Halloween Kills (R)

Age 17+

Brutal, gory, overwrought, shapeless slasher sequel.

Halloween Kills” is the direct sequel to the 2018 reboot “Halloween” and picks up immediately where that film left off. Fans’ favorite characters are mostly injured, and the thin “story” involves an angry mob, lots of shouting and so many killings that it becomes numbing. Dozens of characters die in grisly, brutal ways, and there’s tons of blood — spurting, gushing and oozing — as well as horrific corpses. Characters are stabbed in the eye, eyes are gouged, a person jumps from up high and spatters on the pavement, and an angry mob attacks. You’ll also see gun-related shooting, stabbing, slicing, bashing, bullies and much, much more. Language is also strong, with uses of “f---,” “motherf----r,” “s---,” “t-ts,” “a--hole” and more. Characters drink socially at a bar, smoke pot at home and take pain meds in a hospital; there are also references to buying peyote and doing drugs. (106 minutes)

In theaters.

The Last Duel (R)

Age 17+

Brutal violence in clunky tale of toxic masculinity.

The Last Duel” is a blood-soaked medieval swordfight drama directed by Ridley Scott, starring Jodie Comer, Matt Damon, Adam Driver and Ben Affleck. It’s ambitious in its attempts to address toxic masculinity and female power, but its length and structure make it frequently clunky and repetitive. Expect extremely gory battle violence, with slicing, stabbing and buckets of blood. A brutal rape scene is shown twice. A bloody male corpse is stripped, dragged away and hung; horses die horribly; and more. There are also brief but explicit sex scenes, including a character shown with five partners who are naked in bed. Men are shown thrusting on top of women, and there’s full-frontal nudity. Language includes variations on “f---,” a use of “c--t” and a use of “damned.” Characters guzzle wine during a party scene, and a secondary character drinks frequently throughout. (153 minutes)

In theaters.

Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat (PG)

Streaming

Age 10+

Cartoonish violence, creepy clowns in so-so adventure.

Secret Agent Dingledorf and His Trusty Dog Splat” is a low-budget family adventure based on Bill Myers’s book series. In this playful take on the kid-as-spy/secret agent movie, Bernie Dingledorf (Zachary Arthur) finds himself the hero. Only his friends and his dog can help him save the world from a terrifying gang of clowns led by Dr. Chuckles (Ryan O’Quinn). Once a happy clown, Dr. Chuckles has since turned bad, inventing “mean laughter” guns (they look like water guns) and taking over the world. There are a fair number of faith-based messages throughout, including “God doesn’t make junk” and “Everyone has value.” As for the clowns, many of them are truly scary-looking, but they act silly and cartoonish. Expect lots of comedic violence throughout, including toy guns that shoot “laughing bubbles,” pushing and shoving, sword fighting with a curtain rod and broom, people crashing into things, “funny” electrocution and a “freeze remote” that turns a boy into ice. Some bigger kids display bullying behavior toward smaller kids; the leader pushes a boy down and breaks another kid’s viewfinder. A dog consistently farts for laughs. Language includes “twerps,” “butt,” “loser,” “doofus,” “wimp,” “twit” and “shut your trap.” (89 minutes)

Available on demand.

Justin Bieber: Our World (PG)

Streaming

Age 10+

Concert doc goes backstage; some language.

Justin Bieber: Our World” shows the popular singer in a new and positive phase in his life. He’s a young man who lived through very public troubles and has come out on the other end a happily-married, settled and hard-working professional. He sings about all this as well as his love for his wife; some songs address relationships and attractions, describe kisses or talk about love. The diverse cast of bandmates and crew on his latest concert talk about Bieber’s loyalty and personal growth, and they express gratitude that he’s providing them work even during covid. Of course, the Biebers are also very wealthy and receive special treatment wherever they go. The film will speak to current fans of the singer and could inspire interest in his albums and concerts as well as some of the labels he noticeably wears or uses, like Nike, Calvin Klein (underwear), Drew and Tesla. The singer and crew drink champagne to celebrate New Year’s Eve. Language includes “s---,” “b----,” “hell,” “idiot” and a bleeped-out use, presumably, of “f---.”
(95 minutes)

Available on Amazon.

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