New movies in theaters this week include the beautiful family movie “Kubo and the Two Strings,” a reboot of the classic film “Ben-Hur,” Jonah Hill and Miles Teller in the crime comedy “War Dogs” and more. Let’s take a closer look at the new movies in theaters this week.
KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS
Rated PG for thematic elements, scary images, action and peril | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 7+ | Focus Features | Reel Preview: 5 of 5 Reels
Set in a fantastical Japan, this epic action-adventure is from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA and director Travis Knight. Kind-hearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of “Game of Thrones”) ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town, including Hosato (George Takei), Hashi (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa) and Kamekichi (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen – a magical musical instrument – Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Rooney Mara) to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family and fulfill his heroic destiny.
Rated PG-13 for violence, frenetic action, some sexuality, language, and drug material | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Open Road Films | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
After a heist goes terribly wrong, Casey Stein (Nicholas Hoult) finds himself on the run from a ruthless gang headed by mob boss Hagen (Anthony Hopkins). Now Casey has precious cargo that belongs to Hagen, who will stop at nothing to retrieve it. Left with no choice, Casey calls his former employer and drug smuggler Geran (Ben Kingsley) to protect his long-time girlfriend Juliette before Hagen gets his hands on her. Casey sets out on an adrenaline-fueled car chase on the German highways to save the love of his life before it’s too late. Directed by Eran Creevy, this movie also stars Felicity Jones.
PG-13 for sequences of violence and disturbing images | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 13+ | Paramount | Reel Preview: 3.5 of 5 Reels
This remake of the 1959 classic film is the epic story of Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston), a prince falsely accused of treason by his adopted brother Messala (Toby Kebbell), an officer in the Roman army. Stripped of his title, separated from his family and the woman he loves (Nazanin Boniadi), Judah is forced into slavery. After years at sea, Judah returns to his homeland to seek revenge, but instead finds redemption. Based on Lew Wallace’s timeless novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” this movie is directed by Timur Bekmambetov and also stars Morgan Freeman and Rodrigo Santoro.
THE SPACE BETWEEN US
Rated PG-13 for brief sensuality and language | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 13+ | STX Entertainment | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
In this interplanetary adventure, a space shuttle embarks on the first mission to colonize Mars, only to discover after takeoff that one of the astronauts is pregnant. Shortly after landing, she dies from complications while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet – never revealing who the father is. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot, an inquisitive, intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his life. While searching for clues about his father and the home planet he’s never known, Gardner begins an online friendship with a street smart girl in Colorado named Tulsa. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, he’s eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars, but scientists discover that Gardner’s organs can’t withstand Earth’s atmosphere. Directed by Peter Chelsom, this movie stars Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Carla Gugino, Britt Robertson and BD Wong.
Rated R for language throughout, drug use and some sexual references | In Theaters 8/19 | Ok for Kids 17+ | Warner Bros. | Reel Preview: 4 of 5 Reels
Based on a true story, this action comedy follows two friends in their early 20s (Jonah Hill and Miles Teller) living in Miami during the first Iraq War who exploit a little-known government initiative that allows small businesses to bid on U.S. Military contracts. Starting small, they begin raking in big money and are living the high life. But the pair gets in over their heads when they land a $300 million deal to arm the Afghan Military – a deal that puts them in business with some very shady people, not the least of which turns out to be the U.S. Government. Directed by Todd Phillips, this movie also stars Bradley Cooper and Ana de Armas.
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.