Ghost in the Shell 1.0 stars

Ghost in the Shell movie poster

A hot mess of a philosophical cyber-thriller. The hot is provided by Scarlett Johansson as a government agent (but corporate creation) built from a human brain and a synthetic body, the latter often on quasi-display in a shimmering sort of shell casing that she only occasionally uses as digital camouflage. The mess encompasses pretty much everything else. Philosophical: on the question of what defines us, memories or actions, the heroine explicitly comes down on the side of actions — this after spending the entire film investigating the truth about her past, i.e., her memories. (In fairness, she also investigates a super-hacker — played with remarkable feeling, all things considered, by Michael Pitt — who sounds pretty self-righteous for a guy who brain-jacks lowly garbagemen and builds neural networks from human brains. But it all ties together.) Cyber: the notion that a company would build a robot super-weapon and not include a failsafe is a touch risible. As are many of the implanted geegaws that festoon enhanced humanity. Thriller: Peter Ferdinando puts the “vanilla” in “villain,” sidekick Pilou Asbæk can’t lock down his accent or his attitude, and the film lurches between mayhem and musing. It’s better with the former, which isn’t saying much. Some cool visuals, though. Directed by Rupert Sanders. 2017.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

11:25am, 2:00pm, 4:40pm, 7:15pm, 9:55pm

Wednesday, April 26

11:25am, 2:00pm, 4:40pm, 7:15pm, 9:55pm

AMC Mission Valley

1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

11:10am, 1:50pm, 4:35pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, April 26

11:10am, 1:50pm, 4:35pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

ArcLight La Jolla

4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

4:10pm, 6:25pm

Wednesday, April 26

4:10pm, 6:25pm

Thursday, April 27

4:10pm, 6:25pm

Reading Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 800-326-3264 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

9:45pm

Wednesday, April 26

9:45pm

Thursday, April 27

9:45pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

3:45pm, 10:05pm

Wednesday, April 26

3:45pm, 10:05pm

Thursday, April 27

3:45pm, 10:05pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

1:45pm, 4:45pm, 10:30pm

Wednesday, April 26

10:20pm

Thursday, April 27

1:45pm, 4:45pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Tuesday, April 25

4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:00pm

Wednesday, April 26

4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:00pm

Thursday, April 27

4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:00pm

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