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 box office).
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Zac Efron and Adam Devine play hardcore partying bros Mike and Dave, who place an ad to find respectable dates for their sister’s wedding only to meet their matches when their plus-ones (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) party just as hard as they do, if not harder. The film is based on the true story of brothers Mike and Dave Stangle, who once posted a Craigslist ad for dates for their cousin’s wedding. THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy writes in his review, “The amusing premise of naughty-boy brothers who troll online for dates to their sister’s Hawaiian nuptials, only to end up with two babes far more foul than they, delivers enough raunch to satisfy its intended good-times-seeking audience.” Read the full review here.
The Secret Life of Pets
Kevin Hart, Eric Stonestreet and Louis C.K. are the star voices behind the animated film that explores what pets really do at home when their owners are gone. Helmed by the team behind Despicable Me and Minions, the film pairs Hart as Snowball the rabbit, Lake Bell as the cat next door and Hannibal Buress as Buddy the dachshund in the comedy that follows a group of pets as they plan to rebel against humans and the mischief they get into along the way. THR film critic Jordan Mintzer writes in his review that the film “starts off impressively but gradually tires itself out with a loud and loopy caper plot, taking a clever idea to mostly familiar places in the long run.” Mintzer adds, “Funny in stretches but capable of making you feel like you’ve dropped MDMA and locked yourself inside Petco for several hours, this big-ticket Universal release should play like catnip for kids starting summer vacation.”
Viggo Mortensen is the head of a family of six children who live far from mainstream culture — secluded from the outside world, and home-schooled (with martial arts training) — until a tragedy rocks their world, forcing them on a road trip that brings them in contact with society. THR film critic Leslie Felperin calls the Bleecker Street dramedy “crowdpleasing for the right kind of crowd, but about as radical as a kale crisp.” Read the full review here.
Fathers and Daughters
An all-star cast including Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul, Diane Kruger and Jane Fonda come together for a film exploring the tangled web of family dynamics where a Pulitzer Prize-winning father (Crowe) checks himself into a mental facility while trying to cope with the death of his wife and his relationship with his daughter (Seyfried), who is dating an aspiring writer (Paul). THR film critic Deborah Young applauds the starry cast, who “convinces amid much melodrama.” Read the full review here.
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
The bio-documentary follows the achievements of legendary TV producer Norman Lear, the creator behind popular shows All in the Family, Maude and The Jeffersons. During the film, producer Philip Rosenthal (Everybody Loves Raymond) says that the history of television can be divided into two periods: “Before Norman and After Norman.” Felperin writes in her review that “over the long haul, the film feels a little too eulogistic, too reliant on hyperbole and too in love with its own gimmicks to make it more than just a serviceable crowd-pleaser.
Our Little Sister
Set in the city of Kamakura (near Tokyo), the Cannes competitor focuses on three sisters who cope with the death of their father and meet their teenage half-sister who they didn’t know about. Felperin calls the film “generous spirited, pristinely shot and, quite frankly, somewhat dull.”