Is “Coco” loco? “Three Billboards” ad up? “Last Flag Flying?” “The Man Who Invented Christmas?” Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The popcorn is overflowing this week! Shawn and Russ pass out the treats just in time for your Thanksgiving movie-going!

 

1) COCO (PG)

Disney/Pixar

 

RUSS

Pixar scores yet again with “Coco,” a richly animated fantasy about a young boy who travels to the great beyond during Mexico’s yearly Day of the Dead festivities. As usual, the magicians at Pixar expertly manipulate viewers’ hearts and funny bones simultaneously.

 

SHAWN

Yes, "Coco" is one of Pixar's very best. But it's a lot more than just an animated feature. It's a celebration of animation, culture and family. It's all beautifully imagined and perfectly executed. This is one of the best movies of the year animated or otherwise.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

 

2) THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI (R)

Fox Searchlight

 

RUSS

Although filmed in North Carolina, Martin McDonaugh’s bitterly funny and profane comic drama “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri” has a very dark “show me” attitude. McDormand plays a woman who posts billboards to prod Sheriff Woody Harrelson into investigating the rape and murder of her daughter.

 

SHAWN

The film's comedy is super dark. I'm taking pitch black. So much so you don't realize how brutally nasty the proceedings are in "Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri." But there is also a tenderness and a beauty in the way this story is told.

 

RUSS

McDormand, Harrelson and Sam Rockwell are instant Oscar contenders. Smart, extremely disturbing and vividly told, “Three Billboards” is one of the year’s best films.

 

SHAWN

It's possibly the best movie of the year. Keenly written and superbly acted. I am predicting that his movie wins Best Picture.

 

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 5 Popcorn Bags

 

 

3) LAST FLAG FLYING (R)

Amazon Studios

RUSS

“Last Flag Flying” is a respectable and well-acted drama from filmmaker Richard Linklater about three Vietnam Vets played by Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, who go on a road trip to bury Carell’s son, a soldier killed in the Iraq War.

 

SHAWN

"Last Flag Flying" presents a different look at war. I appreciated this movie more than I actually like it. There is way too much talking and it stalls out a bit but Cranston, Carroll and Fishburne are fantastic together.

 

RUSS

While it’s meandering and quirky, the cast hoists this flag with aplomb.

 

SHAWN

I did find its timeliness hauntingly chilling.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

 

4) THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS (PG)

Bleeker Street

 

RUSS

“The Man Who Invented Christmas” tells the story of how Charles Dickens came to write “A Christmas Carol.” Dan Stevens gives a stagy performance as Dickens, but Christopher Plummer is just right as his imaginary Scrooge. It’s a sweet, low-key movie bonbon that never quite rings true.

 

SHAWN

It's charming and cute but really lacks a magical feeling.

 

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

5) NOVITIATE (R)

Sony Pictures Classics

“Novitiate” chronicles a young woman’s spiritual struggles to be come a nun in 1964. Melissa Leo’s scary turn as the stern Mother Superior is the main attraction in this earnest but sometimes melodramatic effort.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

 

ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK: Denzel Washington stars in “Roman J. Esquire,” a thriller about an activist defense attorney. “Sweet Virginia” is a suspense drama set in a remote area of Alaska. Jon Bernthal stars. “The Square” is a comic drama set in the art world that won the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival.

 

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