Capsule reviews of feature filmsJune 14, 2018 8:46am

June 13-- ADRIFT. 1 star. Dead in the water sea-faring adventure/survival yarn, based on a true story, about a couple (Shailene Woodley, Sam Claflin) sailing across the Pacific when a storm disables the boat and causes serious injury. A nice-looking movie, but the love-story chemistry between the two leads is poor. 2 hrs. PG-13 (violence)-Gary Thompson

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR. 2.5 stars. A heaping 156-minute plate of plot spaghetti, as superheroes and supervillains chase six objects across time and space in a bid to control ultimate power in the universe. Just enough moments of humor to keep things watchable, but the movie is overcrowded with Avengers (Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chadwick Boseman, and others) and subplots and the movie feels like a comedown after Black Panther. 2 hrs. 36 PG-13 (language)-Gary Thompson

BOOK CLUB. 2 stars. Tepid comedy about four women (Candice Bergen, Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen) who read "Fifty Shades of Grey" and are inspired to re-introduce passion to their lives, with mixed and purportedly comic results. With Don Johnson, Craig T. Nelson, Richard Dreyfuss, Ed Begley Jr. and Wallace Shawn. 1 hr. 44 PG-13 (language)-Gary Thompson

DEADPOOL 2. 3 stars. More darkly comic adventures about a superhero (Ryan Reynolds) who can't die, but sometimes wants to. Also more rapid-fire, snarky R-rated jokes and movie buff in-jokes, with more attention paid this time to physical comedy and inventive stunts (courtesy director David Leitch, a former stuntman). With Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Julian Dennison 2 hrs. R (violence)-Gary Thompson

THE DEATH OF STALIN. 3.5 stars. Writer-director Armando Iannucci's caustic black comedy is set in 1953, in the days surrounding the death of the murderous Soviet tyrant, but the scramble for power depicted, with its competing factions and "false narratives," is very much in tune with the craven political age of alternative facts and fake news. The deft comic cast includes Steve Buscemi, Simon Russell Beale, Michael Palin and Jason Isaacs. 1 hr. 44 R (language, violence)-Gary Thompson

DISOBEDIENCE. 2.5 stars. When a secular woman (Rachel Weisz) returns to her London orthodox neighborhood to attend the funeral of her rabbi father, the resurfacing forbidden passions spell trouble for the marriage of the rabbi's heir apparent (Alessandro Nivola). Soapy story elements clash with the movie's serious minded approach. With Rachel McAdams. 1 hr. 50 R (nudity)-Gary Thompson

FIRST REFORMED. 3.5 stars. Engrossing story of a bored, despairing country preacher (Ethan Hawke) who is spiritually awakened when called upon to counsel a young parishioner (Phillip Ettinger) who is considering an act of environmental terrorism, to the alarm of his wife (Amanda Seyfried). Uncommonly well-written by director Paul Schrader, and well acted by Hawke, Ettinger and a cast that includes Cedric the Entertainer. 1 hr. R (violence)-Gary Thompson

I FEEL PRETTY. 2 stars. Misfire about a woman (Amy Schumer) with low self-esteem who gets bonked on the head and wakes up thrilled with herself, exhibiting a sudden confidence that makes her attractive to men (Rory Scovel) and colleagues (Michelle Williams), helping her love life and career. The movie's central conceit is poorly dramatized, and the concept seems awkwardly retrofitted to accommodate Schumer's brash persona. 1 hr. 50 PG-13 (language)-Gary Thompson

ISLE OF DOGS. 3 stars. Droll stop-motion animation from Wes Anderson about a Japanese boy looking for his pet on an island full of trash and banished dogs. A bit of a shaggy dog tale, but the craftsmanship is first-rate. Featuring the voices of Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton and Liev Schreiber. 1 hr. 32 PG-13-Gary Thompson

LIFE OF THE PARTY. 2 stars. Mostly a misfire for Melissa McCarthy, starring in this one as a prim homemaker who cuts loose on campus after her husband files for divorce and she decides to re-enroll in college, studying alongside her daughter. WIth Maya Rudolph, Jacki Weaver, Stephen Root. Directed by Ben Falcone. 1 hr. 45 PG-13 (language)-Gary Thompson

OVERBOARD. 2 stars. Good-natured but under-written remake of the Kurt Russell/Goldie Hawn original. The genders are reversed and the story has been retrofitted to accommodate Mexican comedy star Eugenio Derbez, an arrogant playboy who gets amnesia and thinks he's the husband of the cleaning lady (Anna Faris) he's offended. Cross-cultural and bilingual, with Spanish dialogue subtitled in English. Eva Longoria co-stars. 1 hr. 50 PG-13 (brief nudity)-Gary Thompson

POPE FRANCIS: A MAN OF HIS WORD. 3 stars. Director Wim Wenders weaves candid interviews with Pope Francis with footage gathered over two years of the pontiff's travels (including his visit to Philadephia). Wenders makes effective use of in-person interviews, which convey the charm and persuasiveness that have helped make the Pope an international icon. The film also highlights some of Francis' priorities, and links them to the history of St. Francis of Assisi, the Pope's inspiration. 1 hr. 36 No MPAA rating-Gary Thompson

A QUIET PLACE. 2.5 stars. Generally effective horror movie about a farm family (John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Millicent Simmonds) trying to survive killer aliens that attack anyone who makes a sound. Easy to poke holes in the premise, but writer-director Krasinski makes the most out of the horror-movie hook. 1 hr. 30 PG-13 (violence)-Gary Thompson

RGB. 3 stars. Brisk, informative, often moving documentary about Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, at its best when recounting her remarkable biography, and the successful legal arguments she has made to advance women's rights in the United States. With Gloria Steinem. Directed by Betsy West and Julie Cohen. 1 hr. 37 PG-Gary Thompson

THE SEAGULL. 2.5 stars. Clipped-wing version of the Anton Chekhov play shortens the drama, with mixed results. Annette Bening has a showcase role as Irina, a famous actress who owns the country estate where misdirected passions and unrequited love cause tragicomic problems during the summer season. Some nice scenes for Bening and a few for Saoirse Ronan, but there is disappointingly little left for some of the high-profile supporting players, like Elisabeth Moss. 1 hr. 36. PG-13 (violence)-Gary Thompson

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 2.5 stars Director Ron Howard took over for Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and the change in leadership is sometimes reflected in the uncertain tone of the movie, which aims to recapture the spirit of the original trilogy while telling the origin story of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). Once the movie picks up steam, though, Howard keeps the action-serial momentum going, and fans get a fuller accounting of events mentioned in the first trilogy. Also, Han meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and Lando (Donald Glover). Co-starring Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton. 2 hrs. 23 PG-13 (violence)-Gary Thompson

TULLY. 3.5 stars. Alternately heart-wrenching and funny collaboration from director Jason Reitman and screenwriter Diablo Cody (the two also made Juno and Young Adult) about a mother with two children and another on the way who is overwhelmed until she gets unexpected help from a super-competent nanny (Mackenzie Davis). With Ron Livingston. 1 hr. 34 R (language)-Gary Thompson

UPGRADE. 2.5 stars. Hampered a bit by a low budget, but there are some decent updates to old formula in this sci-fi actioner about a paralyzed man (Logan Marshall-Green) whose mobility is restored and improved by an AI implant that also makes him omniscient and super-agile, tools that come in handy as he avenges the attack that disabled him. Written and directed by Leigh Whannell. 1 hr. 40 R (violence)-Gary Thompson

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