Film » Film Capsules

Film Capsules

When you just need a brief summary

Horrible Bosses (R)

Jasons Bateman and Sudeikis, along with Charlie Day of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, play best friends with one thing in common: They hate their bosses. So when workplace misery reaches fever pitch, they decide to kill them. Jamie Foxx joins the mix as an unlikely hit man; Kevin Spacey, Colin Ferrell, and Jennifer Aniston are utterly hatable as the trinity of evil bosses. At times, the movie's post-Hangover vulgarity overshadows some genuinely funny material (think Annie Hall cocaine gags), and constant prodding about Bateman being unattractive just isn't believable (everyone knows Michael Bluth is a total DILF). Horrible Bosses is not a timeless noir comedy by any means, but it's just funny enough to get away with murder. (Lydia Munnell) Bad Teacher (R) — Cameron Diaz plays Elizabeth Halsey, quite possibly the sluttiest woman to ever lead a seventh-grade classroom. After her fiancé dumps her, Elizabeth tries to snag the nerdy new substitute teacher (Justin Timberlake). But instead of doing her job, Elizabeth gets high in the school parking lot, constantly shows movies in class, and organizes a car wash straight out of a Playboy fantasy. Rude, crude, and stuffed with dick jokes, Bad Teacher tries hard to offend — too hard at times. But there are some funny scenes. (Michael Gallucci)

Green Lantern (PG-13) — This is exactly the type of empty summer blowout they warn you about. Ryan Reynolds plays Hal Jordan, a hotshot test pilot who reluctantly becomes part of an intergalactic corps of peacekeepers after he inherits a glowing green ring that turns him into the titular hero. The movie can be harmless fun whenever Hal suits up. Unfortunately, most of Green Lantern is bogged down with Hal's boring backstory, his relationship with an ex-turned-boss (Blake Lively), and a subplot involving a scientist (Peter Sarsgaard). (Gallucci)

Larry Crowne (PG-13) — Tom Hanks (who also directs) plays the titular Navy vet who, after losing his retail job, signs up for community college. Before long he befriends a gang of ultra-hip scooter enthusiasts (seriously) and falls in love with his speech professor (Julia Roberts). When he's not prowling the streets on his scooter or wooing his married teacher, Larry studies economics, cooks French toast at his favorite diner, and chews the fat with his neighbor. But suspend all disbelief. Hanks plays Larry like the kind of charming dope that went out of fashion with Dick Van Dyke. Don't expect your life to be changed. (Munnell)

Monte Carlo (PG) — Any film starring Disney-product Selena Gomez, Gossip Girl's Leighton Meester, David Cassidy's daughter, and the hunk from Glee promises to land somewhere in the depths of a sugary-sweet teenage hell where Miley Cyrus rules with a trident and the only heat is a side effect of Bieber fever. Monte Carlo manages to be a little less painful than that. A case of mistaken identity carries three girls on a lavish European adventure where they find boys and themselves. But as bad as it is, this comedy of errors has a little more wit than you'd expect, and it should play well at sleepovers. (Munnell)

Mr. Popper's Penguins (PG) — Jim Carrey plays Tommy Popper, a successful real-estate developer whose winning streak comes to a screeching halt after he inherits a penguin from his late explorer father. After a misunderstanding, he acquires five more and faces a mess of problems that come with having flightless aquatic birds in a fancy N.Y.C. apartment. You at least have to hand it to Mr. Popper's Penguins for taking such an old-school approach to summer family comedy. (Gallucci)

Page One: Inside the New York Times (R) — This documentary offers a spectrum view of the venerable newspaper at its most vulnerable and a look at one of the world's most respected newsrooms in the middle of shifting media significance. Director Andrew Rossi was granted complete access to the newsroom, capturing reaction to the ever-present question: What would happen if The New York Times went under? Page One documents the paper's losing battle against the Internet, but the movie tells more than it shows. And really, does anyone other than journalists and news junkies care about this stuff? (Courtney Kerrigan)

Super 8 (PG-13) — In 1979, a group of kids from suburban Ohio are making a zombie movie when they witness a spectacular train accident. Soon, strange things are happening around town. Super 8 fondly recalls a time when Famous Monsters of Filmland still mattered to middle-school boys. These old-school shadings — as opposed to blood, guts, and severed limbs — are the movie's centerpiece. (Gallucci)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13) — There aren't too many movies as loud and obnoxious as 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Thankfully, the third outing in the hit series scales back a bit, even as it expands (it's in 3-D and runs more than two and a half hours — yeesh!). This time there's a little history thrown into the big-ass-robots mix. Did you know that the Apollo 11 crew found a crashed spaceship on the moon? And did you know there was a conspiracy to keep it quiet? But that's not the worst of it; that honor goes to Shia LaBeouf, the Autobots' best human friend and quite possibly the most unlikable action hero ever. (Gallucci)

Zookeeper (PG) — Zookeeper asks you to accept an outlandish premise: that pudgy Kevin James is irresistible to two gorgeous women. Oh, and less implausibly, that animals can talk. Zookeeper takes an amusing kids' movie premise — that animals can speak and conspire to help their beloved zookeeper (James) win back his ex-girlfriend (Leslie Bibb) and stay at his job — and mucks it up with a haphazard array of slapstick and pee jokes. The movie's twin story lines never really mesh. A star-studded voice cast (Sylvester Stallone, Nick Nolte, and Adam Sandler channeling Gilbert Gottfried) can't rescue a movie that has little to offer kids or adults. (Pamela Zoslov)

comment

Add a comment