(M. P. — Michael Phillips; G. W. — Glenn Whipp; K. T. — Kenneth Turan; R. M. — Roger Moore; S. L. — Sheri Linden)
Annie (Kristen Wiig), an unemployed pastry chef, is a bit of a sad sack. When her best friend, Lillian (Maya Rudolph), recruits Annie to be her maid of honor, Annie’s ego gradually absorbs a series of blows inflicted by Lillian’s newfound best pal, Helen (Rose Byrne), who barges into the planning and execution of the wedding. This means war! This Judd Apatow produced comedy wages war all right, but with more than the usual R-rated rom-com subtlety. Some scenes work, some others go a tad too far, but Wiig’s savvy and subtle instincts serve her and the film well. R (strong sexuality and language). 2:00. 3 stars. — M.P.
As male power fantasies go, this fifth “Fast” franchise installment has an undeniable trashy charm. We join the original crew of road-racing bandits — Vin Diesel, Paul Walker and Jordana Brewster — robbing trains in Rio de Janeiro. With FBI agent Dwayne Johnson on their tail, they plan a $100 million caper that will allow their team to escape the heat. With crisp stunts that defy the laws of physics and a gritty atmosphere, this film is never dull. The extravagantly budgeted action scenes are so thrilling that you can forfeit its shortcomings. PG-13 (intense violence and action, sexual content and language). 2:10. 3 stars. — M.P.
Jumping the Broom
Manhattan corporate attorney Sabrina Watson (Paula Patton) comes from money and from parents (played by Angela Bassett and Brian Stokes Mitchell) on the brink of divorce. Sabrina’s broker fiance (Laz Alonso) is the overprotected son of a postal clerk (Loretta Devine) struggling with anger management. The high-hats meet the low-downs for the first time at the extravagant Martha’s Vineyard wedding. Devine’s character brings the ancestral marriage broom for the newlyweds to mark their new life. Class tensions ensue. This film may be too low-key to succeed, but I hope I’m wrong. PG-13 (some sexual content). 1:48. 3 stars. — M.P.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Despite the subtitle, what’s strange about the diversions on offer here? Director Rob Marshall’s effort does remind us that Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) really had a good time in the first installments of this franchise. The fountain of youth serves as the booty here, and its eternal riches are being pursued by Sparrow, Barbossa (Geoffrey Rush), a rogue Spanish pirate (Penelope Cruz) and Blackbeard (Ian McShane), among many others. Marshall doesn’t handle the action well, and Depp gets overexposed and underwritten. PG-13 (intense sequences of action violence, sensuality and innuendo). 2:19. 1 1/2 stars. — M.P
The opening of this franchise “reboot” promises a gory delirium the film cannot sustain. Teenage girls at home by themselves on a dark night watch horror movies and get a phone call from the killer right outside. The film is jampacked with stabbings, but the gore doesn’t impart that salacious “Saw”/”Hostel” feeling. Neve Campbell returns as Sidney, a best-selling author returned home on the anniversary of the original Woodsboro killings. More killings ensue. All in all, it’s a moderately entertaining exercise in running in circles and chasing one’s tail. R (strong violence, language and teen drinking). 1:43. 2 1/2 stars. — M.P.
This based-on-a-true-story film begins with surfer girl Bethany Hamilton (AnnaSophia Robb) sketching out the details of her life in a voice-over. She lives in Hawaii, has a loving family and wants nothing more than to be a pro surfer. But the Hamiltons’ lives are shaken when a 14-foot tiger shark bites off Bethany’s arm during a morning surf. She loses 60 percent of her blood but survives. Helen Hunt and Dennis Quaid turn in moving performances as the parents. The movie owns its PG rating, not to mention its Christian themes, proudly. PG (intense accident sequence and some thematic material). 1:46. 2 1/2 stars. — G.W.
Call it strangeness on a train. This gimmicky thriller takes place mostly on a train speeding toward the Chicago Loop carrying a terrorist’s bomb. Jake Gyllenhaal plays war veteran Colter Stevens who must relive the 8 minutes before detonation repeatedly as part of some topsecret government experiment. Stevens and his team have only hours to solve the inevitable train bombing and save the day (as well as the life of Stevens’ newfound love, Christina, played by Michelle Monaghan). While the movie is a contraption, no doubt, it still works. PG-13 (violence, disturbing images and language). 1:33. 3 stars. — M.P.
This Kenneth Branagh directed superhero flick is decently entertaining. On the planet Asgard, King Odin (Anthony Hopkins) must choose an heir to the throne, either Thor, a hot-tempered pinup played by Chris Hemsworth, and his undermining brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston). When his bloodthirsty actions get him banished, Thor is whooshed to New Mexico into the laps of research team members played by Natalie Portman, Stellan Skarsgard and Kat Dennings. He’s a space- Norse fish out of water, in need of a comeuppance before he can become a true hero. PG- 13 (sequences of intense sci-fi action and violence). 1:54. 3 stars. — M.P.