Film clips: A roundup of movie reviews


Alvin and the Chipmunks — The Road Chip (PG): The Chipmunks embark on a cross-country adventure in an attempt to break up their music manager's wedding plans. Jason Lee, Justin Long, Matthew Gray Gubler, Jesse McCartney, Bella Thorne. BC / BM / NAM / TC

Concussion (PG-13): On the basis of his autopsy of former Pittsburgh Steelers' star and NFL Hall of Famer Mike Webster, a naturalized forensic pathologist from Nigeria discovers a hitherto unknown neurological deterioration similar to Alzheimer's disease and embarks on a mission to raise public awareness about the dangers of football-related head trauma. With Will Smith. BM / NAM

Creed (PG-13): Rocky Balboa agrees to come out of retirement to mentor and train the son of his former arch rival, the late boxing champion Apollo Creed. Starring the fairly irresistible team of Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone, this seventh film in the "Rocky" franchise shows it belongs in the ring with its predecessors from the very first moment. With a deftly crafted blend of smarts and corn, it earns our trust; going right to the edge with heartstring-tugging but not going over. (Noveck, The Associated Press — Nov. 28). 2 hours 12 minutes. NAM

Daddy's Home (PG): A kindhearted business executive trying to be the best stepfather to his wife's two daughters unexpectedly finds himself in a no-holds-barred game of one-upmanship when his wife's ex-husband breezes back into town. With Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini. BM / NAM

In the Heart of the Sea (PG-13): In 1820, a handful of crewman resorts to desperate measures to survive after a mammoth sperm whale wrecks their whaling vessel in a true episode that provided Herman Melville with the inspiration for "Moby Dick." Director Ron Howard's ambitions are as big as a whale; the results are an earnest shipwreck. With Chris Hemsworth, Tom Holland, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker. (Bahr, The Associated Press — Dec. 12). 2 hours 2 minutes. NAM

Joy (PG-13): Based on the true story of a woman — creator of Miracle Mop — who overcame generations of obstacles and challenges to become a successful businesswoman and matriarch in her own right. With Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro, Isabella Rossellini, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen. BC / BM / IC

Krampus (PG-13): The members of a bickering family band together to save themselves from a terrible fate when the youngest son's curmudgeonly attitude toward Christmas unleashes a legendary horned beast who punishes naughty children at Christmastime. With Toni Collette, Emjay Anthony, Adam Scott, Stefania LaVie Owen. BM

Point Break (PG-13): In this remake of the 1991 cult hit, a young FBi agent infiltrates a gang of extreme athletes who execute dare-devil thefts of money and jewels which they then give away to the less fortunate. As he becomes more involved, the agent begins to experience the sheer rush of their exploits. BM / NAM

Sisters (R): Faced with having one weekend to clean out the junk from their old bedroom in the family home when they learn it has been placed on the market, two sisters decide to throw a big bash to recapture the lost youth of their high school days. A brazenly crude farce about female arrested development that doesn't so much seek to rise above its ludicrous absurdity as much as ride it out. It's a bumpy ride. With Tina Fey, Amy Poehler. (Coyle, The Associated Press — Dec. 19). 1 hour 58 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC

Star Wars — The Force Awakens (PG-13): The saga reboots with the first in a new sequel trilogy that picks up 30 years after "Return of the Jedi" (1983) leaves off. The big news — spoiler alert! — is that it's good. Despite the prerelease hype, it won't save the world, not even Hollywood, but it seamlessly balances cozy favorites and new kinetic wows along with some of the niceties that went missing as the series grew into a phenomenon, most crucially a scale and a sensibility that is rooted in the human. Director J.J. Abrams may not have the makings of a god or empire builder like George Lucas but he turns out to be what this stagnant franchise needs — a "Star Wars" superfan and pop culture savant. (Dargis, New York Times — Dec. 18). 2 hours 15 minutes. BC / BM/ CT / NAM / TC

The Big Short (R): Seeing what insiders don't about the impending collapse of the global market, four outsiders decide to take a bold risk. With Steve Carell, Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt. BC / TC

The Danish Girl (R): Drama based on the novel by David Ebershoff about Danish portrait artist Einar Wegener who, in the mid-1920s, with the loving support of his wife, undergoes one of the first sex reassignment surgeries. With Eddie Redmayne, Alicia Vikander. TC

The Good Dinosaur (PG): Separated from his parents by a storm that leaves him bruised and battered, a young dinosaur named Arlo teams up with Neanderthal boy named Spot for an epic journey to reunite Arlo with his family. A trippy, tripped up, wayward tale uncertain of its steps. • (Coyle, The Associated Press — Nov. 30). 1 hour 32 minutes. BM / NAM

The Hunger Games — Mockingjay Part 2 (PG-13): Katniss Everdeen and her closest friends leave District 13 with the aim of liberating Panem and assassinating President Snow. What should have been one movie has been stretched to two and it shows. The film is dull, infused with a sense of time passing. Clearly, the game is over. With Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Julianne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Willow Shields, Jena Malone, Stanley Tucci. (Coyle, The Associated Press — Nov. 21). 2 hours 17 minutes. BM

The Search for General Tso: Who is the man whose name graces this hugely popular, flavorful dish and how did the dish come about in the first place? LC


The theaters at which the movies listed in Film Clips are playing are:

BC: Beacon Cinema (Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall Cinema 10 (Lanesborough)

CT: Crandell Theatre (Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8

TC: Triplex Cinema (Great Barrington)


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