Film clips / Jan. 3-9

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A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (PG)

Two-time Oscar-winner Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in this timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor. With Tammy Blanchard, Chris Cooper, Wendy Makkena, Enrico Colantoni. NAM

BOMBSHELL (R)

A revealing look inside the most powerful and controversial media empire of all time; Fox News, and the explosive story of the women who brought down the infamous man who created it. A savvy, flashy kind of docudrama that trades equally on recent headlines as it does the star power of its cast. With Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie, John Lithgow. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 12/21). 1 hour, 50 minutes. BM / TC / TM

CATS (PG)

However you feel about "Cats" the show — and let's face it, some love it and some hate it, EXACTLY as it will be with this film — give director Tom Hooper credit for assembling a cast that knows its way around a stage, chief among them theater veterans Judi Dench, who can take any silliness and somehow make it genuine and moving, even in a computer-generated cat suit; her old friend Ian McKellen, who can embody an aging cat as well as he can Gandalf or Macbeth (which he once played opposite Dench); and James Corden, who, let's not forget, is a Tony-winning stage actor especially good at slapstick, which he uses here to amusing effect. With Jason Derulo, Idris Elba, Jennifer Hudson, Taylor Swift, Rebel Wilson, Francesca Hayward. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 12/). 2 hours. BC / BM / NAM / TM

FANTASTIC FUNGI

Documentary about the magical world of fungi and their power to heal, sustain and contribute to the regeneration of life on Earth. 1 hour, 27 minutes. TM

FROZEN II (PG)

Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom. If it all seems less effortless, more workmanlike than the first film, with a very complex storyline that will definitely be harder to follow for younger fans, there's plenty to like, especially the lush visuals. It's got quality, and it's got quantity. It just doesn't have the exciting, lightning-in-a-bottle feel that the wonderful original had. Perhaps that was too much to ask.With Josh Gad, Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Evan Rachel Wood, Sterling K. Brown. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 11/23). 1 hour, 44 minutes. BC / NAM

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL (PG-13)

Spencer returns to the world of Jumanji, prompting his friends, his grandfather and his grandfather's friend to enter a different and more dangerous version to save him. Whereas the original, "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle," gave its high school protagonists simplistic but serviceable story arcs about overcoming teenage insecurity, this follow-up muddles its theme of rekindled friendship. There's fun to be had revisiting the cleverly conceived world of the 2017 "Jungle," in which teenagers found themselves magically transported inside a video game. But even with a new mission, some upgrades and a lot of character swapping, we're still playing the same game over again. With Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Nick Jonas, Danny DeVito. (Floyd, The Washington Post — 12/17). 2 hours, 3 minutes. BC / BM / NAM

KNIVES OUT (PG-13)

When renowned crime novelist Harlan Thrombey (Christopher Plummer) is found dead at his estate just after his 85th birthday, the inquisitive and debonair Detective Benoit Blanc (Daniel Craig) is mysteriously enlisted to investigate. In the whodunit, too much is usually a good thing. Give us all the movie stars, plot twists and murder weapons you can find. When done well, there is almost nothing better. And in "Knives Out," while it takes a little while to find its stride, the whodunit turns out not only to still have a few moves left but to be downright acrobatic. With Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield, Ana de Armas, Don Johnson, Katherine Langford, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jaeden Martell. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 11/28). 2 hours, 10 minutes. NAM

LITTLE WOMEN (PG-13)

Drawing on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, director Greta Gerwig's take unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. There is a wild urgency to Gerwig's adaptation that hardly seems possible for a film based on a 150-year-old book. But such is the magic of combining Alcott's enduring story of those four sisters with Gerwig's deliciously feisty, evocative and clear-eyed storytelling that makes this "Little Women" a new classic. With Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, Laura Dern, Bob Odenkirk, Meryl Streep, Timothee Chalamet, James Norton, Louis Garrel. (Bahr, The Associated Press — 12/26). 2 hours, 15 minutes. BC / BM / CT / IC / NAM / TC / TM

RICHARD JEWELL (R)

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American security guard, Richard Jewell, heroically saves thousands of lives from an exploding bomb at the 1996 Olympics, but is unjustly vilified by journalists and the press who falsely report that he was a terrorist. Anchored by three top-notch performances in a story about the frightening possibility of false accusation, "Richard Jewell" is a handsomely made film. But coming as it does in 2019, its vilification of reporters and the feds is even scarier. With Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Kathy Bates, Jon Hamm, Nina Arianda, Paul Walter Hauser. (O'Sullivan, The Washington Post — 12/17). 2 hours, 11 minutes. BM

SPIES IN DISGUISE (PG)

To all appearances, the animated comedy "Spies in Disguise" is just another a rollicking sendup of superspy thrillers. As befits a movie about clandestine activity, however, there's more than meets the eye here. Hidden beneath its parodistic action-comedy exterior is a message, one that doesn't set out to merely lampoon the genre but to playfully question almost everything about it. With Will Smith, Tom Holland, Rashida Jones, Karen Gillan, DJ Khaled, Ben Mendelsohn. (Floyd, The Washington Post — 12/31). 1 hour, 43 minutes. BC / BM / NAM

STAR WARS — THE RISE OF SKYWALKER (PG-13)

a scattershot, impatiently paced, fan-servicing finale that repurposes so much of what came before that it feels as though someone searching for the hyperspace button accidentally pressed the spin cycle instead.

A laundry list of plot points cluster like an asteroid field in "Rise of Skywalker." It's a spirited, hectic and ultimately forgettable conclusion of the Skywalker saga begun 42 years ago by George Lucas. The film, for sure, tries its damnedest to come up with something. It is one busy, hardworking movie. But if anything has been proven by the many attempts to rekindle the magic of the original trilogy, it's that Lucas' cosmic amalgamation of Flash Gordon and Akira Kurosawa isn't so easily refabricated. With Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Ian McDiarmid, Billy Dee Williams, Naomi Ackie, Keri Russell, Kelly Marie Tran, Joonas Suotamo, Anthony Daniels, Mark Hamill. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 12/19). 2 hours, 22 minutes. BC / BM / NAM / TC / TM

UNCUT GEMS (R)

Howard Ratner (Adam Sandler), a charismatic New York City jeweler always on the lookout for the next big score, makes a series of high-stakes bets that could lead to the windfall of a lifetime. Sandler is capable of extraordinary range — not in the traditional, Meryl Streep sense, but a range of incredibly good ("Punch-Drunk Love") to painfully bad (the horrendous "Jack and Jill") and incredibly good again, as in this frenetic, compulsively watchable, exhausting and exhilarating collaboration with Josh and Benny Safdie. He deserves the accolades he's getting, again proving that with the right material, he has an uncanny ability to reach deep within us, despite our deep, DEEP annoyance. With Julia Fox, Lakeith Stanfield, Kevin Garnett, Idina Menzel, Eric Bogosian. (Noveck, The Associated Press — 1/1). 2 hours, 15 minutes. BM / TC

Legend

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 (86 Main St., North Adams)

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

TM: The Moviehouse (48 Main St., Millerton, N.Y.)


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