The rating system: ☆☆☆☆, excellent; ☆☆☆, good; ☆☆, so-so; ☆, poor; zero stars, terrible. Unless noted otherwise, reviews are by Bee critic Rick Bentley. Check movie times: http://calendar.fresnobee.com/
Free State of Jones: Southern farmer leads rebellion against the Confederacy. Matthew McConaughey stars.
Independence Day Resurgence: Aliens take another shot at Earth.
The Neon Demon: Models become jealous of new young phenomenon. Elle Fanning stars.
Sardaarji 2: Punjabi family film starring Diljit Dosanjh.
The Shallows: Surfer is stuck on a rock a short distance from shore but a shark is in the way. Blake Lively stars.
Barbershop: The Next Cut (☆☆☆): Workers at the shop arrange a weekend cease-fire among local gangs. The script by Tracy Oliver and Kenya Barris is a strong balance of serious and funny that is accented by all of the comedians who love to improvise. It’s not a matter of the comedians trying to save the story, it’s just adding comedy accents along the way. Cedric the Entertainer continues to shine as the shop’s veteran employee, Eddie. Rated PG-13 (language, sexual situations). 112 minutes.
Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice (☆☆): Batman takes on Superman. Holy bloated muddled mess! The first 45 minutes of director Zack Snyder’s film is such a confusing menagerie of worn-out and worthless story points that only a well-staged battle and the appearance of a female savior keep this latest comic-book-inspired film from being the biggest failure in the genre. Ben Affleck, Henry Cavill and Gal Gadot star. Rated PG-13 (language, violence). 151 minutes.
The Boss ( 1/2 ): Business leader (Melissa McCarthy) is not greeted with open arms after a stint in prison. The film is about as funny as getting fired on your birthday. Not only is this movie devoid of any humor, it promotes both the forced labor and physical abuse of children. Try laughing at that. Rated R (language, sexual content, drug use). 99 minutes.
Captain America: Civil War (☆☆☆ 1/2 ): Superheroes are divided by new rulings from the United Nations. The challenge Marvel Studios faced was releasing another movie after the nearly flawless “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” and hero-packed “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” In the ever-expanding universe of comic book-inspired films, “Winter Soldier” had just the right amount of chaos and control to make it an unrelenting movie thrill ride. Anything following that would have to be bigger, louder and more exciting. Rated PG-13 (action, violence). 156 minutes.
Central Intelligence (☆☆☆1/2): Reuniting with an old friend pulls a man into the spy world. Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart star. The combination of the muscle and mirth Johnson brings to “Central Intelligence” with Hart’s controlled energy makes the spy film a sure summer hit. Rated PG-13 (crude humor, nudity, language). 114 minutes.
The Conjuring 2 (☆☆☆ 1/2 ): The Warrens go to London to help a single mother dealing with evil spirits. Vera Farmiga stars. Although he made his first mark with “Saw” – a film that launched one of the goriest franchises in film history – director James Wan demonstrated with the 2013 release “The Conjuring” that he didn’t need blood and guts to scare. In “The Conjuring,” he masterfully used things that go bump in the night to create hair-raising tension. He’s done it again with the sequel, “The Conjuring 2.” Rated R (scary images). 133 minutes.
The Darkness: Family brings home a supernatural force they picked up while on vacation. Kevin Bacon stars. Not reviewed.
Finding Dory (☆☆☆1/2): The blue fish who helped Nemo goes on a trek to find her parents. The long awaited follow-up to the 2003 release “Finding Nemo,” has all the fun and charm of the original movie. In some ways – especially dealing with themes of friends and family – the sequel trumps the original. Rated PG (mild thematic elements).
Keanu: Cousins impersonate ruthless killers to save a kidnapped cat. Not reviewed.
Kung Fu Panda 3 (☆☆☆): It is time for the student to become the teacher. Much of the appeal of the “Panda” films is the starry cast of voices. Rated PG (martial arts action, mild rude humor). 95 minutes. (Jocelyn Noveck, AP)
Me Before You (☆☆☆ 1/2 ) : A young woman (Emilia Clarke) falls for the paralyzed man she’s been hired to accompany. The emotional energy that Clarke (“Games of Thrones”) brings to “Me Before You,” coupled with Sam Claflin’s charm, makes this new movie a love story that’s easy to believe. Rated PG-13 (thematic elements, suggestive material).
Miracles From Heaven (☆☆☆): 10-year-old is cured of a chronic illness after surviving an accident. Rated PG (thematic material). 109 minutes.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 (☆): It’s wedding bells again in the sequel to the romantic comedy hit. Rated PG-13. 94 minutes. (Nick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)
Now You See Me 2 (☆☆☆): Notorious magicians are forced into one more spectacular stunt. The sequel is much stronger than the first film. It starts out with another magical concept, but instead of the story droning to a lackluster end, the big reveal is both fun and full of original twists. It does not have nearly as many problems as the first movie. Rated PG-13 (language, violence). 129 minutes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: The Turtles must once again save the world. Megan Fox stars. Not reviewed.
Udta Punjab: Four very different people are connected. Not reviewed.
Warcraft (No stars): Azeroth is on the brink of war in this film based on the popular video game. The film has achieved a lofty goal: There hasn’t been a movie as unrelentingly bad since “Jupiter Ascending” managed to surpass the bloated and pitiful “Battlefield Earth” as the worst big-budget science fiction film of all time. It’s game over for another attempt to turn a video game into a movie. Rated PG-13 (violence). 123 minutes.
X-Men: Apocalypse (☆☆ 1/2 ): X-Men must come together to battle the world’s first mutant, Apocalypse. It’s a bit of bad timing coming up third in this summer;s superhero lineup. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 147 minutes. (Sandy Cohen, Associated Press)
Zootopia (☆☆☆): Fox and rabbit must work together to uncover a kidnapping conspiracy. When the new animated movie focuses on the critters, it’s a funny trip through the animal kingdom. What slows the ark (oops, make that arc) of the film is a crime story that’s in need of a few more jokes. Rated PG (rude humor, scary images). 108 minutes.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
The BFG: A gentle giant and a spunky young girl join forces.
The Legend of Tarzan: The jungle king must return to his country on a rescue mission.
The Purge; Election Year: Politicians decided the annual day when nothing is illegal must stop.