New movies this week
Hot Tub Time Machine
The gist: A gang of 40-year-old losers party in a hot tub and wake up in 1986, where they can try to alter their deadbeat Gen X roots and make something of themselves. R
Starring: John Cusack, Clark Duke, Craig Robinson, Rob Corddry, Crispin Glover, Lizzy Caplan, Collette Wolfe and Chevy Chase.
The buzz: It's all in what you're looking for out of this movie. "Cannot sustain the level of comic insanity the filmmakers hoped for — no movie could — although it's bound to play much better on late-night cable TV, especially when accompanied by a few beers and the occasional bong hit," the Miami Herald says. That's good enough for us.
How to Train Your Dragon
The gist: A skinny Viking loser parties with a dragon in mythical times, where they show that people and dragons don't have to fight each other to make something of themselves. PG
Starring: Jay Baruchel, America Ferrara, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Craig Ferguson, Kristen Wiig and T.J. Miller.
The buzz: Typical high-end animated fare, meaning it's good. Plus: 3D! "Rouses you in conventional ways, but it's also the rare animated film that uses 3D for its breathtaking spatial and emotional possibilities," Entertainment Weekly crows.
The gist: A movie for sexually frustrated losers looking for a party, where a woman tries to find out if her husband is cheating by enlisting the help of a young woman, but they end up making out themselves. R
Starring: Julianne Moore, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson and Max Thieriot.
The buzz: How is it that sex thrillers are always so dull? "Sexual suspicion and game-playing spiral down from the exotically intriguing to outright silliness in Chloe," Variety says.
The gist: A single, 40-year-old loser parties at a friend's house, where he meets another adult he can actually form a connection with so he can make something of himself. R
Starring: Ben Stiller, Greta Gerwig, Rhys Ifans, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Chris Messina, Brie Larson and Juno Temple.
The buzz: We joke, but critics are raving. "This is tricky, ambiguous material, seemingly better-fitted to a short literary novel than to a movie, and it could have gone wrong in a hundred ways, yet (director) Noah Baumbach handles it with great assurance," the New Yorker says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org