FIRST LOOK: Will Guys Go Gaga Over Bridget Jones’s Baby?
Men, you know how to score relationship points with your significant other, right? Just take her (or him) to any film costarring Colin Firth and Patrick Dempsey — like, say, Bridget Jones's Baby, opening Sept. 16.
Shark Week: Fin
While Discovery Channel wraps up its annual Shark Week, millions of Americans are heading to the shore for Fourth of July weekend. What better time to pull up a beach chair, slap on some sunscreen and recall our favorite shark movies?
New in Theaters
* The BFG
Through layers of computer-generated makeup, Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) brings a ton of heart to the titular character—a Big Friendly Giant. Director Steven Spielberg creates what is perhaps the best-ever screen adaptation of a Roald Dahl book. masterfully balancing his appetite for sentiment with author Dahl’s rascally sense of delightful danger. FULL REVIEW
It’s been 98 years since a former Arkansas cop named Elmo Lincoln first played the original swinger on screen, only it’s a cinch his version didn’t cost $180 million. Alexander Skarsgård plays him this time, returning from his adopted home of London to set things right in his old jungle home. Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson costar.
If we ever need to see a shrink, let it be Paul Giamatti. Here the ever-masterful actor plays a sports psychologist trying to help an insecure young pitcher (Johnny Simmons) overcome anxieties rooted in his relationship with an abusive dad (Ethan Hawke) — who makes the worst sports parent you’ve ever met resemble Mr. Rogers. The cast is uniformly perfect, especially Giamatti, whose soothing tones and reassuring demeanor nevertheless hint at closely held heartbreak.
No, it’s not about America’s current presidential campaign. It’s a horror movie. Oh, wait…
New at Home
* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice
Returning to his district on the picturesque Maine coast, a congressman (Treat Williams) who’s already doubting his value gets a rocky reception from his constituents. George Hamilton and Fritz Weaver pop up in fun supporting roles, and Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards) is a delight as the politico’s refreshingly grownup love interest. EXCLUSIVE CLIP
Helen Mirren stars as a British commander who must decide whether to take an innocent life in a drone strike on a terrorist meeting site. The universally excellent performances include that of the late Alan Rickman in his final film role. FULL REVIEW
Still Out There
* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice
Loud, chaotic and utterly alien to the quiet whimsy of Lewis Carroll, this awful sequel to 2010’s slightly less-terrible Alice in Wonderland once more stars Johnny Depp as a strangely morose Mad Hatter. FULL REVIEW
In this action buddy comedy, Kevin Hart stars as a meek accountant who reconnects with an old high school classmate (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) — and gets swept into a dangerous case of international espionage.
Ellen DeGeneres leads an A-list of veteran stars — including Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Diane Keaton and Eugene Levy — giving voice to the endearing aquatic characters in Pixar's latest animated masterpiece. There are laughs aplenty, but (as in every Pixar epic), moments of genuine sentiment and transcendent beauty.
Matthew McConaughey stars as a Mississippi farmer who leads a rebellion of whites and escaped slaves against the Confederacy during the Civil War. He gives a powerful performance, and the movie oozes earnestness — but by trying to focus on too many storylines, writer/director Gary Ross has created an overstuffed cotton bale of a movie. FULL REVIEW
Colin Firth and Jude Law star in this uncommonly literate and unexpectedly moving account of legendary book editor Max Perkins (Firth) and his stormy mentorship of author Thomas Wolfe (Law). The story portrays art being forged in the furnace of conflicting personalities; the film is about the inscrutable mysteries of creativity. FULL REVIEW
It’s been 20 years since aliens tried to destroy our planet in the 1996 original — and now they’re baaaack. Veterans of that first battle, including Jeff Goldblum, Vivica A. Fox and Brent Spiner, are back to save us again.
Make no mistake: This live-action version of the 1967 Disney cartoon is as removed from Kipling’s literary classic as Angry Birds is from Audubon’s Birds of America. Still, the computer animation is jaw-dropping, and Bill Murray is fun as the voice of Baloo the Bear.
Hmm, a laff riot from Jane Austen? Kate Beckinsale stars as a scandalous 1790s British noblewoman who, on a visit to her in-laws, sets out to score a husband for herself — and a rich aristocrat for her comely daughter (Morfydd Clark). FULL REVIEW
Julianne Moore is a hoot in this latter-day screwball comedy. She plays Georgette, the wife of a philanderer (Ethan Hawke) who leaves her for Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a clueless home-wrecker. Fast-forward three years, and Maggie wants to give the hubby back. But does Georgette accept returns?
Pack your pockets with tissues before settling in for this unapologetic weepie, the story of a young woman (Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) determined to make life worth living for a handsome quadriplegic (The Hunger Games’ Sam Claflin). Charles Dance and Janet McTeer are touching as the hero’s furrowed-browed parents. FULL REVIEW
Susan Sarandon shines as the overinvolved mother of a TV writer (Rose Byrne). She smothers the poor girl with attention — until she catches the eye of a charming ex-cop (J.K. Simmons) who rides a Harley and raises chickens. FULL REVIEW
George Clooney is host of a TV financial show, Julia Roberts is his producer — and Jack O’Connell is the desperate viewer who hijacks the show after losing everything by taking their advice. Directed by Jodie Foster. FULL REVIEW
This slam-bang buddy-cop flick harks back to the best of them (think Lethal Weapon or 48 Hrs.). In 1977 L.A., Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling are mismatched detectives searching for an MIA porn star. The jokes are just one form of the rapid-fire killers here. FULL REVIEW
The prodigious prestidigitators who participated in the primary part of this pair of pictures proffer a perfectly presentable postscript. Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Dave Franco and Lizzy Caplan are back as the Four Horsemen, a renegade stage magic team.
Andy Samberg expands on his old SNL Digital Shorts music formats with a feature-length mockumentary about a clueless rock star. He appears alongside a galaxy of his old TV buddies including Bill Hader, Maya Rudolph, Will Forte, Tim Meadows and Jimmy Fallon.
Luis Guzmán and Edgar Garcia are fun as a pair of NYPD cops dispatched to the City of Light to nab some fashion pirates. It would have been more fun if the guys had brought along their costars, Rosie Perez and Rosario Dawson, who are wasted as their better halves back home in Noo Yawk. FULL REVIEW