She’s Funny That Way
Peter Bogdanovich returns to form in this frothy tale of a playwright ( Owen Wilson) caught in a love triangle with his wife, her old flame and a heart-of-gold hooker. Jennifer Aniston is funny as a shrink entangled in the mess (“You don't joke with your therapist!”). Also popping up: former PB gal pal Cybill Shepherd.
It’s an All-Owen weekend! Transforming from middle-aged actor to action star, Wilson plays a devoted dad who must rescue his wife (Lake Bell) and two daughters from a machete-wielding horde in an unnamed Asian nation. Wilson is acceptably intense amid the rising tension, but if ever a group of actors had reason to question their motivation, it’s this bloodthirsty mob: Their water bills are too high?! (With Pierce Brosnan as a hard-drinking, womanizing ex-pat.)
Z for Zachariah
Margot Robbie ( The Wolf of Wall Street) may be the only woman left alive, and she must choose between the only two surviving men: Chewitel Ejiofor (12 Years a Slave) and Chris Pine (Star Trek). Didn’t Inger Stevens, Harry Belafonte and Mel Ferrer face the same dilemma in The World, the Flesh, and the Devil (1959)?
The Second Mother
Brazilian star Regina Casé is brilliant as a housekeeper whose modern-minded daughter comes to stay at the home where she works in São Paulo, only to scandalize Mom and her employers with her disregard for class boundaries.
New on DVD, Blu-ray and Video on Demand
Love him or hate him, whistle-blower Edward Snowden makes for compelling history-as-it-happens. Director Laura Poitras got Snowden to sit down for these in-depth interviews in Hong Kong shortly before he bolted for Russia.
The Reivers (1969)
Steve McQueen traded his Formula 1 race car for a 1930s-vintage Winton Flyer in this gentle coming-of-age comedy directed by Mark Rydell. Rupert Cross earned a Supporting Actor Oscar nomination.
Where Hope Grows
This sweet, faith-based drama stars Kristoffer Polaha as an alcoholic ex-ballplayer who befriends a grocery-store worker played by David DeSanctis, an actor with Down syndrome.
Still in theaters (Click on Titles for Movie Trailers)
A lovable cat burglar ( Paul Rudd) dons a suit that shrinks him to the size of an ant and endows him with superhuman strength. It’s really just a far-out heist film. (And as the suit’s inventor, Michael Douglas is delightfully in on the joke.)
This neat little thriller finds two cute rural kids (James Freedson-Jackson and Hays Wellford) stumbling upon an abandoned police car and taking it for a joyride. They don’t know a bad cop (delightfully dirty Kevin Bacon) is dumping a body nearby. (In theaters and on Video on Demand.)
One-time bad boy Jason Segel is a delightful revelation in this meaty true story of the five-day interview that Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace gave Rolling Stone writer David Lipsky (Jesse Eisenberg) in 1996. Don’t miss it.
The title is half right: There are four of them.
Lily Tomlin stars as a grandmother trying to help her teenage granddaughter (Julia Garner) pay for an abortion. Crass, combative and vulnerable, Tomlin gives the performance of a lifetime in a film that suggests the planet might improve if all males were abducted by aliens. (FULL REVIEW)
I’ll See You in My Dreams
The latest star in a welcome string of grownup-movie love stories, Blythe Danner shines as a long-widowed woman who finds herself in a late-life romance with charming, wealthy retiree Sam Elliott.
This Disney/Pixar animated film burrows into the mind of a tween girl, where we meet her emotions — voiced by Amy Poehler, Bill Hader, Mindy Kaling, Lewis Black and Phyllis Smith. Not just a great adventure story but a meditation on how memories shape our lives. (FULL REVIEW)
Now 93, a retired Sherlock Holmes ( Ian McKellen) reopens the one case he could never solve, at the same time befriending the young son of his housekeeper ( Laura Linney). McKellen is fun as a man abashed by the legend that has grown up around him. (FULL REVIEW)
Learning to Drive
She’s an elitist Manhattan literary critic. He’s an Indian cab driver. Together, Patricia Clarkson and Ben Kingsley make a charmingly odd couple in a film about perfect strangers who discover they are just what the other one needs. (FULL REVIEW)
The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
Director Guy Ritchie’s fond reimagining of the classic 1960s spy series is set smack in the Cold War. Henry Cavill channels his inner George Hamilton as dapper Napoleon Solo; Armie Hammer plays Russian spy Illya Kuryakin just the way we envisioned Russkies back then: humorless and musclebound. (FULL REVIEW)
Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
After parsing the title’s tricky punctuation, taking down an international terror group should be easy for Tom Cruise & Co. We’ve seen this nonstop whirl of double agents, impossible stunts and (literally) breathtaking challenges before, but nobody does it like Tom and the IMF. (FULL REVIEW)
Ricki and the Flash
Meryl Streep stars as a third-tier rocker who returns for a visit with her ex-hubby (Kevin Kline) and grown kids years after she abandoned them to follow her guitar dreams. Turns out — natch — they’re all just what each other needs right now. Rick Springfield plays her bandmate/boyfriend. (FULL REVIEW)
Shaun the Sheep
Let’s hear it for stop-action animation! From producer Nick Park ( Wallace and Gromit) comes this big-screen story of a sheep who heads for the big, baa-a-ad city — with calamitous results.
Some Kind of Beautiful
Not many 60+ stars can pull off the college-professor-irresistible-to-his-students bit. Then again, few have the gifts of Pierce Brosnan,who plays a randy academic torn between sisters Salma Hayek and Jessica Alba. (Though the title sounds like a Soul Brothers Six song, give thanks they dropped the original: How to Make Love Like an Englishman.)
Southpaw yearns to be On the Waterfront or Raging Bull, but it never coulda been a contenduh. Though Jake Gyllenhaal transforms himself to play Billy “The Great” Hope, his scarred muscle mass and punch-drunk slurring can’t redeem the predictable script and derivative characters. (FULL REVIEW)
Straight Outta Compton
Director F. Gary Gray ( The Italian Job) chronicles the 1980s growth of hip-hop — arguably the most significant musical development since 1950s rock ’n’ roll — in this splendidly gritty story of the rise of rap group NWA. The ensemble playing Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, MC Ren and company is perfect; Paul Giamatti shines as Jerry Heller, the record producer who saw artistry in the group’s anger.
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