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/
Never miss a local story.
Bad Moms: A group of mothers decides to put themselves first. Mila Kunis stars.
Cafe Society: A Bronx native finds love in Hollywood. Written and directed by Woody Allen.
Captain Fantastic: Family living off the grid travel across the country for a funeral.
Jason Bourne: The CIA’s most dangerous weapon is pulled back into the line of fire. Matt Damon stars.
Nerve: High school senior gets involved with an online game that features more and more dangerous truth-or-dares. Emma Roberts stars. Opened Wednesday, July 27.
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie (☆☆☆): Edina and Patsy look for a way to avoid a media storm. “Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie” takes the idiotic elements that made the TV series so fabulous and throws them on the big screen. Fans of the series will appreciate how well the story by Saunders hits all the high notes of the TV show. Rated R (language, sexual situations, drug use). 86 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 BFG (☆☆☆): A gentle giant and a spunky young girl join forces. “The BFG” brings together one of the most applauded writers of children’s books, Roald Dahl, with award-winning director Steven Spielberg. Dahl’s story looks at a spunky young girl, Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who lives in a British orphanage and prowls the halls at night acting as if she were in command. It stands tall on its own but comes up short when compared to other giants in the Spielberg catalog. Rated PG (rude humor, peril), 115 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.
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).
Ghostbusters (☆ 1/2): Team is formed to stop the host of ghosts in the city. There’s something strange in the neighborhood and it’s the way director-writer Paul Feig handled the reboot. Instead of taking the classic franchise and making it a unique product, he settles for a story that lacks originality. The only sparks of interest are the endless cameo appearances and references to the original film. Rated PG-13 (crude humor, action scenes). 105 minutes.
Highway 5: Four Canadian friends cross the border to purchase milk. Not reviewed.
Hillary’s America: The Secret Life of the Democratic Party: Documentary on the reasons behind Hillary Clinton’s political activities. Not reviewed.
Ice Age: Collision Course: Group must stop a meteor that could destroy the Earth. Not reviewed.
Independence Day Resurgence: Aliens take another shot at Earth. Not reviewed.
The Infiltrator (☆☆☆): An undercover agent gets close to the heart of the illegal drug business. Bryan Cranston stars. Director Brad Furman uses the script based on the book by Robert Mazur to create the story of an undercover agent who lives in a tense, dramatic world while still allowing him to maintain his humanity. He’s a good man living in an evil world. Rated R (violence, language, drug use). 127 minutes.
The Jungle Book (☆☆☆ 1/2): Young boy survives in the jungle with a little help from his animal friends. Director Jon Favreau, who showed with “Iron Man” his skill at handling movies with heavy special effects, uses a blend of the original writings with the whimsy of the Disney 1967 animated classic and the realism of the 1994 version starring Jason Scott Lee. It’s the way all of these bits and pieces are presented that makes this movie the new king of the jungle movies. Rated PG (scary images). 111 minutes.
Kabali: Aged gangster looks for ways to protect his family. Not reviewed.
Lights Out (☆☆☆1/2): An older sister tries to stop an entity that once haunted her from harming her brother. Sell all your stocks immediately and invest in companies that make candles, flashlights, light bulbs or anything else that creates illumination. There’s going to be a run on those items with the release of “Lights Out.” Director David F. Sandberg has teamed with writer Eric Heisserer to create a film that proves it is possible to generate long-lasting scares without resorting to gore. Rated R (violence, scary scenes). 81 minutes.
The Legend of Tarzan (☆☆☆): The jungle king must return to his country on a rescue mission. The latest look at the vine-swinging character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs takes a more civilized approach. Swedish hunk Alexander Skarsgård plays the title role with cinema’s current reigning beauty, Margot Robbie, as his spunky Jane. The pair are the best-looking couple to hang with the animals in a beautiful jungle setting since Adam and Eve. “The Legend of Tarzan” is not the king of jungle movies, but it is presented with such royal reverence that some people will go ape over it. Rated PG-13 (violence, action scenes). 109 minutes.
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).
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (No stars): A pair of hard-partying brothers use the internet to find dates. Zac Efron stars. You can tell from the title “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” that the film deals with two guys who don’t want to be alone at their sister’s nuptials. There’s a lot the name doesn’t tell you. Mike and Dave” need a story that doesn’t insult anyone over the age of 3. Rated R (language, graphic nudity, drug use). 98 minutes.
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising (☆ 1/2): Plans to sell a home are threatened when a sorority moves in next door. Rose Byrne stars. Andrew J. Cohen and Brendan O’Brien’s lazy script for the 2014 comedy “Neighbors” fell apart because there were plot holes big enough to sink a university. They appeared to have remedied that gaff with the sequel, “Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising,” only to return to their lazy tendencies, making the project flunk out. Rated R (drug use, language, graphic nudity). 92 minutes.
The Purge: Election Year (☆☆ 1/2): Politicians decided the annual day when nothing is illegal must stop. James DeMonaco, who wrote and directed all three “Purge” films, tries to mine some personal connections through Joe (Mykelti Williamson), the owner of a small deli. He’s a man with a checkered past but a big heart when it comes to his community. It has its moments. And the tension the director/writer has infused in the story is relentless. It’s just the unnecessary efforts to make the story bigger, coupled with a predictable plot, that leave it the least compelling of the “Purge” movies. Rated R (violence, language). 105 minutes.
The Secret Life of Pets (☆☆): The way your pet acts when you are away is very different than when you are home. “The Secret Life of Pets” comes from the same team that produced the sweet, funny and memorable “Despicable Me.” That film is almost impossible to follow, especially when there are no breakout characters like the Minions. Rateg PG (rude humor, action). 95 minutes.
Star Trek Beyond (☆☆☆1/2): The Enterprise faces new threat at the edges of the uncharted space. Thanks to director Justin Lin, “Star Trek Beyond” is the most fierce in the 50-year history of the franchise. Lin combines the kind of full-speed-ahead action that he brought to the “Fast & Furious” franchise with a story that harkens back to the days when Gene Roddenberry was creating the show. Rated PG-13 (violence, action scenes). 120 minutes.
Sultan: Wrestling champion wants to represent India at the Olympic Games. 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.
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
Nine Lives: Business man finds himself stuck inside the body of a cat. Kevin Spacey stars.
Suicide Squad: A group of villains that include the Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) go on a mission.