47 Meters Down
In this shark thriller, a recently dumped Lisa (Mandy Moore) thinks an Instagram post during a trip to Mexico will get her boyfriend back. That gives you a pretty solid idea of the movie’s depth. Still, 3D rendering of some massive sharks and impressive special effects does provide some scare value to compensate for the surreally awkward dialogue between Lisa and her adventurous sister, Kate (Claire Holt). Kate convinces her sister that a shark-diving selfie will show her ex what he’s missing. Once the rope holding the protective cage snaps, the sisters tumble into the ocean’s depths, as does the remaining feasibility of the film. Director Johannes Roberts makes redeeming efforts with the visuals on the ocean floor, using tight shots on their masks within the claustrophobic cage, and expanding to the vast open ocean around them when they make a break for it. Nothing but little specks show movement in the blue abyss, until a pair of gnashing, open jaws suddenly appear. Regardless of the eyebrow-raising leaps, like Lisa’s underwater air tank swap, those seeking the heart-pumping adrenaline of a summer shark flick won’t be disappointed. PG-13. LAUREN TERRY. Critic’s Rating: 2/4 stars. Bridgeport, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Oak Grove, Tigard, Vancouver.
Early in this addition to Pixar’s world of anthropomorphized automobiles, race car Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) winds up battered, discouraged and covered in a very unflattering coat of primer. He looks ready for retirement—which is ironic, since the movie pulses with youthful energy. That’s thanks largely to Cruz Ramirez (Cristela Alonzo), a jaunty sports car who becomes Lightning’s trainer after he’s beaten by the smug Jackson Storm (who speaks in the oily voice of Armie Hammer). Motivated either by rage or memories of The Lone Ranger, Lightning wants to see Storm relegated to second place. Yet he realizes he can do something more meaningful by mentoring the gifted-but-insecure Cruz. That revelation transforms Cars 3 into a tribute to the bonds shared by teachers and students, albeit with a slapstick demolition derby scene dominated by a comically sinister school bus. Yet it’s Pixar’s gift for imbuing inanimate objects with humanity that makes you care when Cruz and Lightning lean into the curves. G. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Critic’s rating: 4/4 stars. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division, Eastport, Lloyd, Pioneer Place, Tigard, Vancouver.
The Bad Batch
In director Ana Lily Amirpour’s follow-up to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night, Suki Waterhouse wanders around a post-apocalyptic desert inhabited by the like of cannibals and a psychedelic cult leader played by Keanu Reeves. Coincidentally, the gory, surreal horror movie features music by Portland band Federale. R. Hollywood Theatre.
The Book of Henry Directed by Colin Trevorrow’s (Jurassic World), The Book of Henry tells the story of Henry (Jaeden Lieberher), a cute, dying, 11-year-old genius who lives next door to Christina (Maddie Ziegler), another cute kid with an abusive stepfather (Dean Norris). It’s the kind of movie where anything that’s not “nice”—alcoholism, mourning the death of a child, buying a gun—is made to look quirky and magical, including the frazzled scenes where Henry’s mother (Naomi Watts) plots to murder Christina’s stepfather. And while this bout of vigilantism yields some sweat-worthy suspense, the film’s mashing of whimsy and skin-crawling terror is grating and seem to cynically milk tragedy for entertainment. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Critic’s Rating: 1/4 stars. Bridgeport, City Center, Clackamas, Eastport, Fox Tower.