This week at the movies, we’ve got a potential game-changer for the DCEU (Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot and Chris Pine) and a kidlit favorite making the leap to theaters (Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie, featuring the voices of Ed Helms and Kevin Hart). What do the critics have to say?
DC struck first in the modern superhero blockbuster sweepstakes, making us believe a man could fly with Superman
and cranking out a slew of successful Batman movies
, but in more recent years, critics have cried “make mine Marvel,” bestowing consistent acclaim on the MCU
while giving a cold shoulder to DC’s Extended Universe
offerings. If the reviews for Wonder Woman
are any indication, that may all be about to change: Gal Gadot’s solo coming out party as the Amazonian warrior has attracted almost universally positive notices from the critics, who’ve lauded its charismatic heroine, fresh perspective, and all-around sense of fun. Whether this signals an overall course corrective for the DCEU obviously remains to be seen, but if you’re in the mood for a rousing superhero adventure this weekend, Wonder Woman
looks like one of the safest bets of the year.
Kids seem to enjoy watching movies more than they like reading books, so turning a children’s bestseller into a successful film should be pretty easy, right? As generations of long-suffering parents and/or studio executives could attest, the business of family-friendly adaptations isn’t that simple — and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
was by no means a slam dunk despite the fact that the books it’s based on have been hugely popular among young readers for decades. What works on the page doesn’t always translate to the screen, first of all — and not for nothing, but most movies with Underpants
in the title don’t exactly scream “high quality.” Happily, Captain Underpants
is an entertaining exception: critics say this colorfully animated adaptation of the first book in the franchise serves up all the mildly naughty humor one might expect, along with some solid laughs for the grown-ups in the audience and a positive message or two along the way.
What’s New on TV
House of Cards enjoys a confident return to form this season, though its outlandish edge is tempered slightly by the current political climate.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release
- I, Daniel Blake (2016) , the latest socially conscious drama from acclaimed director Ken Loach, is at 91 percent.
- Band Aid (2017) , in which Zoe Lister-Jones (who also wrote and directed) and Adam Pally play a squabbling couple who try to find harmony by starting a band, is at 86 percent.
- Handsome Devil (2016) , a coming-of-age drama set in a British boarding school, is at 85 percent.
- Past Life (2016) , a ’70s-set drama about two Israeli sisters who endeavor to uncover their father’s history during World War II, is at 83 percent.
- Sami Blood (2016) , a period drama about a young girl suffering racism in 1930s Scandinavia, is at 83 percent.
- Letters From Baghdad (2016) , a documentary examining the life’s work and legacy of British political analyst Gertrude Bell, is at 81 percent.
- The Death of Louis XIV (2016) , a dramatic look at the last days of the 18th-century French monarch, is at 74 percent.
- The Exception (2016) , starring Christopher Plummer as exiled Kaiser Wilhelm II in a period drama set during Nazi rule in Germany, is at 75 percent.
- Dean (2016) , starring writer-director Demetri Martin and Kevin Kline as a father and son coming to terms with a devastating death, is at 65 percent.
- Vincent N Roxxy (2016) , starring Zoë Kravitz and as two loners thrust together on the run from violent retribution, is at 42 percent.
- Churchill (2017) , a biopic about the titular British Prime Minister’s inner struggles during the days leading up to D-Day in World War II, is at 30 percent.