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  • Star Wars: The Last Jedi

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Despite the high price of a movie ticket these days, patrons are unlikely to come away from a showing of the engrossing sci-fi epic "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" (Disney) feeling shortchanged.

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  • Just Getting Started

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's bad, there's awful and then there's "Just Getting Started" (Broad Green). This dismal attempt at comedy is so epically empty that it makes the average "Porky's" sequel seem like a scintillating masterpiece.

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  • The Disaster Artist

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- The fact-based comedy "The Disaster Artist" (A24) is certainly not a film for everyone. Wholly unsuitable for kids, it also includes elements that many adults will prefer to avoid.

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  • The Man Who Invented Christmas

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Its rather ill-chosen title notwithstanding, "The Man Who Invented Christmas" (Bleecker Street) involves no denial of the Nativity. Instead, this charming fact-based historical drama tells the origin story of Victorian author Charles Dickens' beloved 1843 novella, "A Christmas Carol."

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  • Roman J. Israel, Esq.

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Writer-director Dan Gilroy's drama "Roman J. Israel, Esq." (Columbia) is a generally intriguing character study pitting idealism against the hard realities of contemporary life and the allure of wealth and comfort.

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  • Coco

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Will "Coco" (Disney) be your cup of tea? That largely depends on how well equipped you are to interpret this visually rich animated fantasy's presentation of the afterlife, one which owes little to Christianity and much to the pre-Columbian beliefs associated with Mexico's Day of the Dead.

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  • Lady Bird

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Lady Bird" (A24) is writer-director Greta Gerwig's sensitive autobiographical account of growing up in Sacramento, California. Her recounting of the way she tested her boundaries with both her family and her parochial school is pleasing in some respects but teeth-grating in a couple of others.

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  • Justice League

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- When it comes to repetitiously threatening the world with annihilation, Hollywood is almost as persistent as North Korean state media. So the global danger looming over "Justice League" (Warner Bros.) feels all-too-familiar, a case of Yogi Berra's famous deja vu all over again.

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  • Wonder

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Wonder" (Lionsgate) is a beautiful film about ugliness. Its protagonist is August "Auggie" Pullman (Jacob Tremblay), a 10-year-old boy born with facial deformities whose misshapen visage becomes a moral Rorschach test for the people around him.

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  • The Star

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A holiday treat suitable for all but the tiniest, "The Star" (Sony) is a delightful animated version of the Christmas story told from the perspective of some of the animals present in the manger.

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  • Let There Be Light

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "Let There Be Light" (Atlas) is an evangelical Christian drama with a familiar plot: A wayward sinner, in this case a famous atheist, experiences a change of heart. The film is being marketed as a family-friendly event for church groups. The promotion tools include not only a teaching guide with Scripture references but also suggested outlines for sermons. And, in truth, the movie feels as if it had more to do with a religious studies curriculum than with entertainment.

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  • No Greater Love

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- "No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends" (John 13:15). That biblical truth is vividly reinforced in "No Greater Love" (Atlas), a compelling documentary about the experiences of U.S. combat soldiers in Afghanistan and their postwar struggles to resume their lives back home.

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  • Daddy's Home 2

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Silly slapstick predominates in "Daddy's Home 2" (Paramount). Though this follow-up to the 2015 comedy about the blending pains of a post-divorce family is mostly harmless, late scenes mix lame holiday-themed sentimentality with weirdly uncomfortable humor concerning a preteen boy's emerging sexuality.

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  • Murder on the Orient Express

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- A formidable list of actors, including Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and David Suchet, have taken on the role of Agatha Christie's famed Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. Now Kenneth Branagh makes the possessor of the celebrated "little gray cells" his own in the sleek ensemble whodunit "Murder on the Orient Express" (Fox). He also helms the project as director.

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  • Novitiate

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- Writer-director Margaret Betts takes a stab at a genre that always seems to fascinate people, even those with no religious affiliation: nun movies. Unfortunately, "Novitiate" (Sony Classics) falls short of presenting a well-rounded picture of what it is -- or, in this case, was -- like for a young woman to enter religious life and discern whether it's right for her.

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  • Thor: Ragnarok

    NEW YORK (CNS) -- There's plenty of combat but relatively little bloodletting in the sweeping Marvel Comics adaptation "Thor: Ragnarok" (Disney). So at least some parents may deem this second sequel to the 2011 original acceptable for older teens.

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