EW wants you to make good choices at the movies, so consult our Critical Mass reviews guide below before heading to the multiplex

By Joey Nolfi
April 07, 2017 at 01:11 PM EDT

Anne Hathaway grapples with her inner demons (and a city-destroying monster) in Colossal, Morgan Freeman leads a trio of elderly bank robbers in Going in Style, and the Smurfs return for another big screen go-round in The Lost Village — each of which debut Friday in theaters. With so many new and holdover titles gunning for audience attention 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.

Colossal

Now playing.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

But it’s also a lot of fun to see Hathaway — she of the eternal, unshakeable theater-kid optimism — surrender to the dark side in what might be her best, bleakest role since her raccoon-eyed turn in 2008’s Rachel Getting Married. Her Gloria is basically a walking emotional hazmat zone: toxic, peevish, perpetually self-involved. (Jason Sudeikis is no peach either). But her mess feels real, unlike the manufactured naughtiness of most big-screen bad girls. And hopefully, her star power will bring more people to a movie whose marketing isn’t exactly made easy by a plot that sounds like a fridge-magnet poetry game gone wrong. Because in its own scrappy low-budget way, it’s worth it: Even if the script’s psychological reach ultimately falls short, Colossal is still a clever, comic, wildly surreal ride — right up until the last sucker-punch frame. B+

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 75%

Metacritic: 69

Smurfs: The Lost Village

Now playing.

EW’s Joey Nolfi says:

For how topical its inclinations are, it’s still wrapped in a ridiculous package hand-delivered by cyan humanoids. Absurdity isn’t always the mark of simplicity, however. Ambitious films like Inside Out and Zootopia — about personified emotions living inside a girl’s brain and a city populated by talking animals — prove sharp wit and kid-friendly appeal don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Lost Village buckles under the pressure of the bar set by far superior titles that have come before it, skimping on narrative nuances in favor of a showy fireworks display that’s bound to distract the little ones on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but might leave mommy and daddy blue in the face. C-

For how topical its inclinations are, it’s still wrapped in a ridiculous package hand-delivered by cyan humanoids. Absurdity isn’t always the mark of simplicity, however. Ambitious films like Inside Out and Zootopia — about personified emotions living inside a girl’s brain and a city populated by talking animals — prove sharp wit and kid-friendly appeal don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Lost Village buckles under the pressure of the bar set by far superior titles that have come before it, skimping on narrative nuances in favor of a showy fireworks display that’s bound to distract the little ones on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but might leave mommy and daddy blue in the face. C-

For how topical its inclinations are, it’s still wrapped in a ridiculous package hand-delivered by cyan humanoids. Absurdity isn’t always the mark of simplicity, however. Ambitious films like Inside Out and Zootopia — about personified emotions living inside a girl’s brain and a city populated by talking animals — prove sharp wit and kid-friendly appeal don’t have to be mutually exclusive. The Lost Village buckles under the pressure of the bar set by far superior titles that have come before it, skimping on narrative nuances in favor of a showy fireworks display that’s bound to distract the little ones on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but might leave mommy and daddy blue in the face. C-

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%

Metacritic: 40

Going in Style

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

Going in Style is, of course, a remake of a 1979 comedy that starred George Burns, Art Carney, and Lee Strasberg as a trio of old coots who decide to spice up their Geritol years by sticking up a bank in Groucho schnozzes. It’s a bittersweet, heartfelt, and very funny movie (go rent it instead of seeing this) mainly because the heist is almost beside the point. It’s more about the bedrock friendship between three lonely old men. It’s a character movie, not an action movie. And we’re always laughing with the characters, not at them and how old they are. In the new version, Joe, Willie, and Albert watch The Bachelorette and get really invested the outcome. They smoke pot with a gangster and get the munchies. They attempt a practice heist on a supermarket and get away on a motorized old-folks scooter. Ann-Margret even pops up as a horny, hot-to-trot grandma to lob lusty innuendos at Arkin. I kept waiting for someone to make a joke about the size of his prostate. Thankfully, it never came. C

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 42%

Metacritic: 51

Gifted

Now playing.

EW’s Chris Nashawaty says:

The actors are all better than the parts that are written for them, especially Octavia Spencer as Frank’s saintly, overprotective trailer-park neighbor. (Grace is a real young talent, but sort of gets lost in the busy plot mechanics of the third act.) In the end, what should be a three-hankie, ugly-cry tearjerker feels unnuanced, overplotted, and mechanical. C

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Metacritic: 59

Salt and Fire

Now playing.

EW’s Darren Franich says:

Salt and Fire suggests the drowsiness of an airplane nap, too tired to keep its eyes open but too uncomfortable to start really dreaming. C–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%

Metacritic: 46

The Boss Baby

Now playing.

EW’s Darren Franich says:

But there are worst case scenarios, instances where empty cynicism dissolves into sour snark, where the pretense at self-awareness becomes its own retrograde stupidity. Consider the cultural devolution from something like Wicked — a lacerating female-first deconstruction of an old children’s story — to Oz, The Great and Powerful, the story of a money-obsessed con man with a heart of gold who gets the good girl by vanquishing all the bad girls. Consider the whole quotemarky “It’s just a joke!” tone of online discourse, the rise of smirking insincerity as a political mode and an intellectual dialectic. And then there’s The Boss Baby, merely mediocre yet disturbingly familiar, for we are all Boss Babies now. C

Rotten Tomatoes: 52%

Metacritic: 50

Beauty and the Beast

Now playing.

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: 71%

Metacritic: 65

Ghost in the Shell

Now playing.

EW’s Leah Greenblatt says:

If there’s anything Sander’s ravishing set pieces fail to sufficiently color in, it’s the story’s emotional stakes. Major’s search for her identity; the reason the bad guys are bad and the good guys do good; the future they’re all fighting for: None of it matters much, beyond that we’re told to accept that it does. The deep-dive mythologies and intriguing moral quandaries raised by the script aren’t so much explored as exploded in a flurry of high-gloss action sequences and vaguely deep koan-of-the-day dialogue. Eventually the movie gives up the Ghost, and settles for a gorgeous shell. B

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%

Metacritic: 52

Power Rangers

Now playing.

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–

Read the full review here.

Rotten Tomatoes: 48%

Metacritic: 44

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: 77%

Metacritic: 62

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