In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,' 'Boyhood' and More
What THR's critics are saying about the sci-fi sequel and the coming-of-age drama, plus the Aaron Paul-Pierce Brosnan dark comedy "A Long Way Down."
A bunch of apes are ready for battle as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is the lone film opening in wide release this weekend. But several other films are opening in limited release, including Richard Linklater's Boyhood and the Pierce Brosnan-Aaron Paul starrer A Long Way Down.
Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman and Keri Russell star in director Matt Reeves' follow-up to 2011 hit Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The new film — about genetically evolved apes battling the last band of human survivors — manages to "seriously improve on a very good first entry in a franchise," THR film critic Todd McCarthy writes in his review. "Without pummeling the viewer, the only thing so many action, big-budget-oriented directors seem to know how to do these days, Reeves delivers the goods with a fluid sense of imagery and an intelligence more philosophical than geeky or scientific." Read what other critics are saying about the film here.
The coming-of-age drama stars Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke in the story of a boy growing up from age 5 to 18. Linklater filmed Coltrane for 12 years of his life over the course of making the movie. "Perhaps never has the long arc of the journey from childhood to college been portrayed as cohesively and convincingly as Richard Linklater has done in a film that can be plain on a moment-to-moment basis but is something quite special in its entirety," McCarthy writes in his review.
The comedy stars Paul Eenhoorn and Earl Lynn Nelson and focuses on a pair of ex-brothers-in-law attempting to rediscover their youth in Iceland. The film, from co-directors Martha Stephens and Aaron Katz, "offers pleasure all the way but leaves the lingering feeling that it could have pushed itself further, both dramatically and comedically," says McCarthy in his review.
The Empty Hours
Adriana Paz, Kristyan Ferrer and Eliseo Lara Martinez star in the Aarón Fernández Lesur-directed film about a 17-year-old boy who falls for a female guest at the hotel he runs. "A slight anecdote expanded to slightly beyond its natural length, The Empty Hours is nevertheless time well spent," THR film critic Jonathan Holland writes in his review.
Four strangers happen to meet just as they plan to each commit suicide in this dark comedy starring Imogen Poots, Toni Collette, Pierce Brosnan and Aaron Paul. Director Pascal Chaumeil's film is "a horrible misfire of a movie which starts off badly and just keeps getting worse," writes THR film critic Leslie Felperin in her review.
Curtain Closed (Parde)
Jafar Panahi and Kambuzia Partovi direct this film about a reclusive screenwriter who meets a woman on the lam, starring Kambuzia Partovi and Maryam Moqadam. THR film critic Deborah Young writes in her review that it is "a moody, intellectually complex film that requires good will and brainwork on the part of the viewer to penetrate and enjoy." Read her full review here.