New movies this week
The gist: A high-octane race movie about the rivalry between Englishman James Hunt and Austrian Niki Lauda in Formula 1. This is back before modern safety standards, on and off the track, so the story is a good one. R
The cast: Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, Olivia Wilde, Alexandra Maria Lara, Pierfrancesco Favino, David Calder, Natalie Dormer and Stephen Mangan.
The buzz: A wild ride that owes a lot to its storytelling. "In another movie, either of these men — the arrogant hunk, the frozen robot — might have been our villain. But screenwriter Peter Morgan (Frost/Nixon) has a deeper insight," Newsday says.
The gist: A rom-com about a pair of divorcees struggling with empty nests meeting up and trying as hard as they can to avoid the inevitable happy ending (one of the characters is a masseuse, too!). This one has the unfortunate distinction of being one of James Gandolfini's last movies. PG-13
The cast: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gandolfini, Catherine Keener, Toni Collette, Ben Falcone and Eve Hewson.
The buzz: The chemistry between the leads is the secret to a winning formula. "Despite the movie's limitations, it's very satisfying to watch Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini enjoy each other's company on screen, as characters, because it's satisfying to watch them enjoy each other's company as performers," the Chicago Tribune says.
The gist: Robin Thicke's wife wants to get engaged before her sister's wedding in 30 days, so she spends a lot of time trying to find Mr. Right by sitting next to candidates on airplanes. That kind of plan always works! PG-13
The cast: Paula Patton, Djimon Hounsou, Taye Diggs, Derek Luke, Boris Kodjoe, Adam Brody and Trey Songz.
The buzz: Unfortunately, this rom-com isn't as likable as Enough Said. "Takes the bold position that women aren't truly fulfilled unless they're on the arm of a good husband, a notion that's been ridiculous since cavemen stopped dragging women around by the hair," the Arizona Republic says.
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2
The gist: Animated movie sequel plot scenario B107. Don't worry, your kids will tell you what it's about, if you're awake. PG
The cast: Voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, Will Forte, Kristen Schaal, Terry Crews, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris and Benjamin Bratt.
The buzz: At least we can say it's not terrible. "If nothing else, the pic's zany tone and manic pace are good for a quick-hit sugar high," Variety reasons.
The gist: Here's another one that would be classified as a full-blown rom-com, if it weren't for the man's nasty pornography addiction. Dude, it's Scarlett Johansson! She's probably the one you're looking at on the PC anyway! R
The cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Brie Larson, Glenne Headly and Jeremy Luke.
The buzz: Gordon-Levitt's directorial debut shows oodles of promise. "This is a sweet, lively and funny movie rather than a fully realized one, but it makes clear that Gordon-Levitt has a natural feeling for cinema and should do more of it," Salon says.
Metallica: Through the Never
The gist: A concert movie told through the entertaining filter of a roadie sent to pick up a bag during a Metallica show. Gee, whatever could be in that one? Our guess is pirated mp3s. R
The cast: Dane DeHaan, James Hetfield, Kirk Hammet, Lars Ulrich and Robert Trujillo.
The buzz: It's better than that One Direction movie, that's for sure. "A sweeping, ambitious take on concert films, Metallica: Through The Never works well enough visually, and certainly musically, to make up for its feeble attempt to fictionalize the lengths to which a fan would go for his favorite band," TheWrap.com says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org