First-time Indian filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane contributes this confident, quiet dissection of the Indian legal system. When folk singer (real-life singer/social advocate Vira Sathidar) is arrested for allegedly "inspiring" a poor sewage worker's suicide with his lyrics, a seemingly endless trial is launched. As the legal proceedings drag on, the film wanders off with the various characters in court, creating a widespread portrait of modern-day Mumbai. In English, Marathi, Gujarati and Hindi with English subtitles. FULL REVIEW:Probing Indian drama picks judicial system apart piece by piece by Devin D. O’Leary (7/30/2015). 116 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 7/31)
This spin-off of the popular "Dragon Ball" manga/anime finds two remnants of Frieza's army arriving on Earth in search of those dang Dragon Balls in hopes of reviving their evil boss. Can the Saiyans stop them in time? This straight-out-of-Japan animated import is a limited-time theatrical event. 93 minutes PG. (Opens Tuesday 8/4)
Mark Ruffalo and Zoe Saldana star in this comedy/drama about a manic-depressive mess of a father who tries to win back his wife by taking full responsibility of their two young, spirited daughters. First-time writer-director Maya Forbes draws on her own family history to craft this alternately heartbreaking and humorous indie. 90 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/23)
The lives of five suburban couples living in Sydney reveal both their wide assortment of kinky fetishes (somnophilia? dacryphilia?) and the repercussions that come with sharing them. The material isn't quite as naughty as it seems, and the stories are (mostly) broadly comic sketches. 96 minutes PG-13. (Opens Wednesday 8/5)
From the executive producers of The Business of Being Born comes this documentary examining a growing shift in the birthing industry: the rise of Caesarean sections. The film offers up midwives as a solution to the problem. 76 minutes (Opens Saturday 8/1)
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. 131 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 7/30)
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. (Opens Wednesday 8/5)
This dramatic thriller recreates the infamous psychological experiment in which college students were turned into prisoners and guards in a mock prison situation--and then quickly turned on one another. The film, which uses actual transcripts of the event, is a bit on the clinical side. But it's still engrossing, upsetting stuff. Billy Crudup (Almost Famous, Watchmen) leads the little-known cast. 122 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/31)
Adopted from South Korea, raised on different continents and connected through social media, Samantha and Anaïs believe that they are twin sisters separated at birth. 90 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 07/31)
This controversial documentary relates the story of departed British soul singer Amy Winehouse "in her own words." Archival footage and unheard tracks enliven the film's slow-motion car crash of a narrative. Fans will feel the loss most deeply, but even those who didn't listen to Winehouse may find themselves gripped by the unflinching account. 128 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.
This on-the-ground exercise in embedded journalism looks at the real-life journeys of two modern-day vigilante groups as they battle the murderous Mexican drug cartels. In the Mexican state of Michoacán, a small-town doctor leads a citizens uprising against the local drug cartel. In Arizona's Altar Valley, an American veteran heads a small paramilitary group trying to stop Mexico's drug wars from crossing the border. Filmmaker Matthew Heineman snagged two major awards at this year's Sundance Film Festival for this vivid documentary about ordinary people fighting corruption. 98 minutes R.
Cheap, "found footage" horror film "from the producers of Paranormal Activity and Insidious" about a group of people wandering into a claustrophobic location and videotaping themselves while they're stalked and killed, one by one? Check. TV commercials emphasizing "hidden camera" footage of real audiences jumping at the film's various "Boo!" moments? Check. So what's new? ... Well, Kathie Lee Gifford's daughter is in it. 80 minutes R.
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.
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.
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.
Academy Award winner Al Pacino gives a more restrained than usual performance as a lonely, small-town Texas locksmith who spends his days caring for his cat and mooning over a long-lost love. Enter kindhearted banker Dawn (Holly Hunter), who tries to lure him out of his self-imposed isolation. Your appreciation for this tiny character study will boil down to how much you take to the slow, hazy surrealism of director David Gordon Green (George Washington, All the Real Girls, Prince Avalanche). 97 minutes PG-13.
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.
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.
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.
Author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) contributes another YA drama for Hollywood adaptation. In this one a young man (Nat Wolff from The Fault in Our Stars) and his friends embark on a road trip to find the girl next door (British fashion model Cara Delevingne) who has vanished under odd circumstances, leaving behind a set of clues. 109 minutes PG-13.
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.
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.
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.
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.
At least this run-of-the-mill "exorcist battles demon for the soul of a young girl" horror flick does away with the "found footage" style so many of its brethren (The Devil Inside, The Last Exorcism) rely on. Michael Peña, Olivia Taylor Dudley and Dougray Scott star. Given that this comes to us from the amped-up director of Crank and Gamer, it's surprisingly low-key. 90 minutes PG-13.
In this typical Indian comedy/romance/adventure/martial arts/song-and-dance mash-it-all up, a studly reporter (Salman Khan) embarks on a modern-day quest to get a mute little girl back to her home in Pakistan. In Hindi with English subtitles. 154 minutes Unrated.
British writer Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 Days Later..., Dredd) tries his hand at directing with this sci-fi tale about a young programmer selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial intelligence by evaluation the "human qualities" of a female robot. Like all female robots in movies, she turns out to be both sexy and dangerous. We've seen this sort of high-tech Frankenstein story before, but Garland's script is highly literate and his direction thrilling. 108 minutes R.
The automotive insult to gravity and various related forms of physics continues, despite the untimely death of star Paul Walker. Vin Diesel, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Ludacris pick up the slack, shooting and/or crashing cars into countless people, places and things. Seems Evil British Guy (Jason Statham) is going after car thief/invincible superhero Dominic Toretto and crew for killing his brother, Evil British Guy From The Last Movie (Luke Evans). 137 minutes PG-13.
DreamWorks Animation mashes together E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Lilo & Stitch in the hopes that wayward alien mascot Oh (voiced by Jim Parsons from "The Big Bang Theory") will become the next toy/video game/t-shirt-generating machine. It's safe to say he won't. The story, about a misfit alien who befriends a lonely Earth girl (Rihanna), feels awfully recycled. If you're an adult who doesn't find Parsons' voice grating, you might survive a screening with your kids. 94 minutes PG.
In the proud tradition of Midnight Run (with Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin) and Witless Protection (with Larry the Cable Guy and Jenny McCarthy), Reese Witherspoon and Sofía Vergara star in this action comedy about an officer of the law escorting a reluctant witness across the country while being pursued by cops and gunmen alike. 87 minutes PG-13.
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.
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.
You brought this on yourself, America. Incompetent but accidentally heroic security guard Paul Blart (Kevin James) goes off on vacation to Las Vegas with his teenage daughter (Raini Rodriguez). But when crime rears its ugly head in the form of a casino heist, the fat dude on the Segway fights back. With wacky slapstick jokes. At least Larry, Moe and Curly had each other to play off of. 94 minutes PG.
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.
Ryan Reynolds and Sir Ben Kingsley star in this sci-fi thriller from director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals) and writers David & Alex Pastor (Carriers, The Last Days). An extremely wealthy man, dying of cancer, undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man. Naturally, all is not as it seems. Seconds, the very similar John Frankenheimer movie from 1966, is better ... but has fewer explosions. 117 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.
Like Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, Disney's Tomorrowland attraction gets its own movie spin-off. In it a curious teen (Britt Robertson) and a former boy genius (George Clooney) embark on an adventure to find a place, hidden beyond time and space, where great minds from throughout history have retreated to build the perfect, futuristic city. The film desperately wants to sell audiences on its childlike sense of wonder and its retrofuturistic optimism--but the plot is incredibly convoluted, the action oddly violent and the ending one sanctimonious Al Gore lecture. 130 minutes PG.