In this archaeologically minded supernatural thriller, a group of explorers descends into the skeleton-filled catacombs below Paris, only to come face-to-face with their own fears made real. If you're a "found footage" completist, you might be the audience for this low-budget mixture of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Descent from the Brothers Dowdle (The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine, Devil). 93 minutes R.
Despite the fact that Atlas Shrugged and Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike absolutely bombed, both critically and financially, poker-playing investor/movie producer John Aglialoro is determined to make filmgoers love the proto-libertarian politics of Ayn Rand as much as he does. So here's the third (thankfully final) chapter in Rand's preposterous love letter to laissez-faire capitalism. Once again, the entire cast has been replaced with new, less mortified actors. Also, the production was funded off Kickstarter, so apparently capitalism doesn't work. PG-13.
Filmmaker Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) spent 12 years--off and on--shooting this coming-of-age tale. Instead of being gimmicky, the film is comfortingly real and quietly observational. We simply watch as Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grows from age 5 to age 18 and experiences all that life throws at him. His parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) are divorced, and he drifts from video games to ogling lingerie catalogues to dealing with awful stepparents to navigating high school. The free-flowing narrative never tries to impose a "story" on the proceedings--and yet it's never dull. Instead, it's a lesson in regression for audiences as they recall all the funny, sad, rough, joyous, confusing moments that make up pre-adulthood. 165 minutes R.
From the director of Waltz With Bashir comes this subversive, self-referential mind-bender. Actress Robin Wright plays an actress named Robin Wright, who decides to take on one final job--preserving her digital likeness for future Hollywood. Twenty years later, her computerized avatar is a superstar under the creative control of the studio's head animator. This trippy mix of live-action and animation features the voices and faces of Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti and others. It's (very loosely) based on a novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. If you know who that is, that should give you some idea of how out-there this sci-fi drama is. 122 minutes Unrated.
Winter, the handicapped dolphin who starred in the inspirational family film about her own life, returns in an even more fictionalized sequel. Here, marine biologists at an aquarium in Florida rescue an even cuter baby dolphin named Hope. Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. are the non-dolphin stars. 107 minutes PG.
Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace star in this gritty little crime drama about a good-natured mook working at his cousin's bar in Brooklyn. The place is secretly owned by the Chechen mob, though. And when some neighborhood idiots rob the joint, our protagonist (Hardy) and his cousin (Gandolfini) must find the money before the mob finds them. It's a slow-paced affair, but it builds to a shocking climax thanks to a smart script by author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and some indelible character work by Hardy. 106 minutes R.
Lois Lowry's much-loved teen lit sci-fi novel finally makes it to the big screen. In a futuristic dystopia--seemingly without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice--a young man(Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to learn from an elderly man (Jeff Bridges) the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Note to all future dystopian leaders: Get rid of the teenagers. If YA literature is any indication (Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, Delirium, Unwind, The Maze Runner), two photogenic teenagers in love will invariably bring down your society. 94 minutes PG-13.
Marvel Comics' superhero movies take off in a different direction, heading into outer space for this buoyantly comic, endlessly entertaining sci-fi romp. A band of misfits, criminals and brash adventurers is conscripted into saving the galaxy when a powerful alien warlord comes looking for a weapon of cosmos-threatening proportions. Cult filmmaker James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet, Dawn of the Dead, Slither, Super) writes and directs. Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation"), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) and Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) star. 121 minutes PG-13.
After the untimely death of their matriarch, a brokenhearted Indian clan wanders Europe looking for a place to open up their family restaurant. They end up in an impossibly picturesque French town where Papa (Om Puri) decides to hang up his shingle across the street from a Michelin Star restaurant. Gifted young chef Hassan (Manish Dayal) falls in love with the rival sous chef (Charlotte Le Bon), while Papa starts up a love/hate relationship with the fancy French restaurant's uptight owner (Helen Mirren). This is exactly (exactly) the sort of semi-exotic foodie romance you would expect from the director of Chocolat. 122 minutes PG.
Capitalizing on the beautiful tragedy of The Fault in Our Stars, this romantic drama adapts another weepy teen lit hit. Young Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) is on the edge of adulthood, about to go off to Juilliard to study music. But a tragic car accident kills off her parents and leaves her in a coma. An out-of-body experience leaves our gal wandering around watching friends and family gather at the hospital and drifting freely through her memories. Now she must decide if she should wake up and get on with her life or just kick the bucket. 106 minutes PG-13.
We've had found-footage horror films (The Blair Witch Project et al), found-footage monster movies (Cloverfield), found-footage cop movies (End of Watch), found-footage superhero films (Chronicle) and found-footage kids' films (Earth to Echo). So why not some found-footage disaster porn? Into the Storm takes the basic plot of Twister, throws in some handheld camera and adds a whole bunch more CGI destruction. It comes to us from the director of Final Destination 5 and the writer of Step Up All In. 89 minutes PG-13.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (still hanging out off the set of FOX's "New Girl") are a couple of struggling pals who decide to dress up as cops for a costume party. Mistaken for real police officers, and afforded respect for the first time in their lives, the two decide to keep up the charade. Unfortunately a collection of real-life mobsters and dirty detectives put our dressed-up do-gooders in mortal danger. Yes, it's as silly as you're thinking. 104 minutes R.
French filmmaker Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) gets back into the swing of action filmmaking with this monumentally strange, and epically silly sci-fi flick. Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman tricked into becoming a mule for an experimental drug. When the bags of illegal chemicals in her stomach break open, she instantly and mysteriously gains all the superpowers in the universe by using 100 percent of her brain. We're talking Jackie Chan, all of the X-Men and Neo at the end of The Matrix combined. Naturally she employs these powers to get revenge on the bad people. Given that she can control all of time and space, there's not a lot of tension. 90 minutes R.
Woody Allen's 44th film is a lightweight charmer. Colin Firth plays a professional magician and debunker who travels to Southern France (circa 1920) to expose a fraudulent spiritualist. Our hero is shocked to find the charlatan is a wide-eyed American cutie (Emma Stone). Even more shocking, he can't figure out her tricks. Could it be that she actually has the ability to speak to the dead? The outcome of this period romcom is never remotely in doubt, but the cast is quite likable, and the setting is lovely to look at. 97 minutes PG-13.
Taraji P. Henson ("Person of Interest," Think Like a Man) and Idris Elba ("Luther," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) class up this twisty domestic thriller about a suburban wife and mother who finds her home invaded by a dangerous escaped convict. 84 minutes PG-13.
Pierce Brosnan stars as an ex-CIA operative who is brought back from retirement (of course he is) and pitted against a former protégé (Luke Bracey, who played Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation) in one of those deadly games of cat-and-mouse that spies/assassins love to play on screen. There's some decent action, but you've seen it all before. Based on the seventh book in the "November Man" series by author Bill Granger. 106 minutes R.
Überproducer Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Armageddon, Transformers) has his grubby fingerprints all over this unnecessary reboot of the classic comic book/cartoon series. The special effects are a major upgrade, but the story--scarred by all the usual overworked, underwritten tropes of modern screenwriting--takes a lot of liberties with the original. It's not a travesty, but it's probably not what fans want either. 101 minutes PG-13.
Thanks to legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle High School's football team went undefeated for 12 years--an unprecedented 151-game winning streak. Eventually, of course, the streak had to come to an end. This inspirational, based-on-a-true-story drama looks at what happened next. The script is incredibly sincere, and star Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) does stoic and soft-spoken quite well. But the film is produced by Sony offshoot Affirm Films and is aimed squarely at evangelical Christians. If you like your formulaic sports movies laced with a minimum of Bible quotes, this is not the film for you. 115 minutes PG.