close [×]

Dear Flixster Community,

After seven fabulous years with you all, we are sorry to let you know that we're going to be retiring the Flixster Community site on September 30, 2014. Please note that you can still access your ratings, reviews, and quizzes on Flixster and Rotten Tomatoes using your same login. We have had so much fun building this community with you.

Thanks for all the memories,
Flixster

Opening This Week


Top Box Office


  • The Hitman's Bodyguard

    The Hitman's Bodyguard (R, 2017)

    The world's top protection agent (Ryan Reynolds) is called upon to guard the life of his mortal enemy, one of the world's most notorious hitmen (Samue... read more
  • Annabelle: Creation

    Annabelle: Creation (R, 2017)

    A couple still grieving the death of their daughter take in children from a local orphanage, but the family are soon terrorized by a demented doll kno... read more
  • Logan Lucky

    Logan Lucky (PG-13, 2017)

    Trying to reverse a family curse, brothers Jimmy (Channing Tatum) and Clyde Logan (Adam Driver) set out to execute an elaborate robbery during the leg... read more
  • Dunkirk

    Dunkirk (PG-13, 2017)

    Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Naz... read more
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature

    The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (PG, 2017)

    Surly Squirrel (Will Arnett) and the gang are back. We are once again in Oakton where the evil mayor has decided to bulldoze Liberty Park and build a ... read more
  • The Emoji Movie

    The Emoji Movie (PG, 2017)

    This animated comedy takes place in Textopolis, a world inside a smartphone that's inhabited by various emojis. There, an emoji named Gene (voiced by ... read more
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming

    Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13, 2017)

    A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity ... read more
  • Girls Trip

    Girls Trip (R, 2017)

    When four lifelong friends-Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish-travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival, s... read more
  • The Dark Tower

    The Dark Tower (PG-13, 2017)

    There are other worlds than these. Stephen King's The Dark Tower, the ambitious and expansive story from one of the world's most celebrated authors, m... read more
  • Wind River

    Wind River (R, 2017)

    WIND RIVER is a chilling thriller that follows a rookie FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) who teams up with a local game tracker with deep community ties an... read more

More Movies In Theaters


  • Kidnap

    Kidnap (R, 2017)

    A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mom Karla Dyson (Academy Award winner Halle Berry) when her son suddenly disappears.... read more Without a cell phone and knowing she has no time to wait for police help, Karla jumps in her own car and sets off in pursuit of the kidnappers. A relentless, edge-of-your seat chase ensues, where Karla must risk everything to not lose sight of her son. In this tense, action-fueled thriller, directed by Luis Prieto and from the producers of SALT and TRANSFORMERS, one mother's heroic attempt to take back her son leads her to ask herself how far she will go to save her child.
  • War for the Planet of the Apes

    War for the Planet of the Apes (PG-13, 2017)

    In War for the Planet of the Apes, the third chapter of the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise, Caesar and his apes are forced into a deadly c... read moreonflict with an army of humans led by a ruthless Colonel. After the apes suffer unimaginable losses, Caesar wrestles with his darker instincts and begins his own mythic quest to avenge his kind. As the journey finally brings them face to face, Caesar and the Colonel are pitted against each other in an epic battle that will determine the fate of both their species and the future of the planet.
  • Atomic Blonde

    Atomic Blonde (R, 2017)

    A high-stakes, global action-thriller that takes place in the city of Berlin, on the eve of the Wall's collapse and the shifting of superpower allianc... read morees. Charlize Theron ("Mad Max: Fury Road") portrays Lorraine Broughton, a top-level spy for MI6, who is dispatched to Berlin to take down a ruthless espionage ring that has just killed an undercover agent for reasons unknown. She is ordered to cooperate with Berlin station chief David Percival (James McAvoy of "X-Men"), and the two form an uneasy alliance, unleashing their full arsenal of skills in pursuing a threat that jeopardizes the West's entire intelligence operation.
  • The Glass Castle

    The Glass Castle (PG-13, 2017)

    Chronicling the adventures of an eccentric, resilient and tight-knit family, THE GLASS CASTLE is a remarkable story of unconditional love. Oscar (R) w... read moreinner Brie Larson brings Jeannette Walls's best-selling memoir to life as a young woman who, influenced by the joyfully wild nature of her deeply dysfunctional father (Woody Harrelson), found the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.
  • Despicable Me 3

    Despicable Me 3 (PG, 2017)

    Illumination, who brought audiences Despicable Me and the biggest animated hits of 2013 and 2015, Despicable Me 2 and Minions, continues the adventure... read mores of Gru, Lucy, their adorable daughters-Margo, Edith and Agnes-and the Minions in Despicable Me 3. Directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda, co-directed by Eric Guillon and written by Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio, the animated film is produced by Illumination's Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and executive produced by Chris Renaud. Joining Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig in Despicable Me 3 is Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award winner Trey Parker, co-creator of Comedy Central's global phenomenon South Park and the Broadway smash The Book of Mormon. Parker voices the role of villain Balthazar Bratt, a former child star who's grown up to become obsessed with the character he played in the '80s, and proves to be Gru's most formidable nemesis to date. The film will be released in theaters on June 30, 2017.
  • Detroit

    Detroit (R, 2017)

    From the Academy Award winning director of THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY, DETROIT tells the gripping story of one of the darkest moments during... read more the civil unrest that rocked Detroit in the summer of '67.
  • Wonder Woman

    Wonder Woman (PG-13, 2017)

    An Amazon princess (Gal Gadot) finds her idyllic life on an island occupied only by female warriors interrupted when a pilot (Chris Pine) crash-lands ... read morenearby. After rescuing him, she learns that World War I is engulfing the planet, and vows to use her superpowers to restore peace. Directed by Patty Jenkins (Monster).
  • Baby Driver

    Baby Driver (R, 2017)

    A talented, young getaway driver (Ansel Elgort) relies on the beat of his personal soundtrack to be the best in the game. But after being coerced into... read more working for a crime boss (Kevin Spacey), he must face the music when a doomed heist threatens his life, love and freedom.
  • The Big Sick

    The Big Sick (R, 2017)

    Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, THE BIG SICK tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (... read moreNanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano) who he's never met, while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. THE BIG SICK is directed by Michael Showalter (HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS) and producer by Judd Apatow (TRAINWRECK, THIS IS 40) and Barry Mendel (TRAINWRECK, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS).
  • An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power

    An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power (PG, 2017)

    A decade after An Inconvenient Truth brought climate change into the heart of popular culture comes the riveting and rousing follow-up that shows just... read more how close we are to a real energy revolution. Vice President Al Gore continues his tireless fight, traveling around the world training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Cameras follow him behind the scenes-in moments private and public, funny and poignant-as he pursues the empowering notion that while the stakes have never been higher, the perils of climate change can be overcome with human ingenuity and passion. Renowned filmmakers Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk (Audrie & Daisy, 2016 Sundance Film Festival) have taken the baton from 2006 Academy Award-winner Davis Guggenheim. What started then as a profound slide show lecture has become a gorgeously cinematic excursion. Our extraordinary former vice president invites us along on an inspirational journey across the globe that delivers the tools to heal our planet. The question is: Will WE choose to take the baton?

Get Movie Showtimes


Postal Code:

Top In Theater Reviews


  • Dunkirk (PG-13, 2017)

    - by fb1350754613
    It's hard to go into a Christopher Nolan movie without having high expectations, and those expectati... read moreons aren't met every time. Nolan approaches the subject matter with a blazing level of skill and mastery of his craft, making Dunkirk one of his best movies. With that being said, do not go into this expecting an emotional roller coaster like Saving Private Ryan. Nolan made it with the intention of it being mysterious and as realistic as possible, told from multiple perspectives: but this was done at the cost of a cohesive storyline, which, if certain tweaks were made, could have made Dunkirk the best war movie ever made. There are three perspectives of the operation going on at once, which is a great idea, but it's presented in a non-linear manner. This makes it very had to make a clear sense of the overall journey of these soldiers. The IMAX format of the film is the loudest theater presentation I've ever experienced, making it in some ways a physically tiring experience. It's hard not to be moved by subtle things like an Allied fighter plane taking out an enemy aircraft while Hans Zimmer's flawless score kicks in; and that's more than enough. As soon as the first bullet was fired, I had to shift in my seat to get comfortable, and I knew I was in for something amazing and extremely intense. I haven't been this enthralled by a theater experience since Avatar, and Nolan did it without the aging concept of 3D technology. Dunkirk won't be remembered for it's performances or it's story, but for the overwhelmingly visceral combination of it's immersive action, tension, and amazing soundtrack. It would be a crime to miss it before it leaves the theater.
  • Dunkirk (PG-13, 2017)

    Christopher Nolan is one of the rare filmmakers in the world that can do anything he wants. He's rea... read moreched a level of critical and commercial success that he has earned the leeway to tell the stories he wants with a blank check. Apparently he's been eager to tell the big screen story of Dunkirk, the mass evacuation of 400,000 Allied troops on a French beach in World War II, and it would be the first film of his career to not have a crime or science fiction slant. If this is what he has to turn into in order for mainstream Oscar attention then please go back to making your sci-fi puzzle boxes, Mr. Nolan, and let someone else make the underwhelming WWII epics. Don't believe the effusive praise from critics saying this is Nolan's masterpiece or the finest of his career. Dunkirk is Nolan's least engaging film and maybe even the least ambitious of his otherwise storied Hollywood career.

    Dunkirk is less of a cohesive movie and more a series of moments, never eclipsing the next or coalescing into a larger, more meaningful, more satisfying whole. We keep cutting from primarily three perspectives (air, sea, land) but it fails to feel more than a check-in before moving onto the next vantage point. It's a shame because the opening ten minutes launch you immediately into this world of danger and Nolan sets up the different perspectives with effective visual clarity. I thought it was a great moment having the soldiers collect the fluttering propaganda fliers meant to remind them about how the enemy surround them. The initial burst of violence is visceral and unnerving. The burial of a soldier in the sand is a somber moment. Things were getting good, and then I kept waiting for the movie to escalate, to hit a new gear, and it never came. Instead it repeated the same plotting that just forced the bland characters from one curtailed escape to another. Screenwriting is about setups and payoffs, and that is strangely absent throughout Dunkirk. Bad things just kind of happen, and then they happen again, and then you tune out. That's even before Nolan throws in needless non-linear elements that I was ignorant about. Dunkirk is Nolan's first film under two hours since 2002's Insomnia, and yet it could still stand to lose even more. After a while, your mind drifts when all you're watching is poorly written characters, many of whom you can't identify, jump from one crummy situation to another without a stronger storytelling drive. If you want a more personally involving retelling of the heroes of Dunkirk, just watch the film-within-a-film of the underrated 2017 gem, Their Finest.

    The miracle of the Dunkirk evacuation is really lost in this film. Without a more involving story, it's hard to get a sense about the personal sacrifices and risks of the evacuation. The scope feels mishandled. We're told that 400,000 men were rescued but I did not get any sense of that scale. We're stuck to a small corner of a beach, or a small section of the sky and sea, for the far majority of the film, which again traps the film at a lower register. We don't adequately sense the monumental scale of what is at stake. The embodiment of the threat is condensed down to a single German fighter plane that Tom Hardy has to chase for half the movie. It's like this guy is the freaking Red Baron. Another aspect that exacerbates this issue is Nolan's haphazard command of screen geography. When the camera is inside the various ships, your sense of space is uncertain. When things go bad, it just all feels like a mess, with no clear indication of where the characters are, their proximity to others, or even the interior design of the ships. Without a coherent sense of geography, the action and suspense is going to be inherently limited. Nolan locks into a claustrophobic sensation at the expense of audience clarity, and without better-developed action and interesting characters, it's a decision of diminishing returns.

    The characters are so indistinct that most of them in the end credits didn't even merit names (Irate Soldier, Shivering Soldier, and Furious Soldier are among the lot). This is one of the biggest mistakes of Nolan's movie. By not providing characters that an audience can engage with he's handicapped how much an audience can care. We don't learn about any of the main characters we follow, with the slight exception of Mark Rylance's even-keeled seafaring father. I challenge audience members to even remember a who's who of the young men because I don't think I'd be able to identify them in a lineup. I was still trying to recall which of them may have died. I haven't had this much trouble keeping people straight in a war film since Terrence Malick's The Thin Red Line. With Dunkirk, there are faces we follow really more than characters. The most recognizable is Tom Hardy and that's because he's Tom Hardy and not because of anything related to his character. Kenneth Branagh's character just seems to be here to stare off into the distance with awe and say something about "seeing home." It's as if Nolan had no interest in telling a war story from a human perspective, which is a vastly strange approach considering the large-scale human cost.

    Nolan is a smart filmmaker. He has to know these characters are thinly sketched ciphers at best, so the question becomes why is Nolan choosing to make Dunkirk this way. If I had to hazard a guess I think Nolan was trying to accomplish a visceral, immersive war experience to echo the hopelessness and confusion of those men in jeopardy. They're meant to be faceless everymen. This would explain why it feels more like a series of moments, of jumping from one failed escape to another and one fraught encounter to another. Nolan does a fine job of introducing conflict (in a wartime setting this also shouldn't be too hard) but without more distinction he runs the serious risk of everything feeling like more of the same. At the end, thousands of soldiers are ferried back to England and congratulated. One of them is incredulous, not feeling like retreating is worth the fuss. "We just survived," he says. "Well that's good enough," the other says. It's like Nolan intended to place the audience into a crucible where just getting out was enough to satisfy demands. I don't think it is.

    From a technical standpoint, Dunkirk is often breathtaking, no more so than in its mesmerizing sound design. Nolan uses brilliant sound tacticians to heighten your senses and build a sense of dread. An oncoming fighter plane tearing through the sky can raise the hair on the back of your neck. The sound does the heavy lifting when it comes to creating tension. The score by Hans Zimmer is very effective in that regard as well. Its central musical element sounds literally like a ticking clock, which instantly heightens any scene. Granted adding a ticking clock sound against anything would make it more fraught (you'll never fill out boring paperwork the same way again). Visually, the aerial photography is gorgeous with the IMAX cameras able to take in such startling depths. Cinematographer Hoyte Van Hoytema (Interstellar) has some beautiful visual compositions, especially as different boats capsize and the water rushes in at odd angles. This is a film that has commendable technical achievements. It's Nolan who lets down his team.

    War movies often run the risk of being overly reliant upon broad themes of heroism, nationalism, patriotism, sacrifice, and such, which can be in replacement of a strong narrative and well developed, interesting characters. War is a film genre like any other, and there are inherent genre shortcuts that can be abused. However, it's like any other genre in that, regardless of the setting or situation, you are expected to tell an interesting story with characters the audience cares about. Nolan sacrifices all for the immersion in his war experience machine, providing listless, interchangeable characters and a story that amounts to a collection of harrowing moments but not a movie. My pal Joe Marino chided the movie as akin to visiting a planetarium, sitting back, and taking in the wonderful visual spectacle but walking away unmoved. It's like Nolan has created the Dunkirk Experience: The Ride instead of an actual worthwhile story.

    Nate's Grade: C+
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13, 2017)

    15 years. 6 movies. 3 different lead actors. 2 reboots. I wouldn't be surprised if a majority of the... read more American public likely knows more about Spider-Man than their relatives. In 2002, the first Spider-Man movie kicked off the new century by affirming to studios that superhero movies are a sound financial investment. Director Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire kicked off the glut of superhero cinema, paving the path for the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) and its own unparalleled run of financial and critical success. Then the overreach killed off Raimi's Spider franchise in 2007 and overreach again killed off Sony's Spider reboot in 2014. Sony wisely sought out an assist from the gurus of Marvel, striking a deal and having the web-slinger return to the MCU. Fans rejoiced. Spider-Man: Homecoming announces itself as a brash, exhilarating, hilarious, and amazingly assured film that immediately lines up with the upper tier of the MCU. Marvel should use this as Exhibit A, submit it to Fox, and say, "Here's how we can do your franchises better."

    Peter Parker (Tom Holland) is your ordinary 15-year-old from Queens, New York who was given amazing powers after being bit by a radioactive (or genetically modified) spider. It's been weeks since he was called into action by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) to thwart Captain America (Chris Evans). Now Peter is back home and waiting for his literal call to adventure, for Stark to officially call him up to join the Avengers. Peter anxiously waits for school to end so he can don his Spider-Man suit, modified by Stark Industries, and fight local crime and injustice. This mostly amounts to stopping bicycle thieves, helping old ladies with directions, and other inglorious tasks. Peter's Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) would prefer he focus on his studies rather than the time he's been spent on the "Stark internship" (his fib to cover said crime-fighting). New weapons begin appearing on the streets, built from the discarded alien technology from The Battle for New York. Spider-Man investigates the source, Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton), a pilot who adopts the moniker of The Vulture while in the sky with his winged jet pack. The formidable weapons pose a real pressing danger to society, and Peter pushes further, at his own peril, to confront the Vulture and stop the flow of high-tech weapons.

    For many fans of the webhead, this will feel like the first time they're watching the Spider-Man of the comics on screen. This is the first film incarnation where Peter remains in high school for the entire duration of the movie, and it's also thankfully the only telling that eschews an origin story. He just is Spider-Man, however, the arc of the movie is him settling into that identity. It's in many ways a coming-of-age story for the superhero set, as Peter has to come to terms with his earnest desire to help others and his own maturation, both as Spider-Man and as a high school sophomore. He's learning just as much to be Peter as he is Spider-Man. Just because he has these powers doesn't mean he's ready for the rigors of the world. Homecoming is very much a high school movie. There are familiar John Hughes influences throughout, and the film smartly subverts certain high school tropes (driving lessons, prom dad from hell). It presents our hero struggling with asking the cute upperclassman (Laura Harrier) to the dance just as much as the demands of being a fledgling local superhero. His interior life is much more available and relatable but he's still a teen navigating the world. Also, by having Peter be the youngest film incarnation yet, it allows for the satisfying indulgence of superhero wish-fulfillment. Whereas the X-Men powers are naturally linked to the progression of puberty, those are usually portrayed as a curse, something that ostracizes, confuses, and produces great anxiety and fear. With Spider-Man, being a superhero is the coolest thing in the world. He's not consumed with angst like Andrew Garfield's broody Peter Parker and his weirdly special DNA (what was the deal with his parents and that conspiracy? Oh well). Watching this exuberant Peter Parker embrace his new abilities with glee is a great way to keep the movie light and bouncy.

    This is also, bar none, the funniest film yet in the MCU (yes, even dethroning Guardians of the Galaxy). With the lighter tone, the movie finds consistent opportunities to inject comedy, from the irony of Peter trying to lead a normal life, to the awkwardness of Peter's attempts at crime-fighting, to his over eager demeanor, to misunderstandings and hasty excuse-making to conceal his double life, to the sterling supporting cast of characters that contribute different flavors of jokes when called upon. If anything there is so many talented supporting players I wanted even more time with them (Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr). This cast is a comedic embarrassment of riches.

    I was laughing pretty much from beginning to end with Homecoming. Just thinking back on the school's morning announcements (complete with anchor Betty Brant) makes me giggle. Peter's best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) is the movie's chief source of comic relief, and in less careful hands he would become rapidly annoying. Instead, he's a reliable presence and given a character arc with a payoff of his own, his desire to be Peter's "guy in the chair." It's genuinely impressive screenwriting when even the comic relief sidekicks have arcs. Zendaya does an impressive job of selling every one of her jokes, which traffic in a very specific smart-aleck, apathetic tone. She's graduated from the Disney Channel to the bigger leagues. There's a hysterical series of inspirational education videos featuring Captain America, and if you stay past the end credits there's a great payoff for that. There's even some sly meta jokes calling back to Raimi's Spider-Man. Every joke at least lands and most of them hit hard, benefiting from strong development and timing.

    Nevertheless, just because it happens to be one of the funniest movies of the year, Spider-Man: Homecoming still finds plenty of space to be dramatic and thrilling. The comedy doe not tonally detract from the other elements. This is not an insubstantial movie just because it knows how to have some fun (take notes, Zack Snyder and DC). This is not a flippant movie because of tone or the heavy joke quotient. There are sincerely sweet moments born out of the characterization, like when Aunt May takes it upon herself to teach Peter how to dance (this would not be possible with a geriatric Aunt May). Director Jon Watts (Cop Car) has a steady command with his high-flying visuals and maintains the tight walk of tone that allows all the elements to work together as a blissful whole.

    There are superb action sequences that advance the story forward and allow for the characters to grow. It's exactly what good action is supposed to do, besides, you know, quicken the pulse. The humor can also arise naturally from these set pieces. Take for instance Peter suiting up while attending a suburban house party. He spots some alarming energy discharges on the other side of the suburb, but without any tall buildings for him to latch onto, he has to hoof it the whole way on foot. It's a smart comedic aside and it helps to remind us that this Spider-Man isn't an instant pro after getting his powers. It all comes together best in a D.C. rescue at the Washington Monument. It bridges the personal with the action. The bifurcated ferry set piece serves as the Act Two break and it's a killer segment that pushes Peter to his limits to solve a dilemma that seems incapable of being fixed. There may not be any action scene to rival Raimi's finest but the character-centric action and the organic development of the complications lays a foundation for a consistently entertaining film littered with joyful payoffs.

    The biggest fear I've read from Spidey fans was that the involvement of Robert Downey Jr. would tip the scales, turning a Spider-Man movie into a defaco Iron Man sequel. Considering America loves Iron Man, I don't see how his inclusion is a problem. Civil War was still very much a Captain America film even though Iron Man was the co-lead. Tony Stark represents a distant mentor for Peter and also the gatekeeper. Peter is anxious to become an Avenger and looking for Stark's approval, which brings an enjoyably unorthodox paternal side from Downey. If there is a complaint I can foresee, it will be that Spider-Man is too similar to Iron Man thanks to the special suit. Spider-Man's suit has its own Jarvis-_b_style A.I. program (adeptly voiced by Jennifer Connelly, wife to Paul Bettany, former voice of Jarvis) and extra special gadgets including a spider drone and unusual web shooting options. It provides a new sense of discovery for the character since we're already starting with him powered. The second act is Peter getting accustomed to the boost his suit gives him, becoming reliant upon them, and then having it stripped away as a natural Act Two break so that the conclusion has even more stakes without the security of the suit. It makes Peter much more vulnerable. The Iron Man parts are more a background motivational force and this is still very much a Spider-Man film.

    Holland (The Lost City of Z) is already my favorite Spider-Man. Period. He made such an immediate and strong impression in Civil War that I was greatly looking forward to his first big starring venture, and Holland does not disappoint. This is the first Spider-Man that doesn't feel crushed by the heavy burden of being a superhero. He's a kid eager to grow up and join the world of other caped crusaders, but he's modeled his crime fighting from what he's seen on TV. He doesn't really know what he's doing. He's still an awkward kid, and Holland brings great authenticity to the smaller character moments and the bigger heroic strides (while maintaining a convincing American accent). This is a more relatable, vulnerable, and interesting Peter Parker. Even though he thinks he should be beyond the mundane life of high school, he doesn't ever act pompous or look down on other characters, which is endearing. At times Holland feels like he's going to explode with energy, as if life is too much to process in the intermediary. He's a teenager and the world feels so big and open. It's an instantly engaging and likeable portrayal that wonderfully capitalizes on the introduction from Civil War. This is a Spider-Man, and his spider world, that I want multiple sequels to further explore and challenge.

    Keaton's Vulture already ranks as one of the best villains in the MCU (a low bar, I admit), and that's because the movie humanizes him and gives him significant moments. He's just a regular working-class man trying to provide for his family. In fact the first five minutes of the movie focus exclusively on Toomes and explains his sticky situation. He feels cast aside by those in the upper echelons of power. His eventual "you and I are the same" speech to Spider-Man has credible points. You can see, from his perspective, how he's an underdog sticking it to the rich elites. Shockingly, there's only one death in the entire movie and even that is an accident. Toomes is not your standard comic book villain, and there's a brilliant third act twist that makes him even more centrally involved in the narrative. That opens a delicious sequence of dramatic irony. Keaton has a quiet menace to him that's very unsettling. It's all in the lower register. His character doesn't blow up. He just narrows his brow and intensifies that scary stare. I'm glad the filmmakers realized that more Keaton was an asset to the film.

    Let's also take some time to celebrate the sixth Spider-Man movie for having a diverse population of characters that would actually represent Queens. Peter's best friend is of Filipino descent, the girl he crushes on is biracial, the loner girl is biracial, and even the high school bully, Flash Thompson, is Hispanic, played by Tony Revolori from The Grand Budapest Hotel. This might be Marvel's most diverse cast yet, though "yet" being the operative word considering that Black Panther is arriving in early 2018.

    This movie is a total blast. Spider-Man: Homecoming actually manages to give new life to a character that has already appeared in five other movies. That's an amazing feat. Another amazing feat is that six different screenwriters, including the director, are credited with this movie, yet it feels fully coherent in its vision and presentation. This is Peter Parker, the teenager struggling with self-doubt, hormones, and an eagerness to grow up, and the movie feels much more human-scaled, forgoing giant CGI smash-em-ups for something more grounded, personally involving, and ultimately successful. Just because Homecoming is fast-paced and funny doesn't mean it lacks substance. I was elated during long portions of this movie, impressed by the steady stream of setups and payoffs, the incorporation of the many characters and comedic voices, and the varied action set pieces that were focused on character progression. If you are tired of superhero stories, I'd still heartily recommend this movie. Dear reader, I feel like I'm failing you and turning into a frothing fanboy because I can only think, at worst, of negligible quibbles against the film. Everything in this movie works. Everything. It's everything I was hoping for and then some.

    Nate's Grade: A
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature (PG, 2017)

    In contrast, The Nut Job actually tries to be something that ended up being a critical failure in th... read moree first place. That's how it deserves that score it earns today. The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature, on the other hand, is begging itself to be better than its predecessor and also begging you to love it so that it can earn more money at the box office. If you get fooled by these things, it seems as if you're not ready to become the biggest moviegoer yet.
  • The Hitman's Bodyguard (R, 2017)

    If you enjoy mindlessly unbelievable action sequences and limited comedy by Reynalds and Jackson, th... read moreen this is the movie for you.
  • Annabelle: Creation (R, 2017)

    There is nothing about this movie that I didn't like. Tense, amusing and brilliantly acted! Much bet... read moreter than than first. hugely enjoyable!
  • Logan Lucky (PG-13, 2017)

    Logan Lucky; from the director who bought us the Ocean's trilogy, Magic Mike and Magic Mike XXL, and... read more Side Effects; once again proves that Steven Soderbergh can bring a great film to his once-in-a-lifetime filmography of media that may or may not be worth watching. Veterans of his films would be surprised to know that this is coming from the same director of the Ocean's trilogy. Newcomers would be dragging themselves onto the floor wanting more after paying for that sole ticket.
  • The Hitman's Bodyguard (R, 2017)

    The Hitman's Bodyguard feels like a 90s Tarantino knockoff remake of Midnight Run, and I don't mean ... read morethat in any pejorative sense. This is a movie that knows exactly what it aims to be and strikingly new and original isn't one of those qualities. When you deliver a late summer movie that has this much depraved entertainment and energy, I don't mind.

    Michael Bryce (Ryan Reynolds) is a disgraced bodyguard-for-hire who lost a high-profile client to an out-of-nowhere sniper. Stuck shielding coked-out white-collar traders, he still knows more than a thing or two about keeping a client safe. His former flame, Interpol agent Amelia Roussel (Elodie Yung), is tasked with getting notorious contract assassin Darius Kincaid (Samuel L. Jackson) to the International Criminal Court at The Hague. Kincaid is the only living witness who can testify against Vladislav Dukhovich (Gary Oldman), a former Belarus military dictator. Coincidentally, all of the witnesses and evidence against him seem to always disappear. Roussel's team is ambushed and she reluctantly seeks out Bryce for assistance. He has 24 hours to keep Kincaid alive and transport him to The Hague, but Kincaid has some ideas of his own, like arguing, escaping, and visiting his wife (Salma Hayek). It's a battle of wills and a healthy deployment of the versatile F-word.

    When it comes to genre filmmaking, especially in action or horror, the level of entertainment is much more related to the singer and not the song. Sure a well developed script with interesting characters, organic complications, and memorable set-pieces connected with payoffs are still desired, but often it's execution that separates the brashly fun bombast from the dreck that dots late night cable. The selling point of this movie is its central pairing of Jackson (Kong: Skull Island) and Reynolds (Deadpool). Hell, both of them aren't straining too hard from their familiar big screen personalities, Jackson the gleefully stubborn badass and Reynolds as the incredulous smart-alleck with the quick wit. Some critics will chafe and say that the actors are stuck in stale riffs and acting on autopilot. I look at this as a certain virtue of the film. They hired Jackson and Reynolds and let them do exactly what we demand that Jackson and Reynolds do. They were hired for a specific reason. Their crackling repartee keeps the movie alive even as the first half feels too sludgy getting everything going. The comedy can be a tad forced (riding on a bus with chirpy nuns! Gatorade bottle of pee?) and exaggerated at times (really, a fart joke, sound designers?) but this isn't a film for subtlety, and Jackson and Reynolds, who can outdo just about every working actor for sarcasm and volume, are at their best when they're big and broad. The rapport elevates even moments that would otherwise be redundant.

    I thought the action scenes were going to take a backseat to the Jackson/Reynolds buddy road trip, popping up here and there to move things along and kill off an antagonist or two. To my great surprise, the action in The Hitman's Bodyguard is uniformly great. Director Patrick Hughes (The Expendables 3) makes each action scene its own story and he thankfully varies the scenarios so they nicely stand out. There's a terrific motorcycle chase through Amsterdam's canals and streets, smashing things to bits in the most exciting ways. The action is often divided into two parallel points following Jackson and Reynolds, which allows the film to pair the right sequence for the right character. There's a late foot chase that's filmed in refreshing long takes (newest Hollywood action trend?) that stops into the back kitchen of a restaurant and then a hardware store. Each location is well utilized to provide a unique opportunity for the fight choreography and use of props. The movie does a very successful job of approaching action by thinking how to use geography, character, and purpose to plot. Hughes also has a solid inclination when to punch for humor with visual gags, including a few gems involving a minivan. When the comedy wasn't completely working, I knew I could rely upon the dependable thrills.

    The movie also has one of the dumbest attempts at injecting urgency into a story. The plot hinges upon Darius Kincaid arriving at The Hague at an exact time to testify against Oldman's dictator. In a moment that made me blurt out laughing, an expositional device/news lady informs us that if nobody comes forward to testify then The Hague has to drop all charges, Oldman's dictator goes free and apparently becomes the president of Belarus immediately again, and probably the end of democracy. First, this false sense of urgency requires witnesses to arrive at a court. That's not how testimony works. You can give a sworn statement anywhere. You can appear in court via teleconference. The location is not the problem here. And then his testimony is aided by (slight spoilers) photographic evidence of the dictator's genocide... except it's all digital pictures. This entire movie hinged on the mad rush to get Jackson to The Hague when he could have just made an email attachment with the incriminating pictures at any wifi spot. There's also the factor that if it was one second after five or so the court would not accept any testimony. I don't think courts work that way, especially when it's a decision over dictators and due process. And yet a wall clock is treated like the ticking clock on a bomb detonator. It's so dumb I question whether the filmmakers were self-aware and making a satirical riff.

    While being an enjoyably profane experience, The Hitman's Bodyguard doesn't know when enough is quite enough. It has problems walking away and routinely falls upon overkill in several elements. There's almost way too much plot here. Every character has a back-story that nabs a lengthy flashback with an ironically chosen pop song. There are obvious betrayals that the film thankfully doesn't belabor in revealing the culprits, but did we need them anyway? Hayek seems to have said yes just to be a vulgar badass that would attract Jackson. It's fun but her shtick gets old quickly. She's all unchecked exaggeration. Hayek's character is just here to provide a counterpoint for Kincaid to wax poetic about romance and relationships, to nudge Bryce to "man up" and realize what he's let slip away. The romantic elements are presented on the same wavelength as the comedy, meant to be a shoulder-shrug of cocksure cool. When they try and get earnest on their own terms it doesn't quite work out tonally. The movie also runs rampant with false endings, going from one escape to another just as it should be winding down. It's like the filmmakers were having so much fun they didn't know when to walk away from their story.

    I think every ticket-buyer knows what they're getting when they walk into The Hitman's Bodyguard. It's two actors doing what they do best, in an action vehicle that cribs from Midnight Run, and with a sense of _b_style and attitude that resembles a bluntly ironic return to 90s R-rated action excess. Fortunately, the execution of these genre tropes and elements lead to one of the more profanely entertaining popcorn flicks this summer season. It's a movie that doesn't take itself too seriously, coasts on above average action and the charged comic chemistry of its two loud-mouth leads. It's a movie that doesn't require much thought and rewards you for the effort. The Hitman's Bodyguard is everything you want it to be, and if that's good enough for you, then you'll find satisfaction here.

    Nate's Grade: B
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming (PG-13, 2017)

    Jon Watts untangles the webs in Spider-Man: Homecoming.

    Web-slinging its way in a little ... read morepast 2 hours, Spider-Man: Homecoming manages to tell an amusing tale without trying to build up a franchise. While lacking a whole lot of character back story, it manages to blend in with the Marvel cinematic universe as it goes through the ups and downs of being a superhero.

    The CG is a mixed bag, along with the action, but for the most part, pass fly with bright red and blue colors.

    Tom Holland puts on a good show. The tone of his voice and line delivery do wonders for his character. Michael Keaton and Marisa Tomei also do a nice job filling in when Tom isn't doing the heavy lifting.

    Spider-Man: Homecoming swings along for a fun ride through the city. Shall I activate insta-kill?
  • The Emoji Movie (PG, 2017)

    - by fb1025970122
    This may come as a shock to many of you, but The Emoji Movie is not good. In fact, it's really bad. ... read moreBad in the way that it doesn't even try much of the time. Bad in the way that it is intended to be a funny children's film with a message about championing individuality and being yourself, but even that tried and true formula falls flat. Did I say it was supposed to be funny? It's not funny. It tries, it has obvious attempts at humor, but it's not funny. Worse, it has a talented and typically hilarious group of people providing the voices for much of these humanoid expressions that exist in a world that doesn't make much sense in the first place. Let's start over as this would be the initial issue that only leads to more of these problems that spawn from the fact this is a movie based on emoji's. It would probably be big of me to say that this movie isn't bad simply because it is a movie based on emoji's, but it is. It represents everything wrong with the studio system from the perspective of attempting a cash grab without any measure of creativity or thought put into the actual work. There are no signs of life within this thing other than our protagonist going through the motions of feeling like an outcast, being brave enough to break out of his shell, and discover that it's okay to be different. That's all well and good, but you as well as your kids have seen this countless times before and The Emoji Movie brings nothing new to it with the fact it's emoji's going through these (e)motions only making it that much more grating. Worse even, it's beyond transparent that writer/director Tony Leondis (2008's terrible Igor as well as a few other animated shorts) and his two co-writers Eric Siegel (a TV veteran) and Mike White (Mike White!) could care less about the movie they are working on. No doubt receiving an assignment from head honcho's at Sony Animation that they needed something aimed at the kids after their one-two punch for teens and adults with Spider-Man: Homecoming and Baby Driver the studio latched on to current trends via The LEGO Movie and Wreck-it Ralph and demanded a movie based on those faces kids were using to communicate with on their phones. Leondis, Siegel, and White mix in a little Toy Story as well with hopes of no one noticing and yet The Emoji Movie is so distractingly bad that it doesn't become an issue of the movie being based around characters who are emoticons, but more the fact the whole thing never breaks through that barrier of convincing us why it's necessary.

    read the whole review at www.reviewsfromabed.com