Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 15, 2013 Edition

Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 15, 2013 Edition
More Articles
Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Good Day to Die Hard *
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: Admission ***1/2
Silver Screen: After Earth *
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Beautiful Creatures *1/2
Silver Screen: Before Midnight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Big Muddy Film Festival 2013: Thirty Five Years Of Celebrating Cinema
Big Muddy Film Festival 33
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Broken City ***
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Chronicle ****
Silver Screen: Cloud Atlas ***
Silver Screen: Contagion ****1/2
Silver Screen: Contraband *
Silver Screen: Cowboys & Aliens ***
Silver Screen: Crazy, Stupid, Love **
Silver Screen: Dark Shadows *1/2
Silver Screen: Dark Skies **1/2
Silver Screen: David Wong’s John Dies at the End: A Local Author Sees His Novel Hit the Big Screen
Silver Screen: Dead Man Down 1/2*
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **1/2
Silver Screen: Despicable Me II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Devil ***
Silver Screen: Dinner for Schmucks *1/2
Silver Screen: Director Rusty Nails Presents... Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero
Silver Screen: Django Unchained ****1/2
Silver Screen: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
Silver Screen: Dream House *1/2
Silver Screen: Dredd 3D *1/2
Silver Screen: Drive ****1/2
Silver Screen: Drive Angry 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Due Date ***1/2
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Evil Dead ***
Silver Screen: Fast and Furious VI **
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Faster **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Flight ****
Silver Screen: Forty-two ***1/2
Silver Screen: Frances Ha ****1/2
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Fruitvale Station ****
Silver Screen: G.I. Joe: Retaliation *
Silver Screen: Gangster Squad *1/2
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Grown Ups II zero stars
Silver Screen: Hall Pass *1/2
Silver Screen: Hanna ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I ***
Silver Screen: Haywire ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: Identity Thief ***
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Iron Man III **1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jack Reacher ***
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killing Them Softly **1/2
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Kung Fu Panda II ***
Silver Screen: Larry Crowne *1/2
Silver Screen: Lawless ****
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Life of Pi **1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Lincoln ****
Silver Screen: Lockout **
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Mama **1/2
Silver Screen: Man of Steel *
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: Men in Black III *1/2
Silver Screen: Midnight in Paris ****
Silver Screen: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol ****
Silver Screen: Moneyball ***1/2
Silver Screen: Monsters University ***
Silver Screen: Moonrise Kingdom ****1/2
Silver Screen: Movie Forty-three zero stars
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Now You See Me 1/2*
Silver Screen: Oblivion ***1/2
Silver Screen: Olympus Has Fallen zero stars
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Oz the Great and Powerful **
Silver Screen: Pacific Rim ****
Silver Screen: Pain and Gain ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity III ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity IV *
Silver Screen: ParaNorman ***1/2
Silver Screen: Parker ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Playing for Keeps 1/2*
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Project X 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prometheus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Real Steel *
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Red Dawn *
Silver Screen: Red Tails **
Silver Screen: Resident Evil: Retribution *
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe Haven *1/2
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World **1/2
Silver Screen: Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Shark Night 3D 1/2* -- Apollo 18 **
Silver Screen: Side Effects ****1/2
Silver Screen: Silent House **1/2
Silver Screen: Silver Linings Playbook ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sinister ***1/2
Silver Screen: Skyfall ****
Silver Screen: Skyline *
Silver Screen: Snitch ***
Silver Screen: Snow White and the Huntsman **1/2
Silver Screen: Soldiers Speak Out: Carbondale Oscar Winner Barb Trent’s Latest Film
Silver Screen: Something Borrowed *
Silver Screen: Source Code ****1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Star Trek into Darkness ****
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Super Eight ****
Silver Screen: Taken II **
Silver Screen: Ted ***1/2
Silver Screen: That's My Boy *
Silver Screen: The A-Team **1/2
Silver Screen: The Academy Honors... The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale
Silver Screen: The Adjustment Bureau *1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man **1/2
Silver Screen: The American ****
Silver Screen: The Artist ****
Silver Screen: The Audubon Trilogy: Fugitive Narratives and the Drama of the Natural World
Silver Screen: The Avengers ****
Silver Screen: The Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Wedding *
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Call **1/2
Silver Screen: The Campaign ***
Silver Screen: The Company You Keep *1/2
Silver Screen: The Conjuring ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Dark Knight Rises ***
Silver Screen: The Debt ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Descendants ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Dictator ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Great Gatsby ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Guilt Trip ***
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part III *1/2
Silver Screen: The Heat **1/2
Silver Screen: The Host 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games ***
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
Silver Screen: The Internship **1/2
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The King's Speech ****
Silver Screen: The Last Airbender *
Silver Screen: The Last Exorcism ***
Silver Screen: The Last Stand ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lone Ranger ***
Silver Screen: The Lucky One *1/2
Silver Screen: The Man with the Iron Fists **1/2
Silver Screen: The Master ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Perks of Being a Wallflower ****
Silver Screen: The Place Beyond the Pines ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Possession *
Silver Screen: The Purge *
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rum Diary ***
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , March 31, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 23, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 30, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 19, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 26, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 5, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card July 8, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card September 2, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card September 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 11, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 12, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 14, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 18, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 19, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 21, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 25, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 26, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 28, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 4, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 5, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 7, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 1, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 16, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 19, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 2, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 23 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 25, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 30, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 4, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 1, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 13, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 15, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 2, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 6, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 8, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 14, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 16, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 17, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 2, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 21, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 23, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 28, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 7, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 9, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 11, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 12, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 13, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 17, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 19, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 20, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 24, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 26, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 27, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 31, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January March 21 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 11, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 12 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 12 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 14, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 18, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 19, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 21, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 25, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 26 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 28, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 3, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 7, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 13, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 16, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 20, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 21, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 23, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 27, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 28, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 30, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 6, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 6, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 7, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 9, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 1, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 22, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 28, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 29, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 7, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 8, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 10, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 11, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 12, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 17, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 19, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 2, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 23, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 24, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 26, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 3, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 30, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 5, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 1, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 11, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 15, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 17, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 18, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 29, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 4, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 8, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 06, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 11, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 14, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 18, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 20, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 21, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 25, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 27, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 28, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 4 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 7, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 01, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 13, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 15, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 20, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 22, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 27, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 29, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 6, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 8, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 01, 2020 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 15, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 22, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 29, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 10, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 17, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 24, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Sitter ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Thing **1/2
Silver Screen: The Three Stooges ***
Silver Screen: The Tourist **
Silver Screen: The Town ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Tree of Life *****
Silver Screen: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse *1/2
Silver Screen: The Vow **
Silver Screen: The Watch **
Silver Screen: The Way Way Back ****
Silver Screen: The Wolverine *1/2
Silver Screen: The Woman in Black **
Silver Screen: The Words 1/2*
Silver Screen: Thirty Minutes or Less ***1/2
Silver Screen: This Is Forty ****
Silver Screen: This Is The End ***1/2
Silver Screen: Thor ***
Silver Screen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***1/2
Silver Screen: To Rome with Love ***1/2
Silver Screen: Total Recall **1/2
Silver Screen: Tower Heist ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: Transformers: Dark of the Moon *1/2
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II *
Silver Screen: Two Guns ***
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
Silver Screen: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ****
Silver Screen: Wanderlust ***1/2
Silver Screen: War Horse **
Silver Screen: Water for Elephants ***
Silver Screen: We Bought a Zoo ****
Silver Screen: White House Down ***
Silver Screen: World War Z **
Silver Screen: Wrath of the Titans 1/2*
Silver Screen: Wreck-it Ralph ***1/2
Silver Screen: X-Men: First Class ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2
Silver Screen: Zero Dark Thirty ****1/2
Silver Screen: Zookeeper *


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Pictured: Elysium.
Bryan Miller

> opening this week in Carbondale (Friday unless otherwise noted).

< leaving Carbondale this Friday.

by Bryan Miller unless otherwise credited.

The Conjuring (PG-13, ***1/2): Director James Wan (Saw, Insidious) has never developed a distinctive style of his own, but he’s excellent at taking moves from other people’s playbooks. Here we get a little Shirley Jackson, a little Blair Witch, a little Stanley Kubrick, and a lot of Paranormal Activity. Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson costar as husband-and-wife paranormal investigators who attempt to cast a demon out of a haunted house before it possesses one of the owners (Lily Taylor and Ron Livingston). The plot is boilerplate, but the execution is well above average. The first hour is almost unbearably suspenseful, as Wan uses a combination of atmosphere, shadow, and creaking doors with occasional flashes of gory effects to generate some big scares, especially during a harrowing game that involves the family members blindfolding themselves for a game of hide-and-seek. The end devolves into a lot of Exorcist-style hokum that reaffirms the power and glory of the Catholic Church. The clichés will keep it from being even a minor classic, but it’s good for a few summertime screams.

Despicable Me II (PG, ***1/2): The followup to the ho-hum computer-animated comedy about a bad guy (Steve Carell) who goes good after he adopts a trio of little orphan girls is sharper and superior to the original in almost every way. With the characters firmly established, the returning crew of creators and directors delves into them more deeply, and with much success. Carell’s Gru must navigate his youngest daughter’s first crush on a boy while dealing with his own romantic issues with new partner Lucy (Kristen Wiig), who has enlisted him to help catch a secret supervillain who’s gone undercover to hatch a world-domination scheme. It’s fun stuff, with a lot of the best gags provided by the Minions, Gru’s goofy, yellow, pill-shaped followers, who’ll get their own spinoff movie next year. Before long the Minions might be as annoying and ubiquitous as former pop-culture aggravations like the Noid or the California Raisins, but at least for now they’re pretty damned funny. In 2D and 3D.

Elysium (R, **): Neill Blomkamp's debut, District Nine, was a clever if unsubtle sci-fi allegory about apartheid made on the relative cheap. His followup is more expensive but significantly less clever, and somehow even less subtle. Matt Damon stars as a prole living on overpopulated Earth. When he's hit with a fatal dose of radiation at work, he gets some fancy futuristic guns and decides to head into space to infiltrate the space station Elysium, where the world's mega-rich lead lives of peace and leisure. Blomkamp seems to have spent months inventing Damon's newfangled arsenal and about ten minutes constructing the story, which is borderline nonsensical, stumbling both as metaphor and as a plain old action-movie ride. District Nine’s Sharlto Copley has a fun turn as a black-humored mercenary, while Jodie Foster is exceptionally irritating as a villain with an inexplicable scheme and an even more inexplicable accent.

< Fruitvale Station (R, ****): The Wire’s Michael B. Jordan gives a stellar performance in this day-in-the-life tale of Oscar Grant III, whose murder at the hands of transit police in Oakland was captured on cell-phone video on New Year’s Day 2009. Echoes of the Trayvon Martin case are inescapable, but first-time writer/director Ryan Coogler avoids making his movie explicitly political. And while we know Grant’s fate thanks to that grainy, haunting cell-phone footage, which Coogler shows during the opening moments of the film, the movie is far more than a countdown to a murder. This slice of urban life is a compelling chronicle of a troubled young man’s struggle to mature into adulthood and leave behind the legacy of his bad decisions. Featuring standout supporting performances from Melonie Diaz and Octavia Spencer.

Grown Ups II (PG-13, zero stars): This is the least-effective representation yet of Adam Sandler’s increasingly tiresome formula. Expect fart jokes, relentless mockery of the overweight and unattractive, cheap cameos from unfunny celebrities, an unlistenably cheesy soundtrack, and an appearance by a music icon from decades past. Of course, that’s Sandler’s last five movies, but this is the new nadir, an uninspired follow-up to the tepid 2010 family comedy about five old pals reconnecting. Now there are four old pals (Rob Schneider has been decommissioned like an old ship), but David Spade, Kevin James, and poor Chris Rock, far and away the most talented of the bunch, humiliate themselves to no end. The scattershot plot revolves around various bullies, all of whom are either beaten up or won over when Sandler’s Sandlerian Sandler character throws a big party. I was rooting for the bullies.

The Heat (R, **1/2): This programmatic buddy-cop comedy would be tolerable but perfectly forgettable if not for costar (and SIU alumna) Melissa McCarthy, who shines in seemingly any situation. Here she’s a loutish Boston detective paired with an uptight FBI agent (Sandra Bullock) to bring down the world’s most generic drug ring. A great cast of supporting players, including Jane Curtin, Bill Burr, Tom Wilson, and Southern Illinois’s exceptional homegrown talent Ben Falcone, help compensate for the thin plot, while Bullock holds her own without bringing anything distinctive to the table. Cops in these movies always gripe that they work better alone and don’t need a partner. In McCarthy’s case, it’s probably true.

< Pacific Rim (PG-13, ****): This summer’s best big dumb fun movie is plenty big, and not too awfully dumb. Charlie Hunnam, Idris Elba, and Rinko Kikuchi play pilots who control giant robots designed to fight Kaiju, the Japanese term for giant monsters, which emerge from a portal deep beneath the sea. That’s really all you need to know about this epic-scale sci-fi smackdown, which packs just enough plot to justify its grand computer-generated imagery disasters. Director Guillermo del Toro delivers the goods when he has to, and even if the movie sags a little in the middle, the thrilling opening and long, loud, beautifully rendered climax are more than enough to justify the price of admission. This isn’t an artful exercise like del Toro’s best work, the dark allegory Pan’s Labyrinth, but in a summer full of movies trying and failing to deliver expensive cheap thrills, this is one of the few that actually makes good on its promises. In 2D only.

Two Guns (R, ***): This buddy-cop action flick is in the vein of Tango and Cash and Lethal Weapon; your reaction to that probably depends on your age. It’s pretty boilerplate stuff, but the absence of computer effects, abundant green-screen shots, and superpowers makes it a kind of mild relief, if a fleeting one. A Drug Enforcement Administration agent (Denzel Washington) and a Navy intelligence officer (Mark Wahlberg) are both working undercover to bring down the head of a drug cartel (Edward James Olmos). Unfortunately, neither guy knows the other is undercover, and they’re attempting to catch each other in the same setup. The funny misunderstanding begets a lot of quips and shootouts, which aren’t terribly original but filmed with the requisite verve by director Baltasar Kormákur. The twist of noir in the story doesn’t work well, thanks mostly to the gorgeous but not terribly convincing Paula Patton, but as a sunny-day shoot ‘em up, it’s old-school fun.

The Way, Way Back (PG-13, ****): Descendants screenwriters Nat Faxon and Jim Rash cowrite and direct their first feature, a familiar but endearing coming-of-age tale about a lonely teenager (Liam James) forced to spend his summer vacation with his mother (Toni Collette) and her douchebag boyfriend (Steve Carell). The kid comes out of his shell thanks to the help of his new mentor Owen (Sam Rockwell), the motormouthed caretaker of a semi-dilapidated water park. Even in its moments of relative mediocrity, this smartly written, well-acted dramedy lays flat the Goliaths of summer. Terrific performances from a rarely funnier Rockwell and a wonderfully loathsome Carell help buoy a simple story that earns both its laughs and its sentimentality.

The Wolverine (PG-13, *1/2): Director James Mangold brings a veneer of professionalism to the second solo outing of Marvel’s most popular X-Man, but a dull, occasionally incomprehensible script and flat, poorly staged action sequences turn this into a summer slog. Logan/Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) is called out of self-imposed exile by a Japanese industrialist he saved from the nuclear blast at Nagasaki seventy years prior. The old man offers Logan the opportunity to rid himself of his mutant abilities and die a peaceful death, but soon our clawed hero becomes entangled in a secret plot to bump off the old man’s granddaughter and steal his fortune. The result is a lot of awkwardly staged fights leading up to a climactic battle with a computer-generated robot that’s so stiff and silly I wanted to shout at the screen, “Didn’t you guys see the much cooler-looking robots Jackman fought in that other movie two summers ago?” In 2D and 3D.

Also in or Coming to Local Theaters

The Butler (PG-13): Lee Daniels (Precious) directs this biopic about a White House butler (Forest Whitaker) who witnesses the Civil Rights movement from a unique perspective. Featuring Oprah and Terrence Howard, as well as Robin Williams as Dwight Eisenhower, Alan Rickman as Ronald Reagan, and John Cusack as Richard Nixon.

Jobs (PG-13): In the most hilariously inverted casting since Rock Hudson played a hetero sex symbol, Ashton Kutcher plays tech visionary Steve Jobs in this biopic about the origins of Apple. Costarring Josh Gad and J.K. Simmons.

Kick-Ass II: Balls to the Wall (R): Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Chloë Moretz, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse return as regular folks donning costumes and acting out superhero conflicts in the “real” world. They’re joined by Jim Carrey, playing the unhinged patriot Colonel Stars and Stripes.

> The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (PG-13): In yet another horror-themed story based on a book for teens, a seemingly normal girl (Lily Collins) discovers she's the heir to a clan of warriors who stop monsters and demons from crossing over and taking control of our world. Costarring Lena Headey.

> Paranoia (PG-13): Corporate espionage abounds in this thriller about an ambitious kid (Liam Hemsworth) ordered by his high-powered boss (Gary Oldman) to spy on a rival company run by a dangerous boss (Harrison Ford). Also featuring Amber Heard.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters (PG): Sequel to this American Harry Potter riff finds the titular hero (Logan Lerman) battling gods and sea monsters in his quest to find a magical totem that will save the world, like they always do. In 2D and 3D.

Planes (PG): Cropduster Dusty (Dane Cook) attempts to overcome his fear of heights to win a famous race. Also featuring the voices of John Cleese, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Teri Hatcher, Stacy Keach, and Brad Garrett. In 2D and 3D.

Red II (PG-13): Sequel to the old-folks’ action movie about retired secret agents (Bruce Willis, Helen Mirren, and John Malkovich) who can’t stay out of the action, this time hunting down a rogue nuclear weapon. Morgan Freeman, who failed to live through the last one, is replaced by Anthony Hopkins.

The Smurfs II (PG): Remember the live-action Smurfs movie from a couple years back? This is the second one. In 2D and 3D.

Turbo (PG-13): Computer-animated family comedy about a speedy snail who’s determined to win a big race. Featuring the usual plethora of celebrity voices, here including Ryan Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson, Bill Hader, and Snoop Dogg. In 2D and 3D.

We’re the Millers (R): A low-level drug dealer (Jason Sudeikis) hires a stripper (Jennifer Aniston), a thief (Emma Roberts), and his goofball neighbor (Will Poulter) to pose as his family on a run to pick up a shipment of pot from Mexico. Also featuring Ed Helms.

> You're Next (R): A couple on vacation find themselves stalked by mysterious masked intruders in this horror flick.