A rundown of select films currently playing in theaters
New in theaters:
“Paddington's” stellar ensemble cast includes Sally Hawkins, Hugh Bonneville, Brendan Gleeson, Hugh Grant, etc. (that's good) … all working in service to a child's tale centered on a vaguely creepy, computer-animated bear (that's bad). Can I go now?
The trailer for this Liam Neeson-starring thriller makes it look like “Taken 4: Train-ing Day” and I am totally down for it.
Taraji P. Henson stars as a hit woman in this shoot 'em up from director Babak Najafi (“London Has Fallen”), which appears to position the actress as a modern-day Foxy Brown (check the throwback poster and the Tina Turner-soundtracked trailer).
Polarizing writer Aaron Sorkin steps into the director's chair for the first time with “Molly's Game,” which stars Jessica Chastain as Molly Bloom, a woman arrested by the FBI for running an illegal gambling operation.
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)
“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)
At its best, “I, Tonya” is a darkly comic look at figure skater Tonya Harding's life that comes with ample empathy for its subject. Plus, Alison Janney's performance as Harding's mom, LaVona, is worth the price of admission on its own. (4 stars)
“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)