In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'Guardians of the Galaxy,' 'Get On Up' and More

Guardians of the Galaxy Still 4 - H 2014

See what THR's critics are saying about the Marvel space opera and the James Brown biopic, plus the Selena Gomez comedy "Behaving Badly," the James Franco-directed drama "Child of God" and the David Duchovny-Hope Davis starrer "Louder Than Words."

A team of Marvel heroes and a James Brown biopic are both trying to hit high notes at theaters this weekend, with Guardians of the Galaxy and Get On Up opening in wide release. 

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):

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Guardians of the Galaxy

A spunky pilot teams up with a motley assortment of creatures to escape imprisonment in director James Gunn's (Super) addition to the Marvel Studios stable. The outer-space adventure film gathers Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Lee Pace and the voice of Bradley Cooper. "The writers have crafted a well-articulated universe with distinct settings and relatable, compelling characters," writes THR film critic Justin Lowe in his review, "although excessive exposition occasionally hinders the action."

Get On Up

The Godfather of Soul gets the biopic treatment in this film about James Brown from director Tate Taylor (The Help). Chadwick Boseman plays the legendary singer, while Viola Davis, Dan Aykroyd, Nelsan Ellis and Octavia Spencer also star. In her review, THR film critic Sheri Linden writes that the film "doesn’t quite succeed at shedding the biopic template," although Boseman gives "a performance that transcends impersonation and reverberates long after the screen goes dark."

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Behaving Badly 

Selena Gomez, Nat Wolff, Mary-Louise Parker, Elisabeth Shue, Dylan McDermott and Heather Graham star in director Tim Garrick's film about a high schooler and his crush who bond over rock music. THR film critic Stephen Dalton writes that the film is "is full of cheerful vulgarity but dangerously low on wit, charm or narrative logic." Read his full review here.

Child of God

Modern-day Renaissance man James Franco directs this adaptation of a Cormac McCarthy novel about a loner who finds himself increasingly involved in a life of crime and despair. Scott Haze, Tim Blake Nelson and Jim Parrack (True Blood) star. "Raw and unpolished in ways that often make it seem almost like some kind of anti-cinema film school experiment, Child of God is dominated by Scott Haze’s fearless performance," writes THR film critic David Rooney in his review.

Louder Than Words

Based on a true story, director Anthony Fabian's (Skin) drama centers on a couple who builds a children's hospital after their daughter passes away. David Duchovny, Hope Davis, Timothy Hutton and Craig Bierko star. THR film critic John DeFore writes in his review that "this Lifetime-grade pic" is "one of the least dramatic things put on screen in recent years."

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Director John Michael McDonagh reteams with his The Guard star Brendan Gleeson in this story of a priest who is confronted by the evils of his community. Chris O'Dowd and Kelly Reilly (Sherlock Holmes) round out the cast of the dark drama. "Gleeson’s performance as a man of profound integrity suffering for the sins of others is the linchpin of this immensely powerful drama, enriched by spiky black comedy," writes Rooney in his review.

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero

This third film in the horror franchise is a prequel to 2002's Cabin Fever and stars Sean Astin, Currie Graham (Pompeii) and Ryan Donowho (The O.C.). Director Kaare Andrews' film about a group of pals marooned on a virus-infected island offers "generic B-level horror marked by numerous dull patches," according to THR film critic Frank Scheck. Read his full review here.

The Almost Man

This Norwegian comedy — directed by Martin Lund and starring Henrik Rafaelsen, Janne Heltberg Haarseth and Tov Sletta — tells the story of a 35-year-old man who refuses to grow up. "While the film may be too slight to have lasting impact, it keeps us entertained," opines Farber in his review.

The Strange Little Cat (Das Merkwurdige Katzchen)

A pair of siblings have dinner with their extended family in this German film, starring Jenny Schily, Mia Kasalo, Anjorka Strechel and Luk Pfaff. First-time director Ramon Zurcher's farcical film "is minimalist filmmaking par excellence," delivering "so many witty touches and sharp little observations," according to Dalton's review.

Twitter: @_RyanGajewski