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/
The Boss: Business leader (Melissa McCarthy) is not greeted with open arms after a stint in prison.
Dead Man Walking: Nun becomes spiritual adviser to a man set to be executed. Susan Sarandon and Sean Penn star. Screening 2 p.m. Sunday, April 10, at the Tower Theatre.
Demolition: Man (Jake Gyllenhaal) tries to deal with life after the death of his wife.
Hardcore Harry: Action story as seen through the point of view of the hero.
Midnight Special: Father discovers his son has special powers.
Mountains May Depart: A look at the life of an easygoing drifter seen in 1999, 2014 and 2025. This month’s Fresno Filmworks presentation.
The 5th Wave: Young girl fights back from an alien invasion. Not reviewed.
10 Cloverfield Lane: Group goes underground to escape a major disaster. John Goodman stars. Not reviewed.
Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip: A misunderstanding leaves the Chipmunks worried about their future. Not reviewed.
Ambarsariya: Insurance agent tries to renew his community’s faith. Not reviewed.
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. Rated PG-13 (language, violence). 151 minutes.
Daddy’s Home (☆1/2): Stepfather (Will Ferrell) battles with biological father (Mark Wahlberg) for the attention of two children. Will Ferrell again resorts to his over-the-top style. But there is no counterbalance from Wahlberg, who looks bored with the project. The result is a film that has a good heart but no strong humor. Rated PG (thematic elements). 96 minutes.
Deadpool (☆☆☆): Superhero with an attitude starring Ryan Reynolds. Deadpool is a foul-mouthed jerk who would rather put a bullet in a bad guy’s head than to take him off to jail. He loves to talk about sex, violence, sex, sex, sex and more sex. And, just like he does in the comics, Deadpool has no problem breaking the fourth wall. Rated R (violence, sexual content, language, drug use). 117 minutes.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant (☆☆): Tris and Four face a new world, far more dangerous than ever before. Even the big finale comes across as the best of a long list of bad ideas. All of this is a product of the decision to extend this franchise into a fourth film. That can work if the material is strong enough, such as in the “Harry Potter” series. But “Allegiant” suffers the same problems as the expanded “Twilight” and “Hunger Games” movies: Stretching thin material only exposes the flaws. Rated PG-13 (violence, partial nudity). 139 minutes.
Eye in the Sky (☆☆☆): Military officer in command of drone operation must stop a suicide mission. Helen Mirren stars. The film is disturbing, but it’s also balanced. Rated R (violent images, language). 102 minutes. (Molly Eichel, Philadelphia Inquirer)
God’s Not Dead 2: Teacher (Melissa Joan Hart) faces court battle after answering a question about Jesus in class. Not reviewed.
Gods of Egypt (1/2): “Gods of Egypt” looks at the battle between Set (Gerard Butler) and Horus (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to be the king of Egypt. Their battle is staged with such clunky special effects, hackneyed dialogue and amateurish acting that instead of being a battle royal, it’s purely “Ra”-tten. Rated PG-13 (violence, language). 127 minutes.
The Hateful Eight (☆☆1/2): Strangers in a snow-covered remote location battle for survival. Directed by Quentin Tarantino. The film mutates from an exploration of racial animus into an orgy of elaborately justified misogyny. Rated R (violence, language, graphic nudity). 168 minutes. (A.O. Scott, New York Times)
Hello, My Name Is Doris (☆☆☆): An older woman (Sally Field) falls for a younger man. In less talented hands, “Hello, My Name Is Doris” could have ended up badly. But the combination of Field’s acting skills and her natural charm elevates this production to a sweet, quirky and endearing tale. Rated R (language). 95 minutes.
How To Be Single (☆☆☆): Four women deal with life in the dating world. Dakota Johnson stars. “How To Be Single” actually is a smart, fun and sweet movie. Despite an all-female starring cast, it delivers its comments about relationships in such a full and inclusive manner that men will be pulled into the intertwined stories. Rated R (sexual content, language).
I Saw the Light (☆☆): Tom Hiddleston, best known for his wicked portrayal of Loki in the “Thor” movies, takes on the singing duties as part of his performance as Hank Williams. He gets points for trying to mimic the singer’s unique style. But the movie is so weak on story that the musical performances cannot hide its flaws. Rated R (sexuality/brief nudity, language). 123 minutes.
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, rude humor). 95 minutes. (Jocelyn Noveck, AP)
London Has Fallen (☆☆☆ 1/2 ): Plot to kill world leaders leaves London in ruins. Gerard Butler stars. If there were a hall of fame for action movie heroes, Butler would make a strong case with “London Has Fallen.” He has the wicked wit of Bruce Willis, the grit of Arnold Schwarzenegger and the mumbled dialogue delivery of Sylvester Stallone. Rated R (violence, language). 100 minutes.
Meet the Blacks: Family leaves Chicago in search of better life. Mike Epps stars. Not reviewed.
Miracles From Heaven (☆☆☆): 10-year-old is cured of a chronic illness after surviving an accident. The approach for “Miracles From Heaven” leaves the movie less a sermon and more a deeply moving story about family and faith. This gives the production a potentially broader appeal that should get it more attention than just from the choir. 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. The film is an excruciating grind, just scene after scene of people creating disturbance over tiny matters. Rated PG-13. 94 minutes. (Nick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle)
Risen (☆☆ 1/2 ): Roman tribune (Joseph Fiennes) investigates events following the Crucifixion. “Risen” is more “The Last Temptation of Christ” than “The Greatest Story Ever Told.” It’s a film that comes wrapped in the theological teachings of the Bible but is really a procedural drama that looks to fill in the gaps left between the Crucifixion and the Ascension. Rated PG-13 (Biblical violence, disturbing images). 107 minutes.
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens (☆☆☆☆): Han Solo and Gen. Leia are pulled into a new battle between light and dark forces. The strengths George Lucas brought to his films were the examination of family, the importance of friendship, the fight between good and evil, and the necessity of finding your own place in the galaxy. Abrams took those elements and presented them through a structure that combined characters from the 1977 offering with an entertaining and engaging group of new players. Rated PG-13 (peril, action scenes). 136 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 monkeyshines. Rated PG (rude humor, scary images). 108 minutes.
NEXT WEEK’S OPENINGS
Barbershop: The Next Cut: Workers at the shop arrange a weekend ceasefire among local gangs. Cedric the Entertainer stars.
Criminal: Killer (Kevin Costner) gets the memories of a government agent.
The Jungle Book: Young boy survives in the jungle with a little help from his animal friends.