Let’s be honest, we’re in a bit of film a drought. Luckily, you’ve submitted your top picks for April via our Twitter/Facebook polls. So, we know that we’re all just waiting for The Fate of the Furious? However, what are we watching in the meantime? Let’s take a look.
#1: GOING IN STYLE
Synopsis: Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow when their pension funds become a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three men risk it all by embarking on a daring adventure to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.
At #1 on this week’s list is the comedy, Going in Style, which claims 17.19% of weekend check-ins. With a star-studded cast that includes Hollywood veterans, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, this remake of the original 1979 film of the same name, debuted at #4 at the domestic box office. In its opening weekend, the film grossed $12.5 million stateside, with a worldwide gross of $16.8 million.
So, how did the film fair critically? The film currently holds a score of 44% on Rotten Tomatoes, with an audience score of 65%. Of the positive reviews is one from L.A. Weekly’s Craig D. Lindsey who writes, “Inevitably, the new Style is hopeful, encouraging audiences young and old to believe that even in our nursing-home years we can accomplish remarkable feats.” On the other hand, Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine writes, “his new version of Going in Style sells uplift so hard it loses touch with reality.” So, is Going in Style hopeful or forcefully sentimental? Let us know what you think!
#2: GHOST IN THE SHELL
Synopsis: In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people’s minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.
Down one slot on our list is the live-action remake of the anime feature, Ghost in the Shell. Earning 9.93% of this weekend’s check-ins, continues to dominate its competition from last week. Domestically, the movie fell two rankings at the box office, where it now occupies the #5 slot. In its second weekend, the film has earned $7.35 million with a stateside total of $31.6 million and a worldwide gross of $124.4 million on a $110 million budget.
As discussed last week, the film hasn’t faired well among critics, with a 46% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Last week, we briefly discussed the whitewashing controversy surrounding the film. In fact, Jon Espino of The Young Folks writes that with this remake, we “get a muted, watered down and whitewashed version of the acclaimed anime that is both afraid of female sexuality and of showing the juxtaposition of the beautiful world and the gruesome violence in it.” On the other hand, Brian Viner of The Daily Mail writes, “Ghost In The Shell persuasively presents a world in which the line between humans and robots is increasingly blurred, which, apart from the beguiling Johansson, is where its appeal chiefly lies.” So, did the whitewashing affect your viewing of the film? Or, was it was it easy to get lost in the visual spectacle?
#3: THE BOSS BABY
Synopsis: A new baby’s arrival impacts a family, told from the point of view of a delightfully unreliable narrator — a wildly imaginative 7-year-old named Tim. The most unusual Boss Baby (Alec Baldwin) arrives at Tim’s home in a taxi, wearing a suit and carrying a briefcase. The instant sibling rivalry must soon be put aside when Tim discovers that Boss Baby is actually a spy on a secret mission, and only he can help thwart a dastardly plot that involves an epic battle between puppies and babies.
Holding the #3 spot on our list is the Alec Baldwin animated feature, The Boss Baby, which claims 6.79% of this weekend’s member check-ins. Domestically, the film has maintained its box office dominance, earning $26.3 million in its second weekend. To date, the movie has grossed $199.7 million worldwide, with the US accounting for $89.4 million of those earnings.
Despite, negative reviews, the film continues to prevail. With a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes–an increase to last week’s 48%. Among the negative reviews is one from The New York Posts’s Kyle Smith who writes, “the plot is so senseless it could have been written up by bleary, sleep-deprived parents. It’s all just a pretext for a pitiful one-joke movie.” On the other hand, Simran Hans of The Observer UK writes, “The jokes are decidedly one-note, but still, I admit: I laughed.” Hmmm. Are one-note jokes worth the swipe of your MoviePass card? Why not?
#4: SMURFS THE LOST VILLAGE
Synopsis: Best friends Smurfette (Demi Lovato), Brainy (Danny Pudi), Clumsy (Jack McBrayer) and Hefty (Joe Manganiello) use a special map that guides them through the Forbidden Forest, an enchanted wonderland that’s filled with magical creatures. Their adventure leads them on a course to discover the biggest secret in Smurf history as they race against time and the evil wizard Gargamel (Rainn Wilson) to find a mysterious village.
At #4 on our list is another family-friendly animated feature, Smurfs the Lost Village, which claims 5.09% of this weekend’s check-ins. In its debut weekend, the film has earned approximately $14 million stateside and $42.1 million overseas, for a total of $56.1 million worldwide on a $60 million.
Critically, the film has a score of 40% on Rotten Tomatoes, though filmgoers seemed to enjoy it with an audience score of 73%. Giving it a negative review, Joel Nolfi of Entertainment Weekly writes, “For how topical its inclinations are, it’s still wrapped in a ridiculous package hand-delivered by cyan humanoids.” On the other hand, Andrew Parker of The Globe and Mail writes, “It’s all in good fun, but it also wants to engage with children beyond hollow gags and pop songs, which are there, but kept to a tasteful minimum.” So, is it a “ridiculous package” or an engaging film? We’ll let you decide.
#5: THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
Synopsis: The time is 1939 and the place is Poland, homeland of Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski. The Warsaw Zoo flourishes under Jan’s stewardship and Antonina’s care. When their country is invaded by the Nazis, Jan and Antonina are forced to report to the Reich’s newly appointed chief zoologist, Lutz Heck. The Zabinskis covertly begin working with the Resistance and put into action plans to save the lives of hundreds from what has become the Warsaw Ghetto.
Rounding out our MoviePass Member Top 5 is the period drama, The Zookeeper’s Wife, which maintains its #5 ranking on our list. Domestically, the film holds the #11 slot at the box office, earning approximately $2.9 million in its debut weekend. To date, the film has made $8.2 million nationwide with $7.6 million of it earned stateside.
Critically, the film has been the subject of relatively mixed reviews with a 59% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, once again, filmgoers seemed to love the film with a audience score of 79%. In a relatively negative review, Kristen Lopez of The Young Folks writes, “The Zookeeper’s Wife is a decent, if unsatisfying, attempt to do something new with the Holocaust drama.” On the other hand. Rex Reed of New York Observer writes, “From the plight of the animals and near-detection close calls for the ‘guests’ in the cellar, to the zookeeper’s capture and the evacuation of the Warsaw Ghetto, director Niki Caro recreates the final years of the war on the European front with a convincing accuracy that is alarming and deeply touching.” Historically accurate drama or a subpar period piece? Let us know what you think.
IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
We all know what we want to see, Fate of the Furious! And when we’re done with high-speed action and car chases, we’ll opt for another adventure film: The Lost City of Z. And to round our our list, we’ll be sure to see Gifted with Chris Evans. Let us know what you’re watching this week!
FATE OF THE FURIOUS
Synopsis: Now that Dom (Vin Diesel) and Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) are on their honeymoon, Brian and Mia have retired from the game, and the rest of the crew has been exonerated, the globetrotting team has found a semblance of a normal life. But when a mysterious woman seduces Dom back into a world of crime that he can’t seem to escape, the crew will face trials that will test them as never before.
THE LOST CITY OF Z
Synopsis: At the dawn of the 20th century, British explorer Percy Fawcett journeys into the Amazon, where he discovers evidence of a previously unknown, advanced civilization that may have once inhabited the region. Despite being ridiculed by the scientific establishment, which views indigenous populations as savages, the determined Fawcett, supported by his devoted wife, son, and aide-de-camp, returns to his beloved jungle in an attempt to prove his case.
Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the 7-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.