Genre: Ancient World Action
Director: Noam Murro (Smart People)
Starring: Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Hans Matheson, Callan Mulvey, Lena HeadeyThe Story: The navy of Athens attempts to thwart a sea-born invasion from the Persian Empire. The Lowdown: A pointless excuse for a lot of unexciting bloodletting with no thematic direction and zero vision.
Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda (Still Walking)
Starring: Masaharu Fukuyama, Machiko Ono, Yoko Maki, Rirî FurankîThe Story: Two families have to deal with the fact that their 6-year-old boys were switched at birth. The Lowdown: Delicate, intensely moving family drama with strong performances — a subtle, yet provocative exploration of what it means to be a family and what makes a father.
Genre: Animated Fantasy Comedy
Director: Rob Minkoff (Stuart Little 2)
Starring: (Voices) Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney, Stephen Colbert, Leslie MannThe Story: The world's smartest dog, Mr. Peabody, must fight to keep his adopted son, Sherman. The Lowdown: Brisk, funny and entertaining, Mr. Peabody & Sherman may not set the world on fire and certainly won't change the way you think about animated films, but it does provide a fun 90 minutes at the movies.
Genre: Dark Comedy
Director: Geoff Moore, David Posamentier
Starring: Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, Michelle Monaghan, Ray Liotta, Ken Howard, Ben Schwartz, Jane FondaThe Story: A timid, henpecked pharamacist falls under the spell of a bored femme fatale. The Lowdown: A somewhat clever dark comedy that falls prey to predictability, but is kept afloat by Sam Rockwell's performance.
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan)
Starring: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Scoot McNairy, Michelle Dockery, Nate ParkerThe Story: A U.S. Air Marshall on an intercontinental flight must go into action after receiving text messages threatening to kill the passengers on board if demands aren't met. The Lowdown: With a plot that can’t stand up to any real scrutiny, this mindless thriller is nothing more than silly entertainment.
Genre: War Drama
Director: Philipp Kadelbach
Starring: Volker Bruch, Tom Schilling, Katharina Schüttler, Miriam Stein, Ludwig TrepteThe Story: An epic look at World War II from the point of view of five young Germans. The Lowdown: Solid, involving, somewhat clichéd and potentially controversial in its attempt to attain a degree of understanding for the "average" German point of view of WWII, Generation War falls short of greatness, but remains a compelling story.
Genre: Biblical Drama
Director: Christopher Spencer
Starring: Diogo Morgado, Sebastian Knapp, Darwin Shaw, Roma Downey, Greg HicksThe Story: The story of the life of Jesus Christ, from his birth, to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. The Lowdown: An overly sincere, bombastic, dramatically inert and melodramatic film that adds nothing to the story of Jesus’ life.
Genre: Espionage Action
Director: McG (This Means War)
Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Tómas LemarquisThe Story: A CIA agent’s dying wish to reconnect with his estranged family is derailed when he’s offered a miracle cure for his disease — but only if he kills an especially nefarious target. The Lowdown: A disjointed, aimless and occasionally ugly action picture with zero spark.
Genre: Animated Biographical Fantasy
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Starring: (Voices) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley TucciThe Story: Fantasticated biopic of the man who designed the Japanese fighter plane, the Zero. The Lowdown: For his (supposed) final film Hayao Miyazaki has created a long, very romanticized, biographical work. It is a thing of great beauty and delicacy, but the central story may prove troubling to some viewers.
Genre: Fact-Based Biographical Drama
Director: John Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Ben Foster, David Cross, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Elizabeth OlsenThe Story: More or less the story of the young Allen Ginsberg, his first love and the origin of the Beats. The Lowdown: It will be too candid for some, and it isn't flawless, but Kill Your Darlings is exciting, emotionally powerful filmmaking that should be seen.
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