This weekend at the movies, we’ve got a Despicable sequel (Despicable Me 3, featuring the voices of Steve Carell and Kristen Wiig), a young man at the wheel (Baby Driver, starring Ansel Elgort and Jamie Foxx), and a pair of high roller homeowners (The House, starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler). What are the critics saying?
Animation has long been widely regarded as kids’ stuff, but as the medium’s current golden age has repeatedly proven, it’s more than capable of dazzling us with brilliant visuals and
making us feel a broad array of emotions. On the other hand, sometimes you just want a colorful cartoon to make you laugh — and that’s where movies like the Despicable Me
franchise come in. Critics say Despicable Me 3
fits right in with the rest of the series, offering more of the zany, rapid-fire humor and brightly hued aesthetic that’s made these movies family-friendly hits, as well as a story that gives Steve Carell an opportunity to pull double duty as main character Gru and his long-lost twin brother Dru. It won’t win any awards for depth, but it’ll make kids of all ages laugh. They’ll probably also beg for more Minions toys, but that can be dealt with after the end credits roll.
It’s hardly unusual to see a flashy action movie or two in theaters as we head into the Fourth of July weekend, but it isn’t often that they arrive with much in the way of critical acclaim. Baby Driver
offers a happy exception to that rule: a nearly unqualified hit with the pundits, Edgar Wright’s latest effort boasts an impressive 98 percent on the Tomatometer — making it not only one of the summer’s safest critical bets, but one of the best-reviewed movies of the year thus far. Starring Ansel Elgort as the titular getaway driver and rounded out by an ace ensemble that includes Kevin Spacey
, Jamie Foxx, Eiza González
, and Jons Hamm
, it’s a fast-paced, music-driven popcorn feast that balances its kinetic feats against solid storytelling; whether it’s incredible set pieces or compelling narrative you’re after, reviews say Baby Driver
Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler can both be awfully funny on their own, so putting the two of them together should double your odds for laughs. And speaking of odds, The House
— about a pair of desperate suburbanites who start an illegal casino in their home after raiding their daughter’s college fund — would seem to have plenty of potential for hilarity. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you whether Warner Bros.’ bet will pay off with critics, because the movie wasn’t screened early; until those reviews start rolling in, we’re left to play Guess the Tomatometer. Snake eyes or jackpot? Lay your odds here.
What’s New on TV
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- The B-Side: Elsa Dorfman's Portrait Photography (2016) , a documentary about the titular photographer known for her work with large-format Polaroid pictures, is at 95 percent.
- The Reagan Show (2017) , a documentary look at the Reagan administration and the way it used television to document — and further — its agenda, is at 92 percent.
- Pop Aye (2017) , about a man and his elephant on their long journey home, is at 91 percent.
- The Little Hours (2017) , an ensemble comedy about the wacky goings-on at an unconventional convent, is at 87 percent.
- Okja (2017) , the story of the bond between a girl and the giant animal in her care — and her perilous quest to save it from the corporation that owns it — is Certified Fresh at 84 percent.
- Marie Curie (2016) , a drama about the titular scientist’s romantic entanglements, is at 80 percent.
- 13 Minutes (2014) , the fact-based story of a man who plotted and failed to assassinate Adolf Hitler, is at 67 percent.
- The Skyjacker's Tale (2016) , the stranger-than-fiction true story of a convicted murderer who gained freedom by hijacking a plane to Cuba, is at 40 percent.
- The Last Face (2016) , starring Charlize Theron and Javier Bardem in a Sean Penn-directed drama about the love affair between relief workers in Liberia, is at 8 percent.