In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'American Ultra,' 'Hitman: Agent 47' and More
Read what THR's critics are saying about the horror film 'Sinister 2' and more.
Two stoners, evil spirits and secret agents are heading to theaters this weekend with the releases of American Ultra, Sinister 2 and Hitman: Agent 47.
Read on to find out what The Hollywood Reporter's critics are saying about the weekend's new offerings (as well as which film will likely top the weekend's box office).
Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart star as a pair of stoners who must protect themselves from extermination after Eisenberg's character, Mike, realizes he was trained by the CIA to be a killing machine. THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy writes in his review, "Taking a vacation from more serious projects by playing a couple of lethargic, ambition-free tokers who suddenly find themselves in the middle of a Joe Carnahan movie, Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart smoke and say "like" and the F-word a lot and eventually kick plenty of butt in a way that looks to cook up a couple of weeks of buzzy late-summer business with good-times-seeking young audiences."
The horror sequel follows the unknown terror that ensues when a mother (Shannyn Sossamon of Wayward Pines and her two sons (real-life twins Dartanian and Robert Sloan) who move into a house targeted for death. THR film critic Justin Lowe writes that the film "comes up a bit short on creative resources, although director Ciaran Foy probably gets enough right to entice those partial to the original." Read the full review here.
Hitman: Agent 47
Actors Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware and Zachary Quinto star in the Aleksander Bach-directed film based on the popular video game. THR film critic Stephen Farber writes in his review, "After a while, you give up trying to make sense of the plot and sit there gaping at the car crashes, fight scenes, and shootings. The problem is that even the mayhem quickly becomes repetitive."
Lily Tomlin plays a lesbian who comes to grip with her past after spending an eventful day trying to collect cash for her granddaughter (Julia Garner) to get an abortion. Nat Wolff, Laverne Cox and Judy Greer have supporting roles in the film where an unfortunate situation explores lessons learned between three generations of women. THR film critic David Rooney writes in his review that Tomlin steals the show: "Playing an ill-tempered lesbian on an all-day odyssey to raise the money her granddaughter needs for an abortion, Tomlin is in her glorious element. It doesn't hurt that there are numerous other expertly gauged performances to savor, plus a bundle of heart, in this small-scale but consistently funny and poignant comedy-drama."
Lionsgate's newest romantic comedy follows Owen Wilson as a Broadway director who is experiencing bad luck with his play after casting his wife, his wife's ex-lover and a hooker-turned-actress. Imogen Poots, Jennifer Aniston, Kathryn Hahn, Will Forte, Cybil Shepherd and Rhys Ifans also star. Rooney writes, "But as gratifying as it would be to report that the effortless touch, the livewire rhythms and the sparkling wit remain in evidence, those qualities prevail only intermittently in this strained though mildly enjoyable ensemble comedy." He also adds that the casting is "a little off." Read the full review here.
Learning to Drive
Ben Kingsley and Patricia Clarkson bring Katha Pollitt’s 2002 New Yorker essay to life as an unlikely pair who get to know each other during driving lessons and wind up teaching each other how to take the wheel in their middle-aged relationships. THR film critic Sheri Linden writes in her review, "Clarkson’s lovely performance, far more layered than the adaptation by director Isabel Coixet and writer Sarah Kernochan, is the film’s chief pleasure."
Feeling unsexy and bored, and having second thoughts of monagamy, are some of the topics explored in the Jay and Mark Duplass-produced film. THR film critic John DeFore writes the film is "a melodrama benefiting from excellent performances but suffering from a too-obvious script." He also adds that actors Taissa Farmiga and Ben Rosenfield are ones to watch. Read the full review here.