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MaXXXine

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It’s just possible that writer-director Ti West is just a hair too meta for his own good — at least, judging by the concluding chapter of his X trilogy. Because what he seems to have done is to make a crummy, if gorgeous, ‘80s-style slasher pic, set, naturally, in the ‘80s, and chock full of that decade’s concerns over crumbling public morals, satanic cults, and psycho killers stalking the city streets. Why crummy? Because it almost entirely forgets that it’s supposed to be scary as well as sleazy, gripping as well as gory, visceral as well as violent, etc. Instead of a scream queen final girl who must find a way to rise above her fears and face her demons, we get star Maxine Minx (Mia Goth) as a badass blonde ball-busting bitch who refuses to accept anything less than the life she deserves. (The one scene in which she seems truly afraid feels like it belongs in a different film, perhaps the one it references.) She’s gonna be a movie star, her porno background be damned, and she’s so sure of it that she convinces director Elizabeth Bender (Elizabeth Debicki) to cast her in the followup to her surprise horror hit The Puritan. Bender is maybe the worst part of the film, full of basic blather about the secret seriousness of horror flicks and the hidden hypocrisies of the righteous. It’s bad enough that it might be parody, and the same goes for the utterly incoherent Big Baddie who turns out to be behind the ritual killings that have all Los Angeles on edge. So maybe that’s what’s really going on here, and maybe that’s why we get all the jokey references to showbiz — a Buster Keaton impersonator getting called Buster, etc. And maybe, just maybe, the film’s final shot serves as a frightening rebuke to all that comes before. At least it’s something to think about after all the lovely neon nonsense. (2024) — Matthew Lickona

Rated R | 1.0 hour, 41 minutes
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AMC Fashion Valley
7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
7:10pm, 9:45pm
Monday, July 15
1:00pm, 4:10pm, 6:45pm, 9:15pm
Tuesday, July 16
1:00pm, 4:10pm, 6:45pm, 9:15pm
Wednesday, July 17
1:50pm, 4:25pm, 9:35pm
AMC La Jolla
8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
6:30pm, 9:15pm
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1:15pm, 3:45pm, 6:15pm, 9:15pm
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1:45pm, 4:15pm, 6:45pm, 9:15pm
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1:45pm, 4:15pm, 6:45pm, 9:15pm
AMC Mission Valley
1640 Camino del Rio North, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions
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5:25pm, 8:00pm, 10:30pm
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12:20pm, 2:50pm, 5:25pm, 8:00pm, 10:30pm
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12:20pm, 2:50pm, 5:20pm, 7:55pm, 10:25pm
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12:20pm, 2:50pm, 5:25pm, 8:00pm, 10:30pm
AMC Otay Ranch
2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
6:30pm, 9:00pm
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12:15pm, 2:45pm, 5:15pm, 9:00pm
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AMC Palm Promenade
770 Dennery Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions
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6:15pm, 9:20pm
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AMC Plaza Bonita
3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions
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8:45pm
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11:45am, 2:40pm, 8:40pm
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12:30pm, 3:10pm, 5:50pm, 8:40pm
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1:30pm, 4:15pm, 9:00pm
AMC Poway 10
13475 Poway Road, Poway, 858-646-9423 | Directions
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5:45pm, 8:45pm
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12:30pm, 3:15pm, 6:15pm, 9:00pm
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AMC Temecula 10
27531 Ynez Road, Temecula, CA, 951-699-4970 | Directions
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7:45pm, 10:15pm
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Angelika Film Center and Café
11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions
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5:30pm, 8:00pm, 10:20pm
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10:25am, 12:55pm, 3:20pm, 8:00pm, 10:25pm
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ArcLight La Jolla
4425 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite H60, San Diego, 858-768-7770 | Directions
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6:45pm, 9:30pm
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Cinépolis Del Mar
12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858-794-4045 | Directions
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8:15pm
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11:00am, 2:00pm, 5:15pm, 8:15pm
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Cinépolis Vista
25 Main Street, Vista, 760-945-7469 | Directions
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7:50pm, 10:20pm
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Edwards Mira Mesa
10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions
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6:45pm, 10:30pm
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11:00am, 1:45pm, 4:30pm, 10:30pm
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2:15pm, 4:30pm, 7:15pm, 10:30pm
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Landmark Hillcrest
3965 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, 619-298-2904 | Directions
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7:45pm
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1:30pm, 4:45pm, 7:45pm
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1:30pm, 4:45pm, 7:45pm
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1:30pm, 4:45pm, 7:45pm
Reading Cinemas Grossmont with TITAN XC
5500 Grossmont Center Drive, La Mesa, 619-465-3040 | Directions
Sunday, July 14
6:25pm, 10:15pm
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11:10am, 1:35pm, 4:00pm, 6:30pm, 9:55pm
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11:10am, 1:35pm, 4:00pm, 6:30pm, 9:55pm
Reading Cinemas Town Square
4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 858-274-9994 | Directions
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6:45pm, 9:15pm
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2501 El Camino Real, Carlsbad, 844-462-7342 | Directions
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350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions
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405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions
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1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions
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2951 Jamacha Road, El Cajon, 619-660-3483 | Directions
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Regal San Marcos
1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions
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10:30pm
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