In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'The Expendables 3,' 'Let's Be Cops' and More

The Expendables 3 Still - H 2014

The Expendables 3 Still - H 2014

See what THR's critics are saying about the action flick and the buddy-cop comedy, plus the Jeff Bridges-Meryl Streep sci-fi film 'The Giver,' the Michael Fassbender dramedy 'Frank' and the Aubrey Plaza zombie comedy 'Life After Beth'

It's a weekend of mercenaries, fake police officers and utopian-community dwellers as The Expendables 3, Let's Be Cops and The Giver are all released in theaters.

Find out what The Hollywood Reporter's critics are saying about this weekend's new offerings (along with which film will top the weekend's box office):

The Expendables 3

A seemingly endless array of muscle-bound action stars — Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson, Antonio Banderas and Wesley Snipes among them — team up for director Patrick Hughes' film about a crew of mercenaries who try to stop a nefarious arms dealer. The film falls victim to "increasingly formulaic plotlines" as "too much of the carefully crafted dialogue lands flat," writes THR film critic Justin Lowe in his review.

Let's Be Cops

New Girl cast members Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr. star as two guys who pretend to serve and protect in the action comedy from director Luke Greenfield (Something Borrowed). Andy Garcia, Nina Dobrev, Rob Riggle and Keegan-Michael Key round out the cast. "Nearly all of the gags falling thuddingly flat" and leave the two leads "thoroughly adrift," THR film critic Frank Scheck writes. Read his full review here.

The Giver

Phillip Noyce (Salt) directs this adaptation of the 1993 Lois Lowry novel about a young man who learns the truth  from a community elder about their utopian society. Jeff Bridges, Meryl Streep, Brenton Thwaites, Alexander Skarsgard, Katie Holmes and Taylor Swift star. The film is an "agreeable YA riff on Orwell" that is "topped with the kind of magic-transformative baloney that passes for an ending in too many otherwise-fine Hollywood adventures," writes THR film critic John DeFore in his review


Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson and Maggie Gyllenhaal star in director Lenny Abrahamson's film about an idiosyncratic musician who hides beneath a giant fake head. The film's "mash-up of elements combine with a singularly unpleasant roster of characters to create a work of genuinely off-putting quirkiness," per THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy's review.

Life After Beth

A guy's girlfriend comes back from the dead but is not quite how she used to be in Jeff Baena's directorial debut. The horror comedy stars Aubrey Plaza, Dane DeHaan, John C. Reilly, Molly Shannon and Anna Kendrick. "Sometimes tender, sometimes frantic and always funny," the film is "a perfectly pitched [directorial] debut," DeFore opines in his review.


A boy realizes that his brother is a mass murderer in this horror flick directed by Scott Schirmer and starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck and Phyllis Munro. THR film critic Michael Rechtshaffen writes in his review that the film is a "grisly coming-of-age piece with a matter-of-fact tone" that "could find a faithful genre following."

Fort McCoy

A historical drama based on a true story about a family living near a Nazi POW camp, co-directors Kate Connor and Michael Worth's film stars Eric Stoltz, Kate Connor and Lyndsy Fonseca. "Although clearly heartfelt and trying to compete with studio pictures in look and scope, the film has neither the direction and focus nor the financial means to come close to its lofty ambitions," according to THR film critic Karsten Kastelan's review.

Jealousy (La Jalousie)

Director Philippe Garrel's film stars Louis Garrel, Anna Mouglalis and Rebecca Convenant in the story of a man who abandons his wife and daughter. The film is "quite accessible" and "offers moments of quiet tragedy in some seemingly innocent throwaway moments," writes THR film critic Boyd van Hoeij in his review


P.J. Boudousque, James C. Burns and Chris Petrovski star in director Vincent Grashaw's thriller about a teen who struggles for survival at a juvenile reform camp. The film is "emotionally accessible but formally reserved enough not to feel like a cause movie," writes DeFore in his review.

Twitter: @_RyanGajewski