Skip to content

This Week at the Movies: Jeff Goldblum Gets Spaced Out

Plus: Paul Giamatti goes inside a baseball pitcher’s head in 'The Phenom'

EXCLUSIVE CLIP: Paul Giamatti as a Sports Shrink in The Phenom

There’s much to admire in The Phenom, opening in theaters this week — especially the masterful Paul Giamatti as a sports psychologist trying to help an insecure young pitcher (Johnny Simmons) overcome anxieties rooted in his relationship with an abusive dad (Ethan Hawke). In this clip, exclusive to Movies for Grownups, it’s clear you don’t need to love baseball to root for doc and patient right through the final out.

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner celebrate Independence Day: Resurgence

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 (Jeff Goldblum and Brent Spiner) stopped by to chat with us about Earth’s latest battle for survival in Independence Day: Resurgence, opening this week. They also reflect on being honored as winners of the “Ensemble of the Universe Award” at this year’s CinemaCon convention in Las Vegas.

New in Theaters

Free State of Jones

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.

New at Home

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

* My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

Those who helped make the 2002 original the highest-grossing romantic comedy of all time will not be disappointed by this sequel from writer-star Nia Vardalos. The original cast is back, as boisterous and big-haired as ever. A special delight: Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan play 70-something parents who discover that, due to a clerical error, their 50-year marriage is not legit. FULL REVIEW

Rollercoaster (1977)

It would be impossible not to feel sentimental about the first film you were ever paid to review. Happily, this minor disaster/thriller flick has held up over the years, especially George Segal’s portrayal of an investigator tracking an amusement-park terrorist (Timothy Bottoms). Watch for Henry Fonda to pop up on his late-career round of cameo appearances.

Still Out There

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

Alice Through the Looking Glass

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

Central Intelligence

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.

* Finding Dory

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.

* Genius

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.

The Jungle Book

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.

* Love & Friendship

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

* Maggie’s Plan

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?

Me Before You

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.

* The Meddler

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

* Money Monster

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

* The Nice Guys

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

Now You See Me 2

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 coerced into doing some backstage moonlighting for a goofy tech mogul (Harry Potter’s Daniel Radcliffe).

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping

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.

Puerto Ricans in Paris

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.


More than 20 years after the release of the classic video game, the movie version of the Orcs vs. humans epic slashes its way onto the screen. If you love the game, you’ll probably spend an agreeable two hours. If you don’t know your Orcs from your Morks, stay far, far away.

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.