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Movie Reviews

Phoenix rises on an astounding performance
      Just released from a mental institution after a breakdown and afflicted with hysterical laughter when he feels stress, Arthur Fleck (Joaquin Phoenix) is unappreciated. He believes himself destined to be a comedian, but the only job he can get is as a clown.       To escape his grim reality, he and his infirm mother watch talk show host Murray Franklin (Robert De Niro) obsessively, Arthur fantasizing about being a guest on the show.

Renée Zellweger’s Judy Garland reclaims the spotlight

     Nineteen-sixty-eight finds Judy Garland (Renée Zellweger) trying to outrun a ruined reputation. She’s considered past her prime, unemployable and unreliable. Deeply in debt, she needs money to keep her children in a custody dispute. 
Brad Pitt journeys to the ends of the solar system to get over his daddy issues
     In the near future, space remains the final frontier. Bases have been established on the moon and Mars, but scientists are still trying to make contact with intelligent life beyond our stars. Decorated astronaut Cliff McBride (Tommy Lee Jones) volunteers to lead a mission to the outer orbit of Neptune to send signals into deep space.       Apparently true to his vows to not return until he’s made first contact, Cliff is hailed as a dead hero.
A woman finds her stride in this surprisingly emotional comedy
     Brittany (Jillian Bell) is jogging in place, metaphorically. While her friends are flourishing with families and careers, Brittany still parties every night and works the same dead-end job she’s had for years. It’s not the life she wants, but it’s the life she thinks she deserves. 

A great cast can’t overcome a meandering script in this tepid horror sequel`

      Twenty-seven years ago, an evil clown feasted on the children of the remote town of Derry, Maine. A band of kids calling themselves The Losers Club beat the beast.      Or so they thought.      Now Pennywise (Bill Skarsgård) is back.

Saccharine story; great leads

As an adult with Down syndrome and no family, Zak (Zack Gottsagen, making his feature debut) is a man without a place. He’s too old for children’s homes and too vulnerable for rehab centers. He winds up in a state-run nursing home.     He is popular with both staff and residents, but at 22 he doesn’t want to waste his life in a nursing home. He dreams of becoming a professional wrestler, like his hero The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church). Where he wants to be is at wrestling school in North Carolina.
Three classics on the job
     For your after-work leisure hours, Bay Weekly Moviegoer Diana Beechener chose three classic takes on hating, loving and obsessing about work.    9 to 5
Marrying rich isn’t the same as marrying well in this clever horror flick
      The wedding hosted by the Le Domas family for their youngest son Alex (Mark O’Brien) and his bride Grace (Samara Weaving) was fabulous. It’s the Le Domas wedding night tradition for the newcomer to draw a card at random and play a game with the family. She selects Hide and Seek.      This turns out to be a tragic selection. That card requires the family to hunt her down and sacrifice her to Satan. Talk about bad luck! 

Three tweens make us laugh while learning the ins and outs of the grownup world

      Tweens Max (Jacob Tremblay), Thor (Brady Noon) and Lucas (Keith L. Williams) call themselves the Beanbag Boys. Best friends since they were five, they happily fill their days with roleplaying, hiding from Thor’s creepy little sister and trying to puzzle out the grownup world. 
Scary snakes are more believable than the story 
     Mara (Alice Englert) follows the dogma of her father Lemuel (Walton Goggins), the preacher of an Appalachian Pentecostal community that proves their faith by handling venomous snakes.        Lapsed believer Augie (Thomas Mann) wants Mara to leave the mountain with him for the bigger world. She fears that people off the mountain are under the devil’s sway.