Philippe Antonello; LAIKA / Focus Features
Joey Nolfi
August 18, 2016 AT 12:00 PM EDT

Torn between War Dogs and Kubo and the Two Strings? Or maybe you’re wondering if that Ben-Hur remake is really worth your time? The reviews for all three films are finally in, and it’s time for you to make a decision. EW’s Critical Mass guide will help steer you in the right direction at the multiplex this weekend, so check out what the critics are saying about the week’s newest releases, below.

Ben-Hur

Opens Aug. 19.

EW’s Joe McGovern says:

But this arena, unfortunately, is no Thunderdome. The chariot race is sloppily framed, choppily edited, and droopily choreographed, with special effects that look like they needed another few passes through the CGI machine. The 1959 sequence is one of most famous in the history of movies because, for all the chaos and carnage, audiences could easily follow the action, thanks to clean, generous wide shots. Bekmambetov’s insistence on close-ups might have been a budgetary matter, but the result is a muddled, inconsequential mess—and another symbol of the modern conservatism and lack of tentpole imagination. In the movie summer of 2016, that at least makes Ben-Hur a sign of its time. C

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 31%

Metacritic: 37

Kubo and the Two Strings

Opens Aug. 19.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

First-time director Travis Knight — he served as lead animator on Laika’s previous three films — has given Kubo a gorgeously tactile look full of lavish depth and detail, and an engaging cast of characters, including Matthew McConaughey’s strutting warrior Beetle and Ralph Fiennes’ tricky, terrifying Moon King. The bickering interplay between Beetle and Kubo’s monkey protector (Charlize Theron) brighten an often harrowing narrative, though the jokes can feel misplaced tonally, as if they were refugees from the script of one of those other, sunnier Secret Life of Dory types. (Also disconcerting is the dearth of actual Asian voices on either side of the screen in an ostensibly Asian story, aside from a few supporting vocal roles.) Those arguments aside, Kubo is still a marvel — a visually stunning, richly imagined oasis in a sea of candy-colored safety, and one of the first truly original movies of the year so far. A–

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 95%

Metacritic: 83

War Dogs

Opens Aug. 19.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

A lot of what makes War Dogs work comes down to Hill, who is operating at maximum density here physically (he reportedly gained weight specifically for the role) but whose unhinged charisma also anchors the movie. His Efraim is an unrepentant liar, a shameless opportunist, and possibly a sociopath; he’s also by far the most interesting thing happening onscreen. As he’s proved in previous roles—including Oscar-nominated turns in Moneyball and, yes, Wolf of Wall Street—there are few mainstream actors better at inhabiting The Other Guy: the charlatans, kooks, and weirdos who rarely get to be the hero. And in a conflict as murky and morally ambiguous as this one, he’s exactly the right guy for the job. B–

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 58%

Metacritic: 58

Suicide Squad

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Writer-director David Ayer (End of Watch) skillfully sets up the film, introducing each of the crazies with caffeinated comic-book energy. But their mission — to take down Cara Delevingne’s undersketched witch, Enchantress, and her giant golem-like brother — is a bit of a bust. The stakes should feel higher. As someone who isn’t fluent in Suicide Squad lore, I can’t imagine there wasn’t a better villain in its back ­catalog. Still, it’s nothing compared with how wasted Leto’s scene-stealing Joker is. With his toxic-green hair, shiny metal teeth, and demented rictus grin, he’s the most dangerous live wire in the film. But he’s stranded in the periphery. For DC, which blew it with Batman v Superman last spring, Suicide Squad is a small step forward. But it could have been a giant leap.B–

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 26%

Metacritic: 40

Sausage Party

Opens Aug. 12.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

We’re here to watch a taco shell with lesbian tendencies talk like Salma Hayek (Ay mami, that’s her) or Edward Norton bringing his best Woody Allen-isms to a neurotic little ball of gluten named Sammy Bagel Jr., to laugh and cringe and gasp simultaneously when the movie pushes gleefully past every last boundary of good taste. Sex is paramount — prepare yourself, reader, for a climactic condiment-drenched orgy that late-night Cinemax wouldn’t touch — but race and religion are the sacred cows the movie seems happiest to grind: Jars of sauerkraut goose-step like it’s 1936 Berlin; the Middle Eastern aisle isn’t big enough to hold Sammy and his flatbread archenemy, Lavash (David Krumholtz). As outrageously un-PC as these scenes are, they’re far sharper than the aimless, scatological stoner humor that pads out so much of the script. That’s the movie’s real food for thought; the rest is just munchies.B

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 82%

Metacritic: 66

Pete’s Dragon

Opens Aug. 12.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

There isn’t a lot that’s unexpected here, like a few too-obvious characterizations (loggers = evil; environmentalists = saints). But it’s a simple story, heartwarmingly told. It doesn’t hurt that Robert Redford — as Howard’s eccentric father, who once spotted a dragon himself — triggers your tear ducts every time he shares a wise memory of childlike wonder, either. Is Pete’s Dragon shamelessly sentimental and manipulative? You bet. But it works so well that you won’t care a bit.B+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 86%

Metacritic: 72

Jason Bourne

Now playing.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

Director Paul Greengrass (Captain Phillips, United 93) has always had a taste for the topical and political, and his third Bourne outing augments the usual truth-and-justice talking points with a strenuously current nod to digital privacy issues via a Zuckerberg-like social-media mogul (Riz Ahmed). If anything, he underplays those assets, shorting deeper story development for exotic zip codes, bang-up fisticuffs, and adrenalized chase scenes (one of which delivers a level of casual collateral damage that feels, after the events in Nice, ill-timed at best). Jason Bourne has already given us a hero who transcends two dimensions. We just need to know more about what he’s fighting for.B+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 57%

Metacritic: 58

Bad Moms

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

With as much insight as Bad Moms has, it’s hard to believe that the film was written and directed by two men, Jon Lucas and Scott Moore—the same guys who co-wrote that ode to arrested male development, The Hangover, no less. But Bad Moms has the sting of truth about the relentless demands mothers (and yes, even fathers) face today. It’s also incredibly funny in a way that that a similarly-themed show like Bravo’s Odd Mom Out wants to be, but isn’t. That show is so caught up in its aspirational Upper East Side milieu of one-percent privilege, there’s nothing to really relate to. Bad Moms is for all the other mothers out there. The ones who’d like to bring store-bought doughnut holes to the school bake sale without being judged by Gwyneth. The ones who can’t afford housekeepers or nannies. The ones who know that the promise that ‘You can have it all’ is a lie. The ones who put up with more than they should have to all day-every day, and desperately need a night out with someone like Kathryn Hahn just to feel human again.A–

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Metacritic: 60

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