2017-05-18 / Arts & Entertainment News


(Charlie Hunnam, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou) This is the origin story of how Arthur (Mr. Hunnam) came to be king and how he got revenge on the man (Mr. Law) who killed his parents. The editing is so frenetic, and the rest of it so profoundly average, that this is a letdown for Warner Bros., which would like it to be the first of a six-part franchise. Rated PG-13.

(Aaron Taylor-Johnson, John Cena, Laith Nakli) American soldiers (Mr. Taylor-Johnson and Mr. Cena) in Iraq try to survive a deadly sniper (voice of Mr. Nakli) in late 2007. This is no-frills filmmaking at its finest: tense, unrelenting, and endlessly captivating. Rated R. 

(Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista) Peter Quill/Star-Lord (Mr. Pratt) wonders who his real father is as he and the Guardians once again save the galaxy. The 2014 original was better largely because this is narratively flawed, but darn if the action and visual effects aren’t tremendous fun. Rated PG-13. 

(Steve Coogan, Richard Gere, Laura Linney) Paul (Mr. Coogan), his brother Stan (Mr. Gere) and their wives (Ms. Linney and Rebecca Hall) meet for dinner in a posh restaurant to discuss a crime their sons committed. The plot keeps getting interrupted with backstory and only occasionally moves forward, which is a problem when trying to build drama. Rated R. 

(Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Sharlto Copley) In a Boston warehouse in 1978, a misunderstanding leads to a shoot-out between gunrunners. The story is thin and the characters are one-dimensional, but that’s forgivable. What’s not forgivable is the ho-hum, repetitive action. Rated R.

(Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson, Sienna Miller) In the early 1900s, British explorer Percy Fawcett (Mr. Hunnam) leaves his family behind to search for what he believes is an undiscovered city. Mr. Pattinson plays his right-hand man, and Ms. Miller is Percy’s long-suffering wife. It’s a bit bloated at 141 minutes, but the performances are strong and it tells an epic story in an intriguing way. Rated PG-13.

(Pierre Niney, Paula Beer, Anton von Lucke) In Germany shortly after The Great War, a stranger (Mr. Niney) appears at the gravesite of a grieving woman’s (Ms. Beer) fiancée (Mr. Lucke, seen in flashbacks), and he intends to get to know the fiancée’s family. Tense drama whose supposed resolution comes in the middle, leading to an intriguing and unexpected second half. Rated PG-13.

(Chris Evans, Jenny Slate, Mckenna Grace) After her mother dies, a 7-year-old math prodigy (Ms. Grace) is the subject of a custody battle between her uncle (Mr. Evans) and grandmother (Lindsay Duncan). It’s predictable and has the expected touching moments, but the best parts are the unexpected dashes of humor that make it endearing. Rated PG-13.

(Voices of Demi Lovato, Joe Manganiello, Rainn Wilson) With evil wizard Gargamel (Mr. Wilson) in hot pursuit, Smurfette (Ms. Lovato), Hefty (Mr. Manganiello) and other Smurfs seek out an ominous lost village in their forest. The animation, action and humor are all average. But the target audience is little kids, and it effectively conveys the message that girls can grow up to be whatever they want to be. Rated PG. ¦

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