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Annihilation

Writer-director Alex Garland (Ex Machina, The Beach, 28 Days Later…) adapts the first book of Jeff VanderMeer's Southern Reach trilogy. Natalie Portman plays a biologist who signs up for a secret mission to explore an isolated chunk of the southern United States where the laws of nature have suddenly started to go all freaky deaky. 115 minutes R.
Movies 8

Death Wish

Exploitation director Eli Roth (Cabin Fever, Hostel, The Green Inferno) replaces Charles Bronson with Bruce Willis in this slightly less serious remake of 1974's infamous revenge drama Death Wish. Bruce turns vigilante and goes gunning for some robbers after his family is violently attacked in a home invasion. The script by Joe Carnahan (The A-Team, Smokin' Aces, The Grey) tries to update the story by including lots of criticism of the media—but this was more timely in crime-ravaged, pre-Taxi Driver, pre-Guardian Angels, pre-Falling Down, pre-"The Punisher" '70s New York City. 107 minutes R.
Movies West


Forever My Girl

The makers of this sub-Lifetime Channel romance think that if you love movies based on Nicolas Sparks books, you should totally come watch their film. No, it's not based on a Nicolas Sparks book, but writer-director Bethany Ashton Wolf (who co-wrote the one Leonardo DiCaprio film no one's ever seen, Don's Plum) sure knows how to work those tropes. Seems a famous country music star (Alex Roe, The 5th Wave) returns to his small Louisiana hometown after 10 years. He promptly reunites with the high-school sweetheart he left at the altar (Jessica Rothe, Happy Death Day) and inherits a previously unknown daughter. The producers use the words "heartwarming" and "uplifting" an awful lot. 104 minutes PG.
Movies West


Game Night

Jason Bateman, Rachel McAdams, Jesse Plemons, Michael C. Hall, Chelsea Peretti and Kyle Chandler star in this fast and funny action comedy (from the makers of Horrible Bosses) about a group of friends who meet regularly for an adult game night. One evening the host decides to up the excitement with a murder mystery party. Unfortunately things turn unexpectedly real and the host is kidnapped, leaving his guests to figure out what the heck is going on. 100 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

The Greatest Showman

Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya (Disney Channel fans, rejoice) star in this musical biopic about pioneering circus entrepreneur P.T. Barnum. Oddly enough, this one's not based on a stage musical, but features an original script by Jenny Bicks ("Men in Trees") and Joe Condon (Chicago). 105 minutes PG.
Movies 8
Movies West

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

Only grown-up hipster nerds play board games now, so this belated sequel to 1995's Jumanji finds a bunch of teens discovering an ancient, mystical video game version of Jumanji. Naturally, they try it out and get transported inside the game itself. The joke this time around is that they end up in the "bodies" of some stereotypical video game avatars (played by Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black and Karen Gillan) and must use their three allotted lives to escape. 119 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8
Movies West

Midnight Sun

This romantic teen drama (based on a Japanese romantic teen drama of the same name) is basically the encapsulation of all things romantic, teenage and dramatic. Seems that a lonely, sheltered 17-year-old (ubiquitous singer/model/actress Bella Thorne) suffers from a rare genetic condition that makes her allergic to the sun. For some reason she keeps this a secret from the cute stalker boy (Arnold spawn Patrick Schwarzenegger) she meets while sneaking out of her house at night to play her guitar. Get ready for the sads. 91 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8
Movies West


Peter Rabbit

If there's one thing Beatrix Potter's beloved children's books are known for it's nonstop, Home Alone-style slapstick violence. Or at least that's what the makers of this live-action/CGI adaptation seem to think. Peter Rabbit is now an edgy, bad-boy bunny (voiced by James Corden) who must battle Farmer McGregor's young nephew (Domhnall Gleeson) after his age-old nemesis drops dead from a heart attack. (No, really.) Hijinks, of course, ensue. Paddington 2 is much better. 93 minutes PG.
Movies 8
Movies West

Red Sparrow

Comic book readers may recognize this as a Xerox copy of the Black Widow's origin story. Seems a Russian ballet dancer (Jennifer Lawrence, who should certainly not be affecting a Russian accent) is recruited into a secret "school" where she's trained to use her body as a weapon and forced to work as an international assassin. Joel Edgerton (Warrior) and Matthias Schoenaerts (The Danish Girl) costar. There's plenty of sex and espionage, but much of it feels alternately trashy and old-fashioned. 139 minutes R.
Movies 8

The Strangers: Prey at Night

Bryan Bertino's atmospheric 2008 slasher gets a belated "sequel." Really, it's just a repeat of the previous film's minimalist plot. Christina Hendricks and Martin Henderson replace Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman as the random couple staying in a secluded rural home who are stalked, tortured and killed by a trio of creepy, masked intruders. 85 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West
Times and listings are for Friday 4/27 through Thursday 5/3

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