New movies in theaters this week feature a colorful cast of goblins, elves and fairies in “Strange Magic”; Johnny Depp as a debonair art dealer in “Mortdecai”; and Jennifer Lopez in a scary situation with “The Boy Next Door.”
Here’s a sneak peek at what’s opening in wide release this week:
PG for some action and scary images | In Theaters 1/23 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.
Inspired by Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” this madcap musical fairy tale features popular songs from the past six decades to help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion.
Gorgeous visuals from Lucasfilm and Industrial Light & Magic (which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Oscar-winning film “Rango”) bring to life the colorful forest.
Featuring a story by George Lucas and directed by Gary Rydstrom, this movie stars Alfred Molina, Kristin Chenoweth, Maya Rudolph, Peter Stormare, Evan Rachel Wood, Elijah Kelley and Alan Cumming.
R for some language and sexual material | In Theaters 1/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.
Juggling angry Russians, the British MI5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai (Johnny Depp) must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
“Mortdecai” is an adaptation of “The Great Mortdecai Moustache Mystery” by Kyril Bonfiglioli. Directed by David Koepp, this action comedy also stars Gwyneth Paltrow, Ewan McGregor, Olivia Munn and Paul Bettany.
THE BOY NEXT DOOR
R for violence, sexual content/nudity and language | In Theaters 1/23 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels.
When a handsome, charming teenager named Noah (Ryan Guzman) moves in next door, newly separated high school teacher Claire Peterson (Jennifer Lopez) encourages his friendship and engages in a bit of harmless — or so she thinks — flirtation.
Although Noah spends much of the time hanging out with Claire’s son, the teen’s attraction to her is palpable. One night, Claire gives in to temptation and lets Noah seduce her — but when she tries to end the relationship, he turns violent.
Directed by Rob Cohen, this thriller also stars Kristin Chenoweth, John Corbett and Ian Nelson.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender.
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Jane Boursaw is a well-known film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Images used are courtesy of respective film studios and distributors.