Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Nick Frost

The Huntsman: Winter’s War

The Story: As two supernatural sisters attempt to take over the Enchanted Forest, a group of daring fighters tries to stop them. The Lowdown: Despite a good cast and some neat visuals, a pointless attempt at forcing a new series on the world, one that simply doesn’t have the verve or story to be of…
Starring: Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Sean Patrick Thomas, Eve

Barbershop: The Next Cut

The Story: With their neighborhood falling to pieces, a local barber decides to bring change to his community. The Lowdown: A surprisingly welcome visit from a long (somewhat) forgotten series that’s far from perfect, but gets points for being both entertaining and pertinent (although perhaps a bit pat).
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, Kathy Bates, Ella Anderson

The Boss

The Story: After running afoul of the law, a former billionaire tries to rehabilitate her image with the help of a former underling. The Lowdown: Another noisy, grating comedic vehicle for Melissa McCarthy. Even if you enjoy her onscreen presence, there’s little to latch onto with something so idiotically obnoxious.
Starring: Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe, Jon Lindstrom, Ernie Hudson, Benjamin A. Onyango

God’s Not Dead 2

The Story: A teacher, in trouble after discussing Jesus in her classroom, turns to a passionate lawyer to save her job and stick up for her faith. The Lowdown: More faith-based proselytizing, this time styled as a dreary, languid courtroom drama. Solely for the converted.
Starring: Nia Vardalos, John Corbett, Michael Constantine, Andrea Martin, Elena Kampouris

My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2

The Story: Dealing with the stress of an angsty teen, Toula must help her parents throw their own big, fat Greek wedding when they realize their wedding certificate was never signed. The Lowdown: About all this genteel comedy has going for it is its general good-naturedness, with the rest of the film a dull mishmash…
Starring: Adam Greaves-Neal, Sara Lazzaro, Sean Bean, Vincent Walsh, Jonathan Bailey

The Young Messiah

The Story: The story of Jesus’ childhood. The Lowdown: Slow, long, plodding, self-serious, humorless religious tale that adds little to the story of Jesus and less to cinema as a whole.
Starring: Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Alfred Molina, Billy Bob Thornton

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

The Story: A journalist, bored with her career and life, becomes a war correspondent in Afghanistan. The Lowdown: An unfocused comedy/drama that never settles on a tone, but which remains likable and watchable, thanks to a small extent to Tina Fey.
Starring: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Edvin Endre, Christopher Walken

Eddie the Eagle

The Story: An awkward, unathletic Brit ends up an unlikely Olympic ski-jumper. The Lowdown: Simplistic and cliched like so many other uplifting sports films, but with a enough charm and a pleasantness to work as simple, feel-good entertainment.
Starring: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree, Shanice Banton, Carice van Houten


The Story: The based on a true story of Jesse Owens as he heads to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin and the heart of Nazi Germany. The Lowdown: Despite the obvious importance (both historically and currently) of Owens’ story, Race is little more than a by-the-book uplifting sports film, with every cliché this entails.
Starring: Ben Stiller, Owen Wilson, Penelope Cruz, Will Ferrell, Cyrus Arnold

Zoolander 2

The Story: After tragedy and years in hiding, legendary male supermodel — and general idiot — Derek Zoolander comes out of hiding and quickly finds himself entangled in intrigue and conspiracy. The Lowdown: A dull and uninspired sequel to a pretty good comedy, one that lacks verve and instead relies on rehashed jokes and pointless…
Starring: Benjamin Walker, Theresa Palmer, Maggie Grace, Alexandra Daddario, Tom Wilkinson

The Choice

The Story: A hunky veterinarian falls for his dreamy neighbor before maudlin tragedy steps in. The Lowdown: Abhorrently dull cheese of the kind only Nicholas Sparks’ pedigree can whip up — schmaltzy and oozing with melodrama, and with zero chemistry from its leads.
Starring: Chris Pine, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Eric Bana, Holliday Grainger

The Finest Hours

The Story: A terrible storm gravely damages a oil tanker and the Coast Guard must risk everything to save the ship’s crew. The Lowdown: Old-fashioned to a fault, structurally flawed and an overwhelmingly schmaltzy rescue/adventure flick that’s occasionally watchable and little else.
Starring: (Voices) David Thewlis, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan


The Story: A customer-service guru on a business trip meets a timid yet alluring woman in his hotel. The Lowdown: Simple in many ways (at least as far as plot goes) but deep and resounding in its examination of the search for human connection.
Starring: Kevin Hart, Ice Cube, Tika Sumpter, Benjamin Bratt, Olivia Munn

Ride Along 2

The Story: Two odd couple cops (and soon to be brothers-in-law) head to Miami to take down a drug kingpin. The Lowdown: A noisy, aimless and cliched rehash of the first in the series.
Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church, Hannibal Buress

Daddy’s Home

The Story: A stepfather yearning for the acceptance of his wife’s children suddenly finds himself competing with their biological father, who’s decided to return to their lives. The Lowdown: About 30 minutes worth of plot stretched over an hour and a half, with the added benefit of Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg at their most…
Starring: Luke Bracey, Edgar Ramirez, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Matias Varela

Point Break

The Story: A former “extreme poly-athlete” and current FBI recruit infiltrates a crime ring of thrill-seeking Robin Hoods. The Lowdown: For all the supposedly exciting stuff happening in this movie, what a boring slog it is — short on intelligent plot and anything resembling a sympathetic character.
Starring: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, Ike Barinholtz, Maya Rudolph, James Brolin


The Story: After finding out their childhood home has sold, two 40-something sisters decide to have one last massive party like the ones they threw in high school. The Lowdown: An occasionably funny attempt at a raunchy, slapstick-heavy comedy that’s way too long, but floats by on the strength of its cast.
Starring: Juliet Stevenson, Rutger Hauer, Max von Sydow, Priya Darshini, Tillotama Shome

The Letters

The Story: The story of Mother Teresa and her life of charity and the personal and spiritual struggles she faced. The Lowdown: A flat, schmaltzy biopic that’s too stone-faced and reverent to work.
Starring: Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, Tessa Thompson, Phylicia Rashad, Tony Bellew


The Story: The illegitimate son of a boxing legend tracks down his late father’s one-time nemesis and longtime best friend Rocky Balboa to start his climb through the boxing ranks on his own terms. The Lowdown: With no surprises, this film shouldn’t work as well as it does, but a likable cast with some genuine…
Starring: Finn Wittrock, Aaron Eckhart, Sarah Bolger, Robin Tunney

My All American

The Story: The true-life story of a perpetual underdog with aspirations of playing college football who ends up facing an even bigger challenge. The Lowdown: A paint-by-numbers inspirational sports flick that does exactly what you expect it to — with that being its biggest problem.