Ryan Reynolds voices a furry yellow Pokémon out to catch all the crooks in this weekend’s release of Pokémon Detective Pikachu. Meanwhile, Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson are dirty, rotten scoundrels out for trouble of their own in The Hustle and Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, and Jacki Weaver get in formation for cheerleading comedy Poms. For something more serious, Nicholas Hoult stars as J.R.R. Tolkien in director Dome Karukoski’s eponymous film about the influential writer’s formative years. Which films get the critics’ best picks?
Find a kid-friendly plot written and directed by someone with a proven track record in this arena (Rob Letterman of Captain Underpants and Monsters vs. Aliens fame) and add an actor like Ryan Reynolds, who doesn’t take himself too seriously, and you’ve got a recipe for an ideal Mother’s Day weekend family outing. The plot revolves around a young Tim Goodman (Justice Smith) who is on the hunt to find his missing detective father. Luckily, dad’s wise-cracking former Pokemon partner is there to help him on the hunt. It’s not the deepest film opening this weekend, according to the critics, but it’s a solid pick if you want to take your mind off the outside world for 104 minutes, plus previews.
Was Anjelica Huston onto something? The formidable actresses recently scoffed to Vulture that she would never appear in what she describes as an “old-lady cheerleader movie” – a dig many decided was directed at Poms. Directed by The Battle of the Sexes documentarian Zara Hayes, the movie stars Diane Keaton, Pam Grier, Rhea Perlman, and Jacki Weaver as ladies of a certain age who still have spirit (yes they do) and decide to break out the pom-poms and sneakers to start their own cheerleading team (13 Reasons Why actress Alisha Boe plays their coach). While this movie will certainly satisfy a certain subgroup of moms looking for a night out, the general critical consensus is to stay home and watch Wine Country on Netflix.
The Hustle is the latest gender-swapped Hollywood remake, following Ghostbusters and Overboard – and it’s not fairing as well as either with the critics. Here, writer Jac Schaeffer and director Chris Addison have attempted to update Dirty, Rotten Scoundrels with Anne Hathaway and Rebel Wilson as the swindling con-artists who take unsuspecting wealthy paramours for everything they’re worth. But the film may end up being a Murphy game for anyone hoping the price of admission will result in hysterical and zany hijinks that still have the wit of the original. On the plus side, The Hustle’s costumes and scenery make the grade.
Also Opening This Week In Limited Release