|Frances McDormand stars in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri|
Lady Bird - 4 Stars. Greta Gerwig directs a spot-on mother/daughter battle, during a young woman's high school senior year. Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf deliver award-worthy performances.
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri - 4 stars. Caustic, often shock comedy, starring Frances McDormand as a woman at war with the town police over the unsolved murder of her daughter.
Mudbound - 3½ Stars. Epic drama of poor, white farmers and poor, black sharecroppers in the post-WWII South.
Blade Runner 2049 - 3 Stars. Sequel to the classic runs long, but packs in the special effects around a thick & juicy plot.
It - 3 Stars. Stephen King thriller delivers.
American Made - 3 Stars. Tom Cruise is winning, in the memoir of a bored pilot who goes to work for the CIA.
LBJ - 3 Stars. Woody Harrelson creates a sympathetic portrait of the formidable politician, assuming power after the Kennedy assassination, and passing the 1964 Civil Rights Bill. Rob Reiner directs.
Murder on the Orient Express - 2½ Stars. Hammy but loving remake of the 1974 Agatha Christie classic.
Last Flag Flying - 2½ Stars. Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne and Steve Carell as Vietnam vets, who help Carell bury his son killed on duty in Iraq.
Justice League - 2 Stars. Charismatic Gal Gadot returns as Wonder Woman, and joins Batman and several others in another of the usual formula plots to save the world.
Thor: Ragnarok - 2 Stars. The latest chapter in Marvel's Thor franchise mixes comedy and action in an overlong, sometimes confusing package.
A Bad Moms Christmas - 2 Stars. Mila Kunis and friends vow to prevent holiday hassle. Follows the formula set by 'The Hangover" and "Bridesmaids."
Loving Vincent - 2 Stars. Beautifully animates Van Gogh's masterpieces, but uses them to tell a hokey story.
Victoria & Abdul - 2 Stars. Judi Dench (as Queen Victoria) grows fond of an Indian commoner, shocking her royal household. Lightweight stuff.