MOVIE SNEAKS

Winter-Spring Preview

Every single movie coming out this summer

The 2016 Summer Movie Preview is a snapshot of the films opening through early September. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Kevin Crust, are subject to change. Choose a category:  Blockbuster | Family-friendly | Horror | Alternatives April 29 A Beautiful Planet The view of Earth from...

Movie Reviews

  • In the deft 'Viva,' a son's dream of being a drag performer is opposed by his surly father

    In the deft 'Viva,' a son's dream of being a drag performer is opposed by his surly father

    Emotional and effective, "Viva" is a torch song melodrama convincingly set in Havana even though it's written and directed by a pair of Irishmen. Nothing happens you won't see coming, but it's all so deftly done you're more than happy to wait for the inevitable to arrive. Shortlisted for the foreign...

  • 'Mother's Day' is a monotonous and predictable group therapy session

    'Mother's Day' is a monotonous and predictable group therapy session

    Much of the pre-release chatter around "Mother's Day," the latest holiday-themed group therapy session from director Garry Marshall ("Valentine's Day," "New Year's Eve"), has focused on the subject of Julia Roberts' hair — specifically, the strawberry-blond Anna Wintour bob that her character wears...

  • 'Sworn Virgin' is an absorbing glimpse at Balkan tradition

    'Sworn Virgin' is an absorbing glimpse at Balkan tradition

    "Sworn Virgin," Laura Bispuri's subdued and intimate debut feature, follows a young woman who has availed herself of a centuries-old Balkan tradition to live as a man. You could say the movie arrives at a fortuitous moment, given that transgender stories and experiences have never been more culturally...

  • Moody and in mourning, 'L'Attesa (The Wait)' explores depths of grief

    Moody and in mourning, 'L'Attesa (The Wait)' explores depths of grief

    A psychological connection forms between two women around an unspoken secret in "L'Attesa (The Wait)," the feature debut of director Piero Messina. Jeanne (Lou de Laâge), on a trip to visit her estranged boyfriend, Giuseppe, at his home in Italy, unknowingly wanders into an oppressively stifling...

  • 'Keanu' will be catnip for 'Key & Peele' fans, but for the rest of the world... meh

    'Keanu' will be catnip for 'Key & Peele' fans, but for the rest of the world... meh

    We expect our comedies to be hit-and-miss. They're different from action movies, which in recent years have become numbingly relentless — hit-and-never-miss, unless you're third thug from the left and swarthy, and your job is to shoot and then die. Now we have the strange case of "Keanu," starring...

  • 'Dough' is a bland mix of ingredients

    'Dough' is a bland mix of ingredients

    Attempting to give enhanced meaning to "high concept," the British export "Dough," about a kosher bakery that sees a boost in business after a little cannabis is added to the batter, is a stickily genteel, cross-cultural comedy-drama that comes up blandly lacking on all counts. When Nat Dayan (Jonathan...

  • 'Vita Activa' raises provocative questions and insights into the life of philosopher Hannah Arendt

    'Vita Activa' raises provocative questions and insights into the life of philosopher Hannah Arendt

    Even decades after her death in 1975, political philosopher Hannah Arendt remains a figure of intense controversy, a situation the woman who said "there are no dangerous thoughts, thinking itself is dangerous" would doubtless approve of. As revealed in "Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt,"...

  • 'Papa: Hemingway in Cuba' manages to turn a colorful, true tale into a boring biopic

    'Papa: Hemingway in Cuba' manages to turn a colorful, true tale into a boring biopic

    The biopic "Papa: Hemingway in Cuba" has some real bona fides behind it. With an autobiographical script written by journalist Denne Bart Petitclerc, the film depicts the relationship between Ernest Hemingway and a young Miami Herald reporter in the late 1950s, here named Ed Myers (Giovanni Ribisi)....

  • Dull 'Pali Road' captures Hawaii's beauty but not much else

    Dull 'Pali Road' captures Hawaii's beauty but not much else

    In the stately, stiff which-world-is-real drama "Pali Road," set in a Hawaii we know is actual and beautiful from director Jonathan Lim's many picturesque establishing shots, a woman suffers from consciousness problems tied to two men who love her. When young doctor Lily (Michelle Chen) and her...

  • 'We the People: The Market Basket Effect' is too short, too slanted

    'We the People: The Market Basket Effect' is too short, too slanted

    Business news devotees may recall the Massachusetts-based supermarket chain Market Basket being hit by a devastating employee strike and customer boycott in 2014, after beloved CEO Arthur T. Demoulas was effectively fired by his cousin Arthur S. Demoulas. Tommy Reid's documentary "We the People:...

  • Emotional investment in 'Rio, I Love You' should be avoided

    Emotional investment in 'Rio, I Love You' should be avoided

    Even viewers who were transported by the considerable charm of 2006's "Paris, je t'aime" will be hard-pressed to show any love for the latest entry in the travelog/anthology. Despite its connotation of sun-drenched sensuality, "Rio, I Love You" is a dispiritingly dull affair, haphazardly joining...

  • 'Ratchet & Clank' is a weak space-wars saga

    'Ratchet & Clank' is a weak space-wars saga

    Based on a popular PlayStation game, the sci-fi animated feature "Ratchet & Clank" seeks to capture the kid-friendly audience this weekend as well as the gamer crowd, which has a familiarity with the space-based game characters. The film is a basic hero story about Ratchet (James Arnold Taylor,...

  • 'The Man Who Knew Infinity' is limited by formulaic treatment that adds up to a less-than-great film

    'The Man Who Knew Infinity' is limited by formulaic treatment that adds up to a less-than-great film

    The story of self-taught mathematical wizard Srinavasa Ramanujan — who in 1913 traveled from colonial India to the halls of Cambridge in Britain, shattering stereotypes with his theoretical ingenuity before dying tragically young at 32 — has already inspired a number of books, plays and films....

  • 'Tale of Tales,' inspired by fairly tales, never quite stirs to life

    'Tale of Tales,' inspired by fairly tales, never quite stirs to life

    One of the earliest and grisliest scenes in "Tale of Tales," a fitfully entrancing English-language fantasy from the Italian writer-director Matteo Garrone, is what you might call an offal sight: A queen (played by a severe-looking Salma Hayek) sits in an all-white room, devouring the heart of...

  • 'The Huntsman: Winter's War' is a fairy tale in search of a tale to tell

    'The Huntsman: Winter's War' is a fairy tale in search of a tale to tell

    One trick of great fantasy storytelling is establishing the rules of the world — in "The Lord of the Rings," hobbits fear adventure; in "Harry Potter," Muggles can't perform magic; in "Avatar," humans can't breathe on Pandora. From those limitations come sympathetic characters and a story with...

  • Susan Sarandon gives warmth and comic verve to a needy, widowed 'Meddler'

    Susan Sarandon gives warmth and comic verve to a needy, widowed 'Meddler'

    You gotta love Marnie Minervini, the nosy, needy, New Jersey transplant and title character of "The Meddler." That she's played with such instinctual warmth and comic verve by the estimable Susan Sarandon is the icing on a well-baked cake, courtesy of writer-director Lorene Scafaria ("Seeking a...

  • Not even Tom Hanks can save baffling, uninteresting 'A Hologram for the King'

    Not even Tom Hanks can save baffling, uninteresting 'A Hologram for the King'

    "A Hologram for the King" is a baffling film, cinema without weight or heft. The problem is not that anything on screen is troubling, it's that nothing there, not even star Tom Hanks, is capable of holding our interest or attention for very long. "Hologram," based on the much-admired novel by Dave...

  • 'Paradox' takes time travel to a bad place

    'Paradox' takes time travel to a bad place

    In "Paradox," starring Zoë Bell and Malik Yoba, a coterie of researchers holed up in a secret underground bunker tries out a particle accelerator that supposedly opens up a black hole to facilitate time travel. A test subject ventures one hour into the future only to find a grisly murder scene...

  • Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier takes a punk-rock approach to thriller 'Green Room'

    Filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier takes a punk-rock approach to thriller 'Green Room'

    When most filmmakers look back on their youth, they create stories tinged with a gauzy sense of soft-focus nostalgia. For the new film "Green Room," writer-director Jeremy Saulnier opted to draw from his younger days in the hard-core punk rock scene and create an intense action thriller, a rough-and-tumble...

  • False notes aplenty in 'Nina,' a controversial, bizarrely staged re-creation of Nina Simone's life

    False notes aplenty in 'Nina,' a controversial, bizarrely staged re-creation of Nina Simone's life

    The odds were already stacked against "Nina," Cynthia Mort's biopic about legendary musician Nina Simone, even before its release. The film has received an avalanche of controversial press, mostly centered on the choice to darken star Zoe Saldana's skin with makeup. The casting of a lighter-skinned...

  • 'Our Last Tango' is a passionate look at dancers María Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes

    'Our Last Tango' is a passionate look at dancers María Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes

    In the most famous dancing partnerships, whom do audiences really come to see? That's the painful question at the heart of "Our Last Tango," German Kral's passionate, creative documentary about María Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes, who popularized the Argentine tango around the world. Nieves and...

  • Easter, Father's Day and beyond will never be the same again after horror anthology 'Holidays'

    Easter, Father's Day and beyond will never be the same again after horror anthology 'Holidays'

    When John Carpenter's "Halloween" became a surprise hit in 1978, producers flooded the market with holiday-themed slashers. That's the roundabout inspiration for the horror anthology "Holidays," which otherwise has no explanatory framing device or through-story. The film is just one short after...

  • 'An Eye for Beauty' is a shallow affair

    'An Eye for Beauty' is a shallow affair

    An ambitious young architect discovers that life seldom follows a set of blueprints in Denys Arcand's "An Eye for Beauty," an insistently distancing if aesthetically pleasing Canadian production. A chance reencounter while accepting an award in Paris takes confident Luc (Éric Bruneau) back to a...

  • 'Men & Chicken' is a darkly comic look at a family secret

    'Men & Chicken' is a darkly comic look at a family secret

    The standard end-credits disclaimer, "No animals were harmed in the making of this film" takes on special significance in the aftermath of "Men & Chicken," the outrageously askew, darkly comic offering from versatile Danish writer-director Anders Thomas Jensen. While it's been a decade since Jensen's...

  • Native girls find themselves through lacrosse in 'Keepers of the Game'

    Native girls find themselves through lacrosse in 'Keepers of the Game'

    Teenage angst meets rigid cultural heritage in the engaging if too-neatly-packaged documentary "Keepers of the Game," about an all-Native girls' lacrosse team competing in the heart of the sport's origins: the Mohawk territory of Akwesasne straddling upstate New York and Canada. As depicted by...

  • Kevin Costner plays against type in the Frankenstein-ish 'Criminal'

    Kevin Costner plays against type in the Frankenstein-ish 'Criminal'

    "Criminal" is more violent than it needs to be, but it also has some unexpectedly involving elements. Half science-fiction tale, half espionage thriller, it's a pleasantly far-fetched endeavor that moves along so briskly that it leaves no time to consider its implausibilities, which are many. Directed...

  • Jean-Luc Godard coolly dissects modern bourgeois life in the digitally restored 'Une Femme Mariée'

    Jean-Luc Godard coolly dissects modern bourgeois life in the digitally restored 'Une Femme Mariée'

    Like a sleek novella amid dime-store paperbacks, Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 movie "Une Femme Mariée" (A Married Woman) is the French filmmaker's coolly intellectual, artistic dissection of modern bourgeois life that gets overlooked in his prolific '60s output, coming as it does between the gangster...

  • 'Green Room' is a stylishly done horror show

    'Green Room' is a stylishly done horror show

    A shabby white-power outpost in the Oregon boondocks becomes a grim last stand for a nomadic band of college-age punk rockers in the demonically gripping "Green Room." It's the latest tense, brutal genre triumph for writer-director Jeremy Saulnier after his cat-and-mouse nailbiter of a few years...

  • The complex drama 'Adderall Diaries' tracks a troubled writer's struggles

    The complex drama 'Adderall Diaries' tracks a troubled writer's struggles

    "The Adderall Diaries" is a complex, absorbing, at times profound look at how we choose to remember our past. What the script, adapted by director Pamela Romanowsky from the memoir by Stephen Elliott, lacks in cohesion and practicality it makes up for with its risky mélange of ideas, emotions and...

  • In 'Echo Park,' a romance plays out with an L.A. backdrop

    In 'Echo Park,' a romance plays out with an L.A. backdrop

    Absconding from dreary domestic ennui in Beverly Hills, Sophie (Mamie Gummer) moves to the eponymous, hip, happening neighborhood in "Echo Park." A meet-cute with the overtly friendly Alex (Anthony Okungbowa) over a furniture purchase establishes their mutual affinity for Prince rarities on wax....

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