The weekend offers a respite from the hustle bustle of the week. With the respite, though, come the cute side dish of decisions. What should you do with your time off? Shall you sleep, finally able to rest your head? Or should you head to the movies? And then, once you make the choice to head to your nearest AMC, you've got to decide which movie to watch.
That's where we come in. Ahead, you'll find the latest films in wide release, all available for your viewing pleasure. We'll gather the comments from the peanut gallery of movie critics from across the web just for you to see. Both positive and negative comments are welcome — and we won't mince words when it comes to the critically panned. Not sure about the latest indie flick? We can help. On the fence about the star-studded blockbuster all your friends want to see? Come hither. We'll be updating this list every week, so be sure to check back on Friday. Sit back, relax, and let us make your movie-viewing decisions.
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Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 85%
Summary: Your favorite intergalactic misfits are back, this time discovering the truths of Peter Quill's parentage. What's the word? Guardians ' fun is hard to resist, even for the most pretentious of the critics. As Brian Tallerico of Roger Ebert says, " This is the rare Hollywood CGI orgy that doesn’t take itself deadly seriously—like the current plague of superhero movies—and wants to be as purely entertaining as possible." For Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post, Guardians signals the start of summer: "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is a toe-tapping, eye-popping indication that summer is here, and that it might not suck after all." For two hours, Guardians offers a sure escape from reality. More VIDEO
The Lost City of Z
Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%
Summary: The true story of an adventurer who finds traces of an advanced civilization that once inhabited a remote region of the Amazon.
What's the Word? Critics are loving this film. Manohla Dargis of first commends writer-director James Gray for making "a film in the colonial era that suggests the likes of David Lean’s The New York Times Lawrence of Arabia, but through a sensitive, contemporary lens." She then relishes in the world's lush beauty, and the filmmakers' attention to ancillary characters and detail. As she summates, "There’s much to love in this film, but what lingers are those lapidary details that often go missing in stories about great men, as if they had built the world alone and no child had ever raced down a road waving goodbye as a father disappeared into history." , "Scene for scene, this is a splendid film." Not too shabby. Roger Ebert says Aidan Monaghan/Amazon Studios/REX/Shutterstock More
Starring: Chris Evans
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%
Summary: A seven-year-old's extraordinary math abilities lead to a custody battle between her uncle and her grandmother, who wishes to exploit her math abilities. What's the Word? The cute film charmed some critics, like Frank Scheck of , who said, "Despite its recycled tropes, the comedy-drama manages to be both funny and moving even if its emotional manipulations are fully apparent." But The Hollywood Reporter Gifted left others frustrated at the actors' wasted potential and the places the film didn't seek to go. As Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of put it, "What's left, once one accounts for the suffocating and stultifying plot mechanics? Polished cutesiness; attractive shots of beach sides; and a good, mostly underutilized ensemble cast." AV Club More
Ghost in the Shell
Starring: Scarlett Johansson
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47%
Summary: Major is the first successful robot to be implanted with a human brain, and she's deployed the rid her futuristic world of cyber terrorism. What's the Word? Ghost in the Shell stuns visually, but falls flat when it comes to narrative power. For Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times, stunning visuals were almost enough: "Your head might not be spinning as you exit the theater, but your senses will be deeply and thoroughly ravished." Manohla Dargis of The New York Times laments the film's drastic veering from the original source material, and source country, when she says, "This isn’t just appropriation; it’s obliteration." More
Starring: Alice Lowe
Rotten Tomatoes: 95%
Summary: Angry and resentful at the unfair world to which it will be born into, Ruth's unborn baby directs her to go on a killing spree.
What's the Word? Looks like Get Out won't be this year's only acclaimed entry into the horror-comedy genre. This wry British black comedy is garnering oodles of praise. Jeanette Catsoulis of The New York Times says, "What hoists this bloody battiness above much of the scrappily low-budget horror pack is the smartness of its execution and the strength of the movie's central performance." While Lowe's directorial debut isn't without fault — critics cite plot holes and sparse world-building — ultimately "Lowe’s take on pre- and postnatal depression and the dark side of motherhood is undeniably unique," as Katie Rife for says. AV Club
Released Friday, March 24, 2017
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 78%
Summary: Six crew members on a mission to Mars discover a new life form that's far more intelligent than they'd bargained for.
What's the Word? Critics who came into the theater wanting a novel, interesting take on the sci-fi film were sorely disappointed. You can practically taste the disappointment in Tom Huddleston's pen when he writes for Time Out, "How this by-the-numbers sci-fi horror managed to blast free of the DVD bin and engage A-list stars like Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds is hard to figure out." Alex Welch of IGN was more entranced by some of Life's terrifying alien moments, but still said, " Life can’t help but fall into the same genre cliches that have damaged past films like it."
Released Friday, March 24, 2017
Courtesy of Columbia Films / Alex Bailey More
Beauty and the Beast
Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%
Summary: As if you didn't already know this one! A smart young Frenchwoman goes to a mysterious beast's mansion in an effort to save her kidnapped father. The rest's as old as time.
What's the Word? All the reviews seem to ask the same question: did the film succeed in making an old film new again? According to The Washington Post's Ann Hornaday, who thought the live action version brought satisfying complexity to the story, the answer is yes: "This Beauty and the Beast isn’t predicated on starry-eyed romance or animal attraction, but the solace of mutual loss and understanding, which makes it all the sweeter." But if you're looking for praise, look no further than The New York Times A.O. Scott, who gushes, "Its classicism feels unforced and fresh. Its romance neither winks nor panders. It looks good, moves gracefully and leaves a clean and invigorating aftertaste. I almost didn’t recognize the flavor: I think the name for it is joy." Other curmudgeons, like Joe Morgenstern at WSJ, calls it, a "crazily cluttered, overproduced venture."
Released Friday, March 17
Starring: Ewan McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75%
Summary: After 20 years, Mark Renton goes home to Edinburgh where he revisits his old gang of messed up friends.
What's the Word? Critics are on the fence as to whether this self-referential sequel was really necessary. Jeanette Catsoulis of The New York Times finds the film to address middle age in a satisfying way, saying, "While "T2" might be middle-aged, it's very far from moribund, the despondent base notes shouldering a story of revenge and regret, amity and acceptance." Scott Tobias of NPR, on the other hand, is not so positive, writing, "It never comes up with a coherent answer for why it exists, other than to indulge in the same nostalgia that its characters find so toxic." One thing they all agree on: all Transpotting fans should see the sequel.
Released Friday, March 17
Kong: Skull Island
Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79%
Summary: An expedition to Skull Island reveals a crop of gigantic, carnivorous, horrifying monsters that these humans will struggle to go up against. What's The Word: Critics weren't necessarily expecting an intelligent action film, and so are at least entertained by the film's twists, turns, and monsters. On the bright side, Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times says, "It's wildly entertaining and it has a sense of humor about itself." Many critics found that while the CGI effects were great, the characterization fell flat: "Every time the movie threatens to get interesting, one of its hordes of ersatz, non-animated characters shows up and starts talking again," says Chris Klimek of NPR.
Released March 10
Warner Bros/Legendary/REX/Shutterstock More
Before I Fall
Starring: Zoe Deutch, Halston Sage, Kian Lawley, Elena Kampouris
Rotten Tomatoes: 73%
Summary: After getting into a car accident, queen bee Samantha Kingston is forced to relive the same day over and over again until she can break the cycle.
What's the Word? Critics are praising the dark teen drama, based off a YA book of the same title, for couching a moral lesson in realistic high school dynamics and friendships. It certainly works for Ann Hornaday at the Washington Post, who writes, "The filmmakers have crafted a canny delivery system for their life lessons, by way of a movie that balances escapism, candor and ethics with admirable aplomb." And while the Groundhog Day format has been done before, Justin Chang from Los Angeles Times cedes that it "takes an unapologetically silly conceit and wrings from it a surprisingly nimble and affecting survey of contemporary teenage attitudes and anxieties." Awesomeness Films/REX/Shutterstock More VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO VIDEO
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