Movie News & Reviews

MOVIES: 'Insurgent,' 'The Gunman' among films opening in Bellingham this week

OPENING THIS WEEK

1971

Not rated; 80 minutes. Documentary from Johanna Hamilton looks at the impacts and outcomes resulting from the theft of more than a thousand documents from an FBI office near Philadelphia by a group of idealistic young people convinced that stealing the material was the way to alert the American public about the agency’s extensive snooping on public figures during the upheaval of the late 1960s.

“1971” is an appropriately matter-of-fact title for a decidedly low-key documentary. But don’t mistake a lack of flash for an absence of substance. The story told here couldn’t be more significant or more timely. — LOS ANGELES TIMES

Playing: Limelight

Times: 2 (Sat-Sun), 6:15 (Fri-Sat, Mon-Thu)


Danny Collins

R, violence, some nudity, language; 106 minutes. An aging rock star from the 1970s decides to give up his hard-living ways and try to reconnect with family and find true love after his manager gives him an undelivered letter from John Lennon. Al Pacino, Christopher Plummer.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 6:15 (Tue)


Do You Believe?

PG-13, thematic elements, accident sequence, some violence; 115 minutes. When a local pastor meets an old street corner preacher, his life is shaken and he remembers that true belief requires action, leading him on a faith-fueled journey that impacts all he comes in contact with.

No critical review available.

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 12:50, 3:50, 6:40, 9:30


A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

Not rated; 107 minutes. Director Ana Lily Amipour’s take on vampires is both deeply metaphorical and creepy, following a young vampire as she interacts with mortals and other creatures of the night in an unnamed industrial city. Sheila Vand, Arash Marandi, Mozhan Marno.

A vampire is such a handy creature for filmmakers in search of a metaphor or two. Mortality is usually the first bite, and Ana Lilly Amipour’s stunning first feature ... definitely takes a stab at that. — LOS ANGELES TIMES

Playing: Pickford

Times: 7:15 (Sun), 8:15 (Fri-Sat, Mon, Wed-Thu), 8:45 (Tue)


The Guman

R, strong violence, language, some sexuality; 115 minutes. A gunman who took part in a shooting eight years earlier in the Congo at the behest of multi-national corporations is attacked by assailants while trying to help villagers in the same area. He decides to seek out those who tried to kill him and find out why he was targeted. Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Jasmine Trinca, Idris Elba.

* *  Take away the preaching and this is just (Sean) Penn’s version of a late-career Mel Gibson movie. He should be better than this. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: 1:30 (Fri-Sat), 1:45 (Sun), 4:30, 7:15, 10 (Sun), 10:10 (Fri-Sat)


Insurgent

PG-13, intense violence and action throughout, some sensuality, thematic elements, brief language; 116 minutes. The second film in the “Divergent” series finds the group working to bring revolution to the land as they make contact with other factions seeking a better life and opportunities. Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Naomi Watts.

* * 1/2 As “Insurgent” wraps up, it picks up speed and depth and gives you hope that maybe this series won’t conclude as the copy-and-past “Hunger Games” it has felt like, from the moment the books were word-processed onto the best seller lists. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Fri: 2:55, 6 Sat: 12, 3:20, 6:20 Sun: 1:40, 7:50

IMAX: Fri-Sat: 1:40, 4:40, 7:40, 10:30 Sun: 1, 4, 6:50, 9:45

3D: Fri: 12:20, 3:30, 6:30, 9:30 Sat: 11:30 a.m., 12:30, 2:50, 5:50, 8:50 Sun: 11:30 a.m., 2:30, 5:30, 8:40

RPX: Fri-Sat: 1, 4, 7, 10 Sun: 12:20, 3:20, 6:20, 9:15


Red Army

PG, thematic elements and language; 76 minutes. Director Gabe Polsky’s looks back at the dominant Soviet Union hockey team during the latter days of the Cold War, examining what made the team almost unbeatable and how corruption and battles with the Russian authorities eventually led to its downfall.

* *  “Red Army” reminds us that the system that produced once invincible hockey could not survive exposure to the consumer economy and the lure of capitalist athletics then. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Pickford

Times: 12:35 (Sun), 1:35 (Sat), 3:20 (Tue), 5:15 (Sun), 6:15 (Fri-Sat, Mon, Wed-Thu)


Swan Lake Encore: Bolshoi Ballet

Not rated; 160 minutes. A young prince flees his birthday party celebration and the crowd of young girl trying to get his attention and meets a strange flock of swans by a magical lake.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 11 a.m. (Sun)


Teenagers from Outer Space

Not rated; 119 minutes. A young alien who visits Earth falls for a pretty teenage girl and decides to help her and her friends to fight off an invasion of aliens seeking to use Earth as a food-breeding ground for giant lobsters. David Love, Dawn Anderson.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 12 (Sat)


Touch of Evil

PG-13, some violence and drug content; 94 minutes. Orson Welles both directs and stars in this gritty story of a Mexican police detective who finds himself up against a corrupt American police chief while investigating a bombing and threats directed at his new wife. Orson Welles, Charlton Heston, Jent Leigh, Akim Tamiroff.

No critical review available

Playing: Pickford

Times: 6:30 (Thu)


Watermark

PG, some smoking images; 92 minutes. Documentary filmed in ultra high-definition from Jennifer Baichwal and Nick de Pencier work with photographer Edward Burtynsky looks at the way water terrforms our planet and the magnitude of its value and impact on humans everywhere.

No critical review available

Playing: Limelight

Times: 4:30 (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: Fri: 12, 9:10 Sat: 11:50 a.m., 9:20 Sun: 4:45, 9:55


Chappie

R, violence, language, brief nudity; 120 minutes. In the future, a police droid is stolen and given new programming that allows it to think and feel. The oppressive police force feels threatened and mounts a campaign to stop the droid and its allies. Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver.

No critical review available

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Fri-Sat: 1:10, 4:10, 7:10, 9:55 Sun: 1:10, 4:10, 7:20, 10:05


Cinderella

PG, mild thematic elements; 112 minutes. Director Kenneth Branagh puts his mark on the children’s tale, updating the classic Disney animation with a live cast. Lily James, Cate Blanchett, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Stellan Skarsgard.

* *  The look is always spot-on, the transformation effects, pumpkin-to-carriage, etc., are perfect. But the pre-teen girls this is intended for have a right to expect more laughs, broader villainy and more fun. This time out, the glass slipper doesn’t fit. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Fri: 12:15, 1:20, 2:20, 3, 4:20, 5:10, 6:10, 7:20, 8, 8:50, 10:05

Sat: 11:40 a.m., 12:10, 1:20, 2:30, 3, 4:20, 5:10, 6, 7:20, 8, 8:40, 10:05

Sun: 11:40 a.m., 12:10, 1:30, 2:25, 3, 4:20, 5:10, 6, 7:10, 8, 8:55, 9:50


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: Fri: 5:20, 10:25 Sat: 5:30, 10:25 Sun: 4:40


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.

* 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: Fri: 2, 7:50 Sat: 3:05, 7:55 Sun: 2:10


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 was 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: 2:40 (Sun), 3:40 (Fri-Sat, Mon-Thu), 6:45 (Sat), 7:15 (Sun), 8 (Fri, Mon-Wed), 8:45 (Thu)


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: Fri: 5:50 Sat: 5:40 Sun: 9:35

3D: Fri-Sat: 9 Sun: 7:05


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, 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: Fri: 12:30, 3:20, 6:20, 9:25 Sat: 12:20, 3:30, 6:30, 9:25 Sun: 12:30, 3:30, 6:30, 9:20


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.

* * 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: Fri-Sat: 12:40, 3:40, 6:50, 9:45

Sun: 12:40, 3:40, 6:35, 9:30


Run All Night

R, strong violence, language including sexual references, some drug use; 114 minutes. A man kills another man who is attacking his son and finds himself being hunted by the victim’s father, a mob boss who has sent his crew out seeking revenge. Liam Neeson, Ed Harris, Joel Kinnnaman.

* * *  The stakes are high and the odds are not good. He’s such a decent person, and he’s clearly the underdog. He’s just doing what anybody would do under the circumstances. Yes, even when you’re smirking, Neeson makes you care. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Fri-Sat: 1:50, 4:35, 7:30, 10:20

Sun: 1:20, 4:05, 6:55, 9:40


The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

PG, some language, suggestive comments; 122 minutes. The original characters from the film return with some new additions as Douglas, Evelyn, Madge and Norman help Sonny as he plans to purchase a second hotel that would allow him to expand and reach even more of the older guests flocking to his establishment. Maggie Smith, Judi Dench, Dev Patel, Bill Nighy, Richard Gere, Lillete Dubey.

* * The clash of cultures had been rubbed off the marigolds in “The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” ... British retirees lured to India where their money goes further and the elderly are, as a general rule, revered rather than cast aside. But they’ve all turned so ... nice. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Barkley Village

Times: Fri: 12:10, 3:10, 6:05, 8:55

Sat: 12:05, 3:10, 6:10, 9:05

Sun: 12, 3:10, 6:05, 9:10


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: Fri: 12:05, 2:50 Sat: 11:35 a.m., 2:35 Sun: 11:50 a.m. 4:35


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. Vocied 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: 2:45 (Sun), 3:20 (Fri, Mon, Wed), 4:10 (Thu), 5 (Sun), 5:45 (Fri, Mon-Wed)


What We Do in the Shadows

Unrated, with blood, profanity, innuendo; 86 minutes. A group of vampires living in New Zealand deal with their loves, their undead lives and other issues impacting metrosexual residents. Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh.

* * 1/2 “What We Do in the Shadows” is a one-joke comedy about vampires, and yet another mockumentary ... but with those crackpot Kiwis Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi behind it, you can be sure that one joke is going to deliver a lot of laughs, enough that the format won’t matter. — MCCLATCHY

Playing: Limelight

Times: 11:45 a.m. (Sat-Sun), 4 (Fri-Sat), 7:15 (Sun), 8:15 (Fri-Sat, Mon-Thu)

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