KANSAS CITY, Mo. ---
1) 13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI (R)
It may be damning with faint praise, but “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi” may well be Michael Bay’s best film.
The director behind the “Transformers” franchise puts his command of destruction and pandemonium to good use in this true story based on the book by Mitchell Zukoff. It shows how a six-man team of security contractors defended a secret CIA outpost in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 from a terrorist attack.
They also attempted to save the American ambassador when the US diplomatic compound was overrun and set afire by a band of revolutionaries.
John Krasinski leads the cast as Jack Da Silva, one of the security team members who believed that his brief stay in Libya would be safe, boring affair. It doesn’t take long for him to realize his error.
The action is shown from the soldiers’ point of view and doesn’t make any political commentary. Those who were hoping that “13 Hours” might have some effect on the upcoming political season may well be disappointed.
“13 Hours” is opening on the same weekend dominated by “American Sniper” last year and its producers hope to strike the same patriotic chord. While it certainly doesn’t rise to that level, it’s a fitting tribute to the brave men who were put through hell.
Shawn calls it "Intense, riveting and flat-out amazing. Very surprised that director Michael Bay pulled off a compelling drama that's both moving and shocking."
RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags
2) NORM OF THE NORTH (PG)
“Norm of the North” is one of the weakest animated efforts of recent years. Rob Schneider provides the voice of Norm, a talking polar bear who travels to New York to try to stop an evil developer from building condos in the Arctic. The derivative “Norm of the North” will leave you cold.
RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: Did not screen
3) RIDE ALONG 2 (PG-13)
Shawn says, "Much of the same which ain't a bad thing. More action and silliness than the first. Kevin Hart and Ice Cube continue to demonstrate that their chemistry is genuine.
RUSS: Did not screen
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags
Also opening this week:
- “Lamb” is an unrated psychological drama based on Bonnie Nadzam’s 2011 novel about a man who meets and strikes up an uncomfortable friendship with a neglected little girl.
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