Is “Black Mass” masterful? “Maze Runner 2” puzzling? “Everest” hit the peak? Popcorn Bag movie reviews!

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The fall is the time of year when a lot of thrillers and horror films hit the theaters. Check out the FOX 4 film critics' reviews of Hollywood's latest flicks to see which ones they think are the best.



Warner Brothers


Behind the bad makeup and creepy contact lenses, Johnny Depp manages to convey a strong performance as brutal Boston gangster, Whitey Bulger, in the dark crime thriller, “Black Mass.” Thanks to a corrupt friend in the FBI, well-played by Joel Edgerton, Bulger eluded the grasp of law enforcement for years. In fact, once he finally fled, Bulger spent 16 years on the FBI's most-wanted list. The movie aims for “Godfather” and “Goodfellas” territory and covers the same story that was fictionalized in “The Departed.” But ”Black Mass” falls somewhat short of all of those gangster classics due to its episodic and fractured structure. Still, Depp is riveting in this flawed but engaging movie.

SHAWN SAYS: "Black Mass" comes across as Scorsese light. It's solid. Mostly elevated not only by Johnny Depp's performance but by a strong supporting cast.


RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags



20th Century Fox


“Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” is the second in the film series about teens running from zombies and treacherous government forces in the dystopian future. The movie has some genuinely exciting and well-staged action scenes, but it’s overlong, anti-climatic and suffers from a convoluted storyline. “The Maze Runner: Scorch Trials” little more than a setup for chapter three.

SHAWN SAYS: Better and more energetic than the original. It’s the rare sequel that outperforms the first.


RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags


3) EVEREST (PG-13)


RUSS: It's got a great cast that includes Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, Kiera Knightly and Robin Wright, but the real star of "Everest" is the breathtaking cinematography .It's a visually stunning 3-D cinematic experience based on a tragedy that took place on the mountain in 1996. The talented cast members do their best with the sketchy characters they’ve been given in this heartbreaking docudrama. And while the narrative of “Everest” is a bit mundane, its visuals hit the peak. If you have a fear of heights, stay far, far away.


RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags



-"Captive" (PG-13) is a drama based on the true story of a woman (Kate Mara) who is kidnapped by an escaped convict (David Oyelowo). She copes with the ordeal by reading to him from Rick Warren's "The Purpose Driven Life."

-"Grandma" (R) is a comic drama starring Lily Tomilin about a woman who seeks money to help her granddaughter pay for an abortion.

-"Cooties" (R)is a horror comedy starring Elijah Wood.

-"Some Kind of Hate" (Not rated) is a horror flick about a vengeful teen who returns from the grave.


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What’s our criteria for reviewing a film and awarding the popcorn bag ratings? Click here to find out.

Follow on Twitter: @fox4kc @RussSimmons1 @sedwardskc

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