This week at the movies, Ben Kingsley’s consciousness gets transferred into Ryan Reynolds’ body. Of course, things go horribly wrong. Also, we learn where those adorable “Minions” got their start, and the 20th anniversary of a school play takes a deadly turn in “The Gallows.”
In limited release movies, Robin Williams takes an emotional journey in “Boulevard,” Nicole Kidman goes to “Strangerland,” it’s a Tinseltown Christmas in “Tangerine,” and Rosamund Pike and David Tennant reveal “What We Did On Our Holiday.” Let’s take a closer look at the wide releases.
PG-13 for sequences of violence, some sexuality and language | In Theaters 7/10 | Ok for Kids 14+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.
If you were dying from cancer, who would you want your consciousness transferred to? For Ben Kingsley, it’s Ryan Reynolds (and who can blame him?). This psychological sci-fi thriller stars Kingsley as a wealthy man who undergoes just such a radical medical procedure, but all does not go well when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Directed by Tarsem Singh and written by Alex Pastor and David Pastor, this movie also stars Victor Garber, Derek Luke and Michelle Dockery.
PG for action and rude humor | In Theaters 7/10 | Ok for Kids 6+ | Universal | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels.
Those adorable minions are back! At the dawn of time, they began as single- celled organisms and evolved through the ages, serving the most despicable of masters, from T. Rex to Napoleon. But the yellow creatures fall into a deep depression when they find themselves without someone to serve. So one Minion named Kevin — alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob — embark on a thrilling journey to find their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain.
From frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London (love the groovy 1960s soundtrack), they face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind from annihilation. Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin (the voice of Kevin, Bob and Stuart) direct this cute family movie, which also features the voices of Michael Keaton, Jon Hamm, Allison Janney, Steve Coogan and Laraine Newman.
R for some disturbing violent content and terror | In Theaters 7/10 | Ok for Kids 17+ | New Line, Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels.
Remember those carefree days of high school? Well, you won’t find them in “The Gallows,” a found-footage horror flick from the producers of “Paranormal Activity” and “Insidious” that some critics are calling the scariest movie they’ve ever seen. It’s been 20 years since a freak accident caused the death of the lead actor during a high school play at Beatrice High School. Now students at that same small town school resurrect the failed stage production in a misguided attempt to honor the anniversary of the tragedy. Ultimately, they find out that some things are better left alone. I mean, seriously. What were they thinking?
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 well-known film critic and editor-in-chief of Reel Life With Jane. Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.