New movies this week
The gist: Will Smith and his son Jaden play a father and son trying to survive man-eating beasts and natural disasters on an Earth 1,000 years after a cataclysm forced humanity to leave. Presumably the cataclysm was the advent of the Smith family acting dynasty. PG-13
The cast: The Smiths, Isabelle Fuhrman, Zöe Kravitz and Sophie Okonedo.
The buzz: M. Night Shyamalan is the director, which anymore is shorthand for something not altogether pleasant, no matter the budget. "After Earth tells the story of an inexperienced boy trying desperately to please his father while making one mistake after another, and as such, it becomes an uncomfortable metaphor for itself," TheWrap.com says.
Now You See Me
The gist: The FBI attempts to hunt down four magicians who act as a superteam to perform some big-time robberies against rich, greedy corporate jerks. It sounds like Point Break with David Copperfield in the Patrick Swayze role. PG-13
The cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Mélanie Laurent, Morgan Freeman and Michael Caine.
The buzz: It's not the best trick you'll ever see, that's for sure. "You want famous faces? Flirtations? Heists, thrills, car chases, explosions, disappearing bunny rabbits? All here, and all designed to distract us from the emptiness at the show's core," the New York Daily News says.
The gist: Ladies and gentleman, we have officially reached the age of Millenial hipsters getting feature films about finding themselves in New York City, refusing to conform to society's restrictive expectations of "success" and "productivity." Gen Y surely has the insight that countless generations before them did not, yes? R
The cast: Greta Gerwig, Adam Driver, Grace Gummer, Mickey Sumner, Patrick Heusinger and Michael Zegen.
The buzz: No, but it's a fun and well-made movie. "An American independent film (shot in luminous black and white by Sam Levy) that feels off the cuff but is in fact exactly made by a filmmaker in total control of his resources," the L.A. Times says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org