Does “Bumblebee” (Paramount) deserve a lot of buzz? While it shares the slightly preposterous premise of all the “Transformers” movies — being concerned, as they are, with alien robots who can shapeshift into cars — this installment of the sci-fi action franchise ranks above average thanks to an emotionally appealing story line.
Director Peter Jackson, best known for helming “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” trilogies, ventures far from Middle Earth in his innovative documentary on the First World War, “They Shall Not Grow Old” (Warner Bros.).
Old people are inherently cute and Drug Enforcement Administration agents reflexively racist in “The Mule” (Warner Bros.).
The phrase “a city on the move” is usually just an expression. Not so in “Mortal Engines” (Universal), director Christian Rivers’ screen version of Philip Reeve’s novel for young adults.
Somebody over at 20th Century Fox — or, perhaps, someone in Marvel Comics’ real-life universe — came up with the following idea: Let’s slightly rework this year’s “Deadpool 2” in order to have it qualify for a less restrictive rating from the Motion Picture Association of America than the original R, let’s market it to a broader audience over the holidays and let’s give away a portion of the proceeds to charity.
This innovative but noisy and frenetic animated take on the Marvel Comics saga features one novice web-slinger and a quintet of alternate versions of the title character who arrive on Earth from other dimensions. The resulting adventure is not for the easily jangled or the littlest tots. But it is otherwise suitable for a wide audience.
To reinforce the proposition that Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy were, and still are, sacred icons of film comedy, the pitch-perfect, affectionately nostalgic “Stan & Ollie” (Sony Classics) reproduces their 1953 arrival in Cobh, Ireland, during what would be their last tour of British music halls.
Moviegoers under 33 take note: You had yet to be born when “Rocky IV,” the 1985 film that hovers in the background of the sports drama “Creed II” (MGM), was released.
The burly demolition specialist who lent his name to 2012’s “Wreck-It Ralph” returns to the big screen in the sweet animated follow-up “Ralph Breaks the Internet” (Disney). So too does the best friend he acquired in the first outing, diminutive race car driver Vanellope von Schweetz.
“Green Book” (Universal) opens with a singer in the Copacabana nightclub in New York belting out “That Old Black Magic.” Therein lies its flaw.
For a film about magic, 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” was strangely lacking in enchantment. So it’s welcome news that the follow-up, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald” (Warner Bros.) is sharper and more engaging, though defects remain.