Computer-animated rodents/pop stars the Chipmunks mistakenly decide that their adoptive human father/band manager (yeah, I really don't understand any of this concept) is getting married. So they drive to Miami to stop the wedding. Jason Lee and Bella Thorne are the unfortunate humans in this fourth outing. 86 minutes PG.
Steven Spielberg, in full history-nerd mode (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Lincoln, Amistad, Munich), deftly dramatizes the notorious 1960 U-2 spy plane incident. Tom Hanks (looking, these days, like a sad pencil eraser from the neck up--but remaining America's best "everyman" actor) stars as an upstanding Constitutional lawyer who volunteers to defend a Russian spy (esteemed stage actor Mark Rylance). Years later, he's called upon to help "trade" the spy for downed American pilot Francis Gary Powers. Surprisingly--given the low-key script from Joel and Ethan Coen--this well-spoken drama about jurisprudence and diplomacy maintains a beautiful tension. 142 minutes PG-13.
Author R.L. Stine's iconic kiddy horror series Goosebumps gets a winkingly self-referential movie adaptation. Jack Black plays Stine, who teams up with his young daughter and a teenage boy after his imaginary monsters come to life in a tiny Maryland town. All your childhood favorites--from Slappy the Dummy to the Abominable Snowman of Pasadena--stop by for cameos. 103 minutes PG.
Genndy Tartakovsky ("Dexter's Laboratory," "Samurai Jack") returns to helm this cartoon sequel in which Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) tries to bring out the monster in his half-human. half-vampire grandson in order to keep his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) from leaving his now famous hotel. 89 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:10, 9:40 Movies West Fri 12:10, 3:10; Sat-Sun 12:10, 9:10; Mon-Thu 12:10, 3:10
Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth stars in this historical survival tale directed by Ron Howard. The story is based on the true account of the Essex, a ship that was sunk by a gigantic whale in 1820 and served as the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Howard creates some evocative images of early 19th century New England. And the film's 3D special effects viscerally capture life aboard a whaling ship. The subject matter--the brutal, archaic whaling industry--might not be everyone's cup of tea, however. 121 minutes PG-13.
A boy who has had a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a traditional European Christmas demon (named Krampus, of course) to his family home. Adam Scott ( "Parks and Recreation"), Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and Allison Tolman ("Fargo") are among the cast of this seasonal horror comedy. 98 minutes PG-13.
Matt Damon is an astronaut who gets left for dead on Mars after a manned mission goes horribly awry. Stuck on the red planet with only minimal supplies and his scientific mind, our hero must figure out a way to survive based on ingenuity, wit and spirit. Ridley Scott (Alien) directs. It's based, of course, on the best-selling book by Andy Weir. 141 minutes PG-13.
This computer-animated update of the Peanuts TV specials we all grew up watching does fairly reverent job of mirroring the classic 2D style of artist Charles M. Schulz' famous comic strip characters. The thin story revolves around eternal loser Charlie Brown's attempts to woo the newly arrived Little Red-Headed Girl in school. The rest is running gags, cribbed from the comic strips and assembled by Bryan and Craig Schulz. Purists will probably still grouse, but it's a great jumping-off point for new fans of Snoopy and the gang. 93 minutes G.
A mostly unknown cast (Édgar Ramirez? Luke Bracey?) takes over for Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in this dudebro remake of the 1991 surfing bank robber cult classic. This time around, the filmmakers throw in a bunch more "extreme" sports to jack up the adrenaline levels to distract from the fact that the story is still silly as hell. 113 minutes PG-13.
A "cryptic message from his past" sends superspy James Bond (Daniel Craig) on the trail of the sinister organization secretly responsible for so many of his greatest battles. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) in on bad guy and "explaining stuff" duty. The action is extremely Bond-like. And this is a tidy (perhaps too tidy) wrap-up of Craig's run as 007. If you haven't memorized the last three films, however, this one's overly intricate script will lose you in minutiae. 148 minutes PG-13.
Writer-director M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening) dials back the preposterous plot twists for this simple, low-budget, "found footage" shocker. A pair of tweens (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) are shipped off to the rural farm of the grandparents they've never met. Unfortunately, Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) seem a little ... weird. This winking, modern riff on "Hansel & Gretel" is a fun, PG-13 horror-comedy that works far better than expected. FULL REVIEW:What’s the twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s new “old people are scary” thriller? ... That it’s a decent film. by Devin D. O’Leary (9/10/2015). 94 minutes PG-13.