BEGIN AGAIN (R). Keira Knightley stars as Gretta, a songwriter trying to find her voice in the wake of a bad breakup with her pop-star boyfriend (Adam Levine). She’s discovered at an open mic night by Dan (Mark Ruffalo), a down-on-his-luck music industry executive. Without the financial means to make a demo, the traditional path to courting a record company, the two embark on a plan to record an album on the streets of New York that will incorporate the ambient sounds of the city. From the director of "Once."
CHEF (R). Having quit his job at a prominent restaurant over refusing to compromise his creative integrity, a chef teams with his ex-wife and son to start his own food truck. Writer-director-actor Jon Favreau brings his A-game patter to this romp about an embattled Los Angeles chef, once celebrated, now in a rut, who has to take a road trip in a food truck to find his soul, and his food, again. With Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 6/9). 1:55.
DAWN OF THE PLANET OF THE APES (PG-13). Picking up where "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" left off, the first scientifically evolved ape, Caesar, has led his tribe into the Muir Woods, where they’ve built a village, mastered fire, SSL (Simian Sign Language) and horseback riding, isolated and safe from human interference. Then some humans, led by the curious and compassionate Malcolm (Jason Clarke), encounter the colony.
DELIVER US FROM EVIL (R). A New York City police detective wrestling with personal issues of his own investigates a series of unsettling killings that wind up involving demonic possession. With Eric Bana.
EARTH TO ECHO (PG). Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck (Astro) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) are three best friends being forced apart by a freeway being built through their neighborhood. They spend their last night together following some weird electronic signals that show up mysteriously on their cellphones. Their quest becomes a close encounter when they find a tiny robotic figure in the desert. Through what seems like an endless series of questions -- and with the help of Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) -- the group figures out the alien they have named Echo is trying to put together the ignition key for his spacecraft.
HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 (PG). A young Viking and his faithful dragon must protect both their kind from a power-hungry conqueror in this sequel to the 2010 animated film. The franchise’s charms are thinned a bit in this sequel, a cartoon with better animation and livelier action, if fewer jokes. And if there’s one thing these sweet-message / great flying sequence movies don’t need, it’s fewer jokes. With the voices of Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Kit Harington, Cate Blanchett. HH1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 6/16). 1:41.
JERSEY BOYS (R). Friends from "the neighborhood" become Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, and endure hardship and heartache in their decades on the road and on the pop charts. Whatever charms turned this musical into a Tony Award-winning Broadway hit are sorely missing in this one-dead corpse of a movie from director Clint Eastwood. Late to the game, blandly cast and scripted with every Italian-American cliche, it is Eastwood’s worst film as a director. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 6/23). 2:14.
LIFE ITSELF (R). Steve ("Hoop Dreams") James documentary celebrates film critic Roger Ebert’s life and times, and documents the last months of his battle with cancer.
MALEFICENT (PG). A retelling of the classic "Sleeping Beauty" tale from the perspective of the villainess Maleficent, who suffered a betrayal that turned her once-pure heart to stone. For all its pixie dust and dragon fire, the most special effect throughout is Angelina Jolie radiating imperious authority over a disorderly movie. With Sharlto Copley, Elle Fanning, Sam Riley. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 5/31). 1:37.
SNOWPIERCER (R). After a human-engineered planetary catastrophe, the remaining people are stuck on a train that never stops moving. A few thousand survivors live in railway cars, sorted into a rigid and ruthlessly enforced social order. An unseen, quasi-mythical entrepreneur is in charge, and a group of rebels has decided to challenge his power and the extreme inequality he represents.
TAMMY (R). Melissa McCarthy plays the title character who, after wrecking her car, losing her job and discovering her husband cheating on her, decides to run away. Joining her on this trek of self-discovery is her grandmother, Pearl (Susan Sarandon). Poorly written and acted, a monumental waste of talent. 0H (Bentley, The Fresno Bee -- 7/9). 1:36.
THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (PG-13). Two teenagers meet and fall in love at a cancer support group in this adaptation of the novel by John Green. It walks a fine line between moving and mawkish without falling too far over to the latter. The teary alternative to all the boom and bang of the summer superheroes. With Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell. HH1/2 (Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- 6/9). 2:05.
22 JUMP STREET (R). Having conducted a successful narcotics operation posing as high school students, two undercover cops try to crack a new case at the local college. This comedy produces the biggest, loudest laughs of any movie this summer. You’re going to have to see it twice -- just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss. With Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum, Peter Stormare. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 6/16). 1:52.
TRANSFORMERS: AGE OF
EXTINCTION (PG-13). This new film departs from the prescribed "Transformers" universe to present a world in which Autobots are no longer viewed as friends of man. It’s a post-Witwicky era when the Earth’s populace is unclear about who their extraterrestrial robot enemies are.