All Eyez on Me

Summit

Radical politics and the wayward values of hip-hop culture take this sometimes intense but overlong and rarely insightful biography of rapper Tupac Shakur (Demetrius Shipp Jr.) off course. Born into a family of Black Panther activists, Danai Gurira turns in a powerful performance as his mother, Afeni. The future singer and actor confronts the challenges of an inner-city childhood before gaining stardom. Structured around an interview with a fictional journalist (Hill Harper) during a real stint in prison, the retrospective takes in Shakur’s lifelong friendship with Jada Pinkett (Kat Graham), his partnership with rage-prone producer Suge Knight (Dominic Santana) and his romance with Quincy Jones’ daughter, Kidada (Annie Ilonzeh). An implicit acceptance of debauchery, rampant materialism, an ambivalent outlook on narcotics and a script laden with obscenities set director Benny Boom’s film at odds with faith-based values. Some violence and gore, strong sexual content, including aberrant behavior, cohabitation and rear and upper female nudity, drug use, about a dozen profanities, relentless rough and crude language. O; R

Transformers: The Last Knight

Paramount

Ponderous sci-fi action flick in which a small-time inventor (Mark Wahlberg) tries to save Earth from being destroyed in a collision with the home planet of a race of shape-shifting robots. Director Michael Bay’s film finds the evil sorceress (Gemma Chan) who created the automatons scheming to revive their dying orb by desolating ours. The sinkhole of a plot drags in King Arthur (Liam Garrigan), the biblical apocalypse, an English professor (Laura Haddock) in present-day Oxford and a loopy historian (Anthony Hopkins) who explains all the connections in detail but unconvincingly. A steady stream of swearing makes this long, loud and dumb production, the fifth franchise entry for a series based on a line of Hasbro toys, inappropriate for those undemanding youngsters who might somehow enjoy it. Occult themes, much harsh but mostly bloodless combat violence, at least one use of profanity, a few milder oaths, much crude and crass language. A-III; PG-13

The House

Warner Bros.

Dim-witted, cash strapped parents (Will Ferrell, Amy Poehler) of a college-age daughter (Ryan Simpkins) team with a friend (Jason Mantzoukas) to start an illegal casino in his house so they can pay for her tuition. But their scheme spirals down into a series of bad decisions and gruesome events. Director Andrew Jay Cohen, who co-wrote the screenplay with Brendan O’Brien, has produced a sloppy, illogical, cringe-inducing time-waster. A lengthy gory sequence, frequent rough and crude language. O; R

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Columbia

Vibrant comic-book adaptation follows the double life of seemingly ordinary high school student Peter Parker (Tom Holland) as he struggles to keep his extra-curricular crime-fighting activities as Spider-Man concealed from his easily worried guardian, Aunt May (Marisa Tomei). In this reboot for the franchise, industrialist Tony Stark, aka Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), makes Peter his protege, and tries to keep him focused on thwarting petty misdemeanors. But Peter, who yearns to secure a place among the elite Avengers, finds an irresistible target when he stumbles across the dangerous schemes of mechanically winged villain Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture (Michael Keaton). Director and co-writer Jon Watts crafts a lively and satisfying action adventure, showcasing both loyal friendship (Jacob Batalon plays Peter’s best pal) and restrained romance (Laura Harrier portrays the schoolmate for whom he pines). Yet, while the combat is kept virtually bloodless, some of the dialogue puts this off-limits for the many youngsters who would otherwise likely enjoy it. Possibly acceptable for older adolescents. Much stylized violence, including gunplay and a beating, a single gruesome image, brief sexual humor, a couple of mild oaths, two implied but unspoken rough terms, a few crude and several crass expressions, an obscene gesture. A-III; PG-13

Baby Driver

TriStar

Stylish, high-octane crime drama in which an otherwise decent young man (Ansel Elgort) is forced to serve as the getaway driver in a series of bank robberies in order to pay off his debt to a callous mobster (Kevin Spacey). As he works with a variety of lowlifes (most prominently Jon Hamm, Eiza Gonzalez and Jamie Foxx) to pull off the heists, the better part of his nature is expressed in the care he gives his deaf and ailing foster father (CJ Jones) and in his romance with a sprightly diner waitress (Lily James). Writer-director Edgar Wright earns his paycheck with a film carefully choreographed down to the last gesture, and the basic values at work in his script are sound. Yet, while the central relationship remains chaste, late plot developments involve a quantity of bloodletting that will seem excessive to many moviegoers. Momentary but intense gory violence along with much gunplay, several uses of profanity, frequent rough and crude language. L; R

Despicable Me 3

Universal

Strong values accompany a weak central plot in this animated comedy, the second direct follow-up to the 2010 original. As the once slightly wicked villain (voice of Steve Carell) who turned thoroughgoing good guy over the course of the first two films tries to thwart an ex-child actor (voice of Trey Parker) whose 1980s TV show was abruptly canceled from wreaking delayed vengeance by destroying Hollywood, he also discovers that he has a brother (also voiced by Carell) his mother (voice of Julie Andrews) never told him about. The siblings quickly bond, and family life is further celebrated through scenes of the protagonist’s interaction with his supportive wife and crime-fighting partner (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and their shared nurturing of their trio of adopted daughters (voices of Miranda Cosgrove, Dana Gaier and Nev Scharrel). Though jokes riffing on Reagan-era fads and fashions generally fall flat, the pixilated minions (voiced by director Pierre Coffin) who once carried out the main character’s bidding – and who featured in their own 2015 film – are on hand to get things back on track. Characters in peril, brief partial nudity played for laughs, mild scatological and anatomical humor, a couple of vaguely crass slang terms. A-II; PG

 

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