This week at the movies, we’ve got teenage rebels (The Divergent Series: Allegiant, starring Shailene Woodley and Miles Teller) and a heartsick mother (Miracles from Heaven, starring Jennifer Garner and Martin Henderson). What do the critics have to say?
The critical knock on the Divergent franchise has tended to be that it’s little more than a second rate Hunger Games, and while that assessment might seem reductive to its legion of teenage fans, it essentially holds true for the latest chapter. Critics say Allegiant — in which a band of teenage revolutionaries, led by Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley), escapes post-apocalyptic Chicago, only to discover a eugenics proponent leading a community on the outskirts — is top-heavy with exposition and special effects, stranding its talented cast in a place-holding installment that’s unlikely to lure any newbies to the series.
Even though it’s based on a true story, Miracles from Heaven is the kind of thing you’ve seen before; it’s the story of a mother who refuses to give up hope, even after her daughter has been diagnosed with a rare, untreatable disease. What elevates this faith-based drama, critics say, is the committed, commanding performance of Jennifer Garner, who lends urgency to a film that could have otherwise been merely a collection of melodramatic clichés.
With its fourth season, The Americans continues to deliver top-tier spy drama while sending its characters in directions that threaten to destroy their freedoms – and their lives.
Bolstered by some impressive action, Daredevil keeps its footing in Season two, even if the additions of Punisher and Elektra can’t quite fill the void left by Wilson Fisk.
A talented cast is left with no room to flourish in Crowded, a misfire whose dated feel is compounded by a pronounced lack of laughs.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release