The original “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” was not exactly great cinema, but it was sweet and safe. It was also a surprise box office hit. Hence, we have a sequel, which feels like as much of a shameless cash grab as “Grown Ups 2.” But these are really, really grown ups. My RogerEbert.com review.
Mae Whitman dazzles as the title character — which stands for Designated Ugly Fat Friend — a brilliant and quick-witted high school senior who takes that derogatory label and makes it her own. This breezy comedy is Whitman’s “Easy A”: the movie that will make the longtime supporting actress a star. At RogerEbert.com.
This second feature-length film based on the long-running “SpongeBob Squarepants” TV series is as zippy and zany as fans have come to expected. The animated, underwater sequences are a blast. It’s the back-and-forth to live action on dry land that’s the problem. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
Lily Collins and Sam Claflin are attractive and appealing as lifelong best friends who are clearly meant to be together, but the many contrived obstacles that keep them apart are more irritating than romantic. The lighting is pretty, though. My RogerEbert.com review.
“The Boy Next Door” is terrible, but it isn’t delightfully terrible enough. An R-rated erotic thriller starring Jennifer Lopez as a sexy high school English teacher being stalked by a hunk half her age should wallow in its over-the-top premise. And it does, eventually — but the insane climax of Rob Cohen’s film only makes you wish the rest of it were as much fun. My RogerEbert.com review.
Al Pacino dials it down and does some of his best work in a long time as a veteran actor struggling to regain his former glory. If that premise sounds a lot like “Birdman,” well, yes — that is an unfortunate coincidence. But Pacino’s performance is the strongest element in Barry Levinson’s frustratingly inconsistent film. My mixed RogerEbert.com review.
The buoyantly loopy chemistry between Kevin Hart and Josh Gad helps keep this mostly formulaic bromance afloat. Gad stars as a sweet but schlubby dude who’s about to get married; Hart plays his best man for hire. What could possibly go wrong? My RogerEbert.com review.
“Paddington” is smarter than the average bear. That’s right, I went there — but it’s true. It manages to pull off several different, tricky balancing acts while also serving as a stealthy allegory about immigration. Mostly, though, it’s just fun for the whole family. My review, at RogerEbert.com.