What's worth your time in TV and movies this weekend? EW's critics review the latest and upcoming releases, including The Old Man and Mad Dog.
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Each Friday, our critics provide a few quick-hit reviews of the titles that have them giddy and groaning — or, to put it another way, the Musts & Misses of the week.

Hustle

Out now on Netflix

Hustle
Credit: Cassy Athena/Netflix

The thrill of an underdog story never really gets old. (Who roots, after all, for the overdogs?) Even the familiarity of it all feels like a balm; to watch films like Creed or Hoosiers or Friday Night Lights hit their well-worn beats time and again — the humble beginnings, the training montage, the third-act showdown — is to know that there is still hope (at least on screen) for the Little Guy. 

Adam Sandler, his beard peppered with flecks of gray and his oversized polo shirts billowing like painters' tarps, is Stanley Sugerman, a longtime scout for the Philadelphia 76ers whose work life is a blur of international flights, five-star hotels, and American fast food eaten from a bucket. Then one night, waylaid in Spain, Stan finds his unicorn at a pickup game. Actually, he's an octopus: a lanky tattooed giant in worn Timberlands — the kid doesn't even own a proper pair of sneakers — who blocks and dunks so effortlessly, Stanley sees pinwheels. His name, improbably, is Bo Cruz, and he's played by Utah Jazz power forward Juancho Hernangomez, who has never acted before but turns out to be uniquely charming in a tricky role.

What follows doesn't reinvent the sports-story wheel; it's hardly even spinning it forward. But Sandler gives a lovely, lived-in performance, and co-producer LeBron James clearly called in his Rolodex: Screen veterans like Queen Latifah and Robert Duvall appear alongside a murderers' row of past and present all-stars, from Julius Erving and Doc Rivers to Trae Young and Aaron Gordon (several of them in substantial speaking roles). Hustle for all its predictability, is satisfying in the way the best sports movies are: a scrappy tale of adversity and triumph, smartly told. Grade: A– — Leah Greenblatt

Read our full review of Hustle here.

Dark Winds

Premiering June 12 on AMC+

Zahn McClarnon as Joe Lepahorn - Dark Winds
Credit: Michael Moriatis/Stalwart Productions/AMC

Ever since he casually stole Fargo's second season right out from under the big-name cast, Zahn McClarnon has been one of those actors you just want to watch constantly. With a stern face that quietly communicates no-nonsense badassery and rueful-dreamy thoughtfulness, McClarnon seems to shift the gravity of his projects. Westworld's dire second season hit a high point when his Ghost Nation android took center stage, and he was the most vital presence in The Son's meandering family drama. So it's a thrill for the actor to finally take center stage in this retro-procedural. He plays Joe Leaphorn, a Navajo tribal policeman unraveling a baffling case that involves an armored car robbery, a brutal double murder, some art-assisted smuggling, and a whiff of mystical bad medicine. Joe has to work with racist FBI agents and distrustful locals — and he's still recovering from a traumatic loss. But McClarnon exudes laconic grace, especially when he's paired with Kiowa Gordon as Jim Chee, a sellout younger officer who's more conventionally "Americanized" (and has his own secret mission).

The show wants to dig deep into the cultural context around the officers. At one point, Joe's wife Emma (Deanna Wilson) talks casually about forced sterilization, a devastating piece of genuine history that informs Dark Winds' lingering melancholy. Even with the the original Tony Hillerman novel to draw from, this six-part first season still falls victim to True Detective imposter syndrome. The mystery unfolds slowly. Not enough of the supporting characters have the same texture as Leaphorn and Chee. The supernatural intrigue doesn't entirely work. Still, this is an atmospheric crime thriller with real potential. And, if Dark Winds gets another season, that would give McClarnon two great ongoing tribal-police roles. Don't forget his sweetly comedic supporting role in Reservation Dogs. Restrained investigative drama and hysterical resonant farce: What can't this guy do? BDarren Franich

The Old Man

Premiering Thursday, June 16 (FX)

THE OLD MAN -- "I" Episode 1 (Airs Thursday, June 16) Pictured: Jeff Bridges as Dan Chase. CR: Prashant Gupta/FX
Jeff Bridges and his canine co-stars in 'The Old Man'
| Credit: Prashant Gupta/FX

"Senior citizen Jason Bourne" is a great concept for a show, and Jeff Bridges — still a commanding, alluring presence at 72 — is the perfect guy to star as Dan Chase, the former CIA operative-turned-fugitive at the center of The Old Man.

The premiere concludes with an extended sequence of wordless physical warfare between Chase and an FBI agent sent to fetch him — three full minutes of punching, choking, kicking, and grunting before the old man emerges victorious (with the help of his trusty Rottweilers, Dave and Carol). Bleeding and wheezing, Chase calls FBI counterintelligence honcho Harold Harper (John Lithgow) — a man with whom he has (of course) a complicated history. "Any more you send at me, I'm sending back in bags," Chase growls. It's a humdinger of an ending, and The Old Man, based on Thomas Perry's 2017 novel of the same name, displays bursts of that crackerjack energy as the season continues. Too often, though, the series brings its spy-thriller momentum to a jolting halt with incongruous monologues and hackneyed writing.

Dan Chase is living a quiet, off-the-grid life when a major mistake from his past — involving an Afghani warlord with a decades-old grudge — sends him back on the run. When a hitman (Gbenga Akinnagbe) shows up at Chase's Airbnb, he's forced to take the proprietor, an unhappy divorcee named Zoe (Amy Brenneman), along for the dangerous ride. Meanwhile, Harper and his FBI protégée, Angela (Alia Shawkat), lead the hunt for Chase, though secretly Harper wants the rogue agent's story — and his role in it — to stay buried.

Some dialogue sounds like it's straight from an airport paperback ("He freed her so that one day I would be free!"; "I know you've got questions — questions you want answers to"), and the pacing can be hilariously erratic. (After monologuing for nearly three minutes, a character notes, "Time is short, and I have to go.") When Chase is dispatching his enemies, or sparring (verbally) with Zoe, The Old Man is a lot of fun. Thankfully, showrunners Jonathan E. Steinberg and Robert Levine give Brenneman more to do than duck for cover and scream about getting shot at, and eventually Zoe proves that she's dangerous in her own way. Bridges is completely believable as a lumbering hulk of deadly force, and yet he also gives excellent "peering at you over his readers" grandpa charm.

The tension really starts snapping by the end of episode four, but FX didn't make the final three hours available for review — and so I can't say whether The Old Man's international adventure comes to a satisfying conclusion. Either way, your dad will love it. B-Kristen Baldwin

Mad God

Streaming on Shudder on June 16

MAD GOD
Credit: Everett Collection

Mad God is a twisted visual onslaught from legendary special effects maestro Phil Tippett. The main character — never remotely named, this isn't a "name" or "dialogue" or "obvious logic" kind of flick — is a fellow in a gas mask and a helmet. We watch him descend through a hellscape of gooey ruin. For anyone who loves stop-motion animation, the first 40 minutes of this bleak adventure will scratch your trippy itch and then some. Tippett created the AT-ATs in The Empire Strikes Back and ED-209 in RoboCop. The peculiar organic awkwardness of those robo-monsters is all over Mad God's vibrant apocalypse. (All the machines look unbearably intestinal; there's a whole population of fecal sentients.)

The second half drags a bit, and the live-action sequences can't match the animation for stunner viscerality (despite the playful presence of Repo Man director Alex Cox.) But this still feels like a magnum opus for Tippett, who conceived the film way back before computer animation even properly existed. The best parts of Mad God remind you of the practical-magic tactility of non-digital effects — and the unfettered possibility of a creative mind plumbing its darkest, strangest depths. It's a feast for animation heads and people who think BioShock was too Disney. Let's be honest, too: If you're any kind of sicko like me, this is an absolute treat. That stuff with the baby creature? Mad God, Good Lord! B+ —D.F.

Jurassic World Dominion

In theaters now

Jurassic World Dominion
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum join Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in 'Jurassic World Dominion.'
| Credit: John Wilson/Universal Pictures and Amblin Entertainment

Jurassic World Dominion, the sixth and, hopefully, final entry in a series of diminishing returns, takes us back to ethics-challenged scientists in remote labs and a general lack of learning from prior installments. The dinosaurs are already among us, perched on city buildings, upsetting wedding ceremonies, and hassling runners on the beach. It's a stupefying intro, suggesting we'd all kinda be okay with this turn of events, somewhere between a drag and a headache. Mystifyingly, the story and screenplay (credited to director Colin Trevorrow and two others, though that can't be everyone) suggests that revived apex predators loose in the wild are the least of our worries. There are giant locusts the size of drones that Biosyn has unleashed to eat non-GMO crops. Ellie (Laura Dern) and Alan (Sam Neill) are on the case — it's one of those movies that climaxes with evidence being turned over to "my contact at the Times."

Elsewhere, Owen (Chris Pratt, he of the raptor-training hand gestures) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) discover that their adopted daughter, Maisie (Isabella Sermon), who's both a directionless teen and, double-whammy, a human clone, has been kidnapped by bad guys who want her genetic code. All roads lead back to Biosyn, presided over by an evil billionaire in a Caesar cut (Campbell Scott).

Even with the original cast on board, there's surprisingly little chemistry or humor, and the movie makes repeated pit stops to stress family values: "Do you guys have kids?" Maisie asks Alan and Ellie, both of them no doubt tired of fielding that question, especially when fleeing from carnivores. Some of the new dinos have red feathers, a cute touch, but there's little of the wonderment of the first film, barring an image of a sad bronto at a logging site. It's the kind of listless enterprise out of which a savvy actor can sometimes pop: DeWanda Wise, playing a daring pilot, is basically starring in a one-woman Raiders of the Lost Ark in her head. Let's get that concept to the sequel writers stat, before they build another theme park. C– —Joshua Rothkopf

Read our full review of Jurassic World Dominion here.

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