Find out what the critics are saying about this week's new releases

By Joey Nolfi
August 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM EDT
Gordon Timpen; Daniel Smith
08/26/16
type
  • Movie

As the end of summer quickly approaches, studios are doing their best to dump anything (and everything) they can on unsuspecting moviegoers. That’s why EW’s handy Critical Mass guide is your new best friend: it’ll steer you in the right direction this weekend.

With four new releases going wide, there’s a lot to choose from (horror fans are getting Don’t Breathe, while Jason Statham’s Mechanic: Resurrection should satisfy action fans), so make an informed decision on what to see after checking out what the critics are saying about some of the most notable titles now playing in theaters in the reviews, below.

Don’t Breathe

Opens Aug. 26.

EW’s Christian Holub says:

Alvarez appears to have consciously toned down the gore from his blood-saturated Evil Dead remake, trusting unnerving visuals and foreshadowing what terrors are about to unfold. When the group first enter the house, the camera pans all the way around to show the hidden implements and traps they’re obliviously missing. But playing on this ambitious scale — trying to make a statement about modern society while meeting the demands of a modern thriller — costs the movie some consistency, and the stakes start to erode after a few too many narrow escapes. The result is thought-provoking but rather lacking in the second-by-second scares genre fans tend to expect.B+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%

Metacritic: 71

Southside with You

Opens Aug. 26.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

But because history has already told us where all this is headed, there isn’t much inherent mystery. That leaves writer-director Richard Tanne to build his narrative around something other than dramatic tension, and the route he chooses has the loose, discursive intimacy of indie cinema. (Southside has already earned comparisons to Richard Linklater’s 1995 walk-and-talk touchstone, Before Sunrise.) It helps that Tanne also grounds the movie in its 1989 setting with small but telling details — Janet Jackson’s “Miss You Much” on the radio, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing in theaters — and that the relatively unknown Sawyers captures Obama’s quiet charisma without resorting to caricature. Sumpter is stiffer, partly by design, and the slight script doesn’t always hold up without the benefit of context. But Southside doesn’t hang on epiphanies; instead, it delivers something more modest: a tender, unrushed love story. B

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 93%

Metacritic: 75

Hands of Stone

Opens Aug. 26.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

As Durán, Edgar Ramirez conveys the ring legend’s inner demons (the humiliations of American colonialism in his home country, overnight wealth, a fraught relationship with his estranged GI father). And Usher Raymond, with his thousand-watt smile and boundless charisma, is well cast as Leonard. But it’s Robert De Niro, as Durán’s fiery paternal trainer, who commands the screen — and your sympathy. Aged with a shaved-back hairline that exposes his jug ears and with his chin pulled in like a tortoise, the actor elevates the movie above its predictable, one-dimensional script. It’s just too bad that watching him, you feel like you’re rooting for the wrong character.C+

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%

Metacritic: 55

Mechanic: Resurrection

Opens Aug. 26.

EW‘s Chris Nashawaty says: 

Now, five years later, no one involved in Resurrection seems like they can be bothered to break a sweat. It’s a movie made by folks who know they can do better but couldn’t be bothered. Statham, a pretty minimal actor to begin with, seems to just be going through the motions. And his costars, Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones, are either a) visibly uncomfortable in the genre or b) in it for the paycheck and the chance to grow a goofy soul patch. (I’ll let you guess which attribute applies to which actor.)  Worst of all is just how lazy the script is and how pedestrian the directing feels.

Read the full EW review.

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%

Metacritic: 45

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

Now playing.

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: 81%

Metacritic: 66

War Dogs

Now playing.

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: 59%

Metacritic: 57

Kubo and the Two Strings

Now playing.

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: 96%

Metacritic: 83

Pete’s Dragon

Now playing.

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: 87%

Metacritic: 71

type
  • Movie
mpaa
  • R
release date
  • 08/26/16
runtime
  • 88 minutes
director
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