Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 20, 2015 Edition

Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 20, 2015 Edition
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Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Good Day to Die Hard *
Silver Screen: A Million Ways to Die in the West *1/2
Silver Screen: A Most Wanted Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: A Walk Among the Tombstones ***
Silver Screen: About Last Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Admission ***1/2
Silver Screen: After Earth *
Silver Screen: All Is Lost ****
Silver Screen: American Hustle ****1/2
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: American Sniper ***1/2
Silver Screen: Annabelle ***1/2
Silver Screen: Ant-Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: As Above, so Below ***1/2
Silver Screen: August: Osage County ****
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Bad Words **
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Beautiful Creatures *1/2
Silver Screen: Before Midnight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Begin Again ***1/2
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Silver Screen: Big Eyes ***
Silver Screen: Big Hero Six ***
Silver Screen: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) ***1/2
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blended **1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Jasmine ****1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Boyhood ****1/2
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Brick Mansions **
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Broken City ***
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Captain America: The Winter Soldier ***1/2
Silver Screen: Captain Phillips ****
Silver Screen: Carrie **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chef ****
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Child Forty-four *1/2
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: Dallas Buyers Club ****
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: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dead Man Down 1/2*
Silver Screen: Deliver Us from Evil *
Silver Screen: Delivery Man ***
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: Divergent *1/2
Silver Screen: Django Unchained ****1/2
Silver Screen: Don Jon *
Silver Screen: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
Silver Screen: Dracula Untold **1/2
Silver Screen: Draft Day *
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: Dumb and Dumber To ***
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: Edge of Tomorrow ****
Silver Screen: Elysium **
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Ender’s Game ***
Silver Screen: Entourage *
Silver Screen: Escape Plan ***
Silver Screen: Evil Dead ***
Silver Screen: Ex Machina ***1/2
Silver Screen: Exodus: Gods and Kings *1/2
Silver Screen: Fantastic Four 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fast and Furious VI **
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Faster **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty Shades of Grey 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Flight ****
Silver Screen: Focus *
Silver Screen: Forty-two ***1/2
Silver Screen: Foxcatcher ***1/2
Silver Screen: Frances Ha ****1/2
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Fruitvale Station ****
Silver Screen: Furious Seven ****
Silver Screen: Fury ***
Silver Screen: G.I. Joe: Retaliation *
Silver Screen: Gangster Squad *1/2
Silver Screen: Get Hard *
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Godzilla **1/2
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Gone Girl ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Grown Ups II zero stars
Silver Screen: Guardians of the Galaxy ***1/2
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: Her ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Homefront *1/2
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses II **1/2
Silver Screen: Hot Pursuit *
Silver Screen: Hot Tub Time Machine II 1/2*
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: How to Train Your Dragon II ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: Identity Thief ***
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Inside Llewyn Davis *****
Silver Screen: Inside Out ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious: Chapter Two ***
Silver Screen: Insurgent 1/2*
Silver Screen: Interstellar ****
Silver Screen: Iron Man III **1/2
Silver Screen: It Follows ***1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jack Reacher ***
Silver Screen: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ***
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa *1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jersey Boys **1/2
Silver Screen: Jobs **
Silver Screen: John Wick ***
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Jupiter Ascending 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jurassic World *1/2
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Kick-Ass II zero stars
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killing Them Softly **1/2
Silver Screen: Kingsman: The Secret Service **
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: Let’s Be Cops ***1/2
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: Lone Survivor ***
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Love and Mercy ****
Silver Screen: Love and Other Drugs *1/2
Silver Screen: Lucy ***
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Machete Kills **1/2
Silver Screen: Mad Max: Fury Road ****1/2
Silver Screen: Magic in the Moonlight **
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: Million Dollar Arm **1/2
Silver Screen: Minions **
Silver Screen: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation ****
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: Nebraska ****1/2
Silver Screen: Need for Speed *
Silver Screen: Neighbors ***1/2
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: Nightcrawler ****
Silver Screen: No Good Deed *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Noah 1/2*
Silver Screen: Non-Stop ***1/2
Silver Screen: Now You See Me 1/2*
Silver Screen: Oblivion ***1/2
Silver Screen: Oculus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Olympus Has Fallen zero stars
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Ouija *
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Out of the Furnace *
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: Poltergeist 1/2*
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prisoners ****
Silver Screen: Project Almanac **
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: Riddick ***
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: RoboCop ***
Silver Screen: Run All Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Runner Runner *1/2
Silver Screen: Rush ****
Silver Screen: Sabotage **
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe Haven *1/2
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Saint Vincent ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: San Andreas **1/2
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
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: Self/less **
Silver Screen: Selma ****1/2
Silver Screen: Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sex Tape *
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: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 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: Southpaw *1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Spy ****
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: Taken III **
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: Tammy **1/2
Silver Screen: Ted ***1/2
Silver Screen: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles *
Silver Screen: Terminator: Genisys *1/2
Silver Screen: That Awkward Moment 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 Amazing Spider-Man II ***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 Avengers ****
Silver Screen: The Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Wedding *
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Book Thief **
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boxtrolls ****
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Butler ****
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 Counselor ****
Silver Screen: The D Train **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 Drop ****1/2
Silver Screen: The DUFF ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Equalizer **
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fault in Our Stars ****
Silver Screen: The Fifth Estate 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Gift
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Giver ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Grand Budapest Hotel ****
Silver Screen: The Great Gatsby ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Guilt Trip ***
Silver Screen: The Gunman **1/2
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 Hunger Games: Catching Fire ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I ***
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
Silver Screen: The Imitation Game ****
Silver Screen: The Internship **1/2
Silver Screen: The Interview ****
Silver Screen: The Judge *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 Lego Movie ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lone Ranger ***
Silver Screen: The Longest Ride **1/2
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 Maze Runner ***
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Monuments Men ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The November Man **
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Overnight ***1/2
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 Purge: Anarchy **1/2
Silver Screen: The Pyramid **1/2
Silver Screen: The Quiet Ones *
Silver Screen: The Raid II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rover **
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
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Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 01, 2020 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ****
Silver Screen: The Sitter ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Spectacular Now ****
Silver Screen: The Theory of Everything ***1/2
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 Wolf of Wall Street ****
Silver Screen: The Wolverine *1/2
Silver Screen: The Woman in Black **
Silver Screen: The Words 1/2*
Silver Screen: The World’s End ****
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: Thor: The Dark World *
Silver Screen: Three Days to Kill **
Silver Screen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***1/2
Silver Screen: To Rome with Love ***1/2
Silver Screen: Tomorrowland ****
Silver Screen: Total Recall **1/2
Silver Screen: Tower Heist ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: Trainwreck **1/2
Silver Screen: Transcendence *1/2
Silver Screen: Transformers: Age of Extinction 1/2*
Silver Screen: Transformers: Dark of the Moon *1/2
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twelve Years a Slave ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twenty-two Jump Street ***1/2
Silver Screen: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II *
Silver Screen: Two Guns ***
Silver Screen: Unbroken
Silver Screen: Unfriended ****
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
Silver Screen: Veronica Mars ***1/2
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: While We’re Young ****
Silver Screen: Whiplash *****
Silver Screen: White House Down ***
Silver Screen: Winter's Tale 1/2*
Silver Screen: World War Z **
Silver Screen: Wrath of the Titans 1/2*
Silver Screen: Wreck-it Ralph ***1/2
Silver Screen: X-Men: Days of Future Past ***
Silver Screen: X-Men: First Class ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2
Silver Screen: You’re Next **1/2
Silver Screen: Zero Dark Thirty ****1/2
Silver Screen: Zookeeper *


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

> opening this week in Carbondale.

< leaving Carbondale this Friday.

For more film reviews and capsules, see the Nightlife section of <http://www.CarbondaleRocks.com>.

by Bryan Miller unless otherwise credited.

Ant-Man (PG-13, ***1/2): Original director Edgar Wright (Shawn of the Dead, Scott Pilgrim versus the World) ushered this improbable B-list superhero onto the big screen only to depart the project prior to filming. The screenplay (credited to several different writers) still bears his name, and traces of his influence remain. But too often the movie veers away from a zanier tone in favor of increasingly tired conventions of the Marvel superhero universe. Star Paul Rudd makes for an appealingly distinctive superhero. His Scott Lang is neither a soldier nor a concave-chested geek chosen by fate. He occupies neither side of the power fantasy divide, and instead is a sort of kindhearted underachiever whose criminal status gets him mixed up in a tech war between brilliant scientist Hank Pym (Michael Douglas) and Pym’s former student Darren Cross (Corey Stoll). Cross wants to hijack his old mentor’s revolutionary shrinking formula, so Pym convinces cat burglar Lang to steal it and keep it safe. Once in possession of the super-shrinking formula and matching suit, Lang is transformed into Ant-Man. This is far more lighthearted than the other Avengers-related films, with the exception of the superior Guardians of the Galaxy, which was allowed to embrace its own weirdness. Ant-Man is goofy, smirking fun except when it has to pause for obligatory fights with a generic villain (no fault of the talented Stoll). Replacement director Peyton Reed injects several scenes with real verve, but it’s tough to imagine Wright helming any action sequences as stodgy and formulaic as some of this movie’s more familiar fisticuffs. Ant-Man is still refreshing in the era of increasingly dour, destructive blockbusters, breezing along on its charming cast and good humor. Also featuring Evangeline Lilly, Michael Peña, and Bobby Cannavale.

Fantastic Four (PG-13, 1/2*): One of the worst superhero movies in years manages to transform the story of Invisible Girl, Fire Guy, Rock Man, and Stretch Armstrong Ph.D. into a grim, uneventful slog. Science nerd Reed Richards (Miles Teller) finds a way to transport matter— and eventually his friends— to another dimension. A misbegotten secret trip to that other dimension leaves Reed and his pals with superpowers: he can stretch, Sue (Kate Mara) turns invisible, Johnny (Michael B. Jordan) can fly and emit flames, and Ben (Jamie Bell) is transformed into a hulking rock monster. But the movie takes an hour to get there, dragging out the prologue without stopping to add insight to the characters or chemistry to their non-existent relationships. When at last the movie starts, well, moving, it doesn’t last very long, skipping around in time to hurry toward a rushed, visually uninspiring showdown with fellow scientist Victor Von Doom (Toby Kebbel). The appealing young cast fails to shine, not due to a lack of talent, but because the glacially paced incoherence of the project drains everything in its orbit of joy or excitement. This is brazenly cheap, massively defective filmmaking, perhaps the fault of director Josh Trank (Chronicle), who claims his allegedly erratic behavior was the result of constant studio interference. Regardless, the movie is destined for year-end worst-of lists in this dimension, and possibly other ones as well.

The Gift (R, **1/2): Actor Joel Edgerton makes his debut as a feature writer/director in this thriller that takes a little too long to twist its familiar premise into something more interesting, but the simmering suspense takes on real urgency in the second half. A married couple (Jason Bateman and Rebecca Hall) are menaced by an old high school chum (Edgerton) who wants to be friends again and won’t take no for an answer. Edgerton toys with the stalker/home-invasion horror plot in order to pose more disturbing questions, and he succeeds with the help of his talented cast, which includes bit players Allison Tolman (Fargo), Busy Philipps (Freaks and Geeks), and Wendell Pierce (The Wire). Alas, he takes one twist too many, and the movie’s Twilight Zone-inspired reveal is a little too implausible and deplorable to sit right. The gender politics at play turn out to be pretty ugly, but the error is more haphazard and driven by the narrative than it is rooted in sinister ideology. The end does ruin the fun, but there’s fun to be had before that, and despite its unevenness, the film suggests that Edgerton might well turn out to be a much better-than-average filmmaker.

Inside Out (PG, ****1/2): Animation innovator Pixar’s latest is one of its most high-concept hits to date, but its cerebral premise doesn’t surrender any of its deeply felt emotion. Preteen girl Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) deals with her first bout of grownup stress when her parents move from a bucolic Minnesota town to cramped, unfamiliar digs in San Francisco. The real action, though, takes place inside the complex inner workings of her mind, where a literalized team of emotions— Joy (Amy Poehler), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling), Fear (Bill Hader), and Sadness (Phyllis Smith)— tries to guide Riley through her day. The sudden shift in environment has caused Sadness to act up, and when team leader Joy tries to reset the machinery, she and Sadness are accidentally exiled from the control room. They must journey through the deepest recesses of Riley’s mind while the other emotions struggle to maintain control. Cowriters and directors Peter Docter and Ronaldo Del Carmen’s most remarkable achievement is to make such a heady concept so accessible and intuitive. They pack an incredible number of clever ideas and brilliant jokes into an hour and a half. It’s a dizzying achievement, perhaps less visually stunning than Ratatouille or Wall-E, but more cerebral. It’s a total delight, with nifty new twists on the premise flowing right through the closing credits, and some excellent supporting voicework from a host of notables, none of whom can surpass the great character actor Richard Kind’s turn as the surreal, imaginary friend Bing Bong.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (PG-13, ****): Like their improbably youthful star Tom Cruise, the Mission Impossible movies keep getting better with age. It’s counterintuitive, but somehow Cruise, as secret agent Ethan Hunt, is a more convincing action hero than ever. Here he leaps, dives, and dodges his way through a series of thrilling, complex setpieces while avoiding the unnecessary plot as best he can. All you need to know: Hunt and his team (including Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner, and Ving Rhames) find themselves on the outside when a shadowy cabal of former international agents frames Ethan and gets the the Impossible Missions Force disbanded by a CIA bureaucrat (Alec Baldwin). Much fighting and spying ensues. Frequent Cruise collaborator Christopher McQuarrie takes over directing duties and nearly outdoes Brad Bird’s fine work in Ghost Protocol. McQuarrie wisely retains Bird’s zippy physical comedy, and his big action sequences are crisp and tightly controlled without ever feeling programmatic or mechanical. It’s pure popcorn-cinema bliss, perfect for a summer matinee, and the sort of exuberant escapism Hollywood tries so hard to capture but rarely succeeds at. Unlikely as it is, Cruise and his signature series keep getting better. Apparently it only seems impossible.

Southpaw (R, *1/2): This overheated boxing melodrama from Olympus Has Fallen and Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and Sons of Anarchy writer Kurt Sutter tries to be both an inspirational sports drama and a gritty revenge flick, but winds up indulging in the clichés of both genres without fully committing to either. Commitment is no problem for its star, though. Jake Gyllenhaal is rippled and veined near the point of grotesquerie to play our swole hero Billy Hope, a thick-headed palooka whose life is carefully managed by his brassy wife Maureen (Rachel McAdams). But when she’s gunned down in a mysterious tragedy that is curiously never resolved, Billy spirals out of control and loses custody of their daughter (Oona Laurence). To get his life and career back on track he enlists the help of wise, cantankerous trainer Tick Wills (Forest Whitaker). Gyllenhaal is terrific, and his scenes with Whitaker hint at a more interesting movie that never materializes. The fight choreography is atrocious, cribbed from either the first Rocky or the Nintendo classic Mike Tyson’s Punch-out. Fuqua and Sutter fritter away time on two or three subplots only to abandon them halfway through in favor of a big fight that’s somehow both inevitable from the first five minutes of the movie but also curiously underdeveloped.

Trainwreck (R, **1/2): Amy Schumer’s hit-and-miss semiautobiographical romantic comedy seems to hit the hardest when it hews closer to her real life and lose focus when it turns its attention to the demands of the rom-com genre. The movie’s biggest problem is the significant gap between the sensibilities of Schumer and her producer and director, Judd Apatow, whose conservative worldview stifles Schumer’s attempts at iconoclasm. The movie version of Amy is a boozy, pot-addled writer for a men’s magazine called S’nuff, where she’s assigned a profile of a prominent surgeon (Bill Hader) who specializes in sports medicine. She falls for Hader but has to reconcile her wild ways with his traditional lifestyle, all while dealing with the declining health of her chronically ill father (Colin Quinn). Apatow and Schumer are simpatico on the family-dramedy front, which is where Schumer’s razor-edged wit is at its sharpest. Her struggles with her ornery father and goody-two-shoes sister (Brie Larson) are both funny and emotionally raw. Wonderful though Hader is, however, the romantic comedy element threatens to swallow Schumer up, recasting her as a troublemaker in need of reform even though we like her because she’s a troublemaker. The movie’s final insult is a reverse Sandra Dee that transforms our would-be-individualist into an all-American cheerleader. Schumer’s feminism has always been clouded and confounding, but here it’s muddled all to hell in the name of cinematic conventions. The stunt casting of LeBron James, Marv Albert, and other notable athletes further overinflates the excessive running time and distracts from its star and central character.

Also in or Coming to Local Theaters

American Ultra (R): A government agent (Jesse Eisenberg) literally gone to pot must get his act together when his employers decide the world would be safer without him in this action comedy featuring Kristen Stewart, Walton Goggins, and Topher Grace.

> Hitman: Agent Forty-seven (R): The second attempt to create a film franchise from the popular videogame follows a nameless assassin (Rupert Friend) who must help a woman (Hannah Ware) uncover the secrets of her family’s past. With guns. Featuring Zachary Quinto and Ciarán Hinds.

> The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (PG-13): Guy Ritchie writes and directs this reboot of the 1960s spy show about a secret multinational organization, here including Henry Cavill and Armie Hammer, as they attempt to foil a nuclear terrorism plot. Also featuring Alicia Vikander, Hugh Grant, and Jared Harris.

Mister Holmes (R): A dying Sherlock Holmes (Ian McKellen) tries to solve an old case. Directed by the great Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, and, well, let’s just forget about those Twilight movies). (Wissmann)

Ricki and the Flash (PG-13): Meryl Streep stars as an aging rock star who returns home to make amends with the family she left behind in this lighthearted drama from Jonathan Demme, written by Diablo Cody (Juno). Featuring Kevin Kline, Mamie Gummer, and Rick Springfield. Yeah, that Rick Springfield.

Shaun the Sheep (PG): A sheep who leads his flock astray must return them home in this claymation family comedy.

> Sinister II (R): None of the filmmakers or stars from the original return for this horror sequel about a killer who makes terrifying home movies of his murders, and the family whose son is targeted next. Starring James Ransone and Shannyn Sossamon.

Straight outta Compton (R): This biopic about hip-hop stars NWA follows Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Doctor Dre (Corey Hawkins), and Easy-E (Jason Mitchell) from their rise from the L.A. streets to gangsta-rap pioneers. From director F. Gary Gray.

 

Vacation (R): In this sequel/reimagining of the popular National Lampoon movie series, Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms), inspired by his father Clark (Chevy Chase), takes his own family on a trip to Wally World. From Horrible Bosses team John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein, featuring Christina Applegate, Leslie Mann, Beverly D’Angelo, Chris Hemsworth, Keegan-Michael Key, and Charlie Day.