A rundown of select films currently playing in theaters
New in theaters:
“Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”
You've got to have a big movie to fit big personalities like the Rock, Kevin Hart and Jack Black on a single screen, and the latest adaptation of “Jumanji,” the beloved children's book turned beleaguered film franchise, gives it the old college try.
“The Greatest Showman”
Hugh Jackman and Zac Efron star in this movie musical loosely based on the life of circus impresario P.T. Barnum, which features tunes from the Academy Award-winning songwriters of “La La Land.”
“Pitch Perfect 3”
Oh, God, everyone is going to leave the theater singing this week, aren't they? Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson return for the third part in the a cappella series that I've only heard of because my 3-year-old nephew is a fan.
Alexander Payne's comedy about a world where people voluntarily shrink themselves to live tiny lives of luxury has weird and wonderful moments. It's a shame it feels like three different movies awkwardly humping. (3 stars)
If you want to watch Owen Wilson and Ed Helms as fraternal twins on a comedic search for their father, who they've been led to believe was dead, have at it. Meanwhile, I'll be over here just sort of existing.
“The Shape of Water”
Alive critic Brad Keefe walked away impressed with the lead performance from Sally Hawkins, but couldn't overcome the absurdity of the fishy man-beast love story at the center of this tale from director Guillermo del Toro. (3 stars)
Somehow, Woody Allen, whose adopted daughter Dylan Farrow alleged sexual abuse by the director, has avoided being swept up in the ongoing #MeToo campaign. Regardless, expect the lingering controversies, as well as damning reviews (The New York Times described “Wonder Wheel” as “one of [Allen's] more unfortunate contributions to cinema”), to keep audiences away.
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi”
Critic and “Star Wars” devotee Brad Keefe (his print review mentioned sleeping in “Star Wars” pajamas the night before the press screening, fwiw) was wowed by director Rian Johnson's first dive into a galaxy far, far away, handing it a rating normally reserved solely for A24 films. (5 stars)