Reviews by Richard Roeper, unless otherwise noted.

Heads Up

11th Annual Backcountry Film Festival — Winter Wildlands Alliance and Discover Your Forest co-host the 11th Annual Backcountry Film Festival featuring nine short films showcasing fresh air and fresh powder. This film screens at 7 p.m. tonight at Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend. Cost is $10. Running time unknown. (No MPAA rating).

— Synopsis from Winter Wildlands Alliance

The Best of RiffTrax Live: “The Room” — Originally riffed in May, 2015, this instant classic features the RiffTrax comedians — Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett — hurling their wisecracking humor at perhaps the most baffling and hilarious independent film ever produced. This film screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $12.50. 110 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

Bolshoi Ballet: “The Taming of the Shrew” — French choreographer Jean-Christophe Maillot’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy was staged exclusively for the Bolshoi. Many suitors dream of marrying the lovely and docile Bianca, including Luciento. However her father will not let anyone marry her before her elder sister, the ill-tempered shrew Katharina, is herself married. This film screens at 12:55 p.m. Sunday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $18 for adults and $15 for seniors and children (11 and under). 125 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

“E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” — In this 1982 sci-fi classic from director Steven Spielberg a troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world. Part of Deschutes Public Library’s “Know Space” program. This film screens at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Tin Pan Theater in Bend. Admission is free, no registration required. 115 minutes. (PG)

— Synopsis from

“Fifty Shades of Black” — A comedy that parodies the popular novel and film series, “Fifty Shades of Grey,” starring Marlon Wayans in the role of Mr. Black. Also stars Kali Hawk, Jane Seymour and Mike Epps. This film opens Jan. 29 with early screenings Thursday. 93 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“The Finest Hours” — The remarkable true story of the greatest small boat rescue in Coast Guard history. On February 18, 1952, a massive nor’easter struck an oil tanker bound for Boston, which was literally ripped in half, trapping more than 30 sailors inside its rapidly-sinking stern. Despite overwhelming odds, four men, led by Coast Guard Captain Bernie Webber (Chris Pine), set out in a wooden lifeboat with an ill-equipped engine and little, if any, means of navigation, facing frigid temperatures, 60-foot high waves and hurricane-force winds. This film opens Jan. 29 with early screenings Thursday and also screens in 3-D. 117 minutes. (PG-13)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“Florence and the Uffizi Gallery” — A multi-dimensional journey through a city that was once the cradle of the Italian Renaissance. Get an exclusive tour through the most beautiful and representative works of art of the period from Michelangelo and Brunelleschi, to Leonardo and Botticelli, with a detailed central chapter dedicated to the very treasure house containing their masterpieces: the Uffizi Gallery. This film screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX in Bend. Cost is $15. 100 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Synopsis from Fathom Events

“Raven’s Touch” — Blaming herself for a tragic accident, Raven Michaels secludes herself at a remote family cabin. In a last ditch attempt to save her family, Kate Royce takes her two teenagers camping far from the distractions of technology and young romance. When Raven and Kate’s worlds collide they offer each other unexpected opportunities for intimacy and healing. Presented by LGBT Stars and Rainbows. This film screens at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Volcanic Theatre Pub in Bend. Cost is $5. Running time unknown. (No MPAA rating).

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“The Wiz” — Dorothy, a young African-American kindergarten teacher leaves a large family dinner one night to chase after her dog during a New York City snowstorm and gets swept up by a cyclone and transplanted to the urban version of the land of Oz. This films screens at 7:30 p.m. tonight at Rodriquez Annex, Jefferson County Library, Madras. Admission is free. 135 minutes. (G)

— Synopsis from


“The 5th Wave” — An alien race takes over the planet and starts eradicating the human species in a series of waves that destroy infrastructure, environment and health. The panicked surviving humans band together in the woods until their children are rounded up by the army for “protection.” Teen Cassie (Chloe Grace Moretz) escapes the collection and sets out to find her little brother, Sam, ostensibly to return his stuffed bear. The twists and turns of the plot are telegraphed from miles away, so there’s not an ounce of suspense. On the surface, “The 5th Wave” is mindlessly silly enough, but has a weirdly virulent pro-gun, libertarian streak just under the surface. Rating: One and a half stars. 112 minutes. (PG-13)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“The Boy” — Greta (Lauren Cohan) is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family’s 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy, as a way to cope with the death of their actual son 20 years prior. After violating a list of strict rules, a series of disturbing and inexplicable events bring Greta’s worst nightmare to life, leading her to believe that the doll is actually alive. 97 minutes. (PG-13)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“Dirty Grandpa” — Jason Kelly (Zac Efron) is one week away from marrying his boss’s uber-controlling daughter, putting him on the fast track for a partnership at the law firm. However, when the straight-laced Jason is tricked into driving his foul-mouthed grandfather, Dick (Robert De Niro), to Daytona for spring break, his pending nuptials are suddenly in jeopardy. 102 minutes. (R)

— Synopsis from the film’s website

“Theeb” — With its sun-baked vistas, deep-seated impulses of honor and vengeance and a lone hero doing battle with nameless outlaws, “Theeb” often resembles a story worthy of Sergio Leone, reimagined by way of the widescreen sweep of “Lawrence of Arabia.” Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat plays the title character, a boy of around 10 who lives with his older brother Hussein and a group of their fellow Bedouins in 1916 Arabia. When an itinerant guide and a British soldier ask Hussein to guide them to a well along an old trail to Mecca, Theeb tags along, embarking on a journey that will test him physically and mentally in ways he can’t imagine.In Arabic with subtitles. Rating: Three stars. 100 minutes. (No MPAA rating)

— Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post


“13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” — Michael Bay’s tribute to CIA contractors who resisted a terrorist attack in Libya is no “Zero Dark Thirty” or “The Hurt Locker.” Lacking in nuance and occasionally plagued by corny dialogue, “13 Hours” is nonetheless a solid action thriller with well-choreographed battle sequences and strong work from the ensemble cast. Rating: Three stars. 144 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip” — “The Road Chip” is basically an overlong metaphor for the beauty of blended families. (Does it matter that the Chipmunks are not real children? Only in a court of law.) The movie does nothing special or surprising, but it doesn’t particularly offend, either. Grown-ups may impatiently tap their feet and roll their eyes at the rote storytelling, but it’s not the worst way to spend an afternoon with the kids. Rating: Two stars. 90 minutes. (PG)

— Caitlin Moore, The Washington Post

“The Big Short” — Christian Bale, Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling star as oddballs (based on real-life individuals) who foresee the housing bubble’s burst and set out to profit from it. Directed with feverish ingenuity, this is one of the best times I’ve had at the movies all year. Rating: Four stars.130 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Bridge of Spies” — Steven Spielberg has taken the largely forgotten 1960 exchange of U.S. and Soviet spies and turned it into a gripping character study and thriller that feels a bit like a John Le Carre adaptation if Frank Capra were at the controls. Tom Hanks, in full modern-day Jimmy Stewart mode, stars as the genial U.S. negotiator. Rating: Four stars. 142 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“Brooklyn” — Soaring, swooning and gently nostalgic, “Brooklyn” takes melodrama to a new level of reassuring simplicity and emotional transparency. The exquisite adaptation of Colm Tóibín’s novel about a young Irish woman immigrating to America in the early 1950s dispenses with trendy flourishes and sniffy commentary to deliver the kind of movie that Hollywood rarely makes anymore: a sincere, unabashedly tender coming-of-age tale that, for all its deep feeling and wrenching twists and turns, never gives in to sentimentality or maudlin theatrics. Rating: Four stars. 111 minutes. (PG-13)

— Ann Hornaday, The Washington Post

“Carol” — As women acting on a mutual attraction in 1950s Manhattan, Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara make for one of the most intriguing and memorable movie couples of the year. Todd Haynes directs this elegant, quietly powerful film with subtle precision. Rating: Three and a half stars. 118 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Concussion” — Will Smith’s performance, one of his best, as a Nigerian-born pathologist crusading to expose deadly hazards in the NFL is about so much more than the accent. “Concussion” is a good movie that could have been great without trying so hard to be great. But when it delves deep into the doctor’s fight to be heard, it’s riveting. Rating: Three stars. 123 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“Creed” — Thanks to fine work from Sylvester Stallone as a paternal Rocky Balboa and a charismatic, natural performance from star-in-the-making Michael B. Jordan as his new protege, son of the late Apollo Creed, this is a terrific addition to the “Rocky” canon. Rating: Three and a half stars. 113 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“Daddy’s Home” — Just when aggressively nice Brad (Will Ferrell) is achieving breakthrough status as stepdad to two kids, who shows up but his wife’s ex (Mark Wahlberg), a muscled-up stud worshiped by the children. Wahlberg’s character never seems all that dangerous, while Ferrell’s goes from bland to desperate to off the rails — and very little about that transition is genuinely funny. Rating: Two stars. 96 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“The Danish Girl” — Eddie Redmayne (“The Theory of Everything”) gives a dignified, subtle and at times daring performance as a successful artist in 1920s Copenhagen who was one of the world’s first recipients of sex reassignment surgery, with Alicia Vikander wonderful and complex as his conflicted wife. It’s a lovely film — so lovely, in fact, as to be nearly tame. Rating: Three stars. 120 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“The Forest” —Identical twin Jess (Natalie Dormer), has disappeared in the Aokigahara Forest at the base of Japan’s Mount Fuji. Her twin, Sara (Dormer again), travels to the forest and ventures deep inside, where the malevolent spirits roam. This is a fairly promising feature debut from director Jason Zada, but frustratingly, the movie shortchanges scare sequences, either by harried technique or imprecise pacing. There’s not a lot of filmmaking energy in “The Forest,” and roughly 40 minutes of story surrounded by 45 more minutes of Dormer in nonverbal distress. Rating: Two stars. 95 minutes. (PG-13)

— Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

“The Hateful Eight” — Quentin Tarantino’s second Western in a row is an exhilarating moviegoing experience, filled with wickedly dark humor, nomination-worthy performances and a jigsaw puzzle plot that keeps us guessing until the bloody, brilliant end. This is one of the best movies of the year. Rating: Four stars. 187 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Joy” — Playing the inventor of the Miracle Mop, Jennifer Lawrence hits all the right notes in a role that calls for her to be a cynic who has given up on love, a daughter who can never please her father and a wannabe entrepreneur with an almost obsessive drive to succeed. It’s a wonderfully layered performance that carries David O. Russell’s film through its rough spots and sometime dubious detours. Rating: Three stars. 124 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“Mustang” — The landscapes of northern Turkey, the sun hitting the hills close by the Black Sea, are lovely in Deniz Gamze Erguven’s debut feature, “Mustang.” There is nothing lovely, however, about the story “Mustang” tells: of a culture where women are at once oppressed and sexualized, where strict religious tenets and an entrenched patriarchy combine to keep women in subservient roles. But Erguven’s film, beautifully shot and beautifully performed, cuts its storybook tone with starker, more brutal truths. Anger — aimed at a conservative social order and those complicit in maintaining it — courses through this sad, striking tale. In Turkish, with English subtitles. 97 minutes. (PG-13)

— Steven Rea,

The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Norm of the North” — It might take place in the arctic, but “Frozen” this is most decidedly not. While searching for his purpose in life, talking polar bear, Norm, discovers a Frank Gehry-esque model home perched on an iceberg in his backyard, and the plan to turn the North Pole into the newest condo development. Norm decides to stow away to New York City to stop the humans from invading his home. The animation is rudimentary and nothing to write home about. The jokes are kid-serviceable and the message about environmental protection, while noble, is ultimately a bit garbled. “Norm of the North” isn’t the next animated classic but it will do in a pinch to keep the kids busy for a few winter weekend hours. Rating: One and a half stars. 93 minutes. (PG)

— Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service

“The Revenant” — Enormously talented “Birdman” director Alejandro G. Inarritu strikes again with this 19th-century American fable, one of the most brutally beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. Leonardo DiCaprio delivers one of his most impressive performances as a frontiersman left for dead in the 1823 wilderness. Rating: Four stars. 156 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Ride Along 2” — The snarling veteran cop (Ice Cube) and the motormouth rookie (Kevin Hart) head to Miami in a slick, good-looking, fast-paced and profoundly unoriginal piece of work. We’ve seen all this recycled shtick before, and often in much better films. Rating: Two stars. 102 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper

“Room” — The shed where 5-year-old Jack (Jacob Tremblay) has spent his entire life with his mother (Brie Larson), a kidnapped captive, may be tiny and claustrophobic, but to his eyes it’s this big wide world. I’m not going to tell you this is the most entertaining movie of the year, but it just might be the most impressive piece of filmmaking I’ve seen in 2015. Rating: Four stars. 113 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Sisters” — This comedy about 40-something sisters throwing a wild party for their old high school gang is a depressing, overlong, repetitive slapstick disaster in which Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, two of the most appealing stars around, wallow in the muck AND the mire, figuratively and literally. Rating: One and a half stars. 118 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Spotlight” — A fine team of actors, including Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Mark Ruffalo, portrays the fine team of Boston Globe journalists that investigated child abuse by priests in 2001. It’s one of the smartest and most involving movies of the years. Rating: Three and a half stars. 129 minutes. (R) — Roeper

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” — What a beautiful, thrilling, joyous, surprising and heart-thumping adventure this is. The seventh “Star Wars” film pops with memorable battle sequences, gives us chills with encore appearances by stars from the original trilogy and introduces more than a half-dozen terrific Next Generation characters. It’s a return to greatness. This film screens in IMAX 3-D. Rating: Four stars. 136 minutes. (PG-13) — Roeper