Scream

Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAXDavenport IA

FilmScene, Iowa City IA

Marcus Sycamore CinemaIowa City IA

Putnam Museum & Science Center, Davenport IA

Regal MolineMoline IL

(Hyperlinked titles take you to Reader reviews; IMDb hyperlinks take you to the films’ Internet Movie Database pages.)

***

The 355 (PG-13; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - Even though Simon Kinberg's direction is resolutely bland, and even though his and Theresa Rebeck's screenplay is perfunctory at best and groan-worthy at worst, it's not at all difficult to enjoy yourself at this hodgepodge tale of espionage, betrayal, and hastily procured designer gowns. IMDb listing.

American Underdog (PG; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - While this football bio-pic might not offer much in the way of narrative surprise, especially if you're familiar with the Kurt Warner legend, it makes up for its formulaic predictability with sincerity and endearing performances. IMDb listing.

Back from the Brink: Saved from Extinction (not rated; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - An edu-doc that would be recommended solely for the chance, for 40 minutes, to actually feel momentarily great about the state of the human race. IMDb listing.

Bangarraju (not rated; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX) - IMDb listing.

Belle (PG; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, FilmScene at the Chauncey) - IMDb listing.

Drive My Car (not rated; FilmScene at the Chauncey) - Over the course of this Japanese drama's three hours, I'm not sure that a second passed in which I wasn't utterly riveted. I'm frankly surprised I remembered to blink. IMDb listing.

Encanto (PG; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - The songs in Disney's animated musical do precisely what expert musical numbers always should – they simultaneously reveal character and further the plot – and they bring an extra level of soul-lifting magic to a movie that would already have been plenty magical without them. IMDb listing.

Ghostbusters: Afterlife (PG-13; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline) - It would be wonderful to report that Jason Reitman's sequel to his dad's comedy classic was nothing more, or less, than goofy dumb fun. But if you only smile four times (I counted) over the course of two hours, I'm not sure that qualifies as having fun. IMDb listing.

Hero (not rated; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX) - IMDb listing.

A Hero (PG-13; FilmScene on the Ped Mall) - IMDb listing.

House of Gucci (R; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - Lady Gaga is a bona fide movie star, but while her electric spark and charisma keep you invested, enjoying the diva's routines here also means putting up with so much elseIMDb listing.

Into America's Wild (not rated; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - IMDb listing.

Julia (PG-13; FilmScene at the Chauncey) - IMDb listing.

The King's Man (R; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - Despite Ralph Fiennes' heroic work, this is a prequel that involves Grigori Rasputin, Mata Hari, and a one-minute role for Stanley Tucci that still manages to be almost no fun at all. IMDb listing.

Licorice Pizza (R; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, FilmScene on the Ped Mal) - Paul Thomas Anderson's latest is like the movie version of a chocolate-covered pretzel: salty and sweet, and something that, once consumed, makes you instantly crave more. IMDb listing.

The Matrix Resurrections (R; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline) - Massively produced and modestly winning, this sci-fi sequel is also deeply unnecessary yet unexpectedly charming, and should ensure that the red pill/blue pill debate continues at least until we enter these particular realms again. IMDb listing.

Oceans (G; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - This edu-doc is a little bland, but it's hard to be too disappointed by a film that provides so many extraordinary sights. IMDb listing.

Scream (R; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - While this latest, incessantly meta horror-comedy sequel is frequently clever and easily watchable, it also kept reminding me, unfortunately, that there's a fine line between smart and smarty-pants. IMDb listing.

Sing 2 (PG; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - The Alice in Wonderland opener delivers a jazzy re-introduction to writer/director Garth Jennings' show-biz wannabes, whose new film is understandably less inventive, but decidedly more satisfying, than its 2016 predecessor. IMDb listing.

Spider-Man: No Way Home (PG-13; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - Jon Watts' third showcase for Tom Holland's Spider-Man is an initially dreary, ultimately exhilarating love letter to Marvel fans. IMDb listing.

Summer of 85 (not rated; FilmScene on the Ped Mall: Thursday, January 20, 6:30 p.m.) - IMDb listing.

Super Sharanya (not rated; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX) - IMDb listing.

Superpower Dogs (G; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - Writer/director Daniel Ferguson provides enough globe-trotting action for a James Bond flick, and we're given just enough information on how the heroic pups pull off their feats of derring-do to wholly appreciate them in practice. IMDb listing.

Titans of the Ice Age (not rated; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - Gorgeously photographed and boasting perhaps the finest CGI I've ever seen in a National Geographic doc, the film is both informative and a heck of a lot of fun. IMDb listing.

The Tragedy of Macbeth (R; FilmScene on the Ped Mall) - In perhaps a first for my personal acquaintance with this much-cherished Shakespeare saga, I didn't feel anything – aside from respect for its designers – while watching it. IMDb listing.

The Velvet Vampire (R; FilmScene at the Chauncey: Wednesday, January 19, 10 p.m.) - IMDb listing.

Vemon: Let There Be Carnage (PG-13; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline) - At least it's not the 2018 Venom, meaning that this one occasionally doesn't suck. IMDb listing.

West Side Story (PG-13; Davenport 53rd 18 + IMAX, Regal Moline, Marcus Sycamore Cinema) - Happily, and gratefully, Steven Spielberg's musical remake is a film clearly made by people who both adore its 60-year-old predecessor and still saw 21st-century room for improvement. IMDb listing.

Wild Africa 3D: An Extraordinary Journey (not rated; Putnam Museum & Science Center) - IMDb listing.

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