Cowboys & Aliens
The gist: A New Mexico town has an O.K. Corral-worthy shootout with a bunch of aliens in 1875, starring James Bond and Indiana Jones. Hey, we're always saying how we'd like some original ideas around here. PG-13
The cast: Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell, Adam Beach and Paul Dano.
The buzz: Not everyone likes it, but with a premise like this, what do you expect? "Cowboys & Aliens is exactly what it sounds like: a cowboy movie and an alien movie thrown together, a genre mash-up that's more fun than good, but pretty good nonetheless," the Arizona Republic reasons.
Crazy, Stupid, Love
The gist: Steve Carell plays a socially awkward schlub in his 40s who can't function in society after his wife cheats on him and asks for a divorce. A real stretch for ol' Steve, there. Luckily Ryan Gosling can teach him what's what. PG-13
The cast: Carell, Julianne Moore, Gosling, Emma Stone, Marisa Tomei and Jonah Bobo.
The buzz: Well, there's a reason Steve always plays this kind of role. "The movie suffers perhaps from too many characters and subplots but all the actors appear to have fun with their characters," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: Just … why? PG
The cast: Neil Patrick Harris, with the voices of Jonathan Winters, George Lopez, Paula Kay Perry, Fred Armisen and Katy Perry.
The buzz: How they made an hour and 42 minutes of Smurfs in Central Park is beyond all human comprehension. "The Smurfs may be blue, but their movie is decidedly green, recycling discarded bits from other celluloid Happy Meals like Alvin and the Chipmunks, Garfield and Hop into something half animated, half live action, and all careful studio calculation," Entertainment Weekly complains. Not carefully calculated enough, we'd say.
The gist: Wagon-trainers on the Oregon Trail in 1845 have to decide whether to trust an inept guide or a sworn enemy (i.e., a Native American) to get them through the Cascades before they all die of dysentery. PG
The cast: Michelle Williams, Bruce Greenwood, Will Patton, Zoe Kazan, Paul Dano (again!) and Shirley Henderson.
The buzz: Now here's a real Wild West movie that tells a good story. "(Director Kelly) Reichardt trusts her audience, encourages her viewers to feel comfortable in the stillness and the quiet, and to draw their own conclusions from an ending that's as profound as it is enigmatic," the AP lauds.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org