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Memorial Day weekend movie guide: What to see

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Memorial Day weekend may mark the official start of summer — but it also means that it’s officially summer movie season, too.

If you, like us, prefer to spend your long weekend in a cool dark theater instead of (or in addition to) sweating at a summer barbecue, we’ve rounded up your ultimate guide to all the hottest new releases, indie gems, and critical hits in theaters this holiday weekend.

X-Men: Apocalypse

 

Starring: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

Director: Bryan Singer

Rating: PG-13

EW’s review: “After the rejuvenated one-two punch of 2011’s First Class and 2014’s Days of Future Past, there was reason to expect better. A lot better. But Apocalypse feels like a confused, kitchen-sink mess with a half dozen too many characters, a villain who amounts to a big blue nothing, and a narrative that’s so choppy and poorly cut together that it feels like you’re watching a flipbook instead of a movie.” C

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

Alice Through The Looking Glass

 

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway

Director: James Bobin

Rating: PG

EW’s review: “The film is a feast to look at, even if it sometimes feel like you’ll get gout in your eyeballs from the overwhelming CGI lushness of it all. It may just be that despite the epicness of Alice’s quest, the stakes feel low because the outcome itself never seems in question; of course loved ones will be reunited and good will ultimately triumph over evil, even in Wonderland’s topsy-turvy world. We can still lose ourselves in the extraordinary ‘unpossible’ of Lewis’ imagination — but Looking’s story, and our emotional engagement, stay behind the glass.” B-

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

Love & Friendship

 

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny

Director: Whit Stillman

Rating: PG

EW’s review: “The biggest surprise in regards to Whit Stillman’s Love & Friendship is how it’s taken this long for Whit Stillman to tackle Jane Austen. … Stillman gives the romantic roundelay a deliciously modern feminist twist that ends up being a bit too slight and patly resolved, but over all too soon.” B+

Where to watch: In theaters, limited release

The Lobster

 

Starring: Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos

Rating: R

EW’s review: “As a bit of counterprogramming, allow me to recommend Yorgos Lanthimos’ The Lobster, the most original and beautifully strange love story since Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind — and my favorite film of the year so far. It’s probably worth mentioning right up front that Lanthimos’ films aren’t for everyone. They’re deadpan and almost clinically detached. At times they feel like dispatches from a distant alien planet. But if you’re willing to surrender to his singular vision, you might just walk out of the theater seeing the world in a new way.” A

Where to watch: In theaters, limited release

The Angry Birds Movie

 

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Bill Hader, Peter Dinklage, Maya Rudolph

Director: Fergal Reilly, Clay Kaytis

Rating: PG

EW’s review: “Considering its source material — a.k.a. the app located somewhere to the right of realtime weather and Candy Crush Saga on your smartphone — Angry Birds could be a whole lot worse. Building on the game’s bare-bones premise (see bird; slingshot bird into pig fortress for points; repeat), the 3-D animated film delivers a mildly diverting mix of winky meta-jokes and moral lessons, cannily aimed at both the next generation of tiny consumers and their more sophisticated parents.” B

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

Weiner

 

Director: Josh Kriegman, Elyse Steinberg

Rating: R

EW’s review: “What on earth was he thinking? I’m not just talking about congressman Anthony Weiner’s impulse to post anonymous d— pics on Twitter back in 2011. Or his attempt to deny something so easily provable. No, I mean why would the freshly disgraced politician give a documentary film crew an all-access pass to his 2013 comeback run for New York City mayor? That’s the mystery looming behind every scene in this jaw-dropping portrait of one unfortunately named man’s ambition and hubris.” A-

Where to watch: In theaters, limited release

Captain America: Civil War

 

Starring: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Rating: PG-13

EW’s review: “Despite its stars-and-stripes title, Marvel’s latest billion-dollar-blockbuster-to-be, Captain America: Civil War, is essentially a third Avengers movie – it’s also the best one yet. With a couple of exceptions, the gang’s all here (plus a few new faces). And the hook this time around is that the tension isn’t just verbal anymore. They beat the crap out of each other, too. It’s like a family reunion gone violent.” A-

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

The Jungle Book

 

Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley

Director: Jon Favreau

Rating: PG

EW’s review: “Directed by Iron Man’s Jon Favreau, The Jungle Book is a tender and rollicking fable that manages to touch on some grown-up themes about man’s destructive power and the loss of youthful innocence without losing sight that it’s first and foremost a gee-whiz kids adventure – though definitely one that’s a bit too scary and intense for younger kids.” A-

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

The Nice Guys

 

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe

Director: Shane Black

Rating: R

EW’s review: “Gosling and Crowe have a surprisingly fizzy, ferret-and-bull chemistry, and the hedonistic Me Decade setting is groovy. Gosling wears a parade of leisure suits, while Crowe’s paunch tests his Hawaiian shirt’s buttons. But the one-liners and shoot-outs feel a bit threadbare, handed down from older, better Shane Black movies.” B

Where to watch: In theaters, wide release

Sunset Song

 

Starring: Agyness Deyn, Daniela Nardini

Director: Terence Davies

Rating: R

EW’s review: “In its best moments Sunset Song presents a lovely, unfussy, elegiac tale of life on a Scottish farm just before the start of World War I. The source material is a 1932 novel by Lewis Grassic Gibbon, a classic on par with The Grapes of Wrath in its native country, which chronicles the liberation of a teenage girl named Chris (former fashion model Agyness Deyn) as she matures into a woman.” B+

Where to watch: In theaters, limited release

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