Is it urgent to see “Insurgent?” Is “The Gunman” on target? Is “Do You Believe?” credible? Popcorn Bag reviews!

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Lionsgate Films


The “Divergent” series, yet another young adult sci-fi drama set in a dystopian future, made its big screen debut last year. The second in the four-part movie series is “Insurgent.” If you haven’t seen the first one, seeing “Insurgent” isn’t urgent. Shailene Woodley is back in the continuing story of a teenaged girl who rebels against the formidable powers that be. While “Divergent” was reasonably entertaining, the sequel will be impossible to follow for anyone who hasn’t seen the original.

SHAWN says: More of the same. Seen the first one then you have seen this one. Just more action. While not bad. All is well produced but borderline mundane.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags


Open Road Films


Sean Penn wants to have it both ways. He wants to star in a Liam Neeson-style action hit, but would like us to view it as a socio-political drama about colonial-style corporate corruption. Penn produced “The Gunman,” a predictable film about a hit man who grows a conscience while plying his trade in Africa. While Penn is easily one of the best actors of his generation, he and a fine cast aren’t able bring credibility to this by-the-numbers thriller. There may be enough action to sate genre fans…but plot holes are exasperating.

SHAWN says: Slow and sophisticated to a fault. Well meaning but horribly unentertaining.

RUSS: 2 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: 2 Popcorn Bags


Freestyle Releasing


“Do You Believe” is the latest faith-based film from the folks at Christian film house, PureFlix. The name cast includes Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Lee Majors and Cybill Shepherd. It plays a bit like a squeaky-clean Robert Altman drama that includes a miracle in one of the plots threads. Well produced and sincere, “Do You Believe” may not make any converts, but it’s an entertaining example of preaching to the choir.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags

SHAWN: Did Not Screen


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