Screen

Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for May 18

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An embarrassing moment in Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul.
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

48-Hour Film Project

5/23-5/25, short film screenings, 8 p.m., $5. ReBAR, 1225 S. Main St., 48hourfilm.com/lasvegas.

Anime Overnight Marathon

5/19, 7 p.m., $14. Reboot Game Lounge, 2950 S. Durango Drive #100, 702-485-4981.

Family Movie Night

Thu, sundown, free. 5/18, Captain America: Civil War. 5/25, The Amazing Spider-Man. Downtown Container Park, 707 Fremont St., downtowncontainerpark.com.

High Desert International Film Festival

5/25-5/28, feature films and shorts, times vary, $3 per screening, $150 passes. Pahrump Nugget, 681 S. Highway 160, 775-751-6500.

In Our Hands: The Battle for Jerusalem

5/23, documentary feature produced by the Christian Broadcasting Network, 7 p.m., $10.50-$12.50. Theaters: SF, SP, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Inside the Director’s Cut

5/22, short film The Stranger in My House plus discussion with filmmaker Alberto Triana, 8 p.m., free. Millennium Fandom Bar, 900 Las Vegas Blvd. S., 702-405-0816.

Movie in the Park

5/19, Sing, 8 p.m., free. Whitney Park, 5712 Missouri Ave., 702-455-8531.

Outdoor Picture Show

Sat, 7:30 p.m., free. 5/20, Finding Dory. The District at Green Valley Ranch, 2225 Village Walk Drive, Henderson, 702-564-8595.

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. Sun, American Gods viewing party, 7 p.m., free. 5/20, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, 6 p.m., $3. 5/20, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, 8 p.m., $3. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335, thescificenter.com.

TCM Big Screen Classics

5/21, 5/24, Smokey and the Bandit 40th-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.

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 5/23, Irma La Douce. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

Windmill Movie Club

5/20, classic movie plus discussion, 2 p.m., free. Windmill Library, 7060 W. Windmill Lane, 702-507-6068.

Women in Film

5/24, Lost in Translation, 7 p.m., $16, includes popcorn. Theaters: ET

New this week

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

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul One and a half stars

Jason Drucker, Charlie White, Alicia Silverstone. Directed by David Bowers. 90 minutes. Rated PG. The fourth movie based on Jeff Kinney’s middle-grade books features an entirely new cast and a more vulgar, obnoxious tone, focused primarily on gross-out jokes. The plotting is still sitcom-level (this time, the Heffley family goes on a road trip), but the story barely fills out half the running time. —JB

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

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

Half Girlfriend (Not reviewed)

Arjun Kapoor, Shraddha Kapoor, Seema Biswas. Directed by Mohit Suri. 135 minutes. Not rated. In Hindi with English subtitles. A working-class guy falls in love with an upper-class young woman who reluctantly agrees to be his “half girlfriend.”

Theaters: VS

Norman: The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer Two and a half stars

Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen. Directed by Joseph Cedar. 118 minutes. Rated R. Gere plays the title character, a sort of political and corporate gadfly whose actual profession and skills are never quite clear. A lot about Israeli writer-director Cedar’s movie is never quite clear, and the filmmaker’s oddball style only adds to the disjointed feel of the story. —JB

Theaters: SC, TS

Now playing

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (Not reviewed)

Prabhas, Rana Daggubati, Anushka Shetty. Directed by S.S. Rajamouli. 170 minutes. Not rated. In Telugu with English subtitles. The son of a legendary warrior follows in his father’s footsteps.

Theaters: ST

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, CH, GVR, ORL, RR, SC, SF, SP, SS, TS

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: COL, TS

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, COL, DI, ORL, RP, RR, SF, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

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, 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: COL, 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: TC

The Circle Two stars

Emma Watson, Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan. Directed by James Ponsoldt. 110 minutes. Rated PG-13. A wide-eyed young employee (Watson) gets in over her head at a sinister tech company in this often clumsy and alarmist thriller. Watson, with her shaky American accent, never quite gets a handle on the blank-slate protagonist, and Hanks is underused as the avuncular megalomaniac running the company. —JB

Theaters: FH, RR, SP, ST, TS

The Dinner Two stars

Steve Coogan, Richard Gere, Laura Linney. Directed by Oren Moverman. 120 minutes. Rated R. Two wealthy couples meet for a fancy dinner where dark secrets come to light in this overwrought, often laughably self-serious drama built around a terrible lead performance from Steve Coogan. Whatever intensity and intelligence may be in the source novel don’t make it to the screen. —JB

Theaters: SC

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, FH, GVR, ORL, PAL, RP, RR, SC, SF, SHO, SP, SS, ST, TS, TX, VS

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: ST, TC, 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: TC

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: CH, GVR, ORL, SC

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: GVR, ORL, ST, 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

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

How to Be a Latin Lover (Not reviewed)

Eugenio Derbez, Salma Hayek, Rob Lowe. Directed by Ken Marino. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13. After getting dumped by his wife, a gold-digging lothario has to move in with his sister and her son.

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

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Two stars

Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou. Directed by Guy Ritchie. 126 minutes. Rated PG-13. The latest retelling of the King Arthur legend awkwardly combines Lord of the Rings-style large-scale fantasy filmmaking with pseudo-historical grit and director Ritchie’s own hyperactive, motormouthed style perfected in his early crime movies. The movie is one long, drawn-out origin story to set up a franchise that no one asked for. —JB

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

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: COL, ST, TX, 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: 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: TC

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: ST, 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, SC

Lowriders (Not reviewed)

Demian Bichir, Gabriel Chavarria, Theo Rossi. Directed by Ricardo de Montreuil. 99 minutes. Rated PG-13. A teenager in LA gets involved in low-rider car culture and ends up torn between his upstanding father and his criminal brother.

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

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: COL, ST, TC

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: FH, 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: TC

Sleight Two stars

Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dulé Hill. Directed by J.D. Dillard. 90 minutes. Rated R. What at first appears to be a novel movie about a street magician (Latimore) turns out to be the hackneyed tale of a low-level drug dealer trying to escape the business. Then Sleight takes another turn—one that transforms it into just the latest superhero origin story. —MD

Theaters: TX

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: COL, SC, TX

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

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: SC

The Wall Two and a half stars

Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena, Laith Nakli. Directed by Doug Liman. 81 minutes. Rated R. As essentially the only onscreen character, Taylor-Johnson isn’t always compelling enough to carry the entire movie as an American soldier trapped and taunted by a sadistic Iraqi sniper. Director Liman stages a few suspenseful moments, but the movie is mostly a dialogue between two characters who never progress beyond one-dimensional. —JB

Theaters: BS, DTS, GVR, SC, SP, TS

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: SC

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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  • It features the return of Colin Firth as Eggsy’s mentor Harry Hart, despite having been shot point blank in the head and left for dead ...

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

  • Three movies in, the once-unexpected has become formulaic, and the pop-culture quips has started to run thin.

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