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Ghostbusters reviews: what critics are saying about this week's new releases

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Hopper Stone/SMPSP, David Lee

Despite what the haters would have you believe, heading to the theater for Paul Feig’s Ghostbusters reboot might be a good idea, after all – if you trust the critics, that is.

So, should you hop abord the paranormal express with Melissa McCarthy or tag along with Bryan Cranston as he busts Pablo Escobar’s money-laundering organization in The Infiltrator? EW wants you to make good choices at the megaplex this weekend, so use our handy Critical Mass collection below as your guide to the week’s new releases. 

Ghostbusters

Opens July 15. 

So why does Ghostbusters feel so restrained? For starters, it’s too slavish when it nods to the original (although its throw-back cameos are fun), and too flailing and flat when it strays from it (Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold introduce a ghost-unleashing villain, then don’t know what to do with him). Even the spectral f/x are oddly shlocky (seeing it in 3-D is pointless aside from one comin’-at-ya slime gag). McCarthy, of course, gets off some lunatic one-liners; McKinnon, the group’s loose cannon, can crack you up just by widening her wildcard eyes; Jones mixes her signature bluster with an air of gung-ho joy; and Wiig’s timing is as Swiss-precise as ever (that is, when she’s not being saddled as the film’s straight-woman). Even Chris Hemsworth, as the Ghostbusters’ dim, beefcake receptionist, is funny — for a while. But with a cast as daring and quick as this one, Ghostbusters is too mild and plays it too safe. Somewhere, I bet, there’s an R-rated director’s cut of the movie where these women really let it rip. I want to see that movie. C+

Read the full EW review. 

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%

Metacritic: 60

The Infiltrator

Now playing. 

EW’s Devan Coggan says: 

Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) gives the whole picture a delightfully retro ‘80s vibe, capturing the seediness of South Florida and ratcheting up the tension: No matter how confident Mazur may appear while undercover, one small misstep could not only blow his cover but lead to a horrifyingly grisly death. The Infiltrator may not be as innovative as Breaking Bad, but it sure is fun to watch Cranston at his best again, masterfully walking the tightrope between good and bad. B+

Read the full EW review. 

Rotten Tomatoes: 65%

Metacritic: 66

Café Society 

Opens July 15 (limited release). 

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says: 

As gorgeous as Café Society looks thanks to Allen’s first-time collaboration with legendary cinematographer Vittorio Storaro (The Conformist, The Last Emperor), it isn’t a particularly great Woody Allen movie. Nor is it a particularly disappointing one. It falls into the vast middle ground on his resume—the movies you enjoy sitting through, but quickly forget once the lights come up. It’s not as good as Blue Jasmine, but it’s better than his last two films with Emma Stone. In other words, it’s very much a… B

Read the full EW review

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

Metacritic: 66

 

The Secret Life of Pets

Now playing. 

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says: 

Pets has a great premise, but it’s more busy than clever. Sylvester and Tweety packed more anarchy and wit into a six-minute Looney Tunes short than Renaud and Cheney manage in an hour and a half. Like a dog that endlessly chases its tail in circles, Pets is amusing for a while, then it just tires itself out. B–

Read the full EW review

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%

Metacritic: 61

The Legend of Tarzan

Now playing. 

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says: 

And how is Skarsgård? All sad eyes and fiberglass abs, he hardly speaks; there’s more dialogue implied by his deltoids than the scant mutterings the script allows him. But he does look fantastic, and the equally pretty Robbie works hard to bring some feminist nerve to her handcuffed-damsel role. Though the film was shot almost entirely on a London soundstage, it rarely misses a chance to pan a sweeping shot across lush forests and glistening waterfalls and amber waves of Congolese grain; there’s a whole lot of post-production magic here—especially in the Noah’s Ark of exotic animals that stand by ready to heed Tarzan’s beck and call, like eager extras on the set of Madagascar. The audience will eventually get more than one bellowing dose of that trademark yodel, plus multiple scenes of gymnastic vine-swinging. You just wish—after two solid but oddly joyless hours—that Legend strained less to hit its marks, and swung a little more. B–

Read the full EW review

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%

Metacritic: 44

Finding Dory

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

A lot of people who loved 2003’s Finding Nemo will pay to see this new follow-up and walk out feeling like they got their money’s worth. But it’s not Toy Story, Inside Out or even Nemo. What it is is a perfectly enjoyable family film that’s comforting, familiar, and a bit slight, like one of those serviceable Lion King spin-offs that Disney used to ship straight to DVD back in the ‘90s. B

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Metacritic: 77

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

Now playing. 

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

A better title for Dates, penned by the same team behind Neighbors, might be Wedding Smashers; there aren’t many slapstick or scatological places the script won’t go, and sometimes its frenzied lunacy just face-plants. But Efron and Devine are an endearingly loony duo, and as much as Plaza and Kendrick never quite sell their vixen shtick, the supporting cast is wickedly stacked. It’s like riding a roller coaster fueled by Red Bull and grain alcohol: kind of gross but pretty fun, too. B

Read the full EW review

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%

Metacritic: 51

The Purge: Election Year 

Now playing. 

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says: 

Since we’re smack dab in the middle of a very surreal and polarizing race for the Oval Office, there’s a temptation to look to The Purge: Election Year for timely metaphorical resonance. You’ll find it. It’s so simplistic and heavy-handed that it’s impossible to miss, but to be honest, it’s the least interesting thing about the film. If, on the other hand, it’s sleazy kicks you’re after, you’ll be in exploitation heaven. Because writer-director James DeMonaco’s third chapter in the thrill-kill vigilante franchise is the best and pulpiest Purge yet. B

Read the full EW review

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%

Metacritic: 55

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