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The Power Rangers are expected to work some light magic on the weekend box office in the days ahead, but can they also capture the hearts of movie critics? With so many new (Life, CHiPs) and holdover titles entering theaters this weekend, 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.

Power Rangers

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Cranston’s Zordon tells the teens that an evil fallen Power Ranger (think Darth Vader) named Rita Repulsa has been reawakened from way back in the day and is about to destroy their peaceful seaside town of Angel Grove (and the rest of planet Earth) in her search for the coveted all-powerful Zeo Crystal. During her quest, she will summon a humongous gold beastie called Goldar. It’s all gibberish, really — blockbuster Mad Libs where you could easily substitute “Zeo Crystal” with “Infinity Stone” and “Goldar” with “Apocalypse” or “Kraken” or “LEGO Joker.” The only thing that makes this battle-heavy second half orgy of green-screen destruction remotely interesting is Elizabeth Banks’ Repulsa. A cackling sadistic crone with a sweet tooth for gold and insult comedy, Banks’ baddie gives the leaden fight scenes some adrenalin and winking humor. You can tell that she knows exactly what kind of film she’s signed up for and she’s decided to have a ball with it. Which, come to think of it, is pretty much how anyone should approach this movie if they want to have a good time. B–

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%

Metacritic: 44


EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

It’s not giving anything away to say that from this point on, Life is basically a zero-gravity bodycount flick — And Then There Were None in space. The crew tries every way it can to kill the thing, but Calvin won’t die. I kept waiting for Jeff Goldblum to show up on their communication screen to say, “Life…uh…finds a way.” Espinosa stages some clever scares and creative kills while the crew make one bone-headed decision after another in their bid to survive (they have a particular knack for opening hatches when they should stay closed). Then again, watching smart people make dumb choices is one of cinema’s deepest pleasures. Life isn’t a great movie (in fact, it’s kind of a mess). But it is a really fun one. Somehow it manages to keep pushing enough joy-buzzer buttons to keep the audience on edge until the last scene. If it feels like Life succeeds in spite of itself, the important thing is that it succeeds. B+

Rotten Tomatoes: 67%

Metacritic: 55


EW’s Devan Coggan says:

The actual action is exciting enough, and Shepard’s motorcycle chase scenes are a welcome respite of both action and comedy. But the rest of the film is lazily plotted and only sporadically funny, depending on your tolerance of jokes about sexting the wrong person. Best to avoid this one like the 405 during rush hour. C–

Rotten Tomatoes: 20%

Metacritic: 29


EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Directed by Craig Johnson, who wrote and helmed the far better 2014 Bill Hader/Kristen Wiig comedy The Skeleton Twins, Wilson has some deliciously awkward laughs thanks to Harrelson’s curmudgeonly, childlike performance, but it zips right along without ever landing any emotionally resonant blows. In fact, the final third of the film is in such a rush to get to its unearned hopeful ending that you get the feeling there must be a far better version of it on the floor of some editing room in L.A. C+

Rotten Tomatoes: 39%

Metacritic: 50

Beauty and the Beast

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–

Rotten Tomatoes: 71%

Metacritic: 65

Kong: Skull Island

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 cheek. B-

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%

Metacritic: 62


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-

Rotten Tomatoes: 92%

Metacritic: 77

Get Out

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 ideas. B

Rotten Tomatoes: 99%

Metacritic: 84

The Shack

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. ­–

Rotten Tomatoes: 21%

Metacritic: 32

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