New movies this week
What to Expect When You're Expecting
The gist: A bunch of people prepare to have babies in different ways in what is supposed to be a hilarious take on new parenthood, but fails to provide the real advice new parents need. Take it from us: 1) Say goodbye to eight hours of sleep. 2) Pick your favorite takeout places now. 3) Write everything you tell your spouse or partner down, because there's no way you'll remember. 4) Be sure to do all four of these, or else they won't be your spouse or partner for long. PG-13
The cast: Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Lopez, Matthew J. Morrison, Anna Kendrick, Elizabeth Banks and Brooklyn Decker.
The buzz: Apparently they didn't know the rules to making a good movie, either. "Amid the would-be and actual laughs, the screenplay tries to drum up drama, but every disagreement and tension is treated superficially and summarily resolved," the Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: Two things to keep in mind about this movie are that its adaptation from board game to big screen involves Liam Neeson fighting aliens, and stars Rihanna as a petty officer. 'Nuff said. PG-13
The cast: Taylor Kitsch, Neeson, Alesander Skarsgaard, Rihanna, Brooklyn Decker (again) and Tadanobu Asano.
The buzz: Check your brains at the concession stand and watch pretty 'splosions. "Battleship employs the same nonintelligent strategy as the Hasbro board game: Fire blindly at broad targets and wait for explosions," Newsday notes.
The Kid With a Bike
The gist: A troubled 11-year-old is abandoned by his father, so he goes looking for the bicycle his dad gave him as a substitute but finds a kindly hairdresser instead. PG-13
The cast: Cécile De France, Thomas Doret, Jérémie Renier and Egon Di Mateo.
The buzz: Winning the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes means something, you know. "The Kid With A Bike is, remarkably, about hope — about the connections people forge when the ones they've been given desert them," the Boston Globe says.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The gist: A group of all-star Brit expats outsource retirement to a hotel in India, only to realize, wait, we retired in India?!? But hey, they're not dead yet, so carry on. PG-13
The cast: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Penelope Wilton and Celia Imrie.
The buzz: A pretty good ride, if you're looking for the polar opposite of The Avengers (our description notwithstanding). "A sterling cast and a fine balance of comedy and poignancy make this story of unfulfilled Brit retirees discovering new life in India a pleasure-filled journey," the Hollywood Reporter says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org