Capsule reviews of recent movie releases for Nov. 15

Capsule reviews of recent movie releases for Nov. 15

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Doctor Sleep

Ewan McGregor in "Doctor Sleep"

Warner Bros. Pictures

‘Abominable’ ★★★½

PG • 1:37 A Yeti grapples with grief, family and identity in Dreamworks’ latest animated feature in which plucky kids bond with strange, exotic creatures. Written and co-directed by Jill Culton. Tribune News Service

‘The Addams Family’ ★★½

PG • 1:27 This computer-animated reboot of the spooky family takes some liberties but doesn’t break the mold. The real inventiveness lies in its villain, a perky TV host (voiced by Allison Janney). Tribune News Service

‘Black and Blue’ ★★½

R • 1:48 • Set in New Orleans’ Ninth Ward, the contained chase film follows a female police officer, Alicia West (Naomie Harris), who has captured an officer-involved shooting on her body camera. Tribune News Service


PG-13 • 1:30 • A mysterious phone app claims to predict the moment a person will die. With Elizabeth Lail, Jordan Calloway, Talitha Bateman, Tichina Arnold, P.J. Byrne, Peter Facinelli. Written and directed by Justin Dec. Not reviewed. Los Angeles Times

‘The Current War: Director’s Cut’ ★★½

PG-13 • 1:47 • Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s film takes a deep, Wikipedia-like dive into the electrical controversy between inventors Thomas Edison (Benedict Cumberbatch) and George Westinghouse (Michael Shannon). Tribune News Service

‘Doctor Sleep’ ★★½

R • 2:31 • The cultural grip of “The Shining” is such that it has a stranglehold on Mike Flanagan’s adaptation of “Doctor Sleep,” a sequel of sorts, that it nearly chokes the life out of it. Starring Ewan McGregor as the grown-up Danny Torrance. Tribune News Service

‘Downton Abbey’ ★★★

PG • 2:02 • Structurally the story is a mess, with 18 main characters and minor narratives. There isn’t even a climax — just a lot of tying of loose ends from the hit TV series, which fans will appreciate. Directed by Michael Engler. Daniel Neman

‘Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw’ ★★½

PG-13 • 2:15 • The souped-up “Fast & Furious” franchise shows no signs of slowing down. In this installment, star Vin Diesel has tossed the keys to Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham — who are upstaged by their co-stars, Vanessa Kirby and Idris Elba. Tribune News Service

‘Harriet’ ★★

PG-13 • 2:05 • Cynthia Erivo stars as the escaped slave who famously brought others to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Harriet Tubman’s story is familiar, but the movie offers little to surprise viewers. Directed and co-written by St. Louis native Kasi Lemmons. DN

‘Hustlers’ ★★½

R • 1:47 • Based on a true story about a group of New York City strippers who start a side con, this movie spins its wheels but gets by thanks to a killer soundtrack and star Jennifer Lopez. Associated Press

‘It Chapter Two’ ★★½

R • 2:49 • It can be a cheesy thing when a novel is split up and spread out over multiple films, but Stephen King’s “It” (1986) is not one of those books. In the film follow-up to “It” (2017), in which adolescent outcasts battle a demon clown (Bill Skarsgård), the kids return 27 years later to their hometown when the clown also resurfaces. Associated Press

‘Jojo Rabbit’ ★★★

PG-13 • 1:08 • A young boy’s imaginary friend is Adolf Hitler in this boldly, unabashedly quirky movie that attempts to wring humor from the horrors of Nazi Germany. It’s a difficult balancing act at a time when such jokes seem even more potent and dangerous than a few decades ago. Directed by Taika Waititi. Associated Press

‘Joker’ ★★

R • 2:01 • Moody cinematography, bursts of extreme violence, an actor (Joaquin Phoenix) who psychically channels a character — it’s all smoke and mirrors to distract from a thin story told with all the nuance of a sledgehammer. Tribune News Service

‘Judy’ ★★★½

PG-13 • 1:58 • Renée Zellweger captures Judy Garland as her flawed, vulnerable, sweet, charming and deeply human self. Based on Peter Quilter’s stage play “The End of the Rainbow,” adapted by Tom Edge for the screen. Tribune News Service

‘Last Christmas’ ★★

PG-13 • 1:42 • Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding deserve much better than all the narrative sugar in this lolly of a movie, inspired by the Wham! holiday tune by the same name. Co-written and co-starring Emma Thompson, and directed by Paul Feig. Chicago Tribune

‘The Lighthouse’ ★★★

R • 1:50 • This stark, moody, surreal, prolonged descent into seaside madness isn’t for everyone. But viewers who take director Robert Eggers’ black-and-white journey with Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe will be rewarded. Associated Press

‘The Lion King’ ★★

PG • 1:58 • The songs are still good, the Shakespearean story is still solid and, well, Beyoncé’s in it. Yet Jon Favreau’s remake of Disney’s 1994 cartoon, so abundant with realistic simulations of the natural world, is curiously lifeless. Associated Press

‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ ★★

PG • 1:58 • Maleficent (Angelina Jolie) is forced out of the Moors and into war as her goddaughter, Aurora (Elle Fanning), plans to marry Prince Philip (Harris Dickinson), merging the fairy and human kingdoms. Things devolve into kooky as this wacky, surreal escalation spins out of control. Tribune News Service

‘Midway’ ★

PG-13 • 2:18 • Director Roland Emmerich squanders the crew’s considerable skill in retelling the crucial World War II battle at Midway by melding some of the best action sequences in years with the most banal of words. Associated Press

‘Motherless Brooklyn’ ★★★

R • 2:24 • Edward Norton spent 20 years working to get his adaptation of Jonathan Lethem’s 1999 novel to the screen, adding a few substantial, challenging and chewy elements. The snappy investigative procedural is a pleasure to watch unfold, especially with the offbeat detective at the center. Tribune News Service

‘Playing With Fire’ ★½

PG • 1:36 • Firefighters find their lives turned upside down when they rescue three siblings but can’t find the kids’ parents. It’s a harmless, lighthearted romp about tough guys learning to let their guard down, but it relies on tired, low-brow comedy tropes and is executed so poorly that it’s not worth the effort. Tribune News Service

‘Terminator: Dark Fate’ ★★

R • 2:08 • Who will save this franchise from itself? Despite an A-list roster of talent, “Terminator: Dark Fate” is just another bad “Terminator” movie in a string of bad “Terminator” movies. Directed by James Cameron. Associated Press

‘Zombieland: Double Tap’ ★½

R • 1:39 • Ruben Fleischer’s sequel to “Zombieland” (2009) reunites its original stars (Emma Stone, Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin), imagining a world where the past decade never happened. Tribune News Service

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