Animation

Reviews of a Stephen King sequel, an old-style war movie and a fresh take on Christmas

Also fun amid the California wildfires (filmed in BC) and two film festivals, one new, one a regular

Four good ones at VIFF take us to The Vatican, India, the Arctic and Hong Kong:

We watch two Popes, Hindu thugs, Ottawa’s control of the Inuit and a trippy dream in Hong Kong

Local kid gets potty mouth in Good Boys, British teen is musically Blinded by the Light and a stunning history is uncovered

And in other films: Octavia Spencer accuses, Cate Blanchett breaks down, Julianne Moore manipulates, Leslie Jones faces the Angry Birds and four teen girls attract sharks

Big and dumb Hobbs & Shaw; smart Amateurs and a director's story and dreams in animation

And more: a calming Little Forest, a Free Trip to Egypt to connect with Muslims and two Film Noirs by a woman director

Two giant sequels and several worthy smaller films reviewed

Including new appreciations of Emily Dickinson and Pavarotti, the real story of auto builder John DeLorean, a British filmmaker inspired to draw on her own life and two oddball seniors falling in love

New vs old in Birds of Passage; an easy look at a killer sickness in Five Feet Apart and a good one for the kids, Wonder Park

And lots more: hippies try farming, a divorcé seeks love, melodrama and politics in Argentina and a dystopian teen thriller with something of a Handmaid’s Tale vibe

Chloe meets Greta, Ruben Brandt steals art and Jean-Luc Godard ponders the state of the world in his Image Book

Also dancers on an acid trip in Climax and four other movies not available for review

Growth of an artist in Never Look Back, more on How to Train Your Dragon and life with a wrestling family

Also going international: in Spain by an Iranian and in Singapore with a Japanese foodie

Romance under stress, Nicole Kidman with a different look and the King Arthur story for modern kids

Also some animated fun from Quebec and an inscrutable film with Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.

Roma, one of the year’s best, animated Spider-Man, also a best, Mary Queen of Scots, not an equal

Also a rare Peter Jackson-produced dud, a toned-down Deadpool re-release, a self-destructive country singer and a Clint Eastwood film under-promoted around here