A rundown of select films currently playing in theaters
New in theaters:
“A Bad Moms Christmas”
The same seasonal creep that leads breweries to distribute pumpkin beers in August has made its way to the film industry, with the “Bad Moms” cast (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, etc.) engaging in holiday-themed shenanigans before most families have finalized Thanksgiving menus.
Woody Harrelson seems oddly cast as the Akron native and current star forward for the Cleveland Cavaliers. (OK, I've just been informed he's actually portraying Lyndon Baines Johnson, the 36th President of these United States. Carry on.)
“Goodbye Christopher Robin”
Don't go into this thinking it's a light-hearted, kid-friendly tale about artist A.A. Milne creating the much-loved Winnie the Pooh and crew. Early reports are that it's Eeyore-level depressing.
George Clooney directs pal Matt Damon in this dark satire set in 1950s suburbia, which features performances from a smattering of A-listers, including Julianne Moore and Oscar Isaac, and D-level reviews. (Brian Tallerico of rogerebert.com called it “a tonal disaster from start to finish.”)
The eighth (!) installment of the “Saw” franchise picks up more than a decade after the death of “Saw” killer Jigsaw, who, one would guess, gives this blood-splattered flick its name.
“Thank You for Your Service”
A solid cast (Haley Bennett, Miles Teller) anchors this post-combat drama, which centers on a group of Iraq War veterans attempting to reintegrate into civilian life. Jason Hall (“American Sniper”) directs.
“Only the Brave”
This true-life tale avoids some of the cliches inherent in heroic retellings, depicting its characters as fully rounded humans, flaws and all. Josh Brolin gives one of the best performances of his career in the lead role. (4 stars)
“Blade Runner 2049”
What could have been just the latest example of Hollywood running through its endless remake/sequel cycle turns out to be something more. This sequel is so in the spirit of the 1982 original that it seems destined for the same cult status. (5 stars)