Warner Bros. 

After a network of weather-controlling satellites designed to overcome the effects of global warming is sabotaged and begins causing a series of overwhelming natural disasters, its designer (Gerard Butler), his estranged brother (Jim Sturgess), a State Dept. official, and the bureaucrat’s live-in girlfriend (Abbie Cornish), a Secret Service agent, team to uncover and defeat the conspiracy. Armchair apocalypse fanciers may relish the ravaging of cities around the globe and the threat of the titular civilization-destroying phenomenon. But anyone looking for more than mere spectacle in director and co-writer Dean Devlin’s by-the-numbers action flick will come away disappointed. Though the dodgy domestic arrangement eventually moves toward marriage and the armed confrontations are mostly blood-free, this is still best suited to easily satisfied grownups. Much gunplay, cohabitation, about a half-dozen uses of profanity, a couple of milder oaths, several crude and crass terms. A-III; PG-13 

Same Kind of Different as Me 


Uneven recounting of the real-life events through which a wealthy art dealer (Greg Kinnear) formed a seemingly unlikely friendship with a volatile but fundamentally decent homeless man (Djimon Hounsou). Anxious to repair the damage a recent affair has done to his marriage, the salesman reluctantly agrees to accompany his spiritually attuned wife (Renee Zellweger) on her visits to a local soup kitchen. There he gradually overcomes the initial hostility of his future pal and learns the moving details of the latter’s personal history. So long as Hounsou dominates the scene, as he does while lyrically recalling his character’s childhood, his redoubtable talent carries the film along. Though the other headliners of the cast including Jon Voight as the protagonist’s booze-sodden estranged father bring their own formidable resumes to the project, they are less successful in overcoming the limitations of the script, adapted from the book penned by the actual amigos, Ron Hall and Denver Moore, by director Michael Carney, Alexander Foard and Hall. A nondenominational religious subtext and Gospel-congruent values help to hide the aesthetic blemishes and make this probably acceptable for older teens. Some nonlethal violence, a scene of marital intimacy, mature themes, including adultery and racial hatred, sexual references, innuendo. A-III; PG-13 



Failed black comedy, set in the Levittown-like suburb of the title during the early 1950s, in which a young boy (Noah Jupe) witnesses the murder of his mother (Julianne Moore) at the hands of a pair of brutish intruders (Glenn Fleshler and Alex Hassell) during an unexplained home invasion. His father’s (Matt Damon) subsequent behavior as well as that of his mom’s twin sister (also Moore), who moves in with the widower, only make the situation more confusing for the lad and more suspicious for the police officer (Jack Conley) and insurance investigator (Oscar Isaac) assigned to the case. Awkwardly intertwined with the main story is a cautionary tale about intolerance that sees the community’s first black couple (Karimah Westbrook and Leith M. Burke) and their son (Tony Espinosa) besieged by angry white mobs intent on driving them out of the neighborhood. Director George Clooney who co-wrote the script with brothers Joel and Ethan Coen and Grant Heslov paints a perversely dark picture of human nature from which, in the case of Damon’s character, even the most basic positive instincts are absent. A skewed outlook, occasionally shocking violence with considerable gore, some gruesome images, brief aberrant sexual behavior, a few uses of profanity, several rough and a handful of crude terms. L; R 

Thank You for Your Service 


Powerful drama about the devastating impact of post-traumatic stress disorder on soldiers returning from war, directed by Jason Hall and based on David Finkel’s eponymous nonfiction book. An Army sergeant (Miles Teller) returns to Kansas with his squad after a tour of duty in Iraq, haunted by the death of one unit member (Brad Beyer) and the near-fatal wounding of another (Scott Haze). As he bottles up his emotions, his wife (Haley Bennett) tries to break down the barrier between them while the widow (Amy Schumer) of his fallen comrade demands to know how her husband died. Meanwhile, another veteran of the regiment (Beulah Koale), coping with a brain injury, drifts into crime and drugs. The film offers a brutally honest portrayal that evokes sympathy for veterans and their plight as well as outrage at a bloated bureaucracy seemingly unable to cope with the crisis at hand. Graphic wartime violence and bloodshed, a suicide, drug use, a glimpse of full female nudity, sexual banter, a couple of uses of profanity, pervasive rough and crude language. A-III; R 

Victoria and Abdul 


Endearing historical drama in which, on the sole basis of being tall and handsome, a 24-year-old prison clerk (Ali Fazal) in Agra, India, is chosen to present a ceremonial coin to Queen Victoria (Judi Dench) during her 1887 golden jubilee. After a four-month journey in the company of a grouchy fellow countryman (Adeel Akhtar), he flouts protocol by making eye contact with the sovereign. Victoria is sufficiently charmed to make him first her servant, then her secretary and finally her instructor in Urdu. But the closer their relationship grows, the more antagonism the royal household, led by the queen’s eldest son and heir, Bertie (Eddie Izzard), unleashes on the newcomer. Director Stephen Frears’ adaptation of Shrabani Basu’s book celebrates friendship, openness, tolerance and respect for those from different backgrounds. A couple of uses of profanity, at least one milder oath, about a half-dozen crude and a pair of crass terms. A-III; PG-13 

Only the Brave 


Heartbreaking true story of the “Granite Mountain Hotshots,” the elite Arizona firefighting team which raced into a raging inferno in 2013 to save a neighboring town from destruction. Their leader (Josh Brolin) has honed his 20-member crew into a well-oiled machine with the assistance of his right-hand man (James Badge Dale). During a recruitment drive, an unlikely candidate (Miles Teller) appears, intent on turning away from a dissolute life to join the group. In adapting a magazine article by Sean Flynn, director Joseph Kosinski deftly juggles the intimate stories of the men’s personal lives (Jennifer Connelly plays Brolin’s wife) with grand set pieces which evoke the sheer terror and destructive force of the flames they battle. Although the ending is well known, the impact is no less profound on screen, and the striking real-life examples of heroism, brotherhood and self-sacrifice are both timely and inspiring. Scenes of extreme peril, mature themes, drug use, brief rear male nudity, an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, several uses of profanity, pervasive crude language, some sexual banter, obscene gestures. A-III; PG-13 

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