Bad Neighbors 2
(USA) If you saw the first “Bad Neighbors” and thought to yourself, “Man, that was phenomenal, but I really want to see that again with sorority sisters!” then congratulations: Christmas has come early this year for you, weirdo. The one star is for Zac Efron’s unbelievably hot body.
Book of Love
(China) In the second installment of the phenomenally successful “Beijing Meets Seattle” franchise, the two leads Tang Wei and Wu Xiubo reprise their roles as star-crossed lovers—but this time they live in Los Angeles and Macau, respectively. Will they or won’t they get together in the end? They probably will, but certainly not without some high-flying skyline porn.
Captain America: Civil War
(USA) The gang’s back together, and by “together,” we mean, separated into two factions and in debate about whether a rag-tag group of ass-kicking, superhuman misfits with megawatt smiles should have more government intervention or less. A well-developed narrative and explosive inter-Avengers fight sequences make this an elevated, exciting comic book movie.
Chongqing Hot Pot
(China) What begins as a bank heist by four amateur robbers turns into a labyrinthine tour through subterranean Chongqing, a trip down memory lane, a damsel in career-distress, and a showdown with the real pros. Full of twists and turns, with moments of intimate romance and mind-numbing violence, Chongqing Hot Pot serves it up just right. Hardcore Henry
(Russia/USA) Video gamers won’t know what to do with their hands when they sit down to watch “Hardcore Henry,” a first-person-shooter movie filmed almost entirely on a GoPro worn like a mask on Henry—a newly resurrected cyber-soldier with no memory of his past life. A cool idea, but it’s more like watching someone play “Call of Duty” than a good movie.
(South Korea) Two South Korean mountaineers (played by Jung Woo and Kim In-kwon) are lifelong trekkers who must scale Everest to retrieve the body of a stranded teammate under ever more forbidding circumstances.
(Japan) Keeping with Japan’s tradition of slow-burning, bone-rattling horror films, “The Inerasable” follows a novelist as she investigates the case of a student who hears strange noises coming from an empty room in an otherwise perfectly ordinary house.
The Kid from the Big Apple
(Malaysia/Hong Kong/Singapore) A lot of people will recognize this story of an assimilated, second-generation Asian kid who goes back to the old country and deepens her cultural awareness of her roots. Stars legendary Shaw Brothers veteran Ti Lung as a conservative grandfather and Malaysian newcomer Tan Qin Lin as Sarah, the kid in question.
(Ireland/UK/Greece) In a city in the ambiguous future, single people are given 45 days to find a partner or they’re forced to turn into animals and are released into the wild. It is in this chaos that newly arrived David (Colin Farrell) has to get over his former love and start anew. Also stars Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly.
Microbe & Gasoline
(France) In this French-language film from Michel Gondry (“Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Green Hornet”) two awkward teen boys in Versailles decide that the solution to all their teenage hardships is to build a car out of a lawnmower engine and a few planks, and hit the road. Stars the always lovable Audrey Tautou.
(USA) Economic disparity is the theme of this Jodie Foster-directed suspense film. A financial TV presenter (George Clooney) is taken hostage by blue-collar viewer (Jack O’Connell, “Unbroken”) who lost all his money on a bad tip. Features Julia Roberts and a soundtrack by Bruce Springsteen.
The Propaganda Game
(Spain) With the guidance of Alejandro Cao de Benós, the only foreign employee of the North Korean government, director Álvaro Longoria delivers a unique and surprising documentary all about how information is manipulated—both inside and outside North Korea. Depicting the DPRK with a rarely seen playfulness thanks to interviews with unreliable narrators, Longoria leaves us with a distinct feeling of unease.
(Canada/Germany/USA) Jesse Owens was an African-American runner from Alabama who set three world records in one meet and went on to win four gold medals in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin—during the rise of Nazi Germany. This biopic’s absurdly unearned optimism makes it an awkward and dissatisfying watch.
What a Wonderful Family!
(Japan) Twenty years after making his last comedy film, Yamada Yoji returns after the success of the “Tora-san” series about a romantically inept traveling merchant. In this movie, an aging couple surprises their three grown children with news of their divorce.
(USA) See review, opposite.