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Movie guide.

Four stars: superior. Three stars: good. Two stars: average. One star: poor. D (drug use), L (language), N (nudity), S (sexual situations, references), V (violence). Ratings by Film Critic Dann Gire, unless otherwise noted.

Picks

"Alita: Battle Angel" -- Producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez achieve sci-fi success, if not total triumph, with the screen adaptation of manga heroine Alita, the big-eyed cyborg-human hybrid played with tenderness and ferocity by Rosa Salazar. Reviewed by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press. (PG-13) L, V. 122 minutes. ? ? ?

"Apollo 11" -- Todd Douglas Miller's extraordinary documentary recaptures the 1969 mission to the moon and lunar landing in heart-stopping detail, condensing the eight-day expedition into an immersive thrill ride. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (G) 93 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"Climax" -- Members of a dance troupe debase themselves after drinking LSD-laced sangria in French director Gaspar No's EDM-fueled drama. In French and some English with subtitles. Reviewed by Hau Chu, Washington Post. (R) D, L, N, S, V. 96 minutes. ? ? ?

"The Favourite" -- Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz star as cousins vying for the favor of the half-mad Queen Anne (Oscar winner Olivia Colman) in Yorgos Lanthimos' deliciously diabolical comedy of ill manners and 18th-century palace intrigue. All three women shine in this wildly speculative, lusty tale. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (R) L, N, S. 121 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"Fighting With My Family" -- Raised in a WWE-obsessed family, a young woman (Florence Pugh) gets a chance at the big time in Stephen Merchant's lively, funny, fact-based comedy. With Nick Frost, Lena Headey and former Buffalo Grove resident Vince Vaughn. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Washington Post. (PG-13) D, L, S, V. 108 minutes. ? ? ?

"Free Solo" -- The often breathtaking adventure documentary chronicles the exploits of champion climber Alex Honnold, who sets out to be the first person ever to solo climb El Capitan, a sheer, 3,000-foot-high rock face. And he plans to do it without a harness. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (PG-13) L. 100 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"Green Book" -- Peter Farrelly's funny, heartwarming fact-based Best Picture Oscar winner features great performances from Viggo Mortensen as a doltish bouncer and Mahershala Ali as a renowned black pianist in need of protection as he travels to concert engagements across the Deep South in 1962. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG-13) L, S, V. 130 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"The Highwaymen" -- Outlaws Bonnie and Clyde are rarely seen but loom large in this entertainingly old-fashioned police procedural, which stars Kevin Costner and Woody Harrelson as the lawmen who hunted the infamous bank robbers down. Reviewed by Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post. (R) V. 132 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"Isn't It Romantic" -- A woman (Rebel Wilson) who hates romantic comedies suffers a head injury and winds up in rom-com land, where her apartment is palatial and a handsome billionaire (a wonderfully goofy Liam Hemsworth) wants to date her. With Adam Devine. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, L, S. 88 minutes. ? ? ?

"The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part" -- When aliens from the Systar system take Lucy, Batman, Benny and Unikitty hostage for a marriage ceremony on their planet, Emmet (voice of Chris Pratt) joins forces with Rex Dangervest (also Pratt) to find his friends in this whip-smart sequel. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG) 106 minutes. ? ? ?

"The Mustang" -- Matthias Schoenaerts stars as a rage-filled inmate assigned to a prison horse training program in French writer-director Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre's feature debut, a powerful, emotional journey framed by gorgeous shots of the stark Nevada landscape. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (R) D, L, V. 96 minutes. ? ? ?

"The Prodigy" -- Is 8-year-old prodigy Miles (Jackson Robert Scott) truly evil or simply misunderstood? This chilling horror film, starring Taylor Schilling as the desperate mother, makes the young villain a metaphor for parental failure. Reviewed by Alan Zilberman, Washington Post. (R) V, S, N. 100 minutes. ? ? ?

"Stan & Ollie" -- Steve Coogan stars as Laurel and John C. Reilly as Hardy in Jon S. Baird's understated but smartly told crowd-pleaser about the legendary comedy duo's last act. Brilliant performances and a surprisingly poignant script make the film well-worth seeing. Reviewed by Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press. (PG) 97 minutes. ? ? ? 1/2

"A Star is Born" -- In his directing debut, Bradley Cooper remakes a stodgy Hollywood classic, giving it relevant new life. He stars as a hard-drinking musician who falls for a young singer (a transporting Lady Gaga) whose career soars as his implodes. A new encore version includes additional songs and footage. (R) D, L, N, S. 135 minutes. ? ? ? ?

"Us" -- Lupita Nyong'o and Winston Duke play a married couple trying to protect themselves and their children from demented doppelgngers in Jordan Peele's freaky and outrageously frightening horror/comedy, a parable about a divided America. (R) L, V. 116 minutes. ? ? ? ?

Passables

"The Aftermath" -- James Kent's beautiful but emotionally blunted drama revolves around a love triangle featuring a British colonel (Jason Clarke), his German-hating wife (Keira Knightly) and the smoldering German architect (Alexander Skarsgrd) whose home they occupy in post World War II Hamburg. (R) L, N, S. 109 minutes. ? ?

"Bohemian Rhapsody" -- Rami Malek's Oscar-winning performance as Queen frontman Freddie Mercury is the best thing about this slavishly conventional rock biopic, a remarkably bland movie about a deliciously vibrant performer. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, L, S. 134 minutes. ? ?

"Captain Marvel" -- Brie Larson stars as a gifted pilot discovering her superhero powers in this uneven origin story, the first female-led installment of Marvel's Avengers franchise. While Larson shares an easygoing chemistry with Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, the visual effects underwhelm and the action seems clunky. With Jude Law and Annette Bening. Reviewed by Ann Hornaday, Washington Post. (PG-13) L, V. 124 minutes. ? ?

"A Dog's Way Home" -- Bryce Dallas Howard voices the canine star of this adventure, about a rescued dog on a mission to find her human master 400 miles away. Kids and dog lovers will lap up the cute tale, despite some of the cheapest, cheesiest CGI animation ever seen in a major studio release. (PG) 86 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"Five Feet Apart" -- The chemistry between Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson covers a lot of dramatic potholes in the story of two teens with cystic fibrosis who fall for each other but can't get physically close without putting their lives at risk. (PG-13) L, S. 120 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"Glass" -- Bruce Willis, James McAvoy and Samuel L. Jackson star in M. Night Shyamalan's bold and weird sequel merging the strange superhero characters from "Unbreakable" (2000) and "Split" (2017). The result is a suspenseless yet strangely intriguing tale. (PG-13) L, V. 129 minutes. ? ?

"Gloria Bell" -- Julianne Moore gives a radiant performance as a divorced insurance agent who gets involved with a man (John Turturro) she meets while out dancing. Sebastian Lelio's affectionate midlife character study would have been better, however, had he tipped it more toward comedy. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (R) D, L, N, S. 102 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"Greta" -- Isabelle Huppert simmers before flipping out as the title character, an older French pianist whose friendship with a young Manhattan newcomer (Chloe Grace Moretz) takes a turn to the dark side. Neil Jordan's crazed stalker thriller offers enough squeal-inducing moments to redeem a clunky start. (R) V. 98 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"Happy Death Day 2U" -- A suspense-challenged sequel piles on slasher genre complications, sci-fi gibberish and continued attacks by a knife-wielding college mascot as a student (Jessica Rothe) dies over and over again -- only to wake up in a different dimension. (PG-13) L, S, V. 100 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World" -- The animated franchise with Viking boy-turned-chief Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his faithful dragon Toothless comes to a close as a hunter threatens the dragon utopia on the Island of Berk, forcing the Vikings to flee to a mystical realm. Reviewed by Jake Coyle, Associated Press. (PG). 104 minutes. ? ? 1/2

"On the Basis of Sex" -- Felicity Jones stars as future Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Mimi Leder's formulaic biopic. With Armie Hammer, Sam Waterston, Justin Theroux and Kathy Bates. Reviewed by Mark Jenkins, Washington Post. (PG-13) L, S. 120 minutes. ? ?

"What Men Want" -- A female sports agent (Taraji P. Henson) gains an edge over her male counterparts when she develops the ability to hear men's thoughts. With Tracy Morgan, Erykah Badu and Josh Brener. Reviewed by Sonia Rao, Washington Post. (R) L, S, D. 117 minutes. ? ?

Pits

"The Hummingbird Project" -- Jesse Eisenberg and Alexander Skarsgard star as cousins trying to game the stock exchange with a fiber-optic tunnel that will speed up transactions. But the financial thriller, and the cousins' clash with a Wall Street boss (Salma Hayek), is surprisingly plodding. Reviewed by Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post. (R) L. 111 minutes. ? 1/2

"The Upside" -- A skirt-chasing ex-con (Kevin Hart) takes a job caring for a wealthy paraplegic (Bryan Cranston) in a cliche-ridden, exploitative odd couple tale that wastes the talents of its cast. Reviewed by Mark Kennedy, Associated Press. (PG-13) D, S. 125 minutes. One-half star.

"Wonder Park" -- An imaginative girl makes up a magical theme park filled with furry mascots and then stumbles on the real thing -- or does she? -- in a pointless, meandering animated tale that falls as flat as its dreary visuals. Reviewed by Kirsten Page-Kirby, Washington Post. Rated PG. 93 minutes. ?

Unpreviewed

"Captive State" -- Residents of a Chicago neighborhood face challenges nearly a decade after extraterrestrials take over. (PG-13) D, L, S, V. 109 minutes.

"Cruel Intentions: 20th Anniversary" -- A mean-spirited teen (Sarah Michelle Gellar) challenges her stepbrother (Ryan Phillippe) to seduce the headmaster's daughter (Reese Witherspoon). (R) D, L, S. 94 minutes.

"Giant Little Ones" -- One night changes the lives of two teenage best friends. (R) D, L, S. 93 minutes.

"Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase" -- The teen sleuth investigates ghostly goings-on with help from her friends. (PG) 86 minutes.

"Tyler Perry's A Madea Family Funeral" -- A funeral in Georgia could lead to the revelation of family secrets. (PG-13) D, L, S. 109 minutes.

Foreign language

"Alone/Together" -- In Tagalog

"Badla" -- In Hindi

"Chaal Jeevi Laiye" -- In Gujarati

"Everybody Knows" -- In Spanish

"Gully Boy" -- In Hindi

"Kesari" -- In Hindi

"No Manches Frida 2" -- In Spanish

"One Great Love" -- In Tagalog

"Total Dhamaal" -- In Hindi

"Transit" -- In German and French

"Ulan" -- In Tagalog
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Publication:Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Article Type:Movie review
Date:Mar 27, 2019
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