Jaden Smith stars in 'After Earth,' also starring his father, Will Smith.
Summaries are condensed from Blade or wire reviews and reflect the theater schedule starting Friday. Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (best) to Bomb (worst). The reviewer’s name, movie running time, and abbreviations of the theaters where the movie is playing are at the end of each summary.
42. The new Jackie Robinson biopic is about honesty, not hero worship. Chadwick Boseman as No. 42 is less transcendent icon and more human, a Christ-like figure of the segregation era who struggles to turn the other cheek. Writer-director Brian Helgeland gives the Brooklyn Dodgers great much to despise, including the racist taunts of Philadelphia Phillies manager named Ben Chapman (Alan Tudyk). The baseball drama has a strong supporting cast, but the film belongs to Boseman, and to Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey and his grandiose speeches on the legacy of Robinson. PG-13; 3 stars; 88 min. (Baird) (MIT)
After Earth. After Earth is a generic and uninspired science-fiction action-thriller about a father and son marooned on a future Earth inhospitable to humans. Will Smith and son Jaden star as the struggling survivors fighting for their lives and to understand each other, and fading star M. Night Shyamalan directs. PG-13; 2 stars; 100 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)
The Croods. This prehistoric comedy adventure follows the world’s first family as they embark on the journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the family discovers an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures — and their outlook is changed forever. In 3-D at select theaters. PG; 2 1/2 stars; 98 min. (Wire review) (MIT)
Epic. Epic tells the story of an ongoing battle deep in the forest between the forces of good and the forces of evil. When a teen age girl finds herself magically transported into this secret universe, she must band together with a rag-tag team of fun and whimsical characters in order to save their world ... and ours. In 3-D at select theaters. R; 3 stars; 105 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
Fast & Furious 6. The Fast and the Furious movies are about souped-up cars and the quirky-but-lovable people who drive them. The sixth installment in the franchise adds even more cars, more mayhem, more action and stunts. There's also the a thin plot to tie everything together: a former British Special Forces soldier and his road crew are stealing pieces to a destructive new weapon. Stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return, along with Dwayne Johnson. PG-13; 3 stars; 130 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, SDI)
Gibsonburg. A film based on the true story of the 2005 Gibsonburg High School baseball team. NR; 95 min. (MIT)
The Great Gatsby. is F. Scott Fitzgerald shapedThe Great GatsbyBaz Luhrmann’s for the ADHD generation, it's restless, largely unfocused, and always in motion. It's also quite dazzling. The latest adaptation of the Roaring Twenties drama about(FP, LC) 143 min. (Baird) PG-13; 2 1/2 stars; the East Coast elite and those pretending to be stars Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. In 3-D at select theaters.
The Hangover Part 3. The Wolfpack returns for one final adventure that's long on drama and short on jokes. Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis are back, with the latter given most of the gags, along with Ken Jeong as flamboyant criminal Mr. Chow. The gang is forced to save Doug (Justin Bartha) again, this time from an angry mob boss (John Goodman), who wants Chow and the millions in gold he stole from him. If The Hangover Part 3 is proof of anything, it’s that once was enough for this waning comedy series. PG-13; 2 1/2 stars; 132 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, SDI)
The Internship. Billed as "from the people who brought you Wedding Crashers," The Internship doesn't compare to the 2005 summer comedy smash, other than sharing its two male stars: Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. In their latest pairing, the actors play middle-aged and unemployed watch salesmen who score summer internships with 20-somethings at Google. This is a Generation X vs. Generation Y comedy, with mostly unfunny jokes and gags. PG-13; 2 stars; 120 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, BG, SDI)
Iron Man 3. After two soaring, roaring solo adventures, it was inevitable that Iron Man would come crashing down. New director and co-writer Shane Black brings superficial complexity to the metal hero as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) copes with his near death in The Avengers. Downey still has fun with the zingers, but Oscar winner Ben Kingsley as the villainous Mandarin is a wasted opportunity. Iron Man 3 has its moments, but it's no Avengers, the now gold standard of superhero fun. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 2 1/2 stars; 130 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)
Now You See Me. During their performances, the world's greatest illusionists known as "The Four Horsemen" pull off a series of daring heists against corrupt business leaders. The super-team of illusionists shower the stolen profits on their audiences while staying one step ahead of an elite FBI squad in a game of cat and mouse. PG-13; 2 1/2 stars; 116 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC, BG)
The Purge. In an America ravaged by crime and overcrowded prisons, the government sanctions an annual 12-hour period during which all criminal activity — including murder — is legal. James Sandin (Ethan Hawke) and his family face the ultimate test when an intruder drags the vicious outside world into their home. James, Mary (Lena Headey), and their two children struggle to survive the night while trying not to turn into monsters like the ones they are striving to avoid. R; 2 stars; 85 min. (wire review) (FP, FT, LC, BG)
Star Trek Into Darkness. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was about restoring a moribund franchise. His sequel is about taking it for a spin. Into Darkness is a wild, action-packed ride, as Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), and co. battle against one of their great adversaries (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is waging a one-man war against Star Fleet. PG-13; 4 1/2 stars; 132 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)