New movies this week
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The gist: Now that Jack Sparrow has ditched that cursed Brit couple from the first three movies, he can surely find plenty to keep audiences interested with Penelope Cruz and Blackbeard hanging around for a trip to Florida, right? Right? Hey, we're still watching the last one, its runtime was so long. PG-13
The cast: Johnny Depp, Cruz, Geoffrey Rush, Ian McShane, Kevin McNally and Sam Claflin.
The buzz: Enough is enough, a lot of critics are saying. "The new captain is Rob Marshall, who scrapes off a few of the barnacles that clung to the last effort. But he can't avoid the feeling that this adventure has run aground," the New York Daily News chides. It'll still make a mint, of course.
The gist: And since nobody wants to see Mel Gibson do anything anymore, the studio has moved up the wide release of this Jodie Foster-directed mishmash about a man suffering from depression who is given a stuffed animal through which he's supposed to communicate. If only he'd had one of those in court. PG-13
The cast: Gibson, Foster, Anton Yelchin, Jennifer Lawrence, Riley Thomas Stewart and Cherry Jones.
The buzz: Despite making community playhouse money in its limited release, it's actually not bad. Too bad Mel melted down between its conception and its appearance onscreen. "Delivers more than it promises — namely a performance that draws on exceptional skill as well as what one irresistibly takes to be the real-life anguish of a movie star whose own life has come to ruin," the Wall Street Journal notes.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org