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March 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM EDT

There’s little competition on the horizon for Disney’s live-action remake of a classic tale as old as time — one with major box office earning potential. Still, several titles from contemporary auteurs hit a limited number of screens on the specialty market, meaning there’s plenty to choose from beyond what the major studios are hawking. 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.

Beauty and the Beast

Opens March 17 in theaters nationwide.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Once in the castle, Belle and Beast both quickly (too quickly) change: He goes from cruel captor to fellow booklover; she goes from fiery inmate to besotted Stockholm Syndrome victim in time for their love to save the day. Alan Menken and Howard Ashman’s musical numbers are peppered throughout along with some new ones by Menken and Tim Rice. Like so much about Condon’s film, the new songs are perfectly fine, but they’re just not transporting. More than movies or theme parks, Disney has always been in the business of selling magic. I wish there was just a little bit more of it in this Beauty and the Beast. B–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Metacritic: 66

The Belko Experiment

Opens March 17 in theaters nationwide.

EW’s Darren Franich says:

Director Greg McLean initially slow-burns the moral tension. (Should the many sacrifice a few? Which few?) Belko trends too proudly toward ultraviolence, but there’s true-pulp transgression in the film’s shamelessly sick kicks. A mass execution starts off troubling and then, somehow, becomes hilarious. (Paraphrasing Stalin: One death is a tragedy, many deaths are farce.) If “hilarious mass execution” sounds upsetting, I shouldn’t mention the exploding heads. We live in disturbing times. Belko is an appropriately disreputable, gleefully disturbing movie. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 50%

Metacritic: 38

T2 Trainspotting

Opens March 17 in limited release.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Returning writer John Hodge’s script doesn’t try to overreach. In fact, it’s pretty anemic, especially in the less-than-satisfying final third. But your enjoyment of T2 may have less to do with the new story than the chance to relive the old one. Near the sequel’s ending, McGregor’s Renton is being chased by Begbie through a parking lot. He almost gets run down by a car. Huffing and puffing, he stares down the driver with that same sick smile and half-mad look in his eye that he had at the beginning of the first Trainspotting. For a second, it’s 1996 again. I got goosebumps. B

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 74%

Metacritic: 60

Song to Song

Opens March 17 in limited release.

EW’s Joe McGovern says:

Indeed, though the movie is too dull and silly to get worked up over, you’ll find yourself searching in the margins of each shot for something or someone tangible to grasp onto. The cameos by famous musicians in the film are tedious (and lingering on Iggy Pop’s leathery chest is a gag that felt old 20 years ago) but Malick does discover one shard of grace in the casting of Patti Smith as herself. She’s only onscreen for about two minutes, but when she’s there, with that extraordinarily real, unglamorous face and those eyes that have seen so much, you briefly feel in the presence of wisdom. It’s amazing, quite frankly, that Malick didn’t leave her on the cutting room floor. D

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 44%

Metacritic: 49

Kong: Skull Island

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

As for subtlety, there isn’t a whole lot of that either. The team starts dropping bombs and wreaking havoc on the island, letting you know that the real monster is man himself. Meanwhile, Reilly and the mighty Kong are left to save the picture. And mostly, they succeed. Or, at least, well enough. Kong swats the military helicopters out of the sky like a giant swatting pesky flies. Jackson barks his great vengeance and furious anger. Hiddleston smolders and briefly wields a samurai sword. Larson takes surprisingly few pictures for a photographer, but she does get her Fay Wray moment. And Reilly delivers sorely needed punchlines between exposition about Kong and the island’s backstory. The rest are, more or less, just bodies lining up for the body count—although some of the kills are surprisingly clever and not worth spoiling. Meanwhile, Kong does his thing and does it well. The poor misunderstood guy seems destined to keep proving to humankind that he comes in peace. I kept waiting for a single tear to streak down his big hairy cheekB-

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Metacritic: 62

Logan

Now playing.

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: 92%

Metacritic: 77

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 Shack

Now playing.

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: 18%

Metacritic: 32

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

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