Carlos Saura--director of Carmen, Tango and Flamenco--presents another well-choreographed look at Argentina's musical heritage. This documentary takes viewers from traditional styles such as the Zamba of "La Felipe Varela" through to modern dance. In Spanish with English subtitles. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 6/24)
In this dazzling Brazilian animated adventure, a young boy goes on a quest find his lost father, who has disappeared into a chaotic megalopolis in search of work. The film mixes phantasmagoric imagery with a social realist narrative about class struggle and poverty. In Portuguese with English subtitles. 80 minutes Unrated. (Opens Satruday 6/25)
Matthew McConaughey and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in this based-on-a-true-story historical drama about a poor farmer from Mississippi who leads a group of rebels against the Confederate army. This tale of racial liberation is certainly earnest, but the limited budget and pious tone make this more of a classroom lesson than a Civil War epic. 139 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 6/23)
This cinema-based documentary features a career-retrospective collection of excerpts covering nearly the entire career of experimental Beligian filmmaker Chantal Akerman--from 1975's Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai Du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles to 2015's No Home Movie. 67 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 6/28)
It's been 20 years since those national monument-destroying space aliens got destoryed by an Apple laptop computer virus. Now it seems they're back--and rather embarassed for having gone out like such punks. They've brought some even more humongous spaceships with them this time, capable of causing even more CGI destruction. It's up to a new generation of freedom fighters (Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher among them) as well as a few familiar faces (Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox) to kick alien ass once again. 120 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 6/23)
New Mexico Entertainment Magazine invites you to grab your pajamas and sample a selection of classic cartoons from your childhood (assuming your childhood coincided with the release of these cartoons). 100 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 6/25)
Danish master stylist Nicolas Winding Refn (Pusher, Bronson, Valhalla Rising, Drive, Only God Forgives) returns with this glittery, surreal horror thriller about an aspiring model (Elle Fanning) who moves to Los Angeles where her youth and vitality are slowly stolen by a string of beauty-obsessed women. Macabre, twisted, gorgeously mounted and seriously depraved, this one will win fans and detractors in near-equal number. Jena Malone, Christina Hendricks, Keanu Reeves round out the odd cast. 117 minutes R. (Opens Friday 6/24)
Belgian experimental filmmaker Chantal Akerman closed out her career with this deeply personal documentary. The subject is Akerman's mother, a Holocaust survivor who married and raised a family in Brussels. Much of Akerman's later work--from videos to books to installation art--concerned the artist's relationship with her mother. This challenging cinematic portrait is considered one of her finest efforts. In French with English subtitles. 115 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 6/28)
This musical documentary/art project relates the life and love story of Maria Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes, Argentina's two most famous tango dancers. The two met as teenagers and danced together for nearly 50 years until a painful separation tore them apart. Here they open up about their long love-hate relationship and the art that it inspired to a group of young tango dancers and choreographers who transform the stories into a series of vivid dances. In Spanish with English subtitles. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 6/24)
Blake Lively (of "Gossip Girl") stars in this minimalist horror thriller for Spanish director Jaume Collet-Serra (House of Wax, Orphan, Non-Stop). She plays a young surfer who is attacked and stalked by a great white shark a mere 200 yards off shore--touching off a contest of wills in which our harried heroine must marshal all of her strength and skills in order to survive. 87 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 6/23)
The 1971 fantasy classic based on Roald Dahl's nonsense-filled children's book returns to the big screen. It's darker and more chaotic than you probably remember, and damn is Gene Wilder good. 100 minutes G. (Opens Sunday 6/26)
On March 13, 1964, Kitty Genovese was attacked and murdered in Kew Gardens, Queens. Her senseless death quickly became a symbol for New York's urban apathy. Some 50 years later, this research-heavy documentary follows the efforts of Kitty's brother Bill Genovese to uncover the shocking truth buried beneath the infamous story. 89 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 6/24)
Disney's re-jiggered, live-action Alice in Wonderland returns in another eye-boggling fantasy outing produced by (but not directed by) Tim Burton. This time around, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is forced to travel back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and defeat the evil machinations of Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen). 113 minutes PG.
Marvel steps in to show DC how superhero conflict is done. This smartly written action flick bristles with contemporary moral quandaries. And yet it's fast, fun and light on its feet. Seems that the near disastrous events of the last Avengers movie have made many question the whole idea of superpowered heroics. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), for example, thinks heroes should now be regulated by the U.N. Captain America (Chris Evans), on the other hand, thinks otherwise. What follows is a head-to-head battle that forces a lot of familiar faces (and a few new ones) to choose sides. 146 minutes PG-13.
Big, muscular Dwayne Johnson and tiny, motormouthed Kevin Hart are a couple of old high school pals reunited through Facebook for one of them buddy action-comedy adventures. Hart is a mild-mannered accountant and Johnson is an international superspy. Hijinks ensue. 114 minutes PG-13.
Director James Wan and actors Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return for this follow-up to the cheap chiller hit of 2013. Based on (but incredibly hyped up from) the case files of real-life ghost hunters Lorraine and Ed Warren, this supernatural drama takes us to North London to investigate the infamous Enfield poltergeist incident. You know the drill: Floating kids, loud bumps in the night, spinning crosses, creepy voices and the occasional demonic nun. 133 minutes R.
This is the inspirational true story of a Welsh barmaid who talked her friends and customers into investing their hard-earned money into breeding a race horse. Like all uplifting sports documetaries, the outcome of this one is fairly predictable. But filmmaker Louise Osmond (Deep Water, The Blitz: London's Longest Night) uses interviews, archival footage and dramatic recreations to enliven her underdog narrative. 85 minutes PG.
Thirteen years after we went looking for Nemo, the CGI toonsters at Pixar take us on a quest to find Dory. Actually, Dory (the bubble-headed blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is looking for her long-lost parents. Naturally, there's a lesson about family to be learned along the way. Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba and Bill Hader provide vocal support. FULL REVIEW:Simple but satisfying sequel follows its own motto and just keeps swimming by Devin D. O’Leary (6/23/2016). 97 minutes PG.
Colin Firth, Jude Law and Nicole Kidman star in this pagebound biopic about Max Perkins' time as a book editor at Scribner Publishing in the 1920s--during which he oversaw works by Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and others. As always, writers don't make for particularly cinematic subjects, but longtime British stage director Michael Grandage fashions a dutifully old-fashioned tale of creative egos clashing. 104 minutes PG-13.
The classic 1984 supernatural comedy returns to the big screen, just in time to show up its sequel/reboot. Feel free to quote along ("It's true, this man has no penis.") as Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ernie Hudson zap ghosts and demons in midtown Manhattan. 105 minutes PG.
Unlike Disney's recent live-action Cinderella , Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz revamps, this family fantasy sticks pretty close to the original cartoon version. John Favreau (Elf, Iron Man) does an admirable job directing one kid and a whole bunch of CGI animals. Star Neel Sethi is a ball of energy, leaping and tumbling his way from one action sequence to the next. A string of celebrity voices (Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken) take on the familiar characters. The action is a bit intense at times for the littlest of tykes. The decision to include two of the songs from the original Disney cartoon is odd, but doesn't upset the overall balance of the adventurous film. FULL REVIEW:Fancy computer animation brings Kipling classic to life by Devin D. O’Leary (4/21/2016). 105 minutes PG.
Idiosyncratic Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos (Dogtooth) spins this absurdist comedy about a future dystopia in which romantic relationships are required by law. Lose your partner and you have 45 days to find a new one--or you'll be transformed into the lower animal of your choice. Colin Farrell plays a sad-sack singleton shipped off to a creepy, bureaucratic seaside hotel to pair up or get turned into a lobster. The humor (if you can label it that) is purely deadpan, but the eerie production design and gung-ho cast (including Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux and Ben Whishaw) go with the flow. A distinctly odd and strikingly romantic (or anti-romantic, depending on how you look at it) flight of fancy. FULL REVIEW:Absurdist romance makes monkeys out of us all by Devin D. O’Leary (6/2/2016). 119 minutes R.
Erudite American filmmaker Whit Stillman (Metropolitan, The Last Days of Disco, Damsels in Distress) finally finds a kinship in British author Jane Austen. Here, he adapts a long-lost and rather scandalous Austen novella about a gold-digging widow named Lady Susan (Kate Beckinsale, at her best) who shows up on the doorstep of her in-laws and proceeds to romance her sister-in-law's eligible young brother (Xavier Samuel)--that is until Lady Susan's teenaged daughter gets kicked out of boarding school. Now our sensibly unromantic protagonist has got two get herself and her daughter properly wed. The cast (also encompassing Chloë Sevigny, Stephen Fry and Morfydd Clark) is in tip-top shape and the script is hilariously cynical. FULL REVIEW:Jane Austen anti-romance adds the wit of a modern sophisticate by Devin D. O’Leary (5/19/2016). 92 minutes PG.
Reliable indie muse Greta Gerwig (Baghead, Greenberg, Frances Ha, Mistress America) stars in this likable romantic comedy from writer-director Rebecca Miller (The Ballad of Jack and Rose, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee). Gerwig stars as a thirtysomething college instructor who comes up with the perfect plan to artificially inseminate herself and become a single mother. That gets derailed when she meets and falls in love with an unhappily married writer (Ethan Hawke). But when he proves to be a selfish burden, she's forced to come up with yet another life-altering plan. The witty, observation comedy takes a moment to find its footing (a jumpy script and some choppy editing don't help), but the fine cast (including Julianne Moore, Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph and Travis Fimmel) eventually settles into the perfect hipster screwball tone. FULL REVIEW:Control, narcissism and love mix with oddball results by Renée Chavez (6/9/2016). 98 minutes R.
Jojo Moyes' 10-hankie tearjerker of a novel heads to the big screen. Emilia Clarke (significantly less Dragon Queeny here than on "Game of Thrones") plays a small-town English girl who forms an unlikely (and romantic, of course) bond with the recently paralyzed man she's hired to take care of (Sam Claflin from The Hunger Games and Snow White and the Huntsman). 110 minutes PG-13.
Susan Sarandon and Rose Byrne star in this comedy/drama about an aging widow from New York City who follows her screenwriter daughter out to Los Angeles in hopes of starting a new life after her husband passes away. With her busy daughter unable to adjust to the 24/7 TLC, our protagonist turns her attention to other random people (including J.K. Simmons as a Harley-riding possible love interest). 100 minutes PG-13.
Having successfully excised the hard-partying fraternity next door, husband and wife Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne find a hard-partying sorority taking up residence next. ... I'm thinking maybe a hard-partying youth hostel for Neighbors 3. 92 minutes R.
Ryan Gosling is a down-on-his luck single father/private eye and Russell Crowe is the muscleman-for-hire who teams up with him (reluctantly, of course) to solve the murder of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. The setting is evocative, and writer-director Shane Black (Lethal Weapon, Last Action Hero, Iron Man 3) knows his way around buddy action comedies. It's painfully funny and brutally violent at times. Gosling and Crowe are clearly having a ball. But the Chinatown-esque plot is so convoluted (something about porn films, catalytic converters and the Department of Justice) that it's hard to completely swallow. R.
The gang of gonzo magicians-turned-criminals led by Jesse Eisenberg returns for more unlawful shenanigans. This time around they're being blackmailed by a tech genius into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan join the already stuffed cast (Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine). 129 minutes PG-13.
The "SNL"-bred jokesters behind Lonely Island (you know, "Dick in a Box") write, direct and star in this jokey satire about an aging boy band member (Andy Samberg) who does everything in his power to maintain his fading celebrity status. Celebrity guests include Pink, Adam Levine, Jimmy Fallon and Joanna Newsom. 86 minutes R.
Producer Michael Bay's CGI TMNT sequel finds the quartet joining forces with sporty vigilante Casey Jones (Stephen Amell, uncontent to simply hero it up on "Arrow") and fighting off the combined threat of Bebop, Rocksteady and the dreaded alien invader Kraang. 112 minutes PG-13.
In the third video game adaptation of the summer (after Ratchet & Clank and Angry Birds), a peaceable kingdom stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces its greatest threat: an invasion of orc warriors. But are these creatures seeking destruction or refuge? It's up to one brave fighter (Travis Fimmel from "Vikings") to figure it out. There are a handful of real, live actors here, but the majority of this film's characters and background are pure CGI. David Bowie offspring Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) directs, based on the wildly popular MMO. 123 minutes PG-13.
The X-Men timeline (rebooted all to hell by 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past) heads into the 1980s with a handful of familiar faces (James McAvoy's Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique) and a bunch of unfamiliar ones (Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp's Storm). This time around an immortal mutant from ancient Egypt (The Force Awakens' Oscar Isaac) is back and trying to wipe out all of humanity. There's plenty of action to be had, but the script feels far too cliché-filled and retrograde explodey in today's post-Civil War MCU world. 144 minutes PG-13.
The gang (Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson, Eve, Sean Patrick Thomas, Jazsmin Lewis) is all back in this fourth film in the Barbershop series (if you count 2005's Beauty Shop). This time around the shop is co-ed, and everybody's fighting against neighborhood violence. But it's pretty much just people standing around a barber shop bagging on one another. 112 minutes PG-13.
Batman and Superman duke it out in a grimdark setting that involves lots of glowering, real estate-flattening explosions and concrete-colored costumes. The action is frenetic, the production design is faithful to its comic book roots and there's plenty of fan service--but the film just doesn't differentiate its heroes enough for the long-awaited confrontation to feel particularly justified. Batman and Superman are now both dark, brooding, murderous vigilantes feared by polite society. This crowded, lengthy film wastes a lot of energy setting up future Justice League films, but doesn't spend enough time being fun or escapist or particularly entertaining. FULL REVIEW:Superheroes battle to see who can cause the biggest explosion in unnecessarily dour franchise filler by Devin D. O’Leary (3/24/2016). 153 minutes PG-13.
Melissa McCarthy ("Mike & Molly," Bridesmaids) stars as a famed business mogul/financial guru who is sent to prison after she's caught for insider trading. When she gets out of prison, she's forced to work off her community service by helping a Girl Scouts-esque organization with their annual baked goods-based fundraiser. Naturally, she seizes on the opportunity to rebuild her financial empire and get revenge on everyone who screwed her over--one brownie at a time. 99 minutes R.
A family (including Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell and David Mazouz) returns from a Grand Canyon vacation, haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened. ... Wait. Wasn't that the plot to an episode of "The Brady Bunch"? 92 minutes PG-13.
This sequel to 2012's Snow White and the Huntsman dumps lead princess Kristen Stewart and replaces her with most of the plot from Disney's Frozen (or Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," if you're a traditionalist). Seems that jealousy-prone queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) and her icy exiled sister Freya (Emily Blunt) are at war. Naturally, Chris Hemsworth's hunky huntsman is caught in the middle. As in the previous outing, the costumes and sets are visually stunning, but the convoluted fairy tale mash-up of a storyline is better suited for ABC's corny "Once Upon a Time." 114 minutes PG-13.
Sketch comedy kings Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in this manic action comedy about a brokenhearted guy (Peele) who adopts the world's cutest kitten in the wake of an ugly breakup. But when the titular feline is kidnapped by a group of violent gang-bangers, our protagonist teams up with his nerdy best bud (Key) to pose as drug dealers in order to rescue the beloved pet. 98 minutes R.
The talking animals of Madagascar have never been known for their navigational skills. In the first film, they tried to get to Africa and wound up in Madagascar. In the second film, they tried to get to New York and ended up in Africa. Now, they're stuck tooling around Europe with a circus. Ah well, it's all just an excuse for Chris Rock to crack wise while Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer and Jada Pinkett Smith act like the straight men (animals?). The penguins and the lemurs still get all the best laughs. 85 minutes PG.
Having had success with 2002's super sleeper hit My Big Fat Greek Wedding and 2003's TV spin-off "My Big Fat Greek Life" and ... honestly, not much else, Nia Vardalos goes back to the well for some romantic comedy cash. This time around it's her meddling parents (who, it turns out, were never properly married) getting hitched. Ethnic stereotype-based hijinks ensue. 94 minutes PG-13.
Hollywood takes another uninspired stab at revamping J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan story. This one plays out as a "prequel," explaining how a 12-year-old orphan named Peter (Levi Miller) wound up in Neverland battling evil pirate Blackbeard (Hugh Jackman) alongside an adventurous young Hook (Garrett Hedlund). Joe Wright (Atonement, Pride & Prejudice) directs heavily tampered-with fantasy. 111 minutes PG.
A plucky country rabbit (Ginnifer Goodwin) dreams of becoming a tough-as-nails cop in the teeming city of Zootopia. Unfortunately, the place is run by predators, who relegate the barrier-busting bunny to meter maid duty. But when a series of mysterious disappearances rocks the city, she teams with a self-serving con man of a fox (Jason Bateman) to crack the case. This funny animal take on sun-dappled L.A. noir manages to tackle some hot-button issues (racism, sexism) while still being a colorful, entertaining Disney romp. FULL REVIEW:Disney turns an animal utopia on its ear in this savvy, sociological crime caper by Devin D. O’Leary (3/3/2016). 108 minutes PG.