Christmas week means a mega-download of new releases, including everything from Oscar-bait dramas to escapist fantasy and light comedy.
Gary Oldman (pictured) might be the front-runner for Best Actor playing Winston Churchill in Darkest Hour
, but the story itself is more showy than insightful. The a cappella Bellas return in Pitch Perfect 3
for a story that practically mocks its own existence. The Norwegian thriller Thelma
brings terrific filmmaking, but falls just short with its uneven allegory about repression. Downsizing
might be pitched as a fantasy about a world of shrunken Americans, waiting too long before revealing its true intentions.
Eric D. Snider praises Jessica Chastain's performance in the uneven but entertaining biopic Molly's Game
. A lack of focus hinders the fact-based story of greedy billionaire in All the Money in the World
MaryAnn Johanson notes that weak attempts at humor and world without any clear stakes doom Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Also opening this week, but not reviewed: A pair of brothers search for their biological dad in Father Figures.
In this week's feature review, knowing it's a movie musical with Hugh Jackman as P. T. Barnum should tell you all you need to know about whether you want to see The Greatest Showman