2½ STARS OUT OF 4 1 hours 39 minutes
PLOT:A group of strangers meet for an escape room adventure, only to find that the stakes are life and death.
SCOOP:Like most modern horror films, the plotting is silly and predictable. Characters are slowly picked off, and their psyches unravel as they come to grips with the situation. Director Adam Robitel does a nice job with the pacing, making the movie a pleasant – if entirely derivative – distraction. This isn’t an inventive picture, nor is it one that you need to see, but there are certainly worse ways to pass a Friday night.
Taylor Russell – Zoey Davis
Logan Miller – Ben Miller
Jay Ellis – Jason Walker
Tyler Labine – Mike Nolan
Deborah Ann Woll – Amanda Harper
Nik Dodani – Danny Khan
DIRECTOR: Adam Robitel (“Insidious: The Last Key”)
3 STARS OUT OF 4 2 hours 9 minutes
PLOT:“Unbreakable” hero David Dunn (Bruce Willis) has adapted to life as a vigilante superhero, but he faces his greatest challenge in the form of a killer with multiple personalities (James McAvoy). Ultimately, hero and villain come face to face with another key character from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan’s superhero universe: Mr. Glass (Samuel L. Jackson).
SCOOP:For fans of “Unbreakable” and “Split” – the predecessors to this movie – “Glass” is a must-see. Although not as well-crafted as either of the earlier pictures, it completes the arc of the main characters. “Glass” also has a decent Shyamalan twist and offers a fascinating take on superhero lore. Just as those who loved the first two films will want to see “Glass,” those who didn’t like them can safely stay away.
Bruce Willis – David Dunn
James McAvoy – Multiple Personalities
Samuel L. Jackson – Elijah Price/Mr. Glass
Sarah Paulson – Ellie Staple
Anya Taylor-Joy – Casey Cooke
Spencer Treat Clark – Joseph Dunn
DIRECTOR:M. Knight Shyamalan (“The Sixth Sense,” “Signs,” “After Earth”)
A WALK IN THE WOODS
Robert Redford and Nick Nolte star in “A Walk in the Woods.”
Photo courtesy of epk.tv
Critical rating: 3 stars out of four
Directed by: Ken Kwapis (“Big Miracle,” “The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants”)
Starring: Robert Redford and Nick Nolte
Rated: R for language and some sexual references
The story: Screen adaptation of writer Bill Bryson’s bestselling, 1998 memoir, “A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail.” The film, like the book, focuses on Bryson’s attempt to walk the 2,200-mile trail with his friend Stephen Katz.
The scoop: A comedy for mature audiences that value strong acting and subtle humor over car crashes and a barrage of crass gags. “A Walk in the Woods” is consistently funny, but it’s also a reminder that older folks needn’t act as though their best days are behind them. The movie is a likable mix of comedy and drama made better by the wonderful performances of Nolte and Redford. Like a hiker on a long journey, director Ken Kwapis takes an easygoing pace, covering a lot of territory but taking time to breathe and enjoy the scenery.
From left, Patrick Gallagher, Robin Williams, Ben Stiller and Rami Malek star in “Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb.”Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
The latest entry in the “Night at the Museum” franchise is the only major theatrical release making its way to home video this week.
From left to right, Shia LaBeouf, Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman (rear), Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal star in the war drama “Fury”Photo courtesy of Sony
There is a strong slate of home video releases this week, and it is anchored by a movie that helped actor Robert Duvall earn his seventh Academy Award nomination.
Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck) becomes the chief suspect when his wife goes missing in the David Fincher thriller “Gone Girl.”
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
A pair of R-rated dramas anchor this week’s major home video releases.
From left to right, Zoe Saldana plays Gamora, Bradley Cooper plays Rocket, Chris Pratt plays Peter Quill, Vin Diesel plays Groot and Dave Bautista plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Forrest ranks the film among the best of 2014.
Photo courtesy of Disney
As we march into the new year and prepare ourselves for upcoming awards shows, it’s appropriate to reflect on the best movies of 2014. As usual, the year produced sure bets from well-known auteurs and a strong crop of art-house darlings, but we also had terrific pictures emerge from the much-derided cinematic mainstream. In fact, a number of blockbusters cracked my top 10. Following is the cream of the 2014 movie crop, complete with notes on how you can see them.