Three distinct offerings hit wide release this weekend, but which one is worth your money? EW wants you to make good choices at the multiplex, so let our handy Critical Mass guide point you in the right direction!
Are you in the mood for another Jason Bourne outing? Curious to see just how sassy Mila Kunis and Christina Applegate can get in Bad Moms? Check out what the critics are saying about the week’s hottest new releases in the reviews below.
Opens July 29.
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+
Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Opens July 29.
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–
Rotten Tomatoes: 63%
EW’s Kevin P. Sullivan says:
The novel concept ends up doing wonders for the film’s rhythm. Text messages drive the action, pushing Vee and Ian from romantic challenges to more dangerous ones (and one with a regrettable cameo from a particular social media joke thief). This structure lends the film a brisk pace that never slows down enough for the audience to realize that the characters are as flimsy as their motivation: to make money. And it isn’t until a third act twist that makes the proceedings any more complicated than that. For her part, Roberts does a convincing job of playing the innocent caught up in an intoxicating game, but Franco can’t seem to stop smiles. It’s as if he’s not totally sold on the concept, quietly wondering in the back of his head whether he’s going to look dumb on screen. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish and Paranormal Activity 3, the series’ high point) give Nerve an ebullience that doesn’t turn mean-spirited. This is a film about young people with a youthful energy and sense of fun that’s refreshing, especially in the summer of movies we’ve had so far. The tone and relatively low stakes allows Nerve to be shallow, divertive escapism—kind of like Snapchat.B–
Rotten Tomatoes: 55%
EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:
I don’t want to sound too nit-picky and churlish. But the Trekverse is something that really means something to people. For them, Beyond is a fine movie, it’s just not a very good Star Trek movie. After all, as summer releases have gotten more and more and sensational and trivial, the Trek franchise could always be counted on to serve up some smarts along with its sci-fi action beats. With Beyond, it feels like just another summer tentpole with not enough going on underneath the tent. C+
Rotten Tomatoes: 83%
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–
Rotten Tomatoes: 74%
EW’s Christian Holub says:
Unfortunately, the movie’s ending does not do this storyline justice. Suffice it to say that the mental health aspect of the story is not treated with respect, but rather as a simple plot device, to be used and discarded like so many shattered lightbulbs. In a culture that already doesn’t do well by victims of mental illness, it’s disappointing, and takes a lot of wind from Lights Out’s sails. It’s easy to not want to think hard about horror movies, to just let them wash over you like the cathartic experiences they are. But this movie purposely inspires viewers to think about serious topics, and then disregards the consequences of doing so, undermining the whole enterprise. The final physical sensation is not terror or relief, but disgust. B-
Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
EW’s Devan Coggan says:
It’s been 14 years since we first met Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo), and Diego the saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) in the original Ice Age. We’re now on our fifth—yes, fifth—installment in the computer-generated series, and with Ice Age: Collision Course, the novelty is starting to thaw. C-
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
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+
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%