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An infamous rap group, secret agents and a single father are coming to theaters this weekend with the releases of Straight Outta Compton, The Man From U.N.C.L.E. and People, Places, Things.
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).
Executive producers Ice Cube and Dr. Dre enlist Friday director F. Gary Gray to direct the biopic chronicling the rise to fame of rap group N.W.A, which consisted of Cube and Dre along with Eazy-E, DJ Yella and MC Ren (played by O’Shea Jackson Jr., Corey Hawkins, Jason Mitchell, Neil Brown Jr. and Aldis Hodge, respectively). Along with a lesson in classic hip-hop, the film touches on Eazy-E’s death by AIDS and the group’s powerful lyrics that carried a social message during the 1991 L.A. riots. THR film critic John DeFore writes in his review, “It does for the most part fulfill its mission, breathing life into the origin story of a group whose influence is still being felt.”
Director Guy Ritchie turned the popular TV show from a half-century ago into a feature film complete with car chases, women and explosions starring Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer and Alicia Vikander. Set during the Cold War, a CIA agent (Cavill) and a KGB operative (Hammer) work together to bomb an international organization. THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy writes in his review, “It’s got a few things going for it and it’s not unenjoyable to sit through, but at the same time, the tone and creative register never feel confident and settled. It’s not bad but not quite good enough either.”
Ten Thousand Saints
Ethan Hawke, Hailee Steinfeld, Emile Hirsch and Asa Butterfield star in the Sundance coming-of-age drama where the unplanned pregnancy of a sixteen-year-old girl causes a teenage boy and his pot-dealer father to come together as a makeshift family in aiding her through motherhood. DeFore writes in his review, “Smart, sensitive, and accessible to both young and middle-aged viewers, it has plenty of theatrical potential.”
People, Places, Things
A single father navigates the after-effects of a split including dealing with exes, his kids and preparing himself for the dating scene in New York City. The Sundance film, directed by Jim Strouse, is led by actors Jemaine Clement, Regina Hall and Stephanie Allynne. McCarthy writes, “A superb, comically gifted cast helps writer-director Jim Strouse lift this quite a few cuts above his previous work as well as above the general run of films about modern life and relationships.” Read the full review here.
An introvert college freshman (Lola Kirke) steps out of her depression and into New York shenanigans when she is taken in by her adventurous step-sister (Greta Gerwig). McCarthy writes that the film lies between “contemporary satire and old-school Hollywood farce.” He adds, “They’ve now come up with a girl-bonding-and-breaking tale that simultaneously feels tossed off and minutely choreographed in its comic timing. There are many humorous and social morsels to enjoy here, although they’re of rather disposable quality.” Read the full review here.
Directors Sarah Violet-Bliss and Charles Rogers’ film follows two struggling, twentysomething women (Bridey Elliott and Clare McNulty) as they embark on a journey to meet two men for an evening in Fort Tilden. Even though the women have no idea where they are going, he adventure evolves their independence and maturity. THR film critic David Rooney writes, But Fort Tilden, the debut feature co-written and directed by Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers, showcases a satirical voice so dyspeptic it’s almost endearing, never letting the abrasive lead characters — or anyone else for that matter — off the hook for their self-absorbed entitlement.” Read the full review here.
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