New and Noteworthy: Movies
COMING THIS WEEK
By Steven Rea
X-Men: Days of Future Past A prequel and a sequel, with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine traveling 50 years back in time in a last-ditch effort to alter the course of history, and thwart some doomish scenarios that could be bad news for humans and mutants alike. With Jennifer Lawrence, Halle Berry, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, and Patrick Stewart. Bryan Singer directs. PG-13
Blended Can Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore recapture the extraordinary, life-changing magic of that 1998 rom-com from heaven, The Wedding Singer? Here, they are single parents with respective broods of pipsqueaks and pimply teens who, after a disastrous first date, re-meet on an African getaway, with kids in tow. Hakuna Matata, anyone? PG-13
Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
Read complete reviews at www.inquirer.com/movies.
Finding Vivian Maier A fascinating puzzle-piece mystery - and a revelatory portrait of an eccentric figure who worked as a nanny in Chicago from the 1950s through the 1990s - and who dragged her charges through the city, taking pictures. The heretofore unknown street photographs are nothing less than brilliant; the documentary about this curious figure is a find in more ways than one. 1 hr. 23 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson's eighth, and most teeming, film is a between-the-wars comic caper set in a fictitious central European land, where Ralph Fiennes is the concierge of an elegant alpine hostelry. When a wealthy guest dies, and the will is read, a mad dash for money and a prized painting ensues. With Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, F. Murray Abraham, Saoirse Ronan, and newcomer Tony Revolori. Sublime. R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Locke A tour de force, and a tour down a British motorway in the dead of night, with Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man in a car, on his Bluetooth, trying to keep the pieces of his life from flying apart. And that is the sum of writer/director Steven Knight's extraordinary movie. 1 hr. 25 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Very Good (***1/2)
Blue Ruin A barbed-wire- sharp and altogether surprising thriller, with Macon Blair as a bearded drifter looking to avenge a double murder. Along the way, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier finds time to explore a whole substratal world of homelessness, of a solitary soul scrounging for food, for shelter. This spare American indie examines how violence defines our lives in ways that feel jolting, and true. 1 hr. 52 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden This impressive documentary looks at the unsolved disappearances of a German doctor, a self-styled baroness and her lover on the Galapagos Islands during the 1930s. 2 hrs. 06 No MPAA rating (adult themes, sexuality, profanity, smoking, some violence) - T.D.
Oculus A woman tries to win her brother's freedom by proving that the murder he was convicted of was committed by a supernatural force. 1 hr. 45 R (scenes of extreme bloody violence, profanity, sexual situations) - T.D.
Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch's sly and seductive vampire movie, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two old (very old) lovers, is as much about the life-sustaining force of music as it is about any hankering for blood. With Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska, and John Hurt. 2 hrs. 03 R (profanity, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.
Under the Skin Scarlett Johansson, slightly robotic and definitely hypnotic, stars in this deeply creepy and mysterious noir, about a stranger who trolls around Scotland looking for men to seduce - and devour. From filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. 1 hr. 48 R (nudity, sexual violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Also on Screens
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 **1/2 Schematic sequel to 2012's reboot of the Marvel Comics franchise starring a kid (Andrew Garfield) who morphs into a web-slinging superhero is driven by adolescent heartache and indecision, and by gigantic, effects-driven fight scenes - against super-foes including Jamie Foxx's Electro and Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin. And through it all: Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy, a lash-batting cartoon of brainy cute-osity. 2 hrs. 22 PG-13 (intense action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Devil's Knot ** Only a lawyer going through his own personal turmoil (Colin Firth) believes in the innocence of three teens accused of the ritualistic killing of three younger children. Reese Witherspoon costars as the mother of one of the victims. 1 hr. 54 No MPAA rating (violence, disturbing images, profanity, nudity, smoking) - T.D.
Heaven Is for Real ** Small-town parents attempt to come to grips with what their young son claims to have seen during a near-death experience. 1 hr. 40 PG (thematic material including some medical situations) - W.S.
Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return *1/2 Dorothy returns to her old stomping grounds to help out her friends in this subpar animated family feature. 1 hr. 28 PG (some scary images and mild peril) - W.S.
Neighbors *** In this lewd comedy, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are young parents whose lives are massively disrupted when a rowdy fraternity led by Zac Efron moves into the house next door. Smutty? Oh, yes. And often fall-on-the-floor funny. 1 hr. 37 R (profanity, nudity, sexual content, violence, alcohol and drug abuse) - D.H.
The Other Woman ** Leslie Mann - ditzy and gasping, Lucille Ball and Olive Oyl rolled into one, in panic-attack mode - makes this formulaic sex farce tolerable, barely. She's the wife who discovers that her husband is cheating on her with Cameron Diaz, and with Kate Upton. The trio team up, in a spirit of twisted sisterhood, to exact revenge. PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.