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Short Takes: Movie listings and reviews for November 16

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Justice League
Photo: Warner Bros. / Courtesy
Josh Bell, Mike D'Angelo, Jeffrey M. Anderson

Special screenings

The Bad Kids

11/16, documentary screening plus panel discussion, 3:30 p.m., free. Historic Fifth Street School, 401 S. Fourth St. Info: badkids-lvmbkscreening.eventbrite.com.

Bolshoi Ballet

11/19, The Taming of the Shrew, 12:55 p.m., $16-$18. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Cinemark Classic Series

Sun 2 p.m., Wed 2 & 7 p.m., $5-$11. 11/19, 11/22, Rudy. Theaters: ORL, SF, SP, ST

Genesis: Paradise Lost

11/16, Biblical documentary, 7 p.m., $10.50-$15. Theaters: RR, SF, SP, SS, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn

11/16, broadcast of stage musical from Broadway plus bonus features, 7:30 p.m., $15-$18. Theaters: COL, SF, SP, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

The Metropolitan Opera HD Live

11/18, Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel live, 9:55 a.m., $19-$27. Theaters: COL, ORL, SF, ST, VS. 11/29, Thomas Adès’s The Exterminating Angel encore, 1 & 6:30 p.m., $16-$23. Theaters: COL, ST, VS. Info: fathomevents.com.

PopDocs

11/19, documentary RiverBlue plus discussion, 6 p.m., free. Sister House Collective, 1110 Fremont St. Info: facebook.com/popdocs.

Sci Fi Center

Mon, Cinemondays, 8 p.m., free. 11/18, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, Killer Klowns From Outer Space, 7 p.m., $5. 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335, thescificenter.com.

Thursday Night at the Asylum

Thu, movies from production company The Asylum, 10:30 p.m., $5-$10. 11/16, Sharknado 5: Global Swarming. Theaters: SF, ST. Info: cinemark.com/asylum.

Tuesday Afternoon at the Bijou

Tue, 1 p.m., free. 11/21, Francis Joins the WACS. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival

11/17, short films relating to nature and conservation, 5:30 p.m., $5-$15. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 702-507-3400. Info: nevadawilderness.org.

New this week

The Ghost Bride (Not reviewed)

Kim Chiu, Matteo Guidicelli, Christian Bables. Directed by Chito S. Roño. 111 minutes. Not rated. In Filipino with English subtitles. A struggling woman accepts a mysterious offer from a wealthy businessman.

Theaters: ORL

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

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: DTS

Last Flag Flying Three stars

Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne. Directed by Richard Linklater. 124 minutes. Rated R. Cranston, Fishburne and Carell play Vietnam vets who reunite, decades later, to bury one of their sons, killed in Iraq. The film is adapted from a novel that was a sequel to The Last Detail; director Linklater has severed the connection, changing names and details, but that robs the story of much of its poignancy. —MD

Theaters: VS

The Star (Not reviewed)

Voices of Steven Yeun, Aidy Bryant, Keegan-Michael Key. Directed by Timothy Reckart. 86 minutes. Rated PG. A group of animals led by an intrepid donkey play an important part in the birth of Jesus Christ.

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

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

Now playing

American Assassin Two stars

Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan. Directed by Michael Cuesta. 111 minutes. Rated R. Superspy Mitch Rapp (played here by O’Brien) has a dedicated fan following as the star of a series of novels, but whatever drew fans to Rapp doesn’t seem to have made the transition to the movies, as Assassin is a generic, outdated action thriller with clunky dialogue, one-dimensional characters and mediocre action. —JB

Theaters: TC

American Made Three stars

Tom Cruise, Domhnall Gleeson, Sarah Wright. Directed by Doug Liman. 117 minutes. Rated R. Cruise gives one of his most purely enjoyable performances in a while as pilot Barry Seal, who smuggled drugs, guns and intelligence for both cartels and the U.S. government in the 1980s. It’s a glib but relatively entertaining take on some serious real-life material. —JB

Theaters: GVR, ST, VS

Annabelle: Creation Two and a half stars

Lulu Wilson, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia. Directed by David F. Sandberg. 109 minutes. Rated R. A prequel to a spinoff, Creation has to work within some narrow parameters, and the filmmakers don’t find any interesting new directions for the evil doll. Director Sandberg’s flair for creepy set pieces puts Creation slightly above 2014’s Annabelle, but it’s still pretty formulaic, with only occasional scary moments. —JB

Theaters: TC

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

Blade Runner 2049 Three and a half stars

Ryan Gosling, Ana de Armas, Sylvia Hoeks. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. 163 minutes. Rated R. The long-awaited sci-fi sequel, starring Gosling as an android cop investigating a case that eventually (after many detours) leads to original blade runner Deckard (Harrison Ford), is moody, methodical and meticulous, with stunning visuals, strong performances and an overlong sci-fi story that’s more ponderous than thrilling. —JB

Theaters: COL, SHO, ST, VS

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: ST, TX

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

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, VS

The Emoji Movie One star

Voices of T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris. Directed by Tony Leondis. 86 minutes. Rated PG. The epitome of a cynical Hollywood brand extension, this animated movie based on smartphone icons borrows elements from superior movies like Inside Out and The Lego Movie, lazily going through the motions of an animated family adventure, with maximum product placement along the way. —JB

Theaters: TC

Flatliners (Not reviewed)

Ellen Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev. 108 minutes. Rated PG-13. A group of medical students experiment with near-death experiences.

Theaters: TC

The Florida Project Three and a half stars

Brooklynn Prince, Bria Vinaite, Willem Dafoe. Directed by Sean Baker. 115 minutes. Rated R. Baker (Tangerine) chronicles the lives of marginally employed parents and unsupervised kids living in the garishly colored budget motels near Disney World outside Orlando. It’s a celebration of the camaraderie and optimism of people whose lives could be seen from the outside as desperate or sad. —JB

Theaters: SC

The Foreigner Two and a half stars

Pierce Brosnan, Jackie Chan, Charlie Murphy. Directed by Martin Campbell. 114 minutes. Rated R. Chan gets a refreshingly serious role as a London father who loses his daughter in a suspected IRA bombing and tries to find the killers, but the movie simply leaves him behind to focus on Brosnan in a showier role as a cabinet minister, as well as frequent, pathetic explanations of the plot. —JMA

Theaters: COL, ORL, 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: AL, DI, TX

Goodbye Christopher Robin Two stars

Domhnall Gleeson, Margot Robbie, Kelly Macdonald. Directed by Simon Curtis. 107 minutes. Rated PG. This treacly biopic about Winnie-the-Pooh creator A.A. Milne (Gleeson) focuses on his troubled relationship with his son, the real-life inspiration for Pooh’s human best friend. It’s sentimental and heavy-handed, oversimplifying the complex family dynamic and giving a superficial take to darker subjects of PTSD and the perils of childhood fame. —JB

Theaters: 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: ST, TS, TX

It Three and a half stars

Jaeden Lieberher, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard. Directed by Andy Muschietti. 135 minutes. Rated R. This new adaptation of Stephen King’s classic horror novel takes on just half the story of seven friends who combat an ancient evil, focusing on the characters as children in the late 1980s. It’s a slick modern horror movie that loses a bit of personality but boasts effective scares and consistently strong performances. —JB

Theaters: COL, TX

Jane (Not reviewed)

Directed by Brett Morgen. 90 minutes. Rated PG. Documentary about renowned primate researcher Jane Goodall.

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: BS, CAN, COL, DI, ORL, PAL, SF, SHO, TS, TX

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: GVR, ST

LBJ (Not reviewed)

Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bill Pullman. Directed by Rob Reiner. 98 minutes. Rated R. Biopic chronicling the life of U.S. president Lyndon Johnson.

Theaters: GVR, ST, VS

Leap! Two and a half stars

Voices of Elle Fanning, Nat Wolff, Carly Rae Jepsen. Directed by Éric Summer and Éric Warin. 89 minutes. Rated PG. Set in 19th-century France, Leap! follows plucky orphan girl Félicie (Fanning) as she travels to Paris to pursue her dream of becoming a ballet dancer. The animation is serviceable, the voice work is adequate, and the story wraps up exactly as expected in under 90 minutes. —JB

Theaters: TC

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: COL, ST, VS

Let There Be Light (Not reviewed)

Kevin Sorbo, Sam Sorbo, Daniel Roebuck. Directed by Kevin Sorbo. 100 minutes. Rated PG-13. A famous atheist activist converts to Christianity after surviving a car accident.

Theaters: CH, SC, ST

Loving Vincent Two and a half stars

Voices of Douglas Booth, Eleanor Tomlinson, Saoirse Ronan. Directed by Dorota Kobiela and Hugh Welchman. 94 minutes. Rated PG-13. Animated from hundreds of actual oil paintings, this biopic about artist Vincent Van Gogh is a visual achievement that stifles its own dull, contrived storytelling. A series of talking heads describe Van Gogh’s last days in a stilted investigation awkwardly incorporating the painter’s most famous images. —JB

Theaters: GVR, VS

Marshall Three stars

Chadwick Boseman, Josh Gad, Dan Stevens. Directed by Reginald Hudlin. 118 minutes. Rated PG-13. This biopic about civil rights activist Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) is really about one case early in his law career, when he teamed with a white Jewish lawyer (Gad) to defend a black chauffeur accused of rape. The courtroom drama is pretty entertaining, even if it’s completely predictable and often played very broadly. —JB

Theaters: COL, ST

The Mountain Between Us Two and a half stars

Kate Winslet, Idris Elba. Directed by Hany Abu-Assad. 111 minutes. Rated PG-13. Handsome, brooding doctor Ben (Elba) and beautiful, passionate photojournalist Alex (Winslet) find themselves stranded in the snowy Utah mountains following a plane crash. As a survival drama, Mountain is visually striking if a bit dull, and its inevitable turn toward romance is sappy and unconvincing. —JB

Theaters: SC, ST, VS

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

My Friend Dahmer (Not reviewed)

Ross Lynch, Anne Heche, Dallas Roberts. Directed by Marc Meyers. 107 minutes. Rated R. A dramatization of the life of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer during his teenage years, as seen through the eyes of his friends and family.

Theaters: VS

My Little Pony: The Movie Two and a half stars

Voices of Tara Strong, Ashleigh Ball, Andrea Libman. Directed by Jayson Thiessen. 99 minutes. Rated PG. This feature-length expansion of the long-running animated TV series doesn’t really qualify as more than a long episode, with its piecemeal story about the magical ponies of Equestria on a mission to save their home. The animation and storytelling remain simple and straightforward, which will please dedicated fans but offers little beyond that. —JB

Theaters: COL, TX

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: FH, SP

The Snowman Two stars

Michael Fassbender, Rebecca Ferguson, Charlotte Gainsbourg. Directed by Tomas Alfredson. 119 minutes. Rated R. Fassbender plays brilliant but self-destructive Oslo police detective Harry Hole in this incoherent adaptation of Norwegian author Jo Nesbø’s popular crime-novel series. Hole tracks a snowman-building serial killer in a movie that’s disjointed and sometimes hard to follow, with scenes that start or end abruptly, narrative threads that go nowhere and poorly inserted flashbacks. —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

Theaters: TC

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: FH, ST, VS

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

Victoria and Abdul Two stars

Judi Dench, Ali Fazal, Eddie Izzard. Directed by Stephen Frears. 112 minutes. Rated PG-13. The relationship between England’s Queen Victoria (Dench) and Indian Muslim servant Abdul Karim (Fazal) was undoubtedly complex, but Frears’ film turns it into a dopey sitcom. Dench gives a commanding performance, but she’s the only actor given a fully realized character, with everyone else reduced to comical stereotypes. —JB

Theaters: COL, SC

Wonderstruck Three and a half stars

Oakes Fegley, Millicent Simmonds, Julianne Moore. Directed by Todd Haynes. 116 minutes. Rated PG. Haynes’ movie-mad style proves perfect for the story set in two eras (1927 and 1977), drawing connections between two deaf 12-year-olds who each run away to New York City looking for lost family. There’s a certain delightful spark to the way the lives of the two kids intersect, slowly but satisfyingly. —JB

Theaters: 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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