Capsule reviews of recent movie releases for Nov. 22

Capsule reviews of recent movie releases for Nov. 22

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Review: Elizabeth Banks takes a shot at 'Charlie's Angels'

From left: Ella Balinska, Kristen Stewart and Naomi Scott in "Charlie's Angels"

Nadja Klier/Sony 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

‘Charlie’s Angels’ ★★★

PG-13 • 1:58 • Elizabeth Banks dusts off the lady spy franchise to deliver a woke reboot in which Kristen Stewart gives a divinely comedic performance. Co-written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and David Auburn. 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

‘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

‘Ford v Ferrari’ ★★★½

PG-13 • 2:32 • You don’t need to be a motorhead to enjoy Matt Damon and Christian Bale as a pair of rebels risking it all for purity and glory. Directed by James Mangold. Associated Press

‘The Good Liar’ ★★½

R • 1:49 • Bill Condon brings Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen together for this adaptation of Nicholas Searles’ novel. It’s a fine vehicle for the two charming British actors, but it’s potentially the politest, gentlest movie about a scammer ever. 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

‘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

‘Parasite’ ★★★★

R • 2:11 • Co-writer and director Bong Joon-ho’s thriller about South Korean class warfare feeds on themes of societal callousness. Its shift into varying suspense thriller guises, and finally into disarming depths of feeling, works like magic, both inevitable and unpredictable. Chicago Tribune

‘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

‘The Warrior Queen of Jhansi’ ★½

R • 1:43 • The new account of Rani Lakshmibai, one of the leaders of the rebellion against the British East India Company, is as stodgy as a movie from 1958, if not earlier. Washington Post

‘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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