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Your Name,

directed by Makoto Shinkai

(PG, 1 hour, 46 minutes)

Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name), a delicate and imaginative anime adventure from Japanese director Makoto Shinkai (based on his 2016 novel) is about shifting time, the indifferent vagaries of fate, and the unique relationship between two seemingly unconnected adolescents.

Country girl Mitsuha and Taki, a high schooler in Tokyo, are strangers living very different lives; Mitsuha is bored and Taki is busy. Then, one night, they suddenly switch places -- Mitsuha wakes up the next morning in Taki's body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly. After the initial shock wears off, the two must come to grips with the fantastic situation and adjust their lives around each other without disrupting established patterns.

Somehow, despite a lack of clarity caused by vague memories that fade like dreams, it works -- for a while. That's when matters take a darker turn into uncharted territory.

Cars 3 (G, 1 hour, 42 minutes) It's not up to the muscle of the 2006 original, but there's still some strength in this animated Pixar comedy that follows former superstar race car Lightning McQueen (voice of Owen Wilson) who has gradually been overpowered by newer, faster models. Losing seems like his only option until an eager young race technician named Cruz Ramirez (voice of Cristela Alonzo) arrives on the scene with a unique plan on how to find a route back to being a winner. The best sequence is the demolition derby. With voices of Kerry Washington, Armie Hammer, Nathan Fillion, Bonnie Hunt; directed by Brian Fee.

Ingrid Goes West (R, 1 hour, 38 minutes) Aubrey Plaza, one of the most saucy, astringent comedians on screen today, is perfectly cast in this darkly funny satire as Ingrid Thorburn, an unbalanced social media stalker who moves to Los Angeles to pursue her latest obsession, an Instagram star named Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen). What starts out as a seemingly beneficial friendship turns into anything but. With Wyatt Russell, Billy Magnussen; directed by Matt Spicer.

Patti Cake$ (R, 1 hour, 49 minutes) Patti Cake$, the directorial debut of Geremy Jasper (former frontman of indie rock group The Drive, who also wrote the movie's script, songs and rhymes) seems to be heading off into unique territory -- going-nowhere girl has visions of becoming a rap superstar -- but turns out to be totally predictable. Points are scored for its realistically unglamorous New Jersey setting that's home to equally unglamorous 23-year-old working-class Patricia Dumbrowski (Danielle Macdonald) -- Killer P and Patti Cake$ in her hip-hop dreams -- who works as a bartender to sustain her sickly grandmother and pay her mother's hefty bar tabs.

The film plays out as any rags-to-riches story does, relying heavily on curiously interesting characters, realistic visuals, and excellent staging of musical numbers to sustain audience interest. Too bad the script is so safe, so conventional.

Killing Ground (R, 1 hour, 28 minutes) The brutality and nonlinear time sequencing might be too much for some in this ultra-violent Australian suspense drama about a couple's romantic beach camping trip that turns into a battle for survival.

MovieStyle on 11/10/2017

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