Figuring they're all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.
We Said: “Suicide Squad is likely to inspire the same schizophrenia in audiences as afflicts its ragtag team of super-powered wackos. It's a film that finds strengths in a dark sense of humor, and there are plenty of jokes to be found, yet other times the comedy seems ill-timed and forced. The rebellious spirit is part of what endears us to the team, and yet other times it doesn't come across naturally.” Rating: 3 out of 5
The Good: I am not very much of a fan of the DCEU, and yet I still managed to have a pretty good time with Suicide Squad. For whatever it’s worth, it is my favorite of the three films released so far. It makes some very bold stylist choices, several of which I thought worked pretty well. I loved Margot Robbie’s take on Harley Quinn, and even Jared Leto’s Joker was pretty interesting. Will Smith and Viola Davis turn in the types of performances we’ve come to expect from them, but they’re still really solid nonetheless, and they ground this mostly outlandish emo-pop supervillain story. I appreciated several of the montages placed throughout, and the bits of director David Ayr’s vision for the movie that manage to stand out are intriging. It’s by no means a perfect movie, but much to my surprise, it’s pretty alright.
The Bad: Though several of the actors did turn in really solid performances in the movie, there were also many who aggressively did the opposite of that. The worst offender, in my opinion, being Cara Delevine’s puzzling and kind of hilarious interpertation of the primary antagonist: Enchantress. It’s really confusing and could have been handled much better, and that happens a lot in this movie. The finished product in very obviously several people’s conflicting visions and the end result is a pretty tone-deaf film that is often hard to follow. My biggest problem, however, comes deep from my nerdy heart. It’s true that I enjoyed the individual performances of Leto’s Joker and Robbie’s Harley Quinn. The scenes that they shared, however, were incredibly misguided, ultimately making it a movie that endorses their horribly abusive relationship. For the most part, I didn’t hate Suicide Squad, but there are lots of oppertunities that were missed.
Overall: It’s got a lot of stuff that works, and it’s got many moments that are a mess. The way these good and bad scenes were edited together is seemingly random, but those in need of a catchy superhero movie to keep their interest might enjoy it. Additionaly, the Batman V Superman Extended Cut really enhanced that movie, so who knows! Maybe if you’re on-the-fence about this film like me, you might like the Extended Cut better. Suicide Squad is fine enough.
When Jake discovers clues to a mystery that spans alternate realities and times, he uncovers a secret refuge known as Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children. As he learns about the residents and their unusual abilities, Jake realizes that safety is an illusion, and danger lurks in the form of powerful, hidden enemies. Jake must figure out who is real, who can be trusted, and who he really is.
We Said: “[Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children] actually wasn’t that bad, it was actually pretty decent and the story kind of made sense […] Overall this movie is a little above average fair that moves around fast enough to not have you really think about the plot holes and why characters actually do what they are doing.” Rating: 3 out of 5
The Good: There’s a lot to be enjoyed in Miss Peregrine. Director Tim Burton finally returns to his signiture spooky-silly gothic style and it’s great to see that kind of world again. The humor mostly works, with some dark jokes landing at just the right off-beat place. Eva Green is great as the titular twisted Mary Poppins, and Samuel L Jackson’s villian is pure scenery-chewing camp. A lot of this movie really plays well, due in large part to Burton’s excellent world building in the fist half of the movie. By the time we reach the truly ridiculous climax, I was toatally on board. When a movie can get this whimsically dark and insane and yet still have me accepting what’s happening, that’s a real treat. Welcome back Tim Burton!
The Bad: It’s certainly enjoyable, but undeniably a bit of a mess. If the movie doesn’t grab you when we’re looping through time to meet kids with silly powers, you might be turned off when it builds from there. In that regard, much like all of Tim Burton’s work before it, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a very polarizing movie. Asa Butterfield is fine enough as the film’s audience-surrogate protagonist, but his American accent is pretty flat and monotone, making him occationaly a boring character to keep following through this fantastical world. The plot is all over the place, which is mostly fun to watch, but can grow tiring. Again, it’s an entertaining mess, but the storytelling kinda comes and goes.
Overall: Burton-y as hell, Miss Peregrine is absolute eye-candy, with dark, twisty visual gags left and right. It’s got some pretty fun performances and story that can be enjoyed for its sheer fun. If you like Tim Burton’s previous films, this is definitely right up your alley.
Breaking up with Mark Darcy (Colin Firth) leaves Bridget Jones (Renée Zellweger) over 40 and single again. Feeling that she has everything under control, Jones decides to focus on her career as a top news producer. Suddenly, her love life comes back from the dead when she meets a dashing and handsome American named Jack (Patrick Dempsey). Things couldn't be better, until Bridget discovers that she is pregnant. Now, the befuddled mom-to-be must figure out if the proud papa is Mark or Jack.
We Said: “Bridget Jones’s Baby is far better than reason says it should be. While it may not be the most societally enlightened plot for a movie to have, the setup does lead to some surprisingly funny punchlines scattered throughout.” Rating: 3 out of 5
The Good: It blew my mind how entertaining this movie is. I genuinely didn’t expect it. It’s honestly rather funny, and well made. The performances are all really solid. The jokes land. The pacing is pretty tight. It’s actually pretty good, much to my indescribable surprise.
The Bad: While there are several jokes that are shockingly funny, there’s many others that are tired and corny, and exactly what you might fear this movie would be like. Not painful, but definitely not on par with the movie’s better moments. The plot is pretty worn out. We’ve all seen many “who’s the father” stories in the past, but unfortunately it’s now not only cliché, but also rather dated. Our modern society doesn’t really care anymore who the parents are or if they’re married. This movie is a little out of touch.
Overall: There’s a ton to like in Bridget Jones’s Baby. It is often quite funny, and while it’s a bit overplayed at this point, the plot does allow for some entertaining situations throughout. There’s really solid performances from most of the cast, and it’s just a good movie. Much better than the by-the-numbers rom-coms of years past. Fans of the original and newcomers alike will have a surprisingly god time with Bridget Jones.
In the 1940s, New York socialite Florence Foster Jenkins (Meryl Streep) dreams of becoming a great opera singer. Unfortunately, her ambition far exceeds her talent. The voice Florence hears in her head is beautiful, but to everyone else it is quite lousy. Her husband St. Clair goes to extreme lengths to make sure his wife never finds out how awful she truly is. When Florence announces her plans for a concert at Carnegie Hall, St. Clair soon realizes that he's facing his greatest challenge yet.
We Said: “I want to assure the arty audience that Florence Foster Jenkins is not as insufferably smarmy as the worst of its "inspirational" marketing might suggest, [instead it is] light and inoffensive, even though Jenkins' terrible voice is often terribly loud.” Rating: 3 out of 5
Future U.S. President Barack Obama (Parker Sawyers) and lawyer Michelle Robinson (Tika Sumpter) go on a fateful first date in the summer of 1989.
We Said: “It's fascinating that a movie like this even exists. We just don't see this kind of thing here in America, but there's also never been a couple in the White House like Barack and Michelle Obama. Who knows if we'll ever see another film about a sitting President and First Lady's courtship, but Southside with You makes a pretty compelling case that maybe we should.” Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) loses everything after his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), now an officer in the Roman army, returns to Jerusalem and accuses the young prince of treason. Stripped of his title and separated from his wife (Nazanin Boniadi) and family, Ben-Hur must endure years of slavery on a galley at sea. When fate brings the estranged brothers to an epic and deadly chariot race, Ben-Hur finally gets the chance to exact vengeance on the man who destroyed his life.
We Said: “Fortunately, the lack of emotional drama isn't enough to completely sink this modern update despite it lacking the prestige of prior versions, but at least it's not 3 1/2 hours long, thank God.” Rating: 3 out of 5
Also Available: Endof a Gun, Klown Forever, Let's Be Evil, Equity, Fearthe Walking Dead Season 2, and Morgan.