This week at the movies, we’ve got a wild child (The Jungle Book, starring Neel Sethi), non-stop conversation (Barbershop: The Next Cut, starring Ice Cube and Cedric the Entertainer), and implanted memories (Criminal, starring Kevin Costner and Gary Oldman). What do the critics have to say?
It’s really hard to equal — much less top — a beloved classic. But critics say director Jon Favreau may have done just that with his live-action adaptation of The Jungle Book, which takes the timeless tale of a child raised by wolves and elevates it with some of the best CGI every committed to film. It doesn’t hurt, of course that he’s abetted by a strong cast that includes newcomer Neel Sethi and voice performers Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, and Idris Elba. The pundits say the Certified Fresh The Jungle Book is a family friendly film of a very high order.
Everything’s coming up aces for Ice Cube these days. The recently-minted Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer is back with the third entry in the Barbershop series, and critics say it’s got all the warmth, ribald humor, and insightful commentary that made the first two entries big hits at the box office. Once again, Barbershop: The Next Cut doesn’t have much of a plot, but its fine cast — which includes Cedric the Entertainer, Regina Hall, Anthony Anderson, Common, and Nicki Minaj — makes for terrific company.
On paper, a spy thriller starring dependable folks like Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, and Tommy Lee Jones alongside comic book heroes Ryan Reynolds and Gal Gadot sounds like a can’t-miss proposition. Unfortunately, critics say Criminal misses pretty badly, mostly because its story — about a violent felon whose brain is infused with the knowledge and memories of a crack CIA agent — is both preposterous and badly paced.
Outlander returns for a second addictive season of mystery and sweeping romance as Claire and Jamie take on Paris.
Catastrophe delivers a strong second season that deepens the drama while remaining spit-take funny.
Fear the Walking Dead sets sail in its sophomore season with an intriguing backdrop that doesn’t always disguise its deficiencies in comparison to its predecessor.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release