It's the summer of superspies, apparently. In this action comedy we've got dork icon Jesse Eisenberg (Zombieland, The Social Network) as a do-nothing stoner who just happens to be a sleeper agent trained and then brainwashed by the United States government. When he's deemed a liability and marked for extermination, his hidden skills take over, turning him into a pot-addled, super-powered killing machine. 96 minutes R.
The latest Marvel Cinematic Universe offering is smaller than its fellow superhero movies in a number of ways. Paul Rudd is fine and dandy as a cat burglar recruited by an aging scientist (Michael Douglas) to don a powerful shrinking suit and fight the bad guys. The size-changing special effects are a blast, but the film is neither fish nor fowl. There's not enough humor to make it a comedy, and too little action to compete with the big boys of summer. It's perfectly entertaining in moments, but this one needed a lot more style and spark to avoid the "generic Marvel movie" pit it occasionally stumbles into. FULL REVIEW:Marvel gets small for latest addition to its cinematic universe by Devin D. O’Leary (7/23/2015). 117 minutes PG-13.
Earth's mightiest mortals are back for a second go-around. Seems that Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has built a super-powered robot named Ultron (voiced by James Spader) who wants to bring peace to humanity by wiping it out. Can Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk, Black Widow, Hawkeye and newcomer The Vision stop this metallic madman before his plan comes to fruition? Probably, otherwise we don't get any more movies. Overstuffed? Sure. Exciting. Hell, yeah. 141 minutes PG-13.
Jason Segel and Jessie Eisenberg (who's everywhere these days) headline this comedy-drama based on the real-life, five-day interview between Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and reclusive novelist David Foster Wallace. 106 minutes R.
Century Rio Fri-Thu 12:25, 3:25, 6:25, 9:20 High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:20, 3:45, 7:20, 10:30; Mon-Thu 12:20, 3:45, 7:20
After a couple of less-than-stellar outings, 20th Century Fox tries to reboot the Marvel Comics franchise with director Josh Trank (Chronicle) at the helm. Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan and Jamie Bell are our quartet of (decidedly younger) scientific explorers who teleport themselves to an alternate dimension and are imbued with a wide range of superpowers. Yes, it's as bad as you've heard. It's 80 percent boring set-up and 20 percent random bad-guy battle. A decade ago this might have scraped by. But not today. 100 minutes PG-13.
Actor Joel Edgerton (Warrior, The Great Gatsby) turns writer-director to deliver this mystery-thriller. Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall play a married couple whose lives are "thrown into a harrowing tailspin" when an old high school acquaintance of the husband's shows up. Edgerton takes the plum role of the unwanted house guest who starts delivering an increasingly extravagant string of housewarming gifts--all of them hinting at a nasty secret from the past. The film clearly references such late-'80s/early-'90s yuppies-in-peril films as Fatal Attraction and Single White Female, but Edgerton manages to keep things creepy and surprising throughout. 108 minutes R.
The 2007 action-movie adaptation of the Hitman videogame series starring Timothy Olyphant wasn't very popular. But Hollywood's reboot machine isn't even slowed down by failure these days. So here's a reboot/sequel starring Rupert Friend (who played Mr. Wickham in the 2005 film version of Pride and Prejudice) as a mysterious, gentically enineered killer. It will be less popular than the original. 97 minutes R.
Pixar mixes up another can't-miss instaclassic. This stunningly original, digitally animated toon takes us inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl and introduces us to the anthropomorphized feelings at work inside her head. Chief among them is Joy (perfect Amy Poehler), who's stuck working with a bunch of negative Nellies (Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust). But when Joy and Sadness get lost in the recesses of the young girl's mind, the film warps from an inventive workplace comedy to a wildly imaginative, Willy Wonka-esque fantasy. It seems silly to say that a film about emotions is emotional, but trust me when I say this film has all the feels! FULL REVIEW:Pixar’s emotional new fantasy has all the feels by Devin D. O’Leary (6/25/2015). 94 minutes PG.
I'm not upset that Hollywood has decided to make a third Jurassic Park sequel. Because, you know, money. I am, however, ticked off that the fictional executives at InGen thought they could get away with this. Did someone at the corporation send out a memo saying, "Hey, everybody. Remember that dinosaur theme park we were trying to open? You know, the one where the tourists kept getting eaten over and over and over again? Well, we're pretty sure we've got all the kinks worked out. Fourth time's the charm!" I mean, come on. ... Ah, well, at least we've got Chris Pratt. He's cool. 124 minutes PG-13.
Henry Cavill (Man of Steel) and Armie Hammer (The Lone Ranger) take over for Robert Vaughn and David McCallum in this remake of the mid-'60s spy-fi TV series. Writer-director Guy Ritchie (Snatch, Sherlock Holmes) gives the film plenty of style and temporal flair, turning this Cold War team-up between American and Russian spies into a witty buddy cop drama. Whereas the Mission: Impossible films want you to watch them from the edge of your seat, this one wants you to sit back and absorb the mid-century cool. FULL REVIEW:‘60s spy saga retuns with style by Devin D. O’Leary (8/13/2015). 116 minutes PG-13.
The lovable yellow sidekicks from the Despicable Me films finally get their own spin-off. History tells us that the Minions have been around since the dawn of time, looking for evildoers to whom they can pledge their slavish devotion. This hectic, anarchy-driven toon takes us to swingin' '60s London where a trio of semi-moronic Minions try to help the world's first female supervillain (voiced by Sandra Bullock) steal the Crown Jewels. The plot is terribly inconsequential--but it's hard to deny the silly fun to be had along the way. 91 minutes PG.
For a series as star-packed in front of and behind the camera as these movies have been, the individual films sure are forgettable. As usual, this fifth installment features jaw-dropping stunt work ... and some kind of storyline in which IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team (Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, Ving Rhames) are tasked with stopping an international villain who's framed them for something-or-other. Tom Cruise buddy Christopher McQuarrie (Valkyrie, Jack Reacher, Edge of Tomorrow) writes and directs. FULL REVIEW:Cruise and Co. do the impossible: make the stiff spy series silly fun again by Devin D. O’Leary (8/6/2015). 131 minutes PG-13.
An elderly, retired Sherlock Holmes (Sir Ian McKellen) looks back on his life and career, trying to come to grips with one long-unsolved case involving a beautiful woman. Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls) directs from the novel by Mitch Cullin. 104 minutes PG.
Who's ready for Owen Wilson, action star? The same ones who rushed to see him in 2001's Behind Enemy Lines, I suppose. Here, the Wes Anderson fave and his wife (Lake Bell from "Children's Hospital") move to a new home in Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the family gets caught up in a military coup, and is forced to race across the bullet-riddled country to safety. 101 minutes R.
When space aliens misinterpret video game signals from Earth as a challenge to war, a group of former arcade nerds (Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad) are recruited by the government to fight off the likes of Donkey Kong, Pac-Man and Space Invaders. The story (based on a short film) is loaded with nostalgic potential ... all of which is squashed by bored-to-be-here Adam Sandler and his pals. 106 minutes PG-13.
Jonathan Demme (Something Wild, Silence of the Lambs) directs and Diablo Cody (Juno, Young Adult) writes this excuse for mother-and-daughter duo Meryl Streep and Mamie Gummer to share the screen. Streep plays a failed musician who gives up her over-the-hill stardom-chasing to return home (to Indiana) and make things right with her dysfunctional family. Streep makes for a surprisingly good wannabe rock star, but the domestic drama is overly familiar. 101 minutes PG-13.
From the makers of "Wallace & Gromit" comes this charm-filled claymation spin-off about a smart-alec (albeit silent) sheep who decides to take the day off and ends up searching the big city for his amnesia-prone farmer. There is much silliness, physical humor and sight gags to be had--all of it wonderful. 85 minutes PG.
Movie-loving demon with a goofy name Bughuul is back haunting another rural family in this sequel to the 2012 horror hit Sinister. Ethan Hawke is out. Shannyn Sossamon (A Knight's Tale) is in, doing parent duty. This unimaginative rehash is little more than a collection of jump-scares. 97 minutes R.
Jake Gyllenhaal and Rachel McAdams star in this gritty sports drama about a boxer trying to get his life back on track after losing his wife to a tragic accident and his daughter to child protective services. Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Shooter, The Equalizer) directs. Gyllenhaal gives it his all, but his greatest opponent is sports movie cliché. 123 minutes R.
F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job, The Negotiator) directs this dutiful biopic relating the origin story of controversial, groundbreaking LA rap group NWA. O'Shea Jackson Jr. is particularly convincing as the young Ice Cube--not too surprising, considering he's Cube's son. The film has generated some serious buzz; too bad it's so by-the-numbers. 147 minutes R.
Red-hot sketch comedian Amy Schumer writes and stars in this surprisingly deep comedy for director Judd Apatow (The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Knocked Up). It's just as raunchy as you're imagining, but Schumer contributes a lot of realistic drama as a commitment-phobic party girl who finds herself attracted to a nice-guy sports physician (Bill Hader). The film ignores all the usual plot tropes of romantic comedies that keep the main characters apart. Here, it's just the people, their emotions and their histories that make things complicated. Ass-smackingly funny and unexpectedly grown up. FULL REVIEW:Judd Apatow + Amy Schumer = Love by Devin D. O’Leary (7/16/2015). 125 minutes R.
At least this reboot/sequel starts with a clever idea: Some 30 years after that fateful vacation to Wally World with his parents, now-grown-up Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms, taking over from Anthony Michael Hall) vows to recreate the journey with his wife (Christina Applegate) and kids. 99 minutes R.