The Story: A haunted ventriloquist dummy turns a small town into a "living Halloween" by bringing to life Halloween costumes and decorations. The Lowdown: A sometimes inspired but overall chaotic grab-bag of kiddie horror imagery that will entertain, if not exactly scare, its target audience.
The Story: A dyslexic high-school dropout must attend night school and get his GED to land his dream job and win back the love of his life. The Lowdown: Try as he might, director Malcolm D. Lee can't recapture the near-transcendent raunchiness of his hard R-rated Girl Trip within the softer, cuddlier PG-13 formula.
The Story: When an entire town's text and browsing history is hacked and leaked, the girl suspected to be behind it all is targeted. The Lowdown: An ultra-violent ode to rape culture masquerading as a feminist manifesto.
The Story: A sprawling, time-hopping metanarrative on the subjects of love and loss. The Lowdown: Yet another insipid and cringe-worthy melodrama taking the "it's all connected" route while landing the biggest dissociative emotional belly flop of the year.
The Story: The secret history between a novelist and his wife is revealed after he wins the Nobel Prize for Literature. The Lowdown: A good story, interesting characters, and a great cast can't quite make up for the leaden and obvious filmmaking.
The Story: Jennifer Garner goes full Death Wish after seeing her husband and child gunned down by gangsters. The Lowdown: A cool, violent, entertaining-as-hell 75-minute movie with an extra 30 minutes tacked onto the end of it.
The Story: A kid finds a laser gun. The Lowdown: Neither the kid nor the laser gun ends up being all that important (or necessary).
The Story: A robot dog soldier escapes its government facility and bonds with two teen outcasts. The Lowdown: A silly but enjoyable movie that would have felt right at home in the VHS era.
The Story: An off-the-books intelligence mission goes wrong when the team, headed by Mark Wahlberg, realizes it doesn't have all the pieces of the puzzle. The Lowdown: Berg's and Wahlberg's worship of the military and hatred of nerds continues.
The Story: The Slender Man, summoned from an internet video, abducts and possesses a group of high school friends, forcing them to make a sacrifice that will send him back to the internet. The Lowdown: I actually have no idea what this movie was supposed to be about, but Eighth Grade, Skate Kitchen, and BlacKkKlansman…
The Story: In the wake of a mysterious epidemic that killed most of the planet's children, the surviving teens must now hide their emerging superpowers before the government hunts them down. The Lowdown: Bare-bones X-Men facsimile combines all the worst elements of recent young adult fantasy franchises.
The Story: A group of friends discovers that their friend's new laptop is linked to the dark web, while a shadowy group watches their every move. The Lowdown: A lean and mean thriller that works more often than not, but nonetheless falls victim to its own conceit.
The Story: A wide-ranging I Ching hexagram of a documentary tracing the life story of Elvis Presley against the rise and fall of the 20th-century American Dream. The Lowdown: "Elvis was a hero to most..." — Public Enemy
The Story: The staff of the Hotel Transylvania takes a much-needed vacation, boarding a cruise ship run by an "entertainment for monsters" company headed by a captain who isn't quite what she seems. The Lowdown: Fun and idiosyncratic in its classic horror movie references, this sweet and raucous kids comedy is a worthy placeholder between…
The Story: The life story of superstar Whitney Houston, as told by her friends, family and music industry insiders. The Lowdown: A loving tribute to the late singer that never truly gets to the heart of who she really was, relying on the almost Rashomon-like memories of those closest to her.
The Story: Four Kentucky college students plan to rob the campus library, with the scheme quickly spiraling out of control faster than than the first-time criminals can handle. The Lowdown: The best quasi-docu-comedy of the year so far about a gang of not-quite criminal masterminds stealing rare books.
The Story: Five friends reunite every May to play the same game of tag that's been going on for 30 years... The Lowdown: ... but this year the greatest player of all time is threatening to retire, which someone thought was a good idea for a movie.
The Story: Debbie Ocean, recently released from prison, puts a team together and sets a long-planned Met Gala heist into motion in this spinoff of the Soderbergh-directed series. The Lowdown: While the all-star cast is the best thing going for it, the film lacks the energy, style and overall sense of cinematic fun offered up…
The Story: Sheltered, 27-year-old Moll falls for scruffy woodworker Pascal, who might secretly be the serial killer the police have been hunting for the past 10 years. The Lowdown: A dark and haunting psychological thriller that figures out how to surprise while still being completely open with all the clues.
The Story: Based on real events, in 1983 a young couple are blown off course during Hurricane Raymond and spend 41 days lost at sea. The Lowdown: Shailene Woodley gives a career-best performance in a film that's both harrowing and strangely life-affirming in equal measure.
The Story: When four "friends of a certain age" read the 50 Shades trilogy as part of their monthly book club, they're inspired to make some changes in their love lives. The Lowdown: The first entry in the 50 Shades Extended Cinematic Universe brings nothing new to the table or the genre but sets up…