Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

BB-8 and D-O in "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker." MUST CREDIT: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures/Lucasfilm Ltd.

“FROZEN 2” (PG) 2.25 STARS

While youngsters who loved the original will find much to like here, it all feels like there’s too much thrown at the screen. Though there’s some great animation, this second outing feels like it’s trying too hard. Rated PG for action/peril and some thematic elements. 103 min. [MC, RF]

“JOJO RABBIT” (PG-13) 3.25 STARS



Though it’s hard to describe, this tale of a precocious boy who badly wants to be a part of Hitler’s army is at different turns funny, hard-hitting, poignant and instructive in its takedown of hate and genocide. Rated PG-13 for mature thematic content, some disturbing images, violence, language. 108 min. [RF]

“JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL” (PG-13) 2.75 STARS

Though it doesn’t plow much new ground for the series, this return to the land of the epic video game creates the same fun and excitement as the 2017 film. Rated PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language. 114 min. [MC, PV, RF]

“KNIVES OUT” (PG-13) 3 STARS

This tale of a rich patriarch’s death and an investigation into whether it was murder is a confident Southern helping of “Clue” for the modern day. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including brief violence, some strong language, sexual references and drug material. 130 min. [RF]

“LITTLE WOMEN” (PG) 3.5 STARS

With spot-on casting, a stellar lead and the brilliance of director Greta Gerwig at the helm, this latest version of the Louisa May Alcott tale reaches new heights. Saoirse Ronan seems born to play the role of Jo March, the writer and freethinker of the four sisters whose lives make up the fabric of the film. Rated PG for thematic elements and brief smoking. 135 min. [PV, RF]

“SPIES IN DISGUISE” (PG) NOT REVIEWED

When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. With the voices of Will Smith, Karen Gillan, Tom Holland. 101 min. [RF]

“STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER” (PG-13) 2.5 STARS

Though it gets sidetracked honoring people and events from long ago, this concluding chapter of the “Star Wars” saga brings the story to a satisfactory end. What’s missing is a narrative that takes a straight line from the death throes of the Resistance to the conclusion that settles both the strategic battles with The First Order and the underlying struggle between the Jedi and the Sith. Rated PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action. 141 min. [MC, PV, RF]

“UNCUT GEMS” (R) 2.75 STARS

This film is proof that a movie can be powerful and striking, even with an extremely unlikable lead character and a story that essentially leads nowhere. It works because Adam Sandler gives an unforgettable performance as a New York City jeweler who’s constantly living on the edge by betting money and jewels he can’t quite lock down to make the score of a lifetime. Rated R for pervasive strong language, violence, some sexual content and brief drug use. 135 min. [RF]

—Rob Hedelt

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