GOLDFINCH

Sarah Paulson and Luke Wilson give Oakes Fegley a hard time for not wearing a hoodie in ‘The Goldfinch.’

“ANGEL HAS FALLEN” (R) 2 STARS

This action film about a private military company trying to execute a president weary of war works fairly well in its first hour. But things get so overdone by the finish that it gets silly. Rated R for violence and language throughout. 121 min. [MC, PV]

“DORA AND THE LOST CITY OF GOLD” (PG) 3 STARS



Thanks to a strong performance from Isabela Moner as Dora, this live-action film manages to keep the youthful fun of the original animated series while providing some real-life jungle scares and challenges. Rated PG for action and some impolite humor. 102 min. [MC, RF]

“FAST AND FURIOUS: HOBBS & SHAW” (PG-13) 2.5 STARS

A foursome of interesting actors and the requisite over-the-top action scenes make this a fun popcorn movie. It’s about three heroes taking on an evil agency trying to use a virus to wipe out much of the world’s population. Rated PG-13 for sequences of action and violence, suggestive material and strong language. 137 min. [MC]

“THE GOLDFINCH” (R) 1.75 STARS

A captivating first half-hour in this tragic tale is eventually done in by a story with too many wild and meaningless twists to care about. It begins with a unique situation: a young and art-savvy boy visits an art gallery in New York City with his mother where a bomb goes off, killing her and changing his life forever. Rated R for drug use and language. 149 min. [RF]

“GOOD BOYS” (R) 3 STARS

If you can get past the way it seeks cheap laughs by having its three young stars constantly curse, this comedy finds really funny moments in the sincerity and inexperience of the trio. Rated R for strong crude sexual content, drug and alcohol material, and language, all involving tweens. [RF]

“HUSTLERS” (R) 2.75 STARS

This character-driven story works, in the moments when it does, because of strong performances by Jennifer Lopez and Constance Wu. But the notion that these strippers are just women trying to survive in a tough world is undercut by the way they drug “clients” to steal all they have. Rated R for pervasive sexual material, drug content, language, nudity. 110 minutes. [MC, PV, RF]

“IT CHAPTER TWO” (R) 3.25 STARS

This second installment ends in as smooth and terrifying a manner as the first outing. The evil clown, is just as bizarrely terrifying, the “grown-up” cast is impressive and the script does a nice job mixing the original story about youngsters with the new threat they face 27 years later. Rated R for disturbing violent content and bloody images throughout, pervasive language, and some crude sexual material. 169 min. [MC, PV, RF]

“THE LION KING” (PG) 2.5 STARS

There’s nothing wrong with this CGI remake of the Disney animated tale. But there’s nothing particularly new, great or inspired about it, either. Instead, it feels like a chance for another generation to see the tale of Simba, Mufasa and Co. and a huge money grab for Disney, without that worrisome need to come up with a new idea. Rated PG for sequences of violence and peril, and some thematic elements. 118 min. [PV, RF]

“ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD” (R) 2.75 STARS

Limiting his trademark horrific violence to this long film’s last 10 minutes, Quentin Tarantino delivers a love letter to old-time Hollywood that’s charming at times. Its unique characters and nostalgic tone almost make it possible to forgive the odd appropriation of Charles Manson devotees and the countless mundane moments. Rated R for language throughout, some strong graphic violence, drug use, and sexual references. 161 minutes. [RF]

“OVERCOMER” (PG) 2 STARS

Viewers who enjoy faith-based films will find much to like in this tale of a coach who interacts with a family touched by tragedy. But others may find that the plot, which eventually involves a young girl finding her faith, to be a bit plodding and preachy. Rated PG for some thematic elements. 119 min. [MC, PV]

“THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON” (PG-13) 3.5 STARS

With a Huck Finn, feel-good vibe, this tale of two lost souls finding power and redemption in friendship and shared purpose is solid because of its sweet story and because it’s beautifully shot off the beaten track of the Outer Banks. Rated PG-13 for thematic content, language throughout, some violence and smoking. 93 min. [RF]

“SCARY STORIES TO TELL IN THE DARK” (PG-13) 3 STARS

Thanks to scriptwriter Guillermo del Toro (“The Shape of Water”) and an approach that aims for a young audience, this movie works as a fear-inducing tale about the power of stories. Rated PG-13 for terror/violence, disturbing images, thematic elements, language including racial epithets, and brief sexual references. 111 min. [RF]

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415

rhedelt@freelancestar.com

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