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What’s new in theaters: ‘Murder on the Orient Express,’ ‘Daddy’s Home 2’

By Steve Persall
This image released by Twentieth Century Fox shows Michelle Pfeiffer in a scene from, "Murder on the Orient Express." (Nicola Dove/Twentieth Century Fox via AP) NYET815



Agatha Christie’s signature mystery Murder on the Orient Express gets a classy remake 43 years after Ingrid Bergman won her third Oscar as one of a dozen unusual suspects.

Kenneth Branagh and an impressive fake mustache direct and star as Belgian detective Hercule Poirot, stranded in a blizzard on the famed European train route. Homicide revs up his sleuthing instincts, leading to interrogations of Academy Award winners Judi Dench and Penélope Cruz, Michelle Pfeiffer (right), Daisy Ridley e_SLps (Deep breath) … Johnny Depp, Willem Dafoe, Josh Gad, Tony winner Leslie Odom Jr. and maybe someone else but I’m getting played off the stage.

Read a review at


Last weekend in theaters, bad moms were blindsided by their worse mothers. Now it’s bad dads’ turn.

Daddy’s Home 2 (PG-13) reunites comedian Will Ferrell and serious Mark Wahlberg (who’s funnier) as co-fathering klutzes whose own papas visit. Casting these two is everything and the choices are beauts: Mel Gibson, right, as the blockhead Wahlberg chipped off, and John Lithgow as Ferrell’s kissy-face father.


The last movie I saw at the Ritz in Ybor City could’ve been produced by Jackie Treehorn, the porn mogul played by Ben Gazzara in The Big Lebowski. That was in the mid 1970s, a St. Leo fraternity field trip. Not sure when the Ritz stopped showing movies but they’re back in business for one night, at 8 p.m. Friday. You can abide with a White Russian and watch The Big Lebowski, as Achievers do and proud we are of all of them. Costumes are encouraged; leave the marmots at home. General admission is free or you can pay $12 for a reserved seat, if you’re not into the whole standing thing. Doors open at 7 p.m.

In theaters: our Top 5

Current movies recommended by the Tampa Bay Times:

1 The Florida Project: Homeless children make their own magic in Disney World’s shadow.

2 Thor: Ragnarok: We’re not laughing with Chris Hemsworth; we’re laughing at him.

3 Blade Runner 2049: Ryan Gosling stars in a cerebral sequel to a sci-fi classic.

4 Battle of the Sexes: Emma Stone and Steve Carell star as Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs.

5 Wonderstruck: Todd Haynes makes another great-looking movie.


(Dates subject to change)

Nov. 17: Justice League; Lady Bird; Roman J. Israel Esq.; Wonder; The Star

Nov. 22: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri; Coco; Last Flag Flying; The Man Who Invented Christmas; Chappaquiddick; Polaroid

Dec. 1: He’s Out There

Dec. 8: The Shape of Water; The Disaster Artist; All the Money in the World