What's playing at the movies: Dec. 28 - Jan. 3

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AQUAMAN (PG-13)

As an adult, Arthur (our Aquaman to be, played by Jason Momoa) moonlights as a hero in between happy-hour trips to the bar. But he's reluctantly drawn into a struggle for the throne of the seven seas with his younger brother Orm, who's plotting a battle with "surface dwellers." "Aquaman" weighs in somewhere between the lugubrious "Justice League" and the less leaden Wonder Woman" on the uneven scales of recent DC films. To both the movie's benefit and detriment, the seas here are choppier than in the predictably (and sometimes boringly) smooth sailing of a Marvel movie. But the bright spots (Momoa, that octopus) can be difficult to really relish amid the oceans of exposition and a typically pulverizing overelaborate screenplay. With Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson. (Coyle, The Associated Press — 12/20) 2 hours, 22 minutes. BM / NAM

AT ETERNITY'S GATE (PG-13)

Director Julian Schnabel's journey inside the world and mind of a person who, despite skepticism, ridicule and illness, created some of the world's most beloved and stunning works of art. This is not a forensic biography, but rather scenes based on Vincent van Gogh's (Willem Dafoe) letters, common agreement about events in his life that present as facts, hearsay, and moments that are just plain invented. With Niels Arestrup, Patrick Chesnais, Mads Mikkelsen, Oscar Isaac, Rupert Friend. 1 hour, 51 minutes. CT

BUMBLEBEE (PG-13)

On the run in the year 1987, Bumblebee the Autobot seeks refuge in a junkyard in a small California beach town. Charlie, on the brink of turning 18 years old and trying to find her place in the world, soon discovers the battle-scarred and broken Bumblebee. When Charlie revives him, she quickly learns that this is no ordinary yellow Volkswagen. With Hailee Steinfeld, John Cena, Gracie Dzienny. 1 hour, 54 minutes. BM / NAM

DR. SEUSS' THE GRINCH (PG)

When the Whos decide to make Christmas bigger and brighter, the disgruntled Grinch realizes there is one way to gain peace and quiet. With help from Max, the green grump hatches a scheme to pose as Santa Claus, steal Christmas and silence the Whos' holiday cheer once and for all. Liberties are taken. Some are just padding, some quite mistaken. It's suggested that our old friend the Grinch is an orphan, as though that excuses inflicting misfortune. There's a new sidekick, a plump reindeer named Fred, and the remaking of Cindy's mom as unwed. Benedict Cumberbatch takes on the part, with an American accent — to give him less heart? Credit goes to the film's visual effects folk, who made fur alive and gave texture to smoke. But retreading this story with a Cumberbatch, should send Hollywood bigwigs into the booby hatch. With the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, Pharell Williams, Angela Lansbury. (Kennedy, The Associated Press — 11/9). 1 hour, 45 minutes. BM / NAM

ESCAPE ROOM (PG-13)

Lured to a mysterious room, six strangers must survive a series of elaborate traps in a sadistic game of life or death. Adam Robitel, Taylor Russell, Deborah Ann Wall. 1 hour, 40 minutes. BM

THE FAVOURITE (R)In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. A frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) occupies the throne, and her close friend Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne's ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail (Emma Stone) under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots. 1 hour, 59 minutes. TC / TM

GREEN BOOK (PG-13)

Dr. Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) is a world-class African-American pianist who's about to embark on a concert tour in the Deep South in 1962. In need of a driver and protection, Shirley recruits Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), a tough-talking bouncer from an Italian-American neighborhood in the Bronx. Despite their differences, the two men soon develop an unexpected bond while confronting racism and danger in an era of segregation. 2 hours, 10 minutes. IC

HOLMES AND WATSON (PG-13)Detective Sherlock Holmes and Dr. John Watson join forces to investigate a mysterious murder at Buckingham Palace. It seems like an open-and-shut case as all signs point to Professor James Moriarty, the criminal mastermind and longtime nemesis of the crime-solving duo. When new twists and clues begin to emerge, the world's greatest sleuth and his trusted assistant must now use their legendary wits and ingenious methods to catch the killer before the queen becomes the next victim. Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly, Ralph Fiennes, Rebecca Hall, Kelly Macdonald. 1 hour, 30 minutes. BM

MARY POPPINS RETURNS (PG)

The mysterious Mary Poppins returns to Depression-era London to visit Jane and her brother Michael, now a father of three, and helps them rediscover the joy they knew as children. With Emily Blunt, Dick Van Dyke, Lin-Manuel Miranda. 2 hours, 11 minutes. BM / CT / NAM / TC / TM

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (R)

Queen of France at 16 and widowed at 18, Mary Stuart defies pressure to remarry. Instead, she returns to her native Scotland to reclaim her rightful throne. But Scotland and England fall under the rule of the compelling Elizabeth I. Each young Queen beholds her sister in fear and fascination. Rivals in power and in love, and female regents in a masculine world, the two must decide how to play the game of marriage versus independence. With Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Jack Lowden. 2 hours, 4 minutes. TC / TM

MORTAL ENGINES (PG-13)

Hundreds of years after civilization was destroyed by a cataclysmic event, a mysterious young woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), emerges as the only one who can stop London — now a giant, predator city on wheels — from devouring everything in its path. With Robert Sheehan, Hugo Weaving. 2 hours, 8 minutes. BM

RALPH BREAKS

THE INTERNET (PG)

Video game bad guy Ralph and fellow misfit Vanellope von Schweetz must risk it all by traveling to the World Wide Web in search of a replacement part to save Vanellope's video game, "Sugar Rush." In way over their heads, Ralph and Vanellope rely on the citizens of the internet -- the netizens -- to help navigate their way.It would be better if this sequel wrestled more with the online world than used it as another bits and bytes background. Really, it doesn't quite live up to the title. Ralph could have done more damage. With the voices of John C. Reilly, Sarah Silverman. 1 hour, 54 minutes. NAM

SECOND ACT (PG-13)

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Value Shop assistant manager Maya Vargas (Jennifer Lopez) wants only one thing for her 43rd birthday -- a promotion. While her resume may not scream upper management, her track record certainly does. Vargas is an innovator who listens to her customers and delivers results. When she loses the job to a college-educated candidate, Maya sets out to prove to Madison Avenue that street smarts are as valuable as book smarts -- and it's never too late for a second act. With Vanessa Hudgens, Leah Remini. 1 hour, 45 minutes. BM

SHOPLIFTERS (R)

In this Palme d'Or winning film from Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, shoplifting is a way of life for the Shibata clan, a poor, multi-generational family, living on the seeming brink of homelessness in a tiny apartment somewhere in Tokyo where they sleep two and three to a mat and they're about to add yet another mouth to feed to their cramped settings. 2 hours, 1 minute. LC

SPIDER-MAN: INTO

THE SPIDER-VERSE (PG)

Bitten by a radioactive spider in the subway, Brooklyn teenager Miles Morales suddenly develops mysterious powers that transform him into the one and only Spider-Man. When he meets Peter Parker, he soon realizes that there are many others who share his special, high-flying talents. Miles must now use his newfound skills to battle the evil Kingpin, a hulking madman who can open portals to other universes and pull different versions of Spider-Man into our world. With Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Hailee Steinfeld. 1 hour, 56 minutes. BM / NAM

THE MULE (R)

Broke, alone and facing foreclosure on his business, 90-year-old horticulturist Earl Stone (Clint Eastwood) takes a job as a drug courier for a Mexican cartel. His immediate success leads to easy money and a larger shipment that soon draws the attention of hard-charging DEA agent Colin Bates (Bradley Cooper). When Earl's past mistakes start to weigh heavily on his conscience, he must decide whether to right those wrongs before law enforcement and cartel thugs catch up to him. 1 hour, 56 minutes. BM

VICE (R)

Gov. George W. Bush of Texas picks Dick Cheney (Christian Bale), the CEO of Halliburton Co., to be his Republican running mate in the 2000 presidential election. No stranger to politics, Cheney's impressive resume includes stints as White House chief of staff, House Minority Whip and defense secretary. When Bush wins by a narrow margin, Cheney begins to use his newfound power to help reshape the country and the world. With Amy Adams and Steve Carell. 2 hours and 12 minutes. BM / NAM / TC / TM

VOX LUX (R)

Celeste is a 13-year-old music prodigy who survives a horrific school shooting in Staten Island, N.Y., in 1999. Her talent shines through during the memorial service when she sings a song that touches the hearts of the mourners. Guided by her sister and a talent manager, the young phenom transforms into a rising pop star with a promising future. Eighteen years later, Celeste now finds herself on the comeback trail when a scandal, personal struggles and the pitfalls of fame threaten her career. Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Raffey Cassidy. 1 hour, 54 minutes. IC

WELCOME TO MARWEN (PG-13)

When a devastating attack shatters Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell) and wipes away all memories, no one expected recovery. Putting together pieces from his old and new life, Mark meticulously creates a wondrous town where he can heal and be heroic. As he builds an astonishing art installation — a testament to the most powerful women he knows — through his fantasy world, he draws strength to triumph in the real one. With Eiza Gonzalez and Leslie Mann. 1 hour, 56 minutes. BM / NAM

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 (80 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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