Movie Reviews

Posted July 6, 2017 at 10:30 am

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie

Fox

Cheerfully silly, bodily functions-obsessed kid’s cartoon adapted from a series of books by Dav Pilkey. Two fourth-grade pranksters (voices of Kevin Hart and Thomas Middleditch) fear that their friendship will be broken up if their strict principal (voice of Ed Helms) follows through on his threat to separate them by assigning them to different classes. Improvising a solution, they hypnotize him and use mind control to convince him that he is Captain Underpants, the superhero featured in some of the many comic books they have written and drawn together. In this guise, he battles a wild haired mad scientist (voice of Nick Kroll) who schemes to employ technology to stamp out laughter, especially among kids. Parents averse to potty humor will find little to like in director David Soren’s otherwise unobjectionable comedy, which showcases a giant mechanized toilet running amok and an orchestra of whoopee cushions. A brief spell of seriousness finds the central duo figuring out that some grownups may be mean because they’re lonely, and doing their best to remedy an instance of this problem. Pervasive childish scatological humor. A-II; PG

It Comes at Night

A24

Bleak psychological thriller, set in a dystopian version of rural America that’s being ravaged by an unspecified but inevitably fatal plague, in which an isolated family dad Joel Edgerton, mom Carmen Ejogo and teen son Kelvin Harrison Jr. gives shelter to a young couple (Christopher Abbott and Riley Keough) and their toddler (Griffin Robert Faulkner). But fear and suspicion eventually undermine the good intentions behind this arrangement, with horrifying results. Writer-director Trey Edward Shults takes a deeply pessimistic view of human nature in a film that is well executed yet painful to watch. Maturity is required to grapple with its lifeboat ethics and tacit acceptance of euthanasia in extreme circumstances. Some harsh gory violence, including mercy killing, an adultery theme, scenes of marital intimacy, sexual sound effects, a couple of uses of profanity, frequent rough language, several crude terms. A-III; R

Megan Leavey

Bleeker Street

The inspiring true story of U.S. Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey (born in 1983) and Rex, her bomb-sniffing German shepherd, who together completed more than 100 combat missions in Iraq before an explosion sidelined both. Before impulsively deciding to jump-start her life by joining the Corps, Megan (Kate Mara) is a listless and depressed 20-year-old living with her harridan of a mother (Edie Falco). After enlisting, she finds her niche in the K9 Division headed by a brusque sergeant (Common), and goes on to help save countless lives while also opening her heart to a fellow Marine (Ramon Rodriguez). With its gritty portrayal of the horrors of combat, the film, directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite, is a valuable reminder of the personal sacrifices made by those who serve our country, as well as a salute to the enduring rewards of friendship. A few scenes of intense wartime violence, off-screen nonmarital sexual activity, several profanities, occasional rough and crude language. A-III; PG-13

Cars 3

Disney

In this installment of the family-friendly animated franchise, some of the anthropomorphic automobiles featured in the earlier films are joined by a fleet of new characters sure to please young viewers. A veteran race car (voice of Owen Wilson) is eclipsed by a new generation of faster vehicles, led by a brash young rival (voice of Armie Hammer). Temporarily sidelined by an accident, the aging champ seeks a second chance by joining forces with a youthful trainer (voice of Cristela Alonzo) and harkening to the wisdom of a grizzled adviser (voice of Chris Cooper). Amid the dizzying blur of NASCAR-like action, director Brian Fee and screenwriters Kiel Murray, Bob Peterson and Mike Rich work a nice amount of heart and pathos into the comedic plot, along with winning messages about persistence and the value of mentoring. A brief, highly stylized crash scene. A-I; G

47 Meters Down

Entertainment Studios

While vacationing in Mexico, two sisters (Mandy Moore and Claire Holt) go shark diving in an iron cage. But the cable holding the enclosure snaps, and they plummet to the seabed at the depth of the title. Director and co-writer Johannes Roberts’ claustrophobic, nerve-racking thriller, which is plausible enough to be more frightening than many horror movies, confronts the resourceful siblings not only with the predators they were meant to be observing in safety but with a rapidly dwindling supply of oxygen as well. As they struggle to survive, and the skipper (Matthew Modine) of the boat they were lowered from tries to organize a rescue, themes of forgiveness and self-sacrificing love are briefly showcased. Probably acceptable for older teens. Some gory and gruesome images, a single rough and a couple of crude terms. A-III; PG-13

The Lovers

A24

To the extent that a thoughtful drama about marital infidelity can be considered lyrical, writer-director Azazel Jacobs has achieved that. He carefully structures his plot to minimize any gaping holes in logic. But he also downplays the extensive collateral damage adultery inflicts. Lacking a steady moral compass, his characters are buffeted by life’s unpredictability. Tracy Letts and Debra Winger play a middle-aged couple for whom the marital spark is gone. But after both take on lovers (Aidan Gillen and Melora Walters), their attraction flames back into life. An adultery theme, fleeting scenes of marital sexual activity, some of it potentially aberrant, much profane and rough language. L; R

Rough Night

Columbia

Raunchy comedy in which a bride-to-be (Scarlett Johansson) and four of her best friends (most prominently Jillian Bell and Kate McKinnon) find their wild bachelorette weekend in Miami marred by the accidental death of the stripper (Ryan Cooper) they hired to add to the fun of getting drunk and high. From the randy swingers next door (Demi Moore and Ty Burrell) to the lesbian relationship in the past of the fiancee’s two other pals (Ilana Glazer and Zoe Kravitz), director and co-writer Lucia Aniello’s film runs the gamut of smut as the quintet scrambles to hide the evidence, fearing for barely tenable reasons that the police will not believe their story. Pure dreck. Strong sexual content, including aberrant behavior, nudity and a benign view of homosexual acts, cohabitation, drug use, some gory images, constant vulgar humor, several uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude language. O; R

USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting

classifications:

A-I – General patronage

A-II – Adults and adolescents

A-III – Adults

A-IV – Adults, with reservations

L – Limited adult audience

O – Morally offensive

Motion Picture Association of America ratings:

G – General audiences; all ages admitted

PG – Parental guidance suggested; some material may not be suitable for children

PG-13 – Parents are strongly cautioned to give special guidance for attendance of children under 13; some material may be inappropriate for young children

R – Restricted; under 17 requires accompanying parent or adult guardian

NC-17 – No one under 17 admitted

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