Ad Astra

Brad Pitt isn’t just an astronaut and a movie star. He’s also a successful recording artist specializing in sensual bossa nova Jacuzzi jazz.

“ABOMINABLE” (PG) 2.75 STARS

This is a spirited, fun tale of a young girl who befriends a magical Yeti—the mythical creature, not the cooler—and then helps get it back home to the Himalayas. Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor. 92 min. [MC, RF]

“AD ASTRA” (PG-13) 2.5 STARS



Brad Pitt does what he can to enliven this tale of one astronaut’s search for answers, but the constant use of quiet and empty horizons becomes dull. The film is occasionally enlivened by missile launches and a trek on the moon. Rated PG-13 for some violence and bloody images, and for brief strong language. 122 min. [RF]

“DOWNTON ABBEY” (PG) 3.25 STARS

This first movie outing for the popular PBS TV series brings romance—old and new—as well as intrigue, class and gender struggles, grandeur and telling moments for these characters known so well by devoted fans of the show. Rated PG for thematic elements, some suggestive material, and language. 121 min. [MC, 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. [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, RF]

“JOKER” (R) 2.5 STARS

This big-screen story of a comic book character, which feels more sinister and dangerously real than any comic book film, is a complicated and troubling tale. It offers an amazing performance by its star, but causes concern by glorifying a mentally ill killer. Rated R for strong bloody violence, disturbing behavior, language and brief sexual images. 122 min. [MC, PV, RF]

“JUDY” (PG-13) 3 STARS

Though this look at a troubling time in star Judy Garland’s life is a bit of a downer, Renée Zellweger’s portrayal of her is moving and spot-on. The film covers a short time in the star’s life, when financial and family troubles sent her to London to perform a series of shows. Rated PG-13 for substance abuse, thematic content, some strong language, and smoking. 118 min. [RF]

“RAMBO: LAST BLOOD” (R) 1.5 STARS

This final chapter (hopefully) about a soldier who’s a killing machine tries to have it both ways. It goes from showing the peace Rambo has found on a ranch in Arizona to a rampage of revenge delivered to those who’ve stolen something precious to him. Rated R for strong graphic violence, grisly images, drug use and language. 89 min. [MC]

—Rob Hedelt

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