Movie News & Reviews

Movies playing at Valley theaters Oct. 30 - Nov. 5

Michael Fassbender appears as Steve Jobs in a scene from the film, “Steve Jobs.”
Michael Fassbender appears as Steve Jobs in a scene from the film, “Steve Jobs.” Universal Pictures

Movie list

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/

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OPENING

Burnt: A chef tries to redeem himself. Bradley Cooper stars.

Dancin’ It’s On: Young lovers from different worlds share a passion for dance. Witney Carson stars.

Freaks of Nature: Truce among humans, vampires and zombies falls apart.

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.

Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse: Three scouts must save their town from a zombie attack.

Truth: Veteran news producer and anchor come under harsh scrutiny. Robert Redford stars.

ONGOING

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)

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.

The Gift: (): A couple’s new life is disrupted by a mysterious person from their past. Rated R (language). 108 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. It’s as rare as vampires on a beach to have a movie sequel be better than the original. But vampires might start looking for some sunglasses because the spookiest thing about “Hotel Transylvania 2” is how much funnier, colorful and original it is this second time around. 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)

Jem and the Holograms (): Underground video star becomes global superstar. Aubrey Peeples stars. The beloved 1980s cartoon series gets a millennial makeover. Rated PG (Thematic material, language). 108 minutes. (Katie Walsh, Tribune)

Jurassic World (1/2): The new dinosaur park soon runs into familiar problems. “Jurassic World” serves as a reminder that it wasn’t just the dazzling CGI work in “Jurassic Park” that made it such a masterpiece. It was also the combination of that imagery with a solid story, interesting characters and pacing that bounces between terror and humor with ease. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 123 minutes.

Ladrones: Latin American superstars Fernando Colunga and Eduardo Yañez in a nonstop action comedy. This film has not been reviewed.

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)

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.

The Perfect Guy: An ideal man turns out to have a very dangerous side. 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.

Rock the Kasbah (1/2): Teenage girl competes on TV show in Kabul. Bill Murray stars. Star vehicles this rickety have a way of making the world unsafe for comic deomcracy. Rated R (language, drug use, violence). 100 minute.

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).

The Visit (zero stars): Trip to grandmother’s house isn’t all that welcoming. M. Night Shyamalan has put together another poorly written offering that also has the visual inspiration of a blank piece of paper. Shyamalan has put so little effort into making this film, he resorts to the “found footage” gimmick that went out of favor years ago. 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 Peanuts Movie: A Charlie Brown and the gang are back for more adventures including Snoopy’s heroic flying efforts.

Room: Mother (Brie Larson) must deal with her son’s discovery of the outside world.

Spectre: James Bond goes in search of a mysterious agency. Daniel Craig stars.

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