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.
Ben-Hur: Jack Huston stars in the story of a prince who is falsely accused of treason and ends up a slave.
Hell or High Water: Two men rob Texas banks to pay their mortgage. Chris Pine stars.
Kubu and the Two Strings: A young boy must use magic to save himself and his village.
War Dogs Two young men find that war can be profitable. Jonah Hill stars.
Anthropoid: Two men go on a secret mission during World War II to kill one of Hitler’s top men. Not reviewed.
Bad Moms: Mothers decide to put themselves first. Mila Kunis stars. The problem with “Bad Moms” isn’t the concept, or the message about the struggle to raise good people in the world – it’s the execution. (Katie Walsh, TNS)
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.
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.
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).
Florence Foster Jenkins (☆☆): Meryl Streep stars in this true story of a woman with limited singing abilities who becomes a star. the film comes across as a vanity project. It looks like a production designed more to be a lure for Streep to be nominated for awards than it is intended to be a solid overall movie. Sadly, the movie fails to find the tempo that would make the story sing for audiences. The vulnerability, sentimentality and sweetness of the movie is like the singing voice of Florence Foster Jenkins. After a few minutes everything goes flat. Rated PG-13 (suggestive material). 110 minutes.
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.
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.
Indignation: Young Jewish boy must deal with life in a small Ohio town. Not reviewed
Jason Bourne: The CIA’s most dangerous weapon is pulled back into the line of fire. Matt Damon stars. After the misfire that was “The Bourne Legacy,” a misguided attempt to pass off the franchise to Jeremy Renner, Damon and director Paul Greengrass ably right the ship, delivering a Bourne film that looks and feels like the kind that we’ve always loved. (Katie Walsh, TNS)
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.
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.
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, lightbulbs 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.
Nerve (☆☆1/2): High school senior gets involved with an online game that features more and more dangerous truth-or-dares. Emma Roberts stars. The film wants to be an action film. It also wants to be a romance, indictment for the ills of society and a postcard from New York. In an effort to do so much, nothing really takes complete shape. Rated PG-13 (brief nudity, language, drinking). 96 minutes.
Nine Lives: Business man finds himself stuck inside the body of a cat. Kevin Spacey stars. Not reviewed.
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.
Mohenjo Daro: Greed is making a man destroy an ancient city. Not reviewed.
Pete’s Dragon (☆☆): A young boy who has been living alone in the woods is separated from his pet dragon. The biggest blunder is the design of Elliott. The creature didn’t have to look like he had just left the set of “Game of Thrones” – but making the dragon look like a huge cat does little to sell this story. the new “Pete’s Dragon” is left with a central character who looks more likely to cough up a furball than a ball of fire. It’s not a good look. Rated PG (action, peril, mild language). 90 minutes.
Rustom: Naval officer discovers he’s not living a perfect life. Not reviewed.
Sausage Party (☆☆☆): Wieners try to make their escape in this mature animated offering. the most adult animated film to come along since the 1972 release “Fritz the Cat.” Instead of a barrage of sexual and racial jokes told through a tale of a lecherous feline, this cursing cartoon caper examines what happens when foodstuffs learn what really happens when they leave the supermarket. It’s the struggle that proves food for thought (sorry). Rated R (language, sexual material). 89 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. Rated PG (rude humor, action). 95 minutes.
The Shallows (☆☆1/2): Surfer is stuck on a rock a short distance from shore but a shark is in the way. Blake Lively stars. The film is a splash of fresh seawater in the face of a rather dismal summer movie season. Rated PG-13 (bloody images, peril, language). 87 minutes. (Katie Walsh, Tribune)
Star Trek Beyond (☆☆☆1/2): The Enterprise faces a 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.
Suicide Squad (☆☆): A group of villains that include the Joker (Jared Leto) and Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie) go on a mission. “Suicide Squad,” the latest fumbled movie offering based on a DC Comics franchise, has only two things going for it. The most noteworthy is Robbie, who brings a wonderful crazy energy to her role. The character has been immensely popular since debuting in “Batman: The Animated Series” in 1992, and Robbie is flawless. Rated PG-13 (violence, sexual situations) 126 minutes.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows: The Turtles must once again save the world. Megan Fox stars. Not reviewed.
Opening next week
Don’t Breathe: Attempts to rob a blind man go horribly wrong.
Hands of Stone: A look at the career of Roberto Duran and his trainer, Ray Arcel.
Mechanic: Resurrection: Bishop must come out of retirement when his true love is taken.