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Do you remember how disappointing last summer was? It seemed as though every film either failed at the box office or was devoured, then spit back out by critics. Despite what seemed to be an impressive film slate with adventure flicks like TarzanJason Bourne, and Suicide Squad, the summer of 2016 didn’t quite deliver. Luckily, the past couple of months have been loaded with both, critically acclaimed and financially successful movies. From features like Baby Driver and War for the Planet of the Apes to Atomic Blonde and other films that make this week’s list, summer 2017 has been a non-stop joyride.


Synopsis: Sensual and savage, Lorraine Broughton is the most elite spy in MI6, an agent who’s willing to use all of her lethal skills to stay alive during an impossible mission. With the Berlin Wall about to fall, she travels into the heart of the city to retrieve a priceless dossier and take down a ruthless espionage ring. Once there, she teams up with an embedded station chief to navigate her way through the deadliest game of spies.

Dominating this week’s MoviePass Top 5 is the femme fatale flick, Atomic Blonde. Accounting for an impressive 33.83% of member check-ins, the feature has been highly anticipated since its SXSW premiere in March. John Wick fans can rejoice, since David Leitch not only directed the Keanu Reeves revenge thriller, but also helms this assassin action feature. Domestically, the movie debuted at #4, earning $18.55 million on a $30 million production budget. Overseas, the film has grossed an additional $5.94 million, bringing its worldwide total to approximately $24.5 million.

Critically, Atomic Blonde holds a solid 76% score on Rotten Tomatoes. In a favorable review, New York Observer’s Thelma Adams writes, “Theron rivets the audience’s attention in nearly every frame of David Leitch’s film.” Let’s be honest: Charlize Theron as a kickass assassination is pretty much the selling point for this film, though lush cinematography and an awesome soundtrack certainly up the ante. Much like its predecessor, John Wick, we’re quite certain that this Atomic Blonde will return.


Synopsis: In May 1940, Germany advanced into France, trapping Allied troops on the beaches of Dunkirk. Under air and ground cover from British and French forces, troops were slowly and methodically evacuated from the beach using every serviceable naval and civilian vessel that could be found. At the end of this heroic mission, 330,000 French, British, Belgian and Dutch soldiers were safely evacuated.

At #2 on this week’s list is the Christopher Nolan historical pic, Dunkirk. With 8.86% of weekend check-ins, the film suffered a hard blow from the release of Atomic Blonde, falling from last week’s #1 spot. The domestic box office, however, tells a different story. Earning $28.13 million in its second weekend, the film continues its reign, trumping Atomic Blonde. To date, Dunkirk has grossed $234.14 million worldwide on a $100 million budget.

As discussed last week, the film has received glowing critical reviews with a 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Commending Nolan’s craft, Alison Willmore of BuzzFeed News writes, “Dunkirk turns out to be one of the best things Nolan has ever done, a cerebral act of shock and awe that plays into all of his strengths as a filmmaker.” That’s definitely a bold statement when considering his existing portfolio which includes The Dark Knight Trilogy, Inception and the cult favorite, Memento. However, if there is one thing we know about Nolan, it’s that he has a remarkable ability to exceed incredibly high expectations.


Synopsis: Best friends Ryan, Sasha, Lisa and Dina are in for the adventure of a lifetime when they travel to New Orleans for the annual Essence Festival. Along the way, they rekindle their sisterhood and rediscover their wild side by doing enough dancing, drinking, brawling and romancing to make the Big Easy blush.

Holding down the #3 spot is the highly acclaimed comedy, Girls Trip, which claims 7.22% of this weekend’s check-ins. During its second weekend in theaters, the film earned $20.09 million domestically, bringing its worldwide total to $67.52 million on a $19 million budget! For those who missed last week’s list, the film’s performance represents the strongest opening weekend for a comedy in the last 2 years. In fact, with a second weekend decrease of 36% from its $31 million opening weekend, the film still holds strong at the box office, making it the first breakout comedy of the year and catapulting star,  Tiffany Haddish into the spotlight.

Critics everywhere are raving about Girls Trip. With an 87% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Richard Roeper of the Chicago Sun Times writes, “when the jokes work the laughs come in ripples, and even the hit-and-miss routines are infused with energy and a cheerfully free-spirited political incorrectness.” The success is great news for director Malcom D. Lee (cousin to Spike), who recently landed a first-look deal with Universal Pictures, with the Kevin Hart comedy, Night School, next up on Lee’s slate.


Synopsis: Hidden inside a smartphone, the bustling city of Textopolis is home to all emojis. Each emoji has only one facial expression, except for Gene, an exuberant emoji with multiple expressions. Determined to become “normal” like the other emojis, Gene enlists the help of his best friend Hi-5 and a notorious code breaker called Jailbreak. During their travels through the other apps, the three emojis discover a great danger that could threaten their phone’s very existence.

At #4 on this week’s list is The Emoji Movie which holds 6.88% of member check-ins. Despite overwhelmingly negative reviews, the film debuted at #2 domestically, earning $25.65 million on a $50 million budget. Critically, the film holds a 7% score on Rotten Tomatoes. With an aesthetic and plot that seem similar to the smash hit, Inside Out, it’s interesting to witness the film’s lackluster performance. Giving it an “F,” Darren Franich of Entertainment Weekly writes, “To list the number of things ripped off by The Emoji Movie would take all day.” A lack of originality seems to be a culprit here. In an era filled with sequels and reboots, viewers and critics yearn for original content and unfortunately, The Emoji Movie hasn’t quite landed with audience members.


Synopsis: In the 28th century, special operatives Valerian (Dane DeHaan) and Laureline work together to maintain order throughout the human territories. Under assignment from the minister of defense, the duo embarks on a mission to Alpha, an ever-expanding metropolis where diverse species gather to share knowledge and culture. When a dark force threatens the peaceful city, Valerian and Laureline must race against time to identify the menace that also jeopardizes the future of the universe.

Closing out the MoviePass Member Top 5 is the sci-fi fantasy flick, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. With 5.32% of member check-ins, the film has fallen 3 spots since its debut at #2, last week. Domestically, the feature, holds the #8 spot (down from last week’s #5), with a box office gross of $6.8 million. To date, the film has grossed $30.63 million on a $177.2 million budget. The financial failure of the film may be attributed to negative critical reviews. Despite having director Luc Besson (The Fifth ElementThe Professional) at the helm, the film only has a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Though several critics commend the film for its grandiose aesthetic, its plot has drawn some heavy criticism. A.O. Scott of The New York Times writes, ““Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets” feels as if it were made up on the spot, by someone so delighted by the gaudy genre packaging at his disposal that he lost track of what was supposed to be inside.” Unlike, The Emoji Movie, the film’s critics seems evenly split. We’ll argue that there is something quite wonderful to find in this sci-fi epic.


Is it August already? Though it feels like the summer may be winding down, this hot and hazy month does bring us quite a few highly anticipated features. Since we’ve been waiting years for it, we’ll start the weekend off with Stephen King’s epic, The Dark Tower. We’ll follow-up that up with Kathryn Bigelow’s stirring, yet culturally relevant, Detroit, which is already generating Oscar buzz. Finally, we’ll finish out the weekend with the Halle Berry thriller, Kidnap, but let’s not forget the acclaimed films, Wind River and Columbus, which open in limited release.


Synopsis: Roland Deschain (Idris Elba), the last Gunslinger, is locked in an eternal battle with Walter O’Dim (Matthew McConaughey), also known as the Man in Black. The Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from toppling the Dark Tower, the key that holds the universe together. With the fate of worlds at stake, two men collide in the ultimate battle between good and evil.


Synopsis: In the summer of 1967, rioting and civil unrest starts to tear apart the city of Detroit. Two days later, a report of gunshots prompts the Detroit Police Department, the Michigan State Police and the Michigan Army National Guard to search and seize an annex of the nearby Algiers Motel. Several policemen start to flout procedure by forcefully and viciously interrogating guests to get a confession. By the end of the night, three unarmed men are gunned down while several others are brutally beaten.


Synopsis: A typical afternoon in the park turns into a nightmare for single mother Karla Dyson when kidnappers snatch her young son Frankie. With no cellphone and no time to wait for police, Dyson jumps into her car to follow the vehicle that holds Frankie. As the pursuit turns into a frantic, high-speed chase, Karla must risk everything and push herself to the limit to save her beloved child. 


Synopsis: An FBI agent teams up with a veteran game tracker to investigate a murder that occurred on a Native American reservation.


Synopsis: When a renowned architecture scholar suddenly becomes ill, his estranged son finds himself stranded in Columbus, Ind. He soon strikes up a friendship with a young architecture enthusiast who has her own conflicted emotions.

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