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Avatar: The Way of Water

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A person might argue that once you’ve figured out how to download a person’s consciousness into a lab-grown, giant blue superhuman body, you don’t absolutely need to travel across the galaxy to hunt whales that produce minute quantities of stuff that stops human aging. But that person would be missing the point of director and co-writer James Cameron’s sequel to Avatar, a sequel that deploys even more high tech (or at least, high frame rate) than its predecessor in service to its message that happiness lies in reconnecting to nature. Because once humanity lost sight of that, erm, native truth, what else was left but the itch for innovation, expansion, and conquest? It would also be missing the point to lament the incessant addition of “bro!” and “cuz!” to the ends of lines spoken by the dreadlocked blue teen offspring of gone-Na'vi soldier Jake Sully, or the weird dramatic and personal vacancy of their torn-between-two-worlds human friend Spider. Because dialogue and character and even plot mechanics must here bend the knee before spectacle and dynamics. And those are things Cameron knows well enough to make you feel them in whatever part of you has made him so unerringly successful at the box office. Here, it’s the spectacle of a well lighted life below the ocean waves, and the dynamics of fathers and sons, of hosts and refugees, of hunter and hunted. And it would be missing the point in truly special fashion to call the proceedings indulgent to the point of self-infatuation: Cameron has built a new world from the remixed bits of this one, and he seems determined that we should not simply visit Pandora, we should, for at least three hours, live in it. However, it might not be missing the point to note that the devotion to ever-higher CG resolution and ever-more immersive 3-D has a tendency to drain the drama — the visceral, vital impact — from hand-to-hand combat, and to make the biggest battles feel like video-game cutscenes. To reduce, ultimately, the experience's sum total of felt life. But then, there is more than one way to see this particular movie, so your mileage may vary. (2022) — Matthew Lickona

Rated PG-13 | 3 hours, 12 minutes
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Showtimes

AMC Classic River Village 6
5256 Mission Road, Bonsall, 760-945-1365 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
2:30pm, 6:30pm
Friday, February 3
12:00pm, 6:30pm
Saturday, February 4
12:00pm, 6:30pm
Sunday, February 5
12:00pm, 6:45pm
Monday, February 6
12:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
12:00pm, 3:00pm, 6:30pm
Wednesday, February 8
12:00pm, 6:30pm
Thursday, February 9
3:45pm, 6:30pm
AMC Fashion Valley
7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
4:00pm, 8:00pm
Friday, February 3
2:00pm, 6:00pm, 9:00pm
Saturday, February 4
1:30pm, 5:30pm, 9:00pm
Sunday, February 5
1:30pm, 5:30pm, 9:00pm
Monday, February 6
2:00pm, 6:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
2:00pm, 6:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
2:00pm, 6:00pm
AMC La Jolla
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
8:15pm
Friday, February 3
2:00pm, 8:45pm
Saturday, February 4
1:00pm, 5:45pm
Sunday, February 5
1:00pm, 5:45pm
Monday, February 6
8:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
2:00pm, 8:45pm
Wednesday, February 8
8:15pm
AMC Mission Valley
1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
2:15pm, 6:30pm
Friday, February 3
8:15pm
Saturday, February 4
8:15pm
Sunday, February 5
1:40pm, 8:15pm
Monday, February 6
8:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
8:15pm
Wednesday, February 8
7:45pm
AMC Otay Ranch
2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
2:30pm, 6:20pm
Friday, February 3
7:00pm
Saturday, February 4
4:00pm, 8:00pm
Sunday, February 5
4:00pm, 8:00pm
AMC Palm Promenade
770 Dennery Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
7:00pm
Friday, February 3
7:30pm
Saturday, February 4
7:00pm
Sunday, February 5
7:00pm
Monday, February 6
7:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
7:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
7:00pm
AMC Plaza Bonita
3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Friday, February 3
5:15pm
Saturday, February 4
1:00pm, 4:00pm, 5:45pm
Sunday, February 5
12:15pm
Monday, February 6
6:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
6:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
5:00pm, 6:00pm
AMC Poway 10
13475 Poway Road, Poway, 858-646-9423 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
6:00pm
Friday, February 3
2:45pm, 5:00pm
Saturday, February 4
3:15pm, 7:45pm
Sunday, February 5
2:15pm, 6:45pm
Monday, February 6
5:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
3:00pm, 7:30pm
Wednesday, February 8
5:45pm
AMC Temecula 10
27531 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA, 951-699-4970 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
6:45pm
Friday, February 3
2:15pm, 9:15pm
Saturday, February 4
3:00pm, 6:30pm
Sunday, February 5
12:00pm, 6:45pm
Monday, February 6
6:30pm
Tuesday, February 7
1:00pm, 7:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
6:30pm
Angelika Film Center and Café
11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
2:00pm
Friday, February 3
10:45am, 2:45pm, 8:30pm
Saturday, February 4
10:35am, 2:30pm, 6:25pm
Sunday, February 5
10:35am, 2:30pm, 6:25pm
Monday, February 6
10:45am, 2:40pm, 6:35pm
Tuesday, February 7
10:45am, 2:40pm, 6:20pm
Wednesday, February 8
10:45am, 2:40pm, 6:20pm
Thursday, February 9
10:45am, 2:40pm, 6:20pm
ArcLight La Jolla
4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
4:00pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm
Friday, February 3
3:30pm, 7:45pm
Saturday, February 4
12:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:45pm
Sunday, February 5
12:00pm, 4:00pm, 7:45pm
Monday, February 6
4:00pm, 7:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
4:00pm, 7:45pm
Wednesday, February 8
4:00pm, 7:15pm
Cinépolis Del Mar
12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858-794-4045 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
11:45am, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Friday, February 3
11:45am, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Saturday, February 4
11:45am, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Sunday, February 5
11:45am, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Monday, February 6
12:00pm, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
12:00pm, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
12:00pm, 2:15pm, 7:00pm
Cinépolis Vista
25 Main Street, Vista, 760-945-7469 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Friday, February 3
11:10am, 2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Saturday, February 4
11:10am, 2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Sunday, February 5
11:10am, 2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Monday, February 6
2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
2:15pm, 3:10pm, 7:10pm, 9:00pm
Edwards Mira Mesa
10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
1:30pm
Friday, February 3
11:00am, 2:15pm
Saturday, February 4
2:15pm, 6:30pm
Sunday, February 5
2:15pm, 6:30pm
Monday, February 6
2:15pm, 3:45pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm
Tuesday, February 7
2:15pm, 3:45pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm
Wednesday, February 8
2:15pm, 3:45pm, 6:30pm, 8:00pm
Thursday, February 9
2:15pm, 3:45pm, 8:00pm
Reading Cinemas Grossmont with TITAN XC
5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 619-465-3040 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
7:50pm
Friday, February 3
6:00pm, 10:00pm
Saturday, February 4
6:00pm, 10:00pm
Sunday, February 5
6:00pm
Monday, February 6
7:50pm
Tuesday, February 7
7:50pm
Wednesday, February 8
7:50pm
Thursday, February 9
7:50pm
Regal Carlsbad 12
2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 844-462-7342 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
9:30pm
Regal Escondido
350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
1:15pm, 4:25pm
Friday, February 3
1:10pm, 5:30pm
Saturday, February 4
1:10pm, 5:30pm
Sunday, February 5
1:10pm, 5:30pm
Monday, February 6
1:05pm, 5:25pm
Tuesday, February 7
1:10pm, 5:30pm
Wednesday, February 8
1:10pm, 5:30pm
Regal Oceanside
401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
1:45pm, 6:00pm
Regal Parkway Plaza
405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
4:00pm, 8:00pm
Friday, February 3
12:30pm, 4:30pm, 8:30pm
Saturday, February 4
12:30pm, 4:30pm, 8:30pm
Sunday, February 5
12:30pm, 4:30pm, 8:30pm
Monday, February 6
2:00pm, 6:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
2:00pm, 6:15pm
Wednesday, February 8
2:00pm, 6:15pm
Thursday, February 9
2:00pm, 6:15pm
Regal Rancho del Rey
1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
12:05pm, 4:10pm, 8:20pm
Friday, February 3
1:00pm, 5:10pm
Saturday, February 4
1:00pm, 5:10pm
Sunday, February 5
1:00pm, 5:10pm
Monday, February 6
1:00pm, 5:10pm
Tuesday, February 7
1:00pm, 5:10pm, 7:15pm
Wednesday, February 8
1:30pm, 5:40pm
Thursday, February 9
1:30pm
Regal San Marcos
1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
2:00pm
Saturday, February 4
4:00pm
UltraStar Mission Valley at Hazard Center
7510 Hazard Center Drive, San Diego, 619-685-2841 | Directions
Thursday, February 2
3:45pm, 8:00pm
Friday, February 3
4:00pm, 8:15pm
Saturday, February 4
11:45am, 4:00pm, 8:15pm
Sunday, February 5
11:45am, 4:00pm, 8:15pm
Monday, February 6
4:00pm, 8:15pm
Tuesday, February 7
11:45am, 4:00pm, 8:15pm
Wednesday, February 8
4:00pm, 8:15pm
Thursday, February 9
4:00pm, 8:15pm
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