A MOST WANTED MAN (R). A smart, bluntly effective adaptation of John le Carré’s political passion play about good, evil and the sins committed in the name of national security. In his last completed film before his death, Philip Seymour Hoffman’s presence is felt as a German intelligence officer and man of sorrows driven by his uncompromising belief in himself. (Dargis, New York Times -- 8/1). 2:01.
AND SO IT GOES (PG-13). Rob Reiner directs Michael Douglas and Diane Keaton in this rom-com about an unpleasant, self-centered hugely successful realtor who is unexpectedly left in charge of a granddaughter he never knew existed.
BOYHOOD (R). Filmed over 12 years, director Richard Linklater traces a character named Mason Evans through a shy and curious childhood, his rebellious tweens, his quiet and considered teens and into a gregarious, smart and deep-thinking -- Linklaterish -- college freshman. An amazing achievment in telling an unremarkably remarkable life story. HHHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 8/12). 2:45.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (PG-13). A ragtag team of thieves who get tossed together to battle a threat to the planet Xander and the galactic defense group, Nova Corps, that’s based there. The threat comes in the form of Ronan (Lee Pace) -- a minion of super-villain Thanos -- who is looking for an ancient artifact that would become one of the biggest threats to the universe. A fun ride driven by top-notch performances, a galaxy of funny moments and a wicked soundtrack. "Guardians of the Galaxy" has finally kicked the summer movie season into high gear. It took a while, but it was worth the wait. HHH (Bentley, The Fresno Bee -- 8/5). 2:01.
HERCULES (PG-13). The King of Thrace and his daughter seek the Greek demigod’s help in taking down a tyrannical warlord. With Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Reece Ritchie.
INTO THE STORM (PG-13). The action transpires in a single momentous day in the life of small-town Silverton, Okla., where an assistant high school principal and his two teen sons prepare for a graduation ceremony destined to be interrupted by an unrelenting series of mighty winds. Meanwhile, a group of storm chasers is casing the joint following a twister that recently claimed the lives of four teens in a car. "Into the Storm" is the latest attempt to pull off the "found footage" style, but it stumbles so often it takes a lot of wind out of the sails of this film about massive tornadoes. Couple that with some absurd dialogue and scenes that look like they were lifted out of another movie, and "Into the Storm" is little more than a cheesy cable film with a lot more money to spend and a lot fewer sharks. H1/2 (Bentley, The Fresno Bee). 1:29.
LET’S BE COPS (R). What starts out as a mistake about a costume party turns into a faked career in law enforcement for two mismatched guys. With Daman Wayans Jr., Jake Johnson.
LUCY (R). Scarlett Johansson stars in this sci-fi action-thriller about a woman who becomes the unwilling victim of an experimental drug that unlocks her brain so that it can function at 100% capacity -- something normally beyond the realm of human capability. "Lucy" would be fine without its pseudo-intellectualism, just Johansson doing her faster pussycat thing, with guns, knives and stunt doubles. With Morgan Freeman. HH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 7/29). 1:28.
MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT (PG-13). Set in the period between the two world wars, Woody Allen’s new film finds a stage magician summoned to the French Riviera to expose a fraud. His target is a pretty and penniless American clairvoyant who has dazzled a rich family with her supposed gifts. With Colin Firth, Emma Stone, Eileen Atkins, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Jacki Weaver, Catherine McCormack, Simon McBurney. Review, A13
MOOD INDIGO (NR). A girl named Chloé and a boy named Colin meet at a party and, before long, are shacked, up in Colin’s playhouse, which looks like a train and comes with its own metaphoric porter, Nicolas.
STEP UP ALL IN (PG-13). The all-stars from the previous movies in this series convene in Las Vegas. Five films and eight years into the unlikeliest of film franchises, a series that has changed characters, changed locations and changed studios, with none of the movies anywhere near being a blockbuster, you really do wonder why every so often -- usually in the dog days of summer -- "Step Up" returns. Christopher Scott’s choreography sparkles and Trish Sie’s direction captures it, with hats, squirt bottle blasts of water and the like flying off the 3D screen. But the writing is poor and the acting uneven, at best. H1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service). 1:52.
TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (PG). Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo and Raphael are back on the big screen. With Megan Fox, Will Arnett.
THE EXPENDABLES 3 (PG-13). After one of their number takes a bullet, Barney (Sylvester Stallone) lays them off and rounds up younger recruits -- played by Kellan Lutz, MMA star Ronda Rousey, Victor Ortiz and Glen Powell -- to go catch the murderous arms dealer (Mel Gibson) that Barney thought he’d killed years ago.
THE GIVER (PG-13). Film adaptation of Lois Lowrys sci-fi novel about a teen named Jonas who is about to graduate from childhood in a futuristic society in which everyone sees the world monochromatically. But Jonas is different. He’s got the mark on his wrist, and he’s to be a "Receiver." In a world without strife, struggle, rudeness or even bad grammar, Jonas will be given that gift that few share -- memory. He has to be strong enough to handle this collective history of the World before The Ruin. With Brenton Thwaites, Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Odeya Rush, Cameron Monaghan, Katie Holmes, Alexander Skarsgard.
THE HUNDRED-FOOT JOURNEY (PG). An impossibly overstuffed culinary culture clash rom-com in which an imperious French restaurateur and a Mumbai family looking to open a kitchen in a quaint Pyrenees village do battle with pots and pans, spatulas and sieves, brulee and brouhaha. With Helen Mirren, Om Puri, Manish Dayal, Charlotte Le Bon. HH (Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer). 2:02.
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