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.
At the height of the Vietnam War, two young fathers--one a man of faith, one a doubtful cynic--report for duty. Decades later, their sons travel to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, DC, guided by handwritten letters their fathers sent from the battlefield. There, beside The Wall, the young men learn ... something, something, Jesus. This one comes to us from Pure Flix, the "family friendly" Christian company behind such films as God's Not Dead, Do You Believe? and Jerusalem Countdown. Stephen Baldwin is in it. 93 minutes PG-13.
Carey Mulligan (An Education) stars as Thomas Hardy's literary heroine Bathsheba Everdene, who inherits a sprawling farm in the English countryside and must decide between romance with the hunky farmhand, the kindly next-door neighbor or the smooth-talking soldier. Director Thomas Vinterberg (The Celebration) sticks close to Hardy's gritty realism, resulting in a film with more broken hearts than happy endings. FULL REVIEW:Gritty, 19th-century English romance finds love and hate down on the farm by Devin D. O’Leary (5/21/2015). 119 minutes PG-13.
Blythe Danner (Meet the Parents) stars in this comedy-drama-romance about "a widow and former songstress who discovers that life can begin anew at any age"--which is pretty much the theme of every movie aimed at the AARP crowd. The material is familiar, but Danner sells it with charm and skill. 85 minutes PG-13.
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.
Is it just me, or are these "suburban families stalked by ghosts" movies getting harder to keep straight? Not to be confused with last week's Poltergeist remake or Sinister 2 (coming out later this summer) or the Paranormal Activity series (the sixth film hit theaters this August), this one's actually a prequel to the previous two Insidious movies. Here we learn how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (cult actress Lin Shaye) got her start busting ghosts. 97 minutes PG-13.
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.
Paul Dano (There Will Be Blood) and John Cusack (High Fidelity) split the role of Beach Boys founder Brian Wilson in this musical biopic about the musician's struggles with mental illness. Dano is terrific, but the Cusack sections (set in the '80s) feel like a weird add-on. 120 minutes PG-13.
Some 30 years after the the third Mad Max film (Beyond Thunderdome), legendary director George Miller returns to reboot the road-wrecking series. This time around, Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) is our reluctant, ex-cop antihero Max, wandering the post-apocalyptic wasteland looking for peace and quiet. What he finds is a furious woman of action (Charlize Theron) on the run from a sadistic warlord and his band of motor-mad psychos. For this rule-breaking action classic, Miller eschews old-fashioned niceties like dialogue and character development in order to tell an explosive, operatic myth through movement, explosions and heroic bloodshed. 120 minutes R.
The ab-having studs of Magic Mike (Channing Tatum, Matt Bomer, Joe Manganiello, Kevin Nash, Adam Rodriquez) return. It's been three years since our "magic" hero got out of the male stripper business, but he's recruited by the remaining Kings of Tampa to go on one last, blowout performance in Myrtle Beach. Bottom line: Hot guys take off their clothes to the Backstreet Boys. Who needs more information than that? 115 minutes R.
Lassie gets a patriotic, post-9/11 makeover. A dog that helped U.S. Marines in Afghanistan returns to America and is adopted by his handler's teenage brother after "suffering a traumatic experience." Troubled teen and troubled dog bond. Then somebody gets lost in the woods, and there's an adventure. 111 minutes PG.
A teenage filmmaker (Thomas Mann) befriends a classmate with leukemia (Olivia Cooke) in this sensitive, offbeat adaptation of Jesse Andrews' best-selling YA novel. This funny, frank examination of young adulthood deftly avoids cliché and convention, giving audiences an unexpectedly bracing dose of humor and melancholy. FULL REVIEW:Teenage dramedy avoids cliché, but not sympathy by Devin D. O’Leary (7/2/2015). 105 minutes PG-13.
After a humiliating command performance at Lincoln Center, the Barden Bellas (including way-too-old for college Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson) enter an international singing competition in order to regain their status. Goofy hijinks, sassy sisterhood and an a cappella rendition of "Flashlight" by Jessie J ensue. 115 minutes PG-13.
The B-movie disaster flicks of the '70s get a CGI facelift courtesy of the guy who directed Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as an emotionally wounded rescue copter pilot who has to race across California and save his college-bound daughter (Alexandra Daddario) when the San Andreas fault splits in two. It's got all the collapsing buildings and corny one-liners you'll need this summer. 114 minutes PG-13.
Melissa McCarthy reunites with her Bridesmaids/The Heat director Paul Feig to play a deskbound CIA analyst who suddenly becomes a field agent when the identities of all the other operatives are compromised. McCarthy provides all the slapstick action. Jude Law and Jason Statham drop by to do the sophisticated spy thing. 115 minutes R.
Writer-director-actor Seth MacFarlane ("Family Guy") returns for more raunchy shenanigans. MacFarlane once again voices talking, boozing, sex-crazed teddy bear Ted while Mark Wahlberg plays his lifelong human pal. This time around Ted and his new bride (Jessica Barth) want to have a baby. But first, Ted has to prove his "personhood" in court. Hijinks ensue. 115 minutes R.
The Terminator series reboots itself with a partially new cast (Jai Courtney from "Spartacus: War of the Damned" as Kyle Reese, Emilia Clarke from "Game of Thrones" as Sarah Connor), a muddled script and an "alternate timeline." Seems it's 1984 again. Young Sarah Connor has been fully warned of Skynet's plans for Judgment Day and is protecting herself with a reprogrammed (and rather old) Terminator (played, of course, by Arnold Schwarzenegger). Then John Connor shows up from the future, only he's a Terminator now, and things get super confusing. See what you did, Star Trek? 122 minutes PG-13.