Entertainment

Will Smith stars in ‘Focus,’ opening in Bellingham this week

OPENING THIS WEEK

American Bear

G; 93 minutes. Documentary captures how people are making connections and handling the risks that comes with sharing their stories with others, from a single mother trying to rebuild her relationship with her mother to a group of young friends in Chicago trying to find a way to describe what segregation looks like.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 4 (Sun)


Big in Japan

Not rated; 100 minutes. The rock band Tennis Pro travels to Japan in an effort to boost their chances of success after seeing crowds shrinking at their shows in Seatttle.

No critical review available

Playing: Limelight

Times: 12 (Sun), 1 (Sat), 6:15 (Fri-Sat), 8 (Sun), 9 (Mon-Thu)


Focus

R, language, some sexual content, brief violence; 104 minutes. A long-time hustler running a crew of pickpockets, grifters and thieves takes on a beautiful young woman who wants to learn the craft but leaves the hustler wondering if she is running her own scam on him. Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro, B.D. Wong, Adrian Martinez.

* 1/2 Chemistry, or the lack of it, burns a big hole in this supposedly romantic, unconvincingly tense, feebly comical caper ... It’s got an “Ocean’s 11” sheen without the requisite snap, a “Grifters” set-up without an edge or sexual spark. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Friday-Saturday: 1:30, 4:15, 6:50, 9:30

Sunday: 1:30, 4:15, 7:20, 9:55

IMAX: Friday-Saturday: 12, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20

Sunday: 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:10


Grave of the Fireflies

Not rated; 89 minutes. Takahata Isao, one on the founders of Studio Ghibli, created a classic animated film about the challenges a young brother and sister face in the aftermath of the firebombing of Kobe in the final days of World War II.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 6:30 (Tue)


The Homestretch

Not rated; 60 minutes. Documentary follows three homeless teens as they work to stay in school, graduate and build a better life for themselves.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 5:30 (Tue)


The Lazarus Effect

PG-13, intense horror violence, terror, some sexual references; 83 minutes. A group of scientists take their work on reviving dead animals back to life underground after their project is halted by their university president. When an accident kills one of the researchers — the wife of the lead scientists — they decide to bring her back to life, with chilling results. Olivia Wilde, Mark Duplas, Evan Peters.

No critical review available

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Friday-Saturday: 2:30, 5, 7:20, 9:35

Sunday: 2:30, 4:50, 7:05, 9:20

RPX: Friday-Saturday: 12:50, 3:10, 5:50, 8:10, 10:30

Sunday: 12:50, 3:10, 5:35, 7:50, 10


Look _im_azn

NC-17, graphic sexuality, nudity, adult themes; 90 minutes. Short video works by videomaker Nguyen Tan Hoang over the last 20 years are presented, dealing with issues ranging from Asian American masculinity, mediated memory, diasporic experience and gay male desire.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 6:30 (Wed)


Love’s Labor Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company)

Not rated; 180 minutes. Shakespeare’s famed comedy is set in the summer of 1914 and shares its sparkling dialogue as young men and women interact with the approach of the horrors of World War I.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 6:15 (Wed)


Song of the Sea

PG, some mild peril, language, pipe smoking images; 93 minutes. Tomm Moore’ animated story follows a young boy and his little sister as they make their way back from the city to their tiny village along the coast, full of fairies, menacing owls and other magical creatures. Voiced by Brendan Gleeson, Fionnula Flanagan, David Rawle, Jon Kenny.

* * * 1/2 “Every scene is magical, every image a work of art in “Song of the Sea,” the latest Oscar-nominated feature from the folks who gave us “The Secret of Kells.” — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Pickford

Times: 10:30 a.m. (Sun), 11 a.m. (Sat), 1 (Sat), 1:40 (Sun), 4 (Fri-Sun), 6:30 (Fri-Mon, Thu), 9 (Tue-Wed)


Treasure Island (National Theatre)

Not rated; 120 minutes. Robert Louis Stevenson’s famed story of murder, money and mutiny is brought to life at the National Theatre.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 11 a.m. (Sun)

ONGOING


American Sniper

R, strong and disturbing war violence, and language throughout including some sexual references; 134 minutes. Director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper combine to tell the story of the most lethal sniper in U.S. military history and focus on the destructive inner price that must be paid for inflicting violence.

* * *  Too much of “American Sniper” is standard-issue military service movie, from the abusive training sequences to the standard operating procedure of house searches, dusty firefights and bodies dropped like a rising score in a first-person-shooter video game. No characters outside of Cooper and Miller make much of an impression. But Cooper, to his credit, rarely flinches, never chest-thumps and never loses his cool, even when Kyle is starting to lose his. It’s a masterful interpretation of a man with a lot more on his mind and blood on his hands than he was ever inclined to let on. And it’s a performance worthy of Eastwood himself — 50 years ago. — TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:10, 4:10, 7:05, 10


Birdman

R, profanity, violence, sex, adult themes, 119 minutes.

* * * *  Michael Keaton is a faded Hollywood star trying to reclaim his career by mounting a Broadway drama in Alejandro G. Inarritu’s fierce, funny, breathless dive inside the head of a man in deep trouble. An exhilarating, out-of-the-blue masterwork that ranks as not just one of the best films of the year, but of the decade, the century. With Edward Norton, Emma Stone and Naomi Watts. — TRIBUNE NEWS SERVICE

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:30, 3:15, 6:10, 8:55


The DUFF

PG ; 101 minutes. A teen girl decides to lift her status at high school with the help on an understanding friend when she discovers that her classmates consider her “The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend.” Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, Allison Janney.

* * *  Overall, (director Ari) Sandel’s film has heart, some good laughs and a decent message. In this age of cyberbullying, that’s nothing to scoff at. — SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:45


Fifty Shades of Grey

R, strong sexual content, graphic nudity, language, unusual behavior; 125 minutes. A young college student falls for a weathly young man after an interview with him and finds herself drawn to his controlling, dominate lifestyle. Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle.

No critical review available.

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Friday-Saturday: 1, 4, 7, 9:55

Sunday: 1, 4, 6:50, 9:45


Hot Tub Time Machine 2

R, crude sexual content, language, graphic nudity, drug use; 93 minutes. Nick and Jacob use the hot tub time machine to help Lou and mistakenly wind up in the future. Gillian Jacobs, Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, Clark Duke.

No critical review available

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Friday-Saturday: 2, 4:40, 8, 10:25

Sunday: 2, 4:40, 7:15, 9:45


The Imitation Game

PG-13, some sexual references, mature thematic material, historical smoking; 114 minutes. Film follows the work of Alan Turing during and after World War II, when his insight with computer-like devices help Great Britain win the war and when he arrested for acts stemming from his homosexuality. Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightly.

* * * *  Every scene refocuses the film’s conversation, places a new code in front of the actors that we must crack along with them. Moore’s gripping script isn’t factually ideal, but dramatically, the film entirely lives up to Cumberbatch’s opening line: “Are you paying attention?” — STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)

Playing: Pickford

Times: 1:20 (Sat), 2:50 (Tue), 3:40 (Mon, Wed-Thu), 6:15 (Fri-Mon, Thu), 7:15 (Tue), 9 (Fri-Mon, Thu), 9:30 (Wed)


Jupiter Ascending

PG-13; 125 minutes. Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Eddie Redmayne star in the latest mind-bending sci-fi fantasy from Matrix creators Lana and Andy Wachowski.

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:10, 9

3D: 3:05, 6


Kingsman: The Secret Service

R, sequences of strong violence, strong language, some sexual content; 129 minutes. A secret spy agency in Britain enlists a young man whose father died in service of the agency to take down an Internet billionaire looking to dominate the world through his SIM cards. Colin Firth, Taron Egerton and Samuel L. Jackson

* *  What is supposed to be both over-the-top and funny — such as in the movie’s most obnoxiously violent scene when Harry turns into a killing machine inside a fundamentalist church — ends up just wearying. — FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:40, 3:40, 6:15 (Fri, Sun), 6:40, 9:20 (Fri, Sun), 9:50


McFarland, USA

PG, thematic material, some violence and language; 128 minutes. A teacher and coach seeking redemption lands a job in the middle of California’s farm country and looks to build a powerhouse cross country team with the school’s Hispanic students, if he can convince the teens and their hard-working parents that the after school activity has some value to them. Kevin Costner, Carlos Pratt, Hector Duran, Maria Bello.

* * 1/2 “McFarland” is old-fashioned without being dull, pandering without feeling cloying or racist ... He does not makes these guys caricatures. Caricatures cannot change. Real people, Costner’s performance suggests, can. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Friday-Saturday: 12:20, 3:20, 6:30, 9:40

Sunday: 12:20, 3:20, 6:20, 9:20


Mr. Turner

R, some sexual content; 150 minutes. Director Mike Leigh recreates Victorian London in his film about one of Britain’s most famed painters, Joseph Mallord William Turner, a grumpy and gruff man who creates swirling scenes that prefigured the Impressionist period. Timothy Spall, Dorothy Atkinson, Ruth Sheen, Marion Bailey.

* * * 1/2 Mike Leigh, cinematic celebrator of the British working classes, delivers his second sumptious period biography in “Mr. Turner,” a lovely, lively and languorous biopic that’s almost as painterly as its subject. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Pickford

Times: 12:45 (Sun), 3:15 (Fri-Sat, Mon-Thu), 8:45 (Fri-Mon, Thu)


Paddington

PG, mild action, rude humor; 95 minutes. A young Peruvian bear travels to the city in search of a home in this film based on Michael Bond’s children’s books. With Ben Whishaw, Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins.

* * *  On the poster, Paddington the bear looks like the creepy British cousin of the Snuggle fabric softener bear. The CGI-version of Paddington (voice of Ben Whishaw) is neither robotic nor stiff, but instead comes off as a charming, delightful character. But even with all the bear’s charm, a plodding pace and a questionable plotline leave the 2015 film version less desirable to watch. — FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:05, 3:30


Seventh Son

PG-13; 102 minutes. Jeff Bridges is a mystical warrior searching for a hero to vanquish an evil queen (Julianne Moore) and her army of supernatural warriors.

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:05


The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

PG; 92 minutes. The beloved Nickelodeon character enters the live-action world, where he squares off against a pirate (Antonio Banderas).

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:15, 2:50, 5:20, 7:50

3D: 10:10


Still Alice

PG-13, mature thematic material, brief language; 101 minutes. An academic from Columbia University is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s and tries to maintain and build ties with her family over the course of a year as the disease begins to take a toll on her cognitive abilities. Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth.

* * *  (Julianne) Moore makes us root for Alice, not for a cure, which still seems a reach, but for a completion of her life’s goals, a chance to control her fate as long as she has the wherewithal to do it. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:20, 3:50, 6:20, 8:45


The Theory of Everything

PG-13, some thematic elements, suggstive material; 133 minutes. Film follows the early life of famed physicist Stephen Hawking as a young man at Cambridge, learning how to focus his mind while dealing with the onset of Lou Gehrig’s Disease while at the same time meeting and courting a charming young woman who is also a student at Cambridge. Eddie Redmayne, Fecility Jones, Emily Watson.

* * 1/2 A great performance makes us forget the actor and see only their creation. That’s what happens in “The Theory of Everything.” — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Limelight

Times: 2:25 (Sun), 3:25 (Fri-Sat, Mon-Thu), 5:15 (Sun), 6:15 (Mon, Wed-Thu), 8:40 (Fri-Sat),


Whiplash

R, some thematic elements, suggestive material; 106 minutes. A young man seeking to hone his skills as a drummer joins a jazz band program at a prestigious school and finds himself being belittled, challenged and abused by a teacher who is a mercurial bully. Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist.

* * * *  This is as paranoid and cutthroat a world as the moives have ever seen and Andrew, the “squeaker” (new guy) is just another bone for Fletcher to chew. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:40, 4:50, 7:30, 10:05

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