By Joey Nolfi
August 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Sony Pictures
08/12/16
type
  • Movie

Whether you’re into R-rated shenanigans with the gang of foul-mouth food items in Sausage Party, feeling a little nostalgic for the Pete’s Dragon remake, or in the mood to witness another performance from one of the greatest actresses of all time in Meryl Streep’s Florence Foster Jenkins, there’s something for everyone at the movies this weekend. With so much to choose from, EW’s handy Critical Mass guide will help steer you in the right direction.

Check out what the critics are saying about this week’s hottest new releases in the reviews below.

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: 88%

Metacritic: 68

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: 73

Florence Foster Jenkins

Opens Aug. 12.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

Streep of course is impeccable at everything, including being awful, and Florence’s loopy narcissism gets some needed context when the more tragic aspects of her past are revealed. Grant’s tender, conflicted performance, though, is a small revelation; he’s been given a much quieter instrument, but he plays it beautifully. (The Big Bang Theory’s Simon Helberg, as a fluttery, high-strung accompanist, has some great moments too, as does Tony winner Nina Arianda.)

It would be easy to mine Jenkins’ story for silly farce and 1940s set pieces and let it coast from there, but director Stephen Frears (Philomena, The Queen) is too kind, and too nuanced, to do that. Even when she’s murdering a high C, his Florence finds the melody. B+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 91%

Metacritic: 70

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

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: 63%

Metacritic: 60

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: 74%

Metacritic: 61

Star Trek Beyond

Now playing.

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+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 83%

Metacritic: 68

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
release date
  • 08/12/16
runtime
  • 89 minutes
director
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