The rating system: ☆☆☆☆, excellent; ☆☆☆, good; ☆☆, so-so; ☆, poor; zero stars, terrible. Unless noted otherwise, reviews are by Bee critic Rick Bentley. Check movie times: http://calendar.fresnobee.com/
Never miss a local story.
The Peanuts Movie: A Charlie Brown and the gang are back for more adventures including Snoopy’s heroic flying efforts.
Miss You Already: Two women (Drew Barrymore, Toni Collette) find their friendship tested when one starts a family and the other gets ill.
Spectre: James Bond goes in search of a mysterious agency. Daniel Craig stars.
Ant-Man: (☆☆1/2): Ex-con is pushed into slipping on super suit to become tiny hero. Paul Rudd stars. Rudd has neither the cutting wit nor cut physique others bring to such roles. He is a milquetoast romantic comedy escapee who ends up being the biggest thing wrong with “Ant-Man.” When Rudd slips on the suit, the movie settles into a thrill ride through a massive miniature world. Rated PG-13 (sci-fi action violence). 115 minutes.
Bridge of Spies (☆☆☆1/2): Tom Hanks is a Brooklyn lawyer thrust into the center of the Cold War. There’s simmering tension and a tremendous Steven Speilberg payoff. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 142 minutes. (Donald Munro, The Fresno Bee)
Burnt (☆☆1/2): A chef tries to redeem himself. Bradley Cooper stars. Without enough meat on the bones of this story it’s just not as satisfying as it could be. Rated R (language, sexual references, drugs). 100 minutes. (By Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service)
Crimson Peak (☆1/2): A young woman is swept away to a house atop a mountain of blood-red clay. The film is less about scares and more of a watered down version of “Downton Abbey” meets “Game of Thrones.” The majority of the movie feels like the usual period piece about a pair of siblings who will go to any extreme to save their family home. Ghosts occasionally show up to point out clues. Rated R (bloody violence). 119 minutes.
Everest (☆☆☆1/2): The recounting of the tragic 1996 effort to climb the world's tallest mountain reaches new heights in visual splendor. Rated PG-13 (intense peril, disturbing images). 121 minutes.
Goosebumps (☆☆☆): A kid teams up with the niece of young adult horror author. Jack Black stars. An older audience may feel nostalgic for the books or get a smile out of the cornucopia of creatures that come to life. But the movie is aimed at the same youth market that embraces the books. Rated PG-13 (scary images, language). 113 minutes.
Hotel Transylvania 2 (☆☆☆): Dracula tries to help grandson find his inner monster. Rated PG (scary elements, rude humor). 87 minutes.
Inside Out (☆☆☆ 1/2): The emotions that run an 11-year-old come to life. Lewis Black stars. The Pixar team has created amazing worlds for the characters. Smart writing and deeper elements fill the filml with numerous emotional moments. Rated PG (mild language). 102 minutes.
The Intern (☆☆1/2): Young executive (Anne Hathaway) gets a mature intern (Robert De Niro). It can be cloying at times. Rated PG-13 (suggestive comments, language). 121 minutes. (Lindsey Bahr, AP)
Jurassic World (☆☆☆1/2): The new dinosaur park soon runs into familiar problems. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 123 minutes.
The Last Witch Hunter (☆): The White Queen seeks revenge on her killer. The lame plot has acting’s answer to drywall, Vin Diesel, playing the immortal witch hunter Kaulder. Because of a truce forged years ago with the witches, it doesn’t seem like he’s had a lot to do except seduce flight attendants over the past few centuries. Rated PG-13 (scary images, language). 105 minutes.
The Martian: (☆☆☆1/2): In one of the most comforting science fiction films in years, Matt Damon plays an astronaut who must find a way to survive on Mars after being left behind. Ridley Scott’s zesty direction turns this into a highly enjoyable team-building exercise, with Damon playing the team of one. Rated PG-13 (strong language, injury images, brief nudity). 141 minutes. (Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune)
The Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials (☆☆): Gladers now face a new set of challenges. Rated PG-13 (mild violence). 137 minutes. (Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle)
Minions (☆☆1/2): Animated story of the yellow characters that is charted from the start of time. The pill-shaped, yellow characters introduced in the “Despicable Me” movie as the subordinates to the villainous Gru, have now taken center stage. The charm and humor they brought in tiny doses in the previous films now comes in a massive blast that wears thin quickly. Rated PG (rude humor, action). 91 minutes.
No Escape (☆): An American family living in Southeast Asia is caught in the middle of a coup. Rated R (violence, language). 105 minutes. (Daniel M. Gold, New York Times)
Our Brand is Crisis (☆☆): Sandra Bullock stars in the political comedy based on the 2005 documentary about a failed American election campaign in South America. The effort by “Our Brand Is Crisis” director David Gordon Green and writer Peter Straughan to turn the 2005 documentary of the same name into a light comedy with touches of romance and political high jinks leaves the fictional version a poor candidate in the box office race. Rated R (sexual refrences, language). 103 minutes.
Pan (☆☆1/2): Look at how Peter Pan came to be the hero of Neverland. Hugh Jackman stars. Pan is back with this big-screen adaptation written by Jason Fuchs (“Ice Age: Continental Drift”) and director Joe Wright (“Anna Karenina”). Except for a spirited performance by Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard, their efforts won’t send you flying to theaters to see it or out of the theaters if you do. Rated PG-13 (language, violence). 111 minutes.
Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension: Family must protect their daughter from an evil entity. Not reviewed.
Pixels (☆☆): An alien race uses ’80s video games to attack Earth. Adam Sandler stars. Sloppy writing, bad performances and uneven pacing mean it’s “game over” for the film before it gets started.
Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Three scouts must save their town from a zombie attack.
Sicario (☆☆☆1/2): Idealistic FBI agent finds herself involved in a no-rules war on drugs. Director Denis Villeneuve fashions a film that looks at real evil, with Emily Blunt providing a voice of reason to a twisted world. The result is the scariest picture of the year. Rated R (intense peril, violence, nudity, language, drug use). 120 minutes.
Steve Jobs (☆☆☆☆): Michael Fassbender stars in this behind-the-scenes look at the man behind digital revolution. Creates an impressionistic inner portrait. Rated R (language). 122 minutes. (Ann Hornaday, Washington Post)
Straight Outta Compton: (☆☆☆): Five young men escape from Compton through their music. The film’s vibe is closer to “The Social Network” than “Menace II Society.” Rated R (language, nudity, violence). 157 minutes. (Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle).
Truth (☆☆☆): Veteran news producer and anchor come under harsh scrutiny. Robert Redford stars. The film harks a return to the kind of stylish, understated storytelling of “All the President’s Men.” Rated R (language, nude photo). 120 minutes. (By Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post)
The Visit (zero stars): Trip to grandmother’s house isn’t all that welcoming. Rated PG-13 (brief nudity, language, disturbing images). 94 minutes.
War Room: Couple looks for a way to save their crumbling marriage. Not reviewed.
Woodlawn: In 1973, a spiritual awakening captures the hearts of the Woodlawn High School football team. Not reviewed.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
The 33: Efforts are made to save trapped miners.
By the Sea: Couple dealing with marital problems travel to France. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt star.
Love the Coopers: Four generations of Coopers come together for their annual Christmas Eve celebration.
My All American: Football player with a positive attitude inspires the Texas University football team.
Suffragette: Growing number of women join the fight for voting rights in England.