Capsule reviews of recently released movies 

All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, Hairspray

Page 3 of 4

A MIGHTY HEART 3 stars (R) Based on Mariane Pearl's memoir, this restrained and intelligent film feels too careful and moored to the technicalities of the situation to really deliver the emotional or insightful goods. Director Michael Winterbottom focuses on Mariane's (Angelina Jolie) determined search for her husband Daniel Pearl. The kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter was eventually brutally murdered in Pakistan in 2002. -- Feaster

OCEAN'S THIRTEEN 4 stars (PG-13) In Steven Soderbergh's latest fizzy, flashy caper film, unflappable Danny Ocean (George Clooney) enlists his band of hipster heisters to sting scuzzy casino magnate Willie Bank (Al Pacino with a mesmerizing fake tan). Despite few emotional stakes and plot complexity that crosses the line into incoherence, Soderbergh and company's cool cleverness hits the jackpot anyway. -- Holman

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END 3 stars (PG-13) Jettisoning clarity of plot and character like so much ballast, the overstuffed final film in Gore Verbinski's swashbuckling trilogy lives up to its origins as a diverting theme-park ride, particularly in a pitched battle between two ships in a whirlpool and the surreal sequence of Capt. Jack Sparrow's (Johnny Depp) rescue from Davy Jones' Locker. -- Holman

RATATOUILLE 5 stars (G) Despite having a cast that's nearly half rodent, Ratatouille breaks from the Pixar formula of cute, funny action comedies about talking toys/bugs/cars/etc. for an ingenious, bittersweet culinary farce. The brilliant gags might tickle your sweet tooth, but the film also serves rich, hearty subtext about life's sensual pleasures and the necessity of personal evolution. And it looks good enough to eat. -- Holman

RESCUE DAWN 5 stars (PG-13) Werner Herzog's POW escape film feels more like his own classics of human confrontation with nature such as Aguirre, The Wrath of God and Fitzcarraldo than the usual action-movie, foreign-prison-break film. A captivating Christian Bale plays real-life German-American pilot Dieter Dengler, who was shot down over Laos and managed to make his way to freedom from a jungle POW camp. Utterly restrained and meditative, the film brings the nimble, metaphysical touch of an art-house master to an often gung-ho genre. ­-- Feaster

SHREK THE THIRD 2 stars Slovenly ogre Shrek (voiced by Mike Myers) shirks his royal duties by trying to enlist the only other heir, meek teen Arthur (de facto king of pop Justin Timberlake). Smug and self-congratulatory, Shrek the Third lacks the freshness and energy of its predecessors and takes perfunctory potshots at such cutting-edge topics as high school, dinner theater, hippies and vain, snobby princesses (although such voice actresses as Amy Sedaris offer amusingly ditzy turns). -- Holman

SICKO 5 stars (PG-13) Propumentarian Michael Moore thankfully tends to fade into the background in this impassioned film about America's health-care crisis. Apart from the occasional stunt, such as a trip to Cuba to highlight the advantages of nationalized health care, Moore instead lets the victims of America's bureaucracy-choked and bottom-line-minded health-care business show how adequate medical treatment has become a luxury item in this country. ­-- Feaster

SPIDER-MAN 3 4 stars (PG-13) In the third and most entertaining of director Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, the darker impulses of normally sunny superhero Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) take over thanks in part to an alien parasite. Spider-Man 3 keeps the conflicts rooted in character while improving on the spectacular special effects of the earlier films. The creativity and excitement of freaky, poignant villains help take up the slack in Raimi's web. -- Holman

SURF'S UP (PG) Another CGI film about adorable penguins, except this time a "documentary" crew takes audiences behind the scenes at the Penguin Surfing World Championship, following the world's greatest penguin surfers. The tuxedoed surfer dudes are voiced by Shia LeBeouf, Jeff Bridges, Zooey Deschanel, Jon Heder, Mario Cantone and more.

TALK TO ME 4 stars (R) Kasi Lemmons' (Eve's Bayou) by-turns thoughtful and highly amusing biopicture looks at the astounding career trajectory, in both its quick rise and idiosyncratic fall, of the outspoken, charismatic 1960s ex-con turned DJ Petey Greene (Don Cheadle) -- and radio exec Dewey Hughes (Chiewetel Ejiofor) -- who gave a voice to black Americans from his Washington, D.C., radio pulpit. Cheadle is mesmerizing and Lemmons' film is a needed reminder of both the smaller voices lost in the bluster of history, and a politically resonant expression of the need to speak out, now more than ever. -- Feaster

TRANSFORMERS 3 stars (PG-13) Armageddon and Pearl Harbor director Michael Bay plays with the most expensive toys in the planet in this loud, destructive live-action version of the Hasbro properties. The plot, themes and characterization are laughable at best (except for Shia LaBeouf's ingratiating, steadying work in the leading "human" role), but the special effects extravaganza of giant robots whaling on each other is really kind of awesome. -- Holman


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  • Re: Fresh air

    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

    • on June 29, 2016
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