Guild Cinema gives us 10 days of classic crime movie double features. Ten films spanning the years 1940 to 1956 have been pulled from the Warner Archive and programmed exlusively for the Guild by Elliot Lavine, curator of the nationally known annual film noir extravaganza "I Wake Up Dreaming." On July 25 a gang of armed robbers spreads terror in Highway 301, and a vicious killer hides hostages in a Nevada ghost town in Split Second. On July 26 and 27 the festival closes out with a Fritz Lang double-feature. Sex and murder rock a big-city newspaper in While the City Sleeps and a writer frames himself for murder to expose inequalities in the death penalty in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
Guild Cinema Fri Highway 301 5:15, 8:45 Split Second 7:00; Sat-Sun While the City Sleeps 4:30, 8:45 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 7:00
The 2012 comic reboot of teen cop series "21 Jump Street" worked almost entirely thanks to the efforts of its game cast (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, chiefly). The simple script and low-impact direction certainly didn't add much to the proceedings. This rude follow-up (set in college) tries a little harder, crafting a bigger-stakes story and a perfect storm of self-mocking jokes. It ain't smart, but it does have drug content, brief nudity and a Benny Hill reference. 112 minutes R.
If you're feeling extra jingoistic and xenophobic around Independence Day, why not check out the latest right-wing hootenany from writer-director Dinesh D'Souza (2016: Obama's America)? In this ... let's charitably call it a "documentary," D'Souza calls out all the Americans who hate America (read: "democrats") and imagines an alternate reality in which America lost the Revolutionary War. The point of all this? Liberals are stupid, and slavery wasn't all that bad. (It was character-building, black people!) Also, Saul Alinsky was Satan, Matt Damon is a poo-poo head, and Mexicans are destroying our country. Good night. Sleep tight. 103 minutes PG-13.
Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo star in this music industry dramedy for writer-director John Carney (Once). Knightley plays a young singer-songwriter who gets dumped by her famous boyfriend (Adam Levine) and begins a promising collaboration with a disgraced record company executive (Ruffalo). 104 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Thu 11:20am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:30, 10:25 Century Rio Fri 10:55am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:40; Sat 10:40; Sun-Thu 10:55am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:40 High Ridge Fri-Thu 1:05, 4:05, 7:30, 10:30
Jon Favreau (now famous as the director of Iron Man) returns to his indie film roots, writing, directing and starring in this humble comedy about a famous chef who loses his fancy restaurant job and starts over with a food truck. John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Sofía Vergara, Amy Sedaris and Robert Downey Jr. drop by to help out their pal. 115 minutes R.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was a not-half-bad attempt to reboot a classic film series without really rebooting it. The sci-fi actioner fits neatly in amongst the '60s and '70s Planet of the Apes films. Now things get a little more ... ape-like, with Caesar and his army of genetically modified apes threatening to wipe out the last surviving band of humans. Bottom line: Apes with machine guns riding horses=good times. 130 minutes PG-13.
"Inspired by a true story" script? Check. Women and children contorting and doing their best Linda Blair imitation? Check. Commercials featuring real audience members flinching and screaming in the dark? Check. Looks like we're set for this month's low-budget Exorcist clone. 118 minutes R.
This well-meaning but entirely uninspired family sci-fi flick glues the entire plot to E.T. the Extraterrestrial onto the handheld, found-footage style of Chronicle. The result is a cheap, nostalgic imitation of mid-'80s Steven Spielberg-inspired wonderment. J.J. Abrams' Super 8 did the exact same (and I mean, exact same) thing 50 times better. 91 minutes PG.
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this Independence Day-meets-Groundhog Day sci-fi flick. Cruise plays an ordinary dude who gets drafted to fight off an alien invasion. Unfortunately he dies--just like everybody else on Earth. Fortunately he gets stuck in a time loop--which sends him back to the beginning of the day every time he kicks the bucket. With the help of a tough female soldier, he decides to use his endless regenerations to learn from his mistakes and become the ultimate alien-fighting machine. Based on the book All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. 113 minutes PG-13.
Hollywood has finally realized there's more to Young Adult lit than sparkly vampires and post-apocalyptic romance. This comfortingly ordinary drama about two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group is based on the smash hit book by John Green. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (who just got done playing brother and sister in the post-apocalyptic romance Divergent) star. ... And you thought Love Story was a weeper. 125 minutes PG-13.
Viking teen Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his best dragon friend Toothless discover a hidden ice cave, home to hundreds of new wild dragon species. Having only recently made peace with their fire-breathing allies, the dragonriders must now deal with a whole new monstrous threat. This sequel to DreamWorks' surprisingly solid CGI hit from 2010 ups the ante, turning the original boy-and-his-dog variation into a full-blown fantasy war epic. 102 minutes PG.
The hit "jukebox musical" featuring all the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons makes the trip from Broadway to Hollywood with Clint Eastwood (of all people) behind the camera. Many of the Broadway stars (including Tony winner John Lloyd Young) come along for the ride. It sounds like a million bucks, but the standard rise-fall-rise story is basic "Behind the Music" stuff. 134 minutes R.
Disney reboots Sleeping Beauty with this live-action fairy tale concentrating more on the (apparently not-so-)evil sorceress (played by Angelina Jolie) and her tragic backstory. Elle Fanning (Super 8) is our soon-to-be-somnolent princess. Jolie is mesmerizing, and the film does a credible and ultimately quite likeable job melding Disney sentiment with certain aspects of the original fairy tale. But it's an odd fantasy that takes a long time to find its tone. 97 minutes PG.
A crusading evangelist (James Remar) finds himself framed for murder and on the run after he refuses to back an evil senator's proposition calling for sweeping religious reform in America. Hey, if the "War of Christianity" isn't actually happening in real life, paranoid religious conservatives can at least pretend it is at the movie theater. This was a big hit when it screened at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. If your name is Ralph Reed, you'll love it too. Writer-director Daniel Lusko (500 MPH Storm) grew up in Albuquerque, the son of a local megachurch pastor. 93 minutes PG-13.
Against the better judgments of the Pixar folks, Disney released a chintzy, aerial knockoff of the Cars franchise last year. Despite the obvious lack of effort and the presence of Dane Cook, the film made money. So here's a sequel, which at least comes with better animation and adds the excitement of firefighting. Most kids like firefighting. 83 minutes PG.
Universal scored a surprise hit with last year's horror thriller/political satire The Purge. The near-future, right-wing libertarian fantasy continues as Uncle Sam gets out of our hair and suspends all laws for another 24 hours. Wouldn't you know it, some nice family runs out of gas on the streets of Los Angeles, just as the murder-filled lawlessness begins? 103 minutes R.
Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are a bored suburban couple who make a raunchy sex tape only to wake up and find the footage has gone missing. Segel and Diaz try hard, but the film is heavy on shenanigans and light on anything else (including, sadly, sex). 94 minutes R.
Melissa McCarthy, riding high after Bridesmaids and The Heat, plays a white trash woman who loses her job and finds out her husband has been cheating. In response she hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking granny (Susan Sarandon). Hijinks ensue. 96 minutes R.
In his most restrained film to date, Michael Bay ... just kidding. This thing's 2 hours and 45 minutes' worth of exploding and screaming. The original cast has been ditched. (How will we ever survive without Shia LaBeouf?) Mark Wahlberg takes over human hero duties as a poor mechanic who buys a smashed-up semi, only to discover it's a Transformer. This would be more fun to watch at home where you can play the drinking game: Take a shot every time there's a giant fireball, an expensive piece of actual US military hardware races by or an American flag waves in slow motion. 165 minutes PG-13.
The swingin' '60s X-Men of X-Men: First Class (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult) unite with the older, more grizzled X-Men of X-Men: The Last Stand (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry) in order to prevent a future in which fascist robots have taken over the United States and hunted mutants to near-extinction. The story lacks a clear villain and there are too many characters to keep track of, but it still amounts to some breathless popcorn movie fun. 131 minutes PG-13.