The rating system: A, excellent; B, good; C, so-so; D, poor; F, terrible. Unless noted otherwise, reviews are by Bee critic Rick Bentley.
Age of Adaline: Woman (Blake Lively) who has stopped aging faces a new and old love.
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Little Boy: An 8-year-old boy will try anything to bring his father back home from the war.
Ex Machina: Young programmer part of artificial intelligence testing. Domhnall Gleeson stars.
The Water Diviner: A father (Russell Crowe) travels to the battlefields in Turkey to find the remains of his three sons lost in battle.
Chappie: A robot with artificial intelligence becomes a new life form. This film has not been reviewed. Rated R (violence, language, brief nudity). 120 minutes.
Child 44: Serial killer thriller set in 1953 Soviet Union. Tom Hardy stars. This film has not been reviewed.
Cinderella (A): A young woman gets help from her Fairy Godmother to attend a royal ball. Lily James stars. The new version is an enchanting take on the familiar story of a young beauty, friendly mice and a slightly wacky Fairy Godmother. Staying loyal to the 1950 Disney animated production makes this new version bibbidi-bobbidi-beautiful. This film finds its strength in its tales of love. Rated PG (thematic material). 112 minutes.
The Divergent Series: Insurgent (C-): Tris continues to search for allies while being hunted. Shailene Woodley stars. Director Robert Schwentke (replacing Neil Burger, who guided the first film) mounts a couple of big action scenes. Computer technology allows for visuals that are staggeringly amazing. There’s just nothing left when all the dust clears. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 119 minutes.
The DUFF (B): High school senior is crushed to learn she is the Designated Ugly Fat Friend. Mae Whitman stars. Rated PG-13 (crude and sexual material). 101 minutes. (David Lewis, San Francisco Chronicle)
Focus (B): High-stakes con man (Will Smith) breaks a major rule when he falls in love. It would have made for a tighter tale of sneaky larceny had the story been one long scam. In this case, two cons don’t equal one major flim flam. The good thing is that it’s not quite so noticeable because Smith and Margot Robbie bring so much to the film. Rated R (violence, language, sexual content). 105 minutes.
Furious 7 (B+): The fast-driving series starring Vin Diesel continues. The only fair way to judge the latest sequel in the fast-driving franchise is to look at the action scenes. The emotional moments are just speed bumps in the fast lane that is the “Fast and Furious” films. Using that guideline, “Furious 7” is the best one yet. Director James Wan (“Saw”) shows he can create more than just horror films by staging huge stunts that pull the viewer into the seat for the ride. He accomplishes this through clever filming, where the camera often tumbles and turns with the action. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 140 minutes.
Get Hard (F): Millionaire (Will Ferrell) looks for help in getting ready to serve time in prison. Kevin Hart co-stars. Rated R (language, graphic nudity, drug use). 100 minutes.
Home (D): Young girl and alien go on a quest to find her mother. Jim Parsons stars. The combination of a feeble script, unnecessary music montages, unlikable characters and so-so animation leave “Home” a close encounter of the dull kind. E.T. would use his call to phone the theater to get his money back. Even those who put the advertising together for this movie don’t have a clear idea of what is happening. Rated PG (mild thematic elements). 93 minutes.
Jupiter Ascending (F): Mila Kunis plays a woman who discovers she was born to save the cosmos. Andy and Lana Wachowski have written and directed a space opera that wanders between painfully boring and hopelessly confusing. None of it works. Even in space it’s easy to smell a stinker. Rated PG-13 (violence, partial nudity). 125 minutes.
Kingsman: The Secret Service (B-): A young man is recruited to be part of an elite spy force. Colin Firth stars. Matthew Vaughn, writer and director of “Kingsman: The Secret Service,” has created a spy thriller that falls somewhere between James Bond and Austin Powers. Rated R (violence, nudity, language) 100 minutes.
The Lazarus Effect (D+): Efforts to bring back the dead lead to an evil result. Mark Duplass stars. First-time feature director David Gelb tries to create lively scares out of the bringing-back-the-dead film genre. The best he gets are a few nervous twitches. Rated PG-13 (violence, sexual references). 83 minutes.
The Longest Ride (B-): Story of star-crossed lovers based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. “The Longest Ride” features one of the most emotionally connected couples since Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams starred in “The Notebook.” Scott Eastwood’s good ol’ boy Southern gentleman is sweetly charming. He’s perfectly matched with Britt Robertson, who has grown since the under-appreciated CW Network series “Life Unexpected.” Rated PG-13 (some thematic material, sports action, partial nudity). 128 minutes.
Monkey Kingdom (B): Nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother. An intriguing peek inside the social structure of macaque monkey society. Rated G. 81 minutes. (Roger Moore, Tribune)
McFarland, USA (B+): Coach (Kevin Costner) builds a winning cross country team of farmworkers. Rated PG (mild action). 129 minutes.
Paddington: Young bear makes his way to England to find a new home. It’s as sweet as orange marmalade. Rated PG (mild action, rude humor). 94 minutes. (Roger Moore, Tribune)
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2: Paul Blart (Kevin James) doesn’t stop his concerns about safety even while on vacation. This movie has not been reviewed.
The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water (B+): SpongeBob and the gang go on a quest to find a stolen formula. Rated PG (mild action). 100 minutes.
True Story (C): Jonah Hill and James Franco star in this film based on the story of a man arrested for murder who claims to be someone else. As the name suggests, “True Story” is based on a true story. Too bad it’s not an interesting story. Rated R (thematic material, language). 100 minutes.
Unfriended (B): A computer hacker threatens people online to find the truth about a suicide. Rated R (thematic material, violence, language). 82 minutes.
While We’re Young (B): Older couple make friends with younger couple. Ben Stiller stars. “While We’re Young” looks at the universal situation of growing old. We all deal with aging in a different way. Rated R (language). 94 minutes.
Woman in Gold (C): Jewish survivor (Helen Mirren) sues the Austrian government for the return of artwork stolen by the Nazis. A great story doesn’t always translate into a great movie. Rated PG-13 (thematic elements, language). 110 minutes. (Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times)
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
Avengers: Age of Ultron: The heroes re-unite to stop a creation with artificial intelligence out to destroy the world. Chris Evans, James Spader star.