Film clips / Jan. 12-18


Drama about the 1973 kidnapping of the grandson of billionaire oil tycoon John Paul Getty and the consequences of Getty's refusal to pay the $17 million ransom. With Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, Christopher Plummer. 2 hours, 12 minutes. NAM


Director Joe Wright's new film deals with Winston Churchill's first weeks as head of the British government in the late spring of 1940 with German forces invading Belgium and France, pushing most of the British army onto a beach in the French coastal town of Dunkirk. Wright's film is a serviceable enough historical drama. But like its companion film, "Dunkirk," "Darkest Hour" falls back on an idealized notion of the English character that feels, in present circumstances, less nostalgic than downright reactionary, and as empty as those ubiquitous "Keep Calm and Carry On" internet memes. Rather than invite the audience to think about the difficulties of democratic governance at a time of peril, the filmmakers promote passivity and hero-worship, offering not so much a Great Man Theory as a great man fetish. With Gary Oldman, Kirsten Scott-Thomas, Ben Mendelsohn, Lily James. (Scott, New York Times — 12/28). BC / BM / CT / TC


A first-rate animated tale adapted from the beloved 1936 children's book about a pacifist Spanish bull who just loves to sit around and sniff flowers. Often dark, sometimes wacky but true to the heart of the book and beautifully brought to life in modern Spain. (Kennedy, AP — 12/18). 1 hour, 47 minutes. BM / NAM


Accompanied by her two investigative partners, a brilliant parapsychologist travels to her childhood home in New Mexico to confront and destroy the demon that she accidentally set free years earlier. 1 hour, 43 minutes. BM / NAM


An outrageously entertaining reappraisal of the Olympic figure skater who, in 1994, was involved in a scheme to injure her main rival, Nancy Kerrigan. With Margot Robbie. 2 hours, 1 minute. TC


The story of Simon Fitzmaurice, a talented young Irish filmmaker with ALS (MND), as he embarks on directing his first feature film ("My Name is Emily") through the use of his eyes and eye gaze technology. 1 hour, 21 minutes. LC


More than two decades after Robin Williams conquered the pesky board game, "Jumanji" has been resurrected with more and glossier stars, a comedy director and a modern twist. The result is a very sweet, and generally entertaining, body swap lark with some nice messages about being, and believing in, yourself. With Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Nick Jonas, Jack Black, Karen Gillan. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 12/20). 1 hour, 59 minutes. BC / BM / NAM


Aaron Sorkin writes and makes his directorial bow with and Jessica Chastain stars in this true story of a beautiful, young, Olympic-class skier who ran the world's most exclusive high-stakes poker game for a decade before being arrested in the middle of the night by 17 FBI agents wielding automatic weapons. Despite some of Sorkin's more debatable choices, his writing and especially Chastain's charismatic presence make this an enjoyable tumble down some slippery slopes. With Idris Elba. 2 hours, 20 minutes. BC / TMH


When a thief steals a prized pots a pop-up book in an antique shop -- the perfect present for hisbeloved aunt's 100th birthday, Paddington sets off on a quest to unmask the culprit before Aunt Lucy's big celebration. 1 hour, 43 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TMH


Taraji P. Henson is Mary, a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad. 1 hour, 28 minutes. BM


Rey develops her newly discovered abilities with the guidance of Luke Skywalker while the Resistance prepares to do battle with the First Order. A welcome disturbance in The Force, this is, by wide measure, the trippiest, scrappiest and most rule-breaking "Star Wars" adventure yet. With Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Laura Dern, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 12/15). 2 hours, 32 minutes. BC / BM / NAM


A financially strapped ex-cop insurance salesman is drawn into a web of intrigue, terror and duplicity on the train he rides every day to and from work in New York. With Liam Neeson, Vera Farmiga, Patrick Wilson. 1 hour, 45 minutes. BM / NAM


With ideally cast Hugh Jackman in the leading role, this original musical achieves an aggressively synthetic style through kinetic editing and tidy underdog stories but none of the true joy of pulling a fast one. It's a standard issue holiday biopic, one that tells a story about a populist entertainer hungry for high-brow respect, the joys of show biz and the price of ambition. An amusement park version of P.T. Barnum is fine, as far as that goes, but if you are going to aim for family-friendly fun, you need to get the fun part right. With Michelle Williams, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya. (Zinoman, New York Times — 12/21). 1 hour, 45 minutes. BM / NAM


With help from editor Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks), Katharine Graham (Meryl Streep), the first female publisher of a major American newspaper — The Washington Post — races to catch up with The New York Times to expose a massive cover-up of government secrets that spans three decades and four U.S. presidents. 1 hour, 55 minutes. BC / BM / TC / TMH


With shades of "Beauty and the Beast," ''The Shape of Water" is about a love between a mute cleaning lady, Eliza (Sally Hawkins), and a merman (Doug Jones) who has been captured from the Amazon and hauled back to 1962 Baltimore by a cattle prod-wielding military man named Stickland (Michael Shannon). At a secret government laboratory where Eliza and her talkative friend Zelda (Octavia Spencer) mop up blood, the amphibious man is studied and tortured but mostly kept chained in a murky pool so he can't be taken by the Russians. A warm, generous spirit of affection and insurrection washes over director Guillermo del Toro's lushly composed, vividly realized Cold War-era fairy tale that submerges you in the realm of the director's Technicolor imagination, only to swell into a watery allegory for today. It is, one suspects, the fairy tale del Toro was born to make. With Richard Jenkins. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 12/27). 2 hours, 3 minutes. TC


After months have passed without a culprit in her daughter's murder case, Mildred Hayes (Frances McDormand) makes a bold move, painting three signs leading into her town with a controversial message directed at William Willoughby (Woody Harrelson), the town's revered chief of police. 1 hour, 55 minutes. BM / IC


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

BC: Beacon Cinema (57 North St.,Pittsfield)

BM: Berkshire Mall 10 (Route 8, Lanesborough)

CT: Crandell Theatre (48 Main St., Chatham, N.Y.)

IC: Images Cinema (50 Spring St.,Williamstown)

LC: Little Cinema (Berkshire Museum, 39 South St., Pittsfield)

NAM: North Adams Movieplex 8 (80 Main St., North Adams)

TC: Triplex Cinema (70 Railroad St., Great Barrington)

TMH: The Moviehouse, 48 Main St., Millerton, N.Y.


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