Movie News & Reviews

Movies playing at Valley theaters Sept. 15-21 | ‘American Assassin,’ ‘Mother”, “IT” and more

Opening in Fresno Friday, Sept. 22: “The LEGO Ninjago Movie”
Opening in Fresno Friday, Sept. 22: “The LEGO Ninjago Movie”

Movie list

The rating system: , excellent; , good; , so-so; , poor; zero stars, terrible. Check movie times: http://calendar.fresnobee.com/

movies.aspx.

OPENING

American Assassin: A young CIA recruit named Mitch Rapp (Dylan O’Brien) trains to become a black-ops counter terrorism agent under the tutelage of Stan Hurley (Michael Keaton), a fearsome warrior and legend within the agency. Rated R. 111 minutes.

Because of Grácia: Two high-school couples explore friendship and dating along dissimilar lines, leading to courage and transformation for one teen and a personal crisis for another. Rated PG-13 (comedy, drama, romance). 107 minutes.

Mother!: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Rated R (drama, horror, mystery). 121 minutes.

ONGOING

47 Meters Down (): Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (intense peril, bloody images, brief strong language). 89 minutes.

9/11: On 9/11, 5 people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center. Their only hope to survive is to work together and fight all odds to survive the imminent and unthinkable collapse. Rated R (drama). 90 minutes.

All Saints: Based on the inspiring true story of salesman-turned-pastor Michael Spurlock (John Corbett), the tiny church he was ordered to shut down, and a group of refugees from Southeast Asia. Together, they risked everything to plant seeds for a future that might just save them all. Rated PG (drama). 108 minutes.

Anabelle: Creation: Several years after the tragic death of their little girl, a dollmaker and his wife welcome a nun and several girls from a shuttered orphanage into their home, soon becoming the target of the dollmaker’s possessed creation, Annabelle. Rated R (horror, mystery, thriller). 109 minutes.

Birth of the Dragon : In 1964 San Francisco, a pre-fame Bruce Lee (Philip Ng) challenges a Shaolin monk named Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu) to a fight behind closed doors. Birth of the Dragon dramatizes this real-life event, which helped cement Lee’s reputation as one of the greatest martial artists of all time. Rated PG-13 (action, adventure). 89 minutes.

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (): Two overly imaginative pranksters named George and Harold hypnotize their principal into thinking he’s a ridiculously enthusiastic, incredibly dimwitted superhero named Captain Underpants. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG (animation, action, comedy, family, mild rude humor throughout). 89 minutes.

Cars 3 ( 1/2 ): Lightning McQueen sets out to prove to a new generation of racers that he’s still the best race car in the world. An obvious attempt to churn out more grist for the merchandising mill. (Tribune News Service) Rated G (animation, adventure, comedy). 109 minutes.

The Dark Tower (): The last Gunslinger, Roland Deschain, has been locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim, also known as the Man in Black, determined to prevent him from toppling the Dark Tower, which holds the universe together. “While hinting at a horrific and fascinating story, has problems with scope, which results in problems with stakes, and emotional attachment.” (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (action, gun violence). 95 minutes.

Despicable Me 3 ( 1/2 ): Gru meets his long-lost charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother, Dru, who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist. As a couple of hours of kidtertainment, you could do worse, but it’s nothing to write home about. (Tribune News Services) Rated PG (animation, action, rude humor). 90 minutes.

Dunkirk (): Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire, Canada and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II. “War is hell, and ‘Dunkirk’ focuses relentlessly on raw survival,” says a reviewer. (Chicago Tribune) Rated PG-13 (intense war experience, some language). 106 minutes.

The Emoji Movie (): Gene, a multi-expressional emoji, sets out on a journey to become a normal emoji. “The movie isn’t terrible, it isn’t offensive or outright bad.” (Common Sense Media) Rated PG (animation, adventure, comedy). 86 minutes.

Girls Trip (): When four lifelong friends travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, sisterhoods are rekindled, wild sides are rediscovered, and there’s enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush. (Tribune News Service) Rated R (comedy). 122 minutes.

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (): Heroes must run for their lives while also finding time to save the universe again. “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2” is all it can be despite having lost the element of surprise. (Rick Bentley) Rated PG-13 (sci-fi action, language, suggestive content). 137 minutes.

Hazlo Como Hombre: New Spanish language movie with English subtitles is about one couple that is married with a baby on the way – and the other is engaged. Their happy lives are turned upside down when the guy who is about to marry his best friend’s sister discovers he’s gay. Rated R (comedy). 109 minutes.

The Hitman’s Bodyguard ( 1/2 ): The world’s top bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) gets a new client, a hit man (Samuel L. Jackson) who must testify at the International Court of Justice. They must put their differences aside and work together to make it to the trial on time. (Tribune News Service) Rated R (action, comedy). 118 minutes.

Home Again: Life for a single mom in Los Angeles takes an unexpected turn when she allows three young guys to move in with her. Rated PG-13 (comedy, drama). 97 minutes.

It: Children in a Maine town band together to fight an ancient, murderous clown named Pennywise. Rated R (suspense, thriller). 135 minutes.

Kidnap (): “Halle Berry stars as a woman who pushes her minivan – and her psyche – to the limit while retrieving her young son from abductors in this scanty thriller. There’s not much more to it than that – this mom is fast, and is she ever furious.” (Tribune News Service) Rated R (violence and peril). 94 minutes.

Leap (): In 19th century France, a young orphan named Félicie (voice of Elle Fanning) dreams of becoming a ballerina. She and her best friend Victor (voice of Dane DeHaan) soon run away to Paris, where she enrolls in a prestigious dance school and competes for a chance to be a prima ballerina. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG (action, adventure, animated). 89 minutes.

Logan Lucky (): Two brothers (Channing Tatum, Adam Driver) attempt to pull off a heist during a NASCAR race in North Carolina. This movie “is just so warmheartedly enthusiastic, it’s hard not to get swept away with this group of not-so-average Joes.” (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (language and some crude comments). 119 minutes.

Lucknow Central: New Hindi language film with English subtitles about Kishen Mohan Girhotra (Farhan Akhtar) who is a young man that belongs to Moradabad, a city in Uttar Pradesh. One fateful day, Kishen gets accused of murder which lands him in Lucknow Central Jail where he's awaiting his High Court trial for a death penalty. Not Rated (action, crime, drama). 135 minutes.

The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (): Following the events of the first film, Surly and his friends must stop Oakton City’s mayor from destroying their home to make way for a dysfunctional amusement park. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG (animation, adventure, comedy, family). 91 minutes.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (): Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley return; Javier Bardem is new. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (sequences of adventure violence and some suggestive content). 129 minutes.

Simran: New Hindi language film with English subtitles about a Gujarati housekeeping lady in the US allows ambition to get the better of her & gets involved in a world of crime. Simran is a racy, fun film with Kangana Ranaut playing the titular role. Not Rated (drama). 238 minutes.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (): Following the events of Captain America: Civil War (2016), Peter Parker attempts to balance his life in high school with his career as the web-slinging superhero Spider-Man. One of the brilliant things about “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (and there are several) is that it doesn’t even try to be an origin story, as both 2002’s “Spider-Man” and 2012’s “The Amazing Spider-Man” did. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (sci-fi action violence, some language). 133 minutes.

Transformers: The Last Knight (): Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth. (Fort Worth Star-Telegram) Rated PG-13 (sci-fi, language, and some innuendo). 148 minutes.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets ( 1/2 ): A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (action, adventure, sci-fi). 137 minutes.

War for the Planet of the Apes (): After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. (Tribune News Service) Rated PG-13 (action, adventure, drama). 140 minutes.

Wind River ( 1/2 ): When wildlife officer Cory Lambert (Jeremy Renner) discovers the body of a young woman on Wyoming’s Wind River Native American reservation, FBI agent Jane Banner (Elizabeth Olsen) is sent to investigate. After Banner hires Lambert as her tracker, the two must brave the isolated winter terrain and local criminal underworld in order to crack the case. (Star Tribune (Minneapolis)) Rated R (rape, disturbing images, language). 110 minutes.

Wish Upon: A teenage girl discovers a box that carries magic powers and a deadly price for using them. Rated PG-13 (fantasy, thriller, horror). 90 minutes.

Wonder Woman ( 1/2 ): Before she was Wonder Woman she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained warrior. When a pilot crashes and tells of conflict in the outside world, she leaves home to fight a war to end all wars, discovering her full powers and true destiny. (Chicago Tribune) Rated PG-13 (violence and action, suggestive content). 141 minutes.

OPENING NEXT WEEK

Battle of the Sexes: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs. Rated PG-13 (biography, comedy, sports). 81 minutes.

Friend Request: A popular college student graciously accepts a social outcast's online friend request, but soon finds herself fighting a demonic presence that wants to make her lonely by killing her closest friends. Rated R (horror, thriller). 92 minutes.

Kingsman: The Golden Circle: When their headquarters are destroyed and the world is held hostage, the Kingsman's journey leads them to the discovery of an allied spy organization in the US. These two elite secret organizations must band together to defeat a common enemy. Rated R (action, adventure, comedy). 141 minutes

The Lego Ninjago Movie: Six young ninjas Lloyd, Jay, Kai, Cole, Zane and Nya are tasked with defending their island home, called Ninjago. By night, they're gifted warriors, using their skills and awesome fleet of vehicles to fight villains and monsters. By day, they're ordinary teens struggling against their greatest enemy: high school. Rated PG (animation, action, adventure). 90 minutes.

Stronger: Stronger is the inspiring real life story of Jeff Bauman, an ordinary man who captured the hearts of his city and the world to become a symbol of hope following the infamous 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Rated R (biography, drama). 116 mintues.

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