New movies this week feature Christian Bale in Terrence Malick’s “Knight of Cups,” some cute animals in the family film “Zootopia,” Tina Fey in “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot,” Gerard Butler in “London Has Fallen” and lots more. Let’s take a closer look at the new movies in theaters.
KNIGHT OF CUPS
Rated R for some nudity, sexuality and language | In Theaters 3/4 (limited) | Ok for Kids 18+ | Broad Green Pictures | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
This dreamy drama from director Terrence Malick follows a screenwriter named Rick (Christian Bale) who lives in present-day Santa Monica. But as a kid, his father used to read him a story about a young prince whose father, the King of the East, sent him into Egypt to find a pearl. But the prince drank a mysterious beverage and fell into a deep sleep, prompting the King to send out messengers to find his son. Intermingling the story with Rick’s current life, this film is about longing, reaching beyond the predictable, and figuring out how to find meaning in life.
Rated PG for some thematic elements, rude humor and action | In Theaters 3/4 (3D/2D) | Ok for Kids 6+ | Disney | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
This cute animated family movie takes place in the modern mammal metropolis of Zootopia. A city like no other, it includes neighborhoods like ritzy Sahara Square and frigid Tundratown. It’s a melting pot where animals from every environment live together. And it’s a place where no matter what you are, from the biggest elephant to the smallest shrew, you can be anything. But when optimistic Officer Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) arrives, she discovers that being the first bunny on a police force of big, tough animals isn’t so easy. Determined to prove herself, she jumps at the opportunity to crack a case, even if it means partnering with fast-talking, scam-artist fox Nick Wilde (Jason Bateman) to solve the mystery. Also features the voice talent of Idris Elba, Alan Tudyk, J.K. Simmons and Octavia Spencer.
LONDON HAS FALLEN
Rated R for strong violence and language throughout | In Theaters 3/4 | Gramercy Pictures | Reel Preview: 3 of 5 Reels
This sequel to 2013’s “Olympus Has Fallen” continues the high-octane thrills and suspense. After the British Prime Minister dies, his funeral becomes the target of a terrorist organization out to destroy the world’s most powerful leaders, devastate the British capital, and unleash a terrifying vision of the future. The only hope of stopping it rests on the shoulders of the President of the United States (Aaron Eckhart), his formidable Secret Service head (Gerard Butler), and an English MI-6 agent (Charlotte Riley) who (of course) trusts no one. Morgan Freeman also stars as the Vice President of the United States.
Rated R for strong violence and language | In Theaters 3/4 | STX Entertainment | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
From Jonás Cuarón and Alfonso Cuarón (“Gravity”), this action thriller stars Gael García Bernal (“The Motorcycle Diaries”) and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (“Watchmen”). What begins as a hopeful journey to seek a better life becomes a harrowing and primal fight for survival when a deranged, rifle-toting vigilante chases a group of unarmed people through the treacherous U.S.-Mexican border. In the harsh, unforgiving desert terrain, the odds are stacked firmly against them as they discover there’s nowhere to hide from the unrelenting killer.
WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT
Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content, drug use and violent war images | In Theaters 3/4 | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
This adaptation of Kim Barker’s wartime memoir, “The Taliban Shuffle,” stars Tina Fey and chronicles the journalist’s experiences covering conflicts in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The dark comedy follows Barker’s fish-out-of-water experience and the challenges of being a woman in wartime Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also stars Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Freeman, Josh Charles and Margot Robbie.
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR
Rated R for some bloody violence | In Theaters 3/4 | Ok for Kids 17+ | 20th Century Fox | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
Sarah Wayne Callies and Jeremy Sisto star in this thriller about a family living an idyllic existence abroad. Until, that is, a tragic accident takes the life of their young son. The inconsolable mother learns of an ancient ritual that will bring him back to say a final goodbye. She travels to an ancient temple, where a door serves as a mysterious portal between two worlds. But when she disobeys a sacred warning to never open that door, she upsets the balance between life and death.
Rated R for some language and disaster images | In Theaters 3/4 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Magnolia Pictures | Reel Preview: 4.5 of 5 Reels
Nobody does thrillers like the Scandinavians. This movie (with English subtitles) takes place in a beautiful tourist locale nestled in Norway’s Sunnmøre region, Geiranger. But the threat of a mountain collapsing into the fjord is real, and no one knows that more than geologist Kristian (Kristoffer Joner). The day he’s about to leave with his family for a new job with an oil company, the mountain begins to crumble, and every soul in Geiranger has ten minutes to get to high ground before a tsunami hits. Director Roar Uthaug keeps things hurtling forward in a state of high anxiety and eerie realism until the very end.
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.
Images in this feature used courtesy of the studios and distributors.