KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- DC Comics launches its highly anticipated superhero franchise. A kids' bestseller comes to life. An indie coming-of-age flick makes waves. Don't miss Shawn and Russ as they break down this week's cinematic releases!
1) JUSTICE LEAGUE (PG-13)
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s “The Avengers!” Er, no, it’s “Justice League.” The DC cinematic universe plays catch up with Marvel by finally getting its superhero coalition to the big screen.
“Justice League” is flat-out terrible. Why? It just isn't any fun or exciting. I haven't seen this much joyless mess since well that “Batman vs Superman” movie.
While offering little that's original, "Justice League" is a reliably familiar franchise entry, a marked improvement from “Batman v Superman” and Ezra Miller adds a welcome spark as The Flash.
For true fans it's fun watching your favorite superheroes all in one movie. But why is everything so seriously serious? I loved “Wonder Woman” because it had a fresh vibe. Thor was silly fun. And “Spider-Man: Homecoming” had an amazing youthfulness. Justice League feels forced and plods along like an angry old man looking to kick kids off his yard. Thanks goodness for Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman. She saves the day and leaves you salivating for Wonder Woman 2. Not much justice in this league.
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags
2) WONDER (PG)
If you decide to see “Wonder,” the big screen adaptation of the bestselling children’s novel, be sure to take along the Kleenex. Young Jacob Tremblay is solid as a boy born with a serious facial deformity who experiences both taunting and enduring friendships.
There is a lot to like about "Wonder." It's a moving well told story with lots of heart and characters that you actual care for -- a lot. Sure the movie has a middle schooler vibe but it's universal themes connect so well you forget you are watching an over glorified after school special.
While the movie is emotionally manipulative, it’s so well made and acted that you probably won’t mind. It gently promotes its message of kindness and is a welcome relief from Hollywood cynicism.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
3) LADY BIRD (R)
As the writer/director of the outstanding comic drama, "Lady Bird," actress Greta Gerwig proves her greatest talent lies behind the camera. Saorise Ronan stars as a teen who faces adolescent angst in the early 2000s.
It may be the most perfect movie about the joys and pains of being a teen. Sharply original and brilliantly executed. There is a freshness that you just don't see that often.
The cast is terrific and the dialogue is sharp and realistic. “Lady Bird” is a funny, insightful and fresh take on the coming-of-age genre.
RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
ALSO OPENING THIS WEEK:
-"The Star" is an animated take on the Nativity story, told from the animals' perspective.
-“I Remember You” is an Icelandic supernatural thriller based on the novel, “Queen of Icelandic Crime.”
Click here to receive weekly emails full of FOX 4′s entertainment news!
What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.