Joey Nolfi
March 03, 2017 AT 08:52 PM EST

As Logan prepares to slash its way to the top of the domestic box office, a slew of fellow newcomers storm theaters alongside it, including the YA thriller Before I Fall, faith-based drama The Shack, and the latest theatrical offering from Hollywood legend Shirley MacLaine, The Last Word. With so many new and holdover titles to choose from, EW wants you to make good choices at the movies, so consult our Critical Mass reviews guide below before heading to the multiplex this weekend.

Logan

Opens March 3 in theaters nationwide.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Logan is essentially a road movie, but it’s a dark one (and a very long one). More than ever, Jackman’s Logan seems like he’s at an existential dead-end, and he’s never exactly been a barrel of laughs to begin with. Mangold shoots the film in a grungy, south-of-the-border Peckinpah palette. There isn’t a lot of hope in the movie. The stakes aren’t grandiose, no one’s saving the world. They’re saving this one special — and very, very violent child (although there will turn out to be others like her). Since Laura’s mutant physical gifts are so identical to Logan’s, there’s a melancholy to their relationship. She’s the daughter he never slowed down enough to allow himself to have. The loner has to learn to put someone else first. It’s both as manipulative and hokey as that sounds, but occasionally it works well enough that you might find yourself getting choked up against your better judgment. B-

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Metacritic: 77

Before I Fall

Opens March 3 in theaters nationwide.

EW’s Devan Coggan says:

It isn’t hard to guess that the key to unlocking Sam’s time loop is learning some sort of life lesson, and although romance is definitely a plot point, it’s refreshingly not portrayed as the ultimate answer to all of Sam’s problems. Instead, Before I Fall is a surprisingly thoughtful story that strives to say something more, even as it leans hard into traditional YA tropes. B–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Metacritic: 59

The Shack

Opens March 3 in theaters nationwide.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

It’s hard to argue with spiritual movies that are as well-intentioned as The Shack is. There are a few moments that are genuinely touching and heartwarming enough to put a lump in even the most reluctant moviegoer’s throat. But there’s also something about the film that leaves a sour aftertaste. Its answers are offered up too easy. They’re too spoon-fed and trite. It makes light of the grueling process of grieving for a loved one. Just have faith, the movie says, and you too will be at peace. All that’s missing in the film’s bucolic spiritual way-station is a cornfield. Don’t worry, though, there’s more than enough corn elsewhere in the movie. ­–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%

Metacritic: 31

Table 19

Opens March 3 in limited release.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

What we’re left with is a romantic comedy that’s neither cute nor funny. It just feels half-baked and phoned in. Even the cheesy wedding band’s playlist of ‘80s hits feels cribbed from The Wedding Singer. And when you’re taking inspiration from Adam Sandler, it’s time to take a cold, hard look in the mirror. Unless it’s a typo, it’s hard to believe that the usually dependable Duplass brothers had a hand in producing this thing. Together this bag of assorted nuts bond while getting high, causing some harmless chaos at the reception, and learning a few life lessons before the bouquet is tossed. Honestly, you’re better off saying “I don’t.” C

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 13%

Metacritic: 37

The Freedom to Marry

Opens March 3 in limited release.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

Set against the star-stacked, history-sweeping account 
of the gay rights movement offered by ABC’s ambitious new four-part docudrama When We Rise, filmmaker Eddie Rosenstein’s modest documentary may feel like a niche undertaking, but it still carves out its own worthy place in the struggle. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: N/A

Metacritic: N/A

The Last Word

Opens March 3 in limited release.

EW’s Joe McGovern says:

Shirley MacLaine’s well-deserved reputation as a salty, snappy grand dame — forged from later-career work like Terms of Endearment, Steel Magnolias, Postcards from the Edge, Bernie, etc. — unfortunately precedes her in this sloppy, saccharine drama costarring Amanda Seyfried. C

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%

Metacritic: 48

Get Out

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

The first half of the film builds with expertly cranked white-knuckle tension. And Chris’ (Daniel Kaluuya) periodic phone calls to his hilariously skeptical black friend at home (LilRel Howery) are like a merry-prankster Greek chorus commenting on the whole get-the-hell-out-of-the-houseness of Chris’ situation. But Get Out’s delicate balancing act gets wobbly in the second half of the film when Peele’s conceptually daring premise unspools with a fairly clichéd genre climax. For a film that’s asking hard questions, it takes the easy way out. Still, Peele is undeniably a born filmmaker with big ambitions and an even bigger set of balls. He’s made a horror movie whose biggest jolts have nothing to do with blood or bodies, but rather with big ideasB

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

Metacritic: 83

The LEGO Batman Movie

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Seventy-five percent of the film’s carpet-­bomb campaign of pop culture meta punchlines will ricochet over the target audience’s head, but parents dragged along for the ride will no doubt be grateful for Arnett’s rat-a-tat send-ups of Adam West and superhero clichés. Directed by Robot Chicken’s Chris McKay and produced in part by the first film’s dynamic duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, LEGO Batman revs so fast and moves so frenetically that 
it becomes a little exhausting by the end. It flirts with being too much of a good thing. But rarely has corporate brainwashing been so much fun and gone down with such a delightful aftertaste. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Metacritic: 75

John Wick: Chapter 2

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Keanu Reeves is like a haunted (and largely speechless) ronin living by the 21st-century code of the samurai. If that all sounds too highfalutin by half, well, there’s also a bunch of tire-squealing car chases, countless point-blank kills, and scenic bone-crunching brawls in Rome’s ancient catacombs. And there’s a laundry list of interesting character actors who keep dropping by to spice up the bloodbath, like Laurence Fishburne, Common, and Ian McShane, who purrs bespoke menace as the grandmaster of the whole masonic order. But it’s Reeves, with his natty suits and icy stare, who grabs you by the throat — figuratively and literally. Killing is John Wick’s business…and business is good. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

Metacritic: 75

The Great Wall

Now playing.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

Renowned director Zhang Yimou (House of Flying Daggers, Hero) has placed Westerners at the center of a fundamentally Chinese narrative before, notably with Christian Bale in 2011’s The Flowers of War, and he is clearly no stranger to the scope of scale of historical epics. But The Great Wall struggles mightily to transcend its two-dimensional storyline, a dull roteness not much helped by its zoological villains. The Tao Tie, which we are told are some sort of physical manifestation of human greed, snarl and snap and inhale hapless bystanders like stoners ripping into a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, but their reported intelligence never feels like more than hearsay; they can dig a tunnel and follow their queen’s orders in tail-swishing lockstep, but really, they’re just big nasty lizards. Zhang allows for a few small moments of buddy-cop comedy between Damon and Pascal (two dudes with no shortage of lethal weapons between them) and a whisper of implied romance with the sleek, high-ponied Tian. But the film’s CGI magic stays flatly on the screen, lit less by the bright flame of a true creative vision than the dull gleam in an international marketing executive’s eye. C+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 35%

Metacritic: 42

Fifty Shades Darker

Now playing.

EW’s Devan Coggan says:

Poor Jamie Dornan still isn’t given much to work with, except this time, his abs are a little more defined and he’s grown some stubble to show just how heartbroken he’s been without Ana (Dakota Johnson) in his life. Johnson gets to have a little more fun, actually cracking jokes and acknowledging the humor in some of Christian’s more ridiculous requests. Still, they’re both hampered by E.L. James’ nonsensical dialogue, as Dornan is stuck saying things like, “I don’t know whether to worship at your feet or spank you.” Worst of all, Darker commits what might be the most punishable offense: just being boring. C–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 8%

Metacritic: 33

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