian Kumail Nanjiani and his wife, based on their real-life romance. It delivers a real love story with real humor from real people. —JB

Theaters: AL, BS, DTS, FH, GVR, ORL, SC, SP, SS, TS, TX

The Black Prince (Not reviewed)

Satinder Sartaaj, Jason Flemyng, Amanda Root. Directed by Kavi Raz. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. The heir to the throne of Punjab struggles with the British government after his homeland is annexed to Great Britain in 1849.

Theaters: VS

The Book of Henry Two stars

Naomi Watts, Jacob Tremblay, Jaeden Lieberher. Directed by Colin Trevorrow. 105 minutes. Rated PG-13. Watts plays the single mother of two boys, one of whom (Liebeher) is an 11-year-old prodigy who writes a singular “book” that’s really a set of instructions. Revealing much more than that would ruin this ludicrous movie’s sole pleasure, which is the sheer brazen nuttiness of its screenplay. —MD

Theaters: TC

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: TC

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Three and a half stars

Voices of Kevin Hart, Thomas Middleditch, Ed Helms. Directed by David Soren. 84 minutes. Rated PG. This computer-animated movie, about two best friends (voiced by Hart and Middleditch) whose superhero creation comes to life, contains hand-drawn sequences and even a sock-puppet sequence. Rambunctious, but cheerfully clever—or at least cheerful—it contains fart jokes, but also a built-in critique and aesthetic appreciation of fart jokes. —JMA

Theaters: TC

Cars 3 Two and a half stars

Voices of Owen Wilson, Cristela Alonzo, Armie Hammer. Directed by Brian Fee. 109 minutes. Rated G. The third movie in Pixar’s most blatantly commercial animated franchise finds race car Lightning McQueen (Wilson) losing ground to younger models. The world of anthropomorphic vehicles is still colorful and lovingly detailed, but the plot is slow-moving and dull, rehashing elements of the first movie. —JB

Theaters: COL, FH, RR, ST, TS

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

Dunkirk Four stars

Fionn Whitehead, Tom Hardy, Mark Rylance. Directed by Christopher Nolan. 106 minutes. Rated PG-13. Nolan’s docudrama about the evacuation of Dunkirk early in World War II is perhaps the boldest gamble yet made by this ambitious director, injecting a potentially alienating degree of abstraction into the sheer intensity of pitched battle. Once again, he somehow makes it work. —MD


Everything, Everything Two and a half stars

Amandla Stenberg, Nick Robinson, Anika Noni Rose. Directed by Stella Meghie. 96 minutes. Rated PG-13. Teenage Maddy (Stenberg) has an autoimmune disease that keeps her confined to her house, but she longs for more after meeting her hunky, sensitive neighbor Olly (Robinson). The central romance straddles the line between sweet and cloying, but the goodwill is shattered by a cheap third-act twist. —JB

Theaters: TC

Fidaa (Not reviewed)

Varun Tej, Sai Pallavi, Raja Chembolu. Directed by Shekhar Kammula. 144 minutes. Not rated. In Telugu with English subtitles. A man and a woman fall in love after meeting at her sister’s wedding.

Theaters: SP

Girls Trip (Not reviewed)

Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith. Directed by Malcolm D. Lee. 122 minutes. Rated R. A group of lifelong friends cut loose on a trip to New Orleans.


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Three stars

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista. Directed by James Gunn. 136 minutes. Rated PG-13. After teaming up to save the galaxy in the surprise-hit previous movie, Marvel’s intergalactic superheroes are split up and set on various courses until they come together for the action-packed finale. If you liked the first movie, well, here’s more of it, only not as refreshing or original. —JB

Theaters: COL, ST, VS

The House Two stars

Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler, Jason Mantzoukas. Directed by Andrew Jay Cohen. 88 minutes. Rated R. Ferrell and Poehler star as a middle-class couple who start an underground casino in their neighbor’s basement when they unexpectedly lose the money for their daughter’s college tuition. Like most comedies starring SNL alumni, it’s long on semi-improvised goofiness and short on actual jokes. —MD

Theaters: COL

The Little Hours Three and a half stars

Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Dave Franco. Directed by Jeff Baena. 90 minutes. Rated R. Based on Boccaccio’s The Decameron, Baena’s The Little Hours looks like professional, prestigious Oscar-bait but is full of F-bombs and unchecked lust. Yet it’s all molded into comedy so dry that it may take two viewings for jokes to seem like jokes. —JMA

Theaters: VS

Love, Kennedy (Not reviewed)

Heather Beers, Jasen Wade, Tatum Chiniquy. Directed by T.C. Christensen. 92 minutes. Rated PG. A teenager with a rare terminal illness inspires those around her.

Theaters: SP

Maudie Three stars

Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Kari Matchett. Directed by Aisling Walsh. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13. This biopic of Canadian folk artist Maud Lewis (Hawkins) focuses on her tumultuous relationship with her husband (Hawke), sometimes at the expense of details about her work. It can be an affecting look at a dysfunctional marriage, although it suffers from familiar biopic issues, including unclear progression of time and thin supporting characters. —JB

Theaters: COL, SC

The Mummy Two stars

Tom Cruise, Annabelle Wallis, Sofia Boutella. Directed by Alex Kurtzman. 107 minutes. Rated PG-13. The attempted launchpad for a cinematic universe based on Universal’s classic monster characters gets things off to a poor start, ineptly mixing action, horror, humor and world-building. Cruise is out of place as a roguish American soldier cursed by an evil ancient Egyptian princess, and the title character isn’t much of a threat. —JB

Theaters: TC

Paris Can Wait Two stars

Diane Lane, Arnaud Viard, Alec Baldwin. Directed by Eleanor Coppola. 92 minutes. Rated PG. Lane plays a movie producer’s wife who gets her groove back on a road trip through France with her husband’s business partner in this tepid, tedious romantic comedy. Coppola’s debut narrative feature (at age 80!) has all the dramatic tension of a catalog spread, with stilted dialogue and a nonexistent plot. —JB

Theaters: VS

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales Two stars

Johnny Depp, Brenton Thwaites, Kaya Scodelario. Directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg. 129 minutes. Rated PG-13. The fifth movie in the series initially based on a Disney theme-park ride features legendary pirate Jack Sparrow (Depp) on a quest for Poseidon’s trident. The plot is convoluted and interminable, and Depp stumbles and mumbles his way through another performance as Jack, who’s lost all of his irreverent charm. —JB

Theaters: COL

Snatched Two stars

Amy Schumer, Goldie Hawn, Ike Barinholtz. Directed by Jonathan Levine. 91 minutes. Rated R. A mother and daughter are kidnapped while on vacation in South America, but their abduction is just a jumping-off point for a series of increasingly dangerous (and silly) misadventures. There are a handful of good laughs, but the jokes get less effective as the plot takes over in the second half. —JB

Theaters: TC

Spider-Man: Homecoming Three and a half stars

Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon. Directed by Jon Watts. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13. Bringing popular teen superhero Spider-Man (Holland) into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Homecoming is a feat of corporate deal-making as much as an artistic endeavor. There are a few impressive set pieces (most notably one set at the Washington Monument), some seeds planted for future movies and some entertaining bits of humor. —JB


Transformers: The Last Knight One and a half stars

Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Laura Haddock. Directed by Michael Bay. 148 minutes. Rated PG-13. Just getting through Bay’s fifth Transformers movie makes for an exhausting endeavor. Once again, the plot is byzantine and inane, the characters are superfluous and barely one-dimensional, the comic relief is painful and the acting is almost entirely perfunctory. The fate of the world is at stake (again), but none of it means anything. —JB

Theaters: COL, ORL, ST, TX

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Two and a half stars

Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen. Directed by Luc Besson. 137 minutes. Rated PG-13. The convoluted plot of Besson’s adaptation of a long-running French comic book (starring the miscast DeHaan and Delevingne as intergalactic secret agents) takes too long to get moving and then is sidelined for long stretches. The movie is a colorful and baffling experience that is sometimes charming but more often just exhausting. —JB

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

War for the Planet of the Apes Three stars

Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson, Steve Zahn. Directed by Matt Reeves. 140 minutes. Rated PG-13. Part three of the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise boldly asks viewers to reject our own kind and root wholeheartedly for simian victory. Serkis remains a marvel as Caesar; shame the film stacks the deck by making its handful of humans cartoonishly evil, complexity be damned. —MD


Wish Upon Two stars

Joey King, Ki Hong Lee, Ryan Phillippe. Directed by John R. Leonetti. 90 minutes. Rated PG-13. Teenager Clare (King) makes every dumb horror-movie decision possible after she discovers a Chinese music box that promises to grant seven wishes. The (fairly bloodless, PG-13-friendly) death scenes rip off the Final Destination movies, and every plot development is dopey and predictable, with a complete lack of scares. —JB

Theaters: CAN, COL, DI, ORL, SC, ST, TX, VS

The Women’s Balcony Two and a half stars

Avraham Aviv Alush, Yafit Asulin, Orna Banai. Directed by Emil Ben-Shimon. 96 minutes. Not rated. In Hebrew with English subtitles. An ambitious rabbi uses a synagogue rebuilding project to bolster his status in a Jerusalem Orthodox Jewish community in this uneven dramedy. The conflict between religious devotion and female empowerment makes for some engaging drama, but the characters are dull, and their arcs are unconvincing. —JB

Theaters: VS

Wonder Woman Three and a half stars

Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, Connie Nielsen. Directed by Patty Jenkins. 133 minutes. Rated PG-13. Set during WWI, this solo adventure for the iconic DC superhero is a step forward for DC’s movie universe. Gadot plays Wonder Woman with an appealing sense of integrity and compassion. The movie never reinvents the superhero origin story, but it hits all the familiar beats with enthusiasm and style. —JB

Theaters: AL, CH, FH, GVR, ORL, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, 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

(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

  • 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.

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