Now Playing at Bay Theatre: ‘Fantastic Beasts’

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

For those who want a sprinkle of magic this holiday season, the 10th Wizarding World franchise film, “Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald,” is playing at the Bay Theatre by Cinépolis Luxury Cinemas.

The Harry Potter-adjacent film follows 2016’s “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” This installment follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and a young Albus Dumbledore (Jude Law) as they work together to take down a dark wizard, Gellert Grindelwald (Johnny Depp), as the wizard world grows more divided.

The film also features roles by Dan Fogler, Katherine Waterston, Alison Sudol and Ezra Miller.

Those who can’t get enough of the Harry Potter franchise will surely see the film—but critics suggest that the “low-stakes” plot is “needlessly complicated.”

Sitting at a 40 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the website’s consensus reads “‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story’s spell isn’t as strong as earlier installments.”

On the other hand, Law and Depp have been praised for their performances, and the film has been applauded for its entertainment value and direction.

Though box office numbers tell a story of their own: “The Crimes of Grindelwald” debuted to $62.2 million—the lowest opening for a Wizarding World franchise flick and a 16 percent drop from the first “Fantastic Beasts” film’s $74.4 million.

In 2016, JK Rowling announced that the “Fantastic Beasts” series would comprise of five films, so there is time for the franchise to turn it around.

Either way, it will be a couple of years before the next installment, so for those who need their Hogwarts fix, lackluster or not, Palisadians have a chance to do so locally at the Bay Theatre. 

For tickets and showtimes, visit cinepolisusa.com.