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Movies for Grownups Weekend Preview: Perfect Mother’s Day Movies (And Some to Skip)

Plus: Kevin Spacey gets serious laughs as Richard Nixon

Exclusive Video: Happy Mother’s Day Weekend From Movies for Grownups!

Before you sit down with Mom for a movie this weekend, check our two-minute video primer on classic, good and not-so-good movie mothers.

Elvis & Nixon: Poker-Faced Fun

The true story of Elvis Presley’s unexpected 1970 drop-in on Richard Nixon’s White House has been told on screen before, but Elvis & Nixon director Liza Johnson (Hateship Loveship) found the matchup irresistible. “The absurdity of having this super-cool rock dude and this fairly uncool president together — there’s no way to ignore the potential comedy of that situation,” Johnson told Movies for Grownups at New York’s Tribeca Film Festival. The key to effectively pulling it all off, she decided, was to have both stars (Kevin Spacey as Nixon; Michael Shannon as Elvis) take their roles with deadly seriousness. “In fact, there were a couple of times when the writers had put some jokes into the script, but the actors objected. They were dedicated joke killers. The story wasn’t about the jokes.”

New in Theaters

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

Captain America: Civil War

A loud, chaotic mash-up of Marvel heroes, this latest series installment is a duckbilled platypus of a movie: ungainly, seemingly slapped together, but undeniably fun to behold. The grownup stars include Robert Downey Jr., Don Cheadle, William Hurt, Hope Davis, Marisa Tomei and Alfre Woodard.

Mothers and Daughters

Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Courtney Cox and Mira Sorvino play moms in this episodic look at moms’ relationships with their not-so-little girls.

Being Charlie

Director Rob Reiner’s latest — cowritten by his son Nick — follows a troubled 18-year-old (Nick Robinson) who, while in drug rehab, falls for an equally lost young woman (Morgan Saylor).

New at Home

* Anomalisa

From writer-director Charlie Kaufman (Being John Malkovich) comes this ingeniously clever and, at times, heart-stoppingly human stop-motion animated story of a businessman facing a midlife crisis.


A snappy script and energetic performances by Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Diane Ladd, Virginia Madsen and Isabella Rossellini keep things popping in this fact-based story of the woman whose Miracle Mop became a QVC sensation.

* Remember

Christopher Plummer is mesmerizing as a nursing home resident suffering from dementia who sets off on a cross-country bus trip to kill a Nazi war criminal. The superb supporting cast includes Martin Landau as the wheelchair-bound friend who unleashes him on the mission and Dean Norris as a neo-Nazi state trooper.

Still Out There

* Designates a Movies for Grownups Editors’ Choice

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

It takes the first two hours to set up the conditions under which Superman and Batman can fight on equal terms. By then, they — and we — have forgotten what they’re so mad about. 

Born to Be Blue

In a biopic that skips freely from fact to fiction and back, Ethan Hawke is tragically endearing as 1950s jazz legend Chet Baker. FULL REVIEW

The Boss

Melissa McCarthy is as defiantly funny as ever, playing a fallen corporate mogul making her comeback in a brownie-peddling business. But her perennial blowhard-with-a-heart-of-gold shtick is wearing thin. FULL REVIEW

* The Congressman

Returning to his district on the picturesque Maine coast, a congressman (Treat Williams) gets a rocky reception from his constituents. George Hamilton pops up in a fun supporting role, and Elizabeth Marvel (House of Cards) is a delight as the politico’s refreshingly grownup love interest. Codirected and written by ex-U.S. Rep. Robert Mrazek.


An intense performance by Jake Gyllenhaal nearly saves this convoluted drama about a man oddly unaffected by his wife’s sudden death. FULL REVIEW

* Elvis & Nixon

Michael Shannon is the King; Kevin Spacey is the Prez. Both are pitch perfect in this delightful fly-on-the-wall look at Elvis’ impromptu 1970 Oval Office visit.

Everybody Wants Some!!

Or maybe not: The circa-1980 college students who spend an aimless weekend here turn out to be as insufferable as you remember them. FULL REVIEW

Eye in the Sky

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

* The Family Fang

Director-star Jason Bateman probes the darker corners of family relationships in the story of a brother and sister (Bateman and Nicole Kidman) enduring an uneasy homecoming with their world-famous performance-artist parents (Christopher Walken and Maryann Plunkett). Bateman skillfully steers the proceedings from unsettling comedy to intriguing mystery.

* Hello, My Name Is Doris

Sally Field is magnificent as a 60-something office worker pursuing an unlikely crush on a handsome young coworker (Max Greenfield). FULL REVIEW

* A Hologram for the King

Tom Hanks provides all the fun as a struggling U.S. businessman who travels to Saudi Arabia in a last-ditch bid to sell new technology to an Arab monarch.

Louder Than Bombs

Gabriel Byrne stars as a father coping with the loss of his wife, a famed photographer played by Isabelle Huppert. Jesse Eisenberg costars as their son.

* Mia Madre

Director-cowriter Nanni Moretti has created an extraordinary study of a film director trying to balance work and caregiving. It strikes one visceral chord after another.

* The Meddler

Susan Sarandon shines as the overinvolved mother of a TV writer (Rose Byrne). She smothers the poor girl with attention — until, that is, she catches the eye of a charming ex-cop (J.K. Simmons) who rides a Harley and raises chickens.

Miles Ahead

Producer-director-writer-star Don Cheadle’s heartfelt bio of Miles Davis follows the drug-addled trumpeter through a nightlong quest to recover a stolen session tape. It’s a jumble out there, but Cheadle is brilliant.

Mother’s Day

Despite the star power of Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson, the best Mother’s Day gift you could give Mom would be to stay away from this bad and undisciplined comedy.

* My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The cast of the 2002 original is back, as boisterous and big-haired as ever. Michael Constantine and Lainie Kazan shine as 70-somethings who learn their 50-year marriage was never sanctified. FULL REVIEW

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

Tina Fey headlines as a cable-news producer who abandons her cushy lifestyle to cover the war in Afghanistan. Her no-nonsense commanding officer: Billy Bob Thornton.

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