Susan Cooper (Melissa McCarthy) and her fellow CIA operative Rick Ford (Jason Statham) pose as a “happy” couple as they go deep undercover to stop an arms dealer.
Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox
Critical rating: 3 stars out of four
Directed by: Paul Feig (“The Heat,” “Bridesmaids”)
Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Jude Law and Rose Byrne
Rated: R for language throughout, violence, and some sexual content including brief graphic nudity
The story: “Spy” is centered on a CIA analyst (Melissa McCarthy) who is promoted from her long-time desk job to an undercover assignment where she must try to stop a nuclear weapon from falling into the wrong hands.
The scoop: Writer-director Paul Feig becomes one of the industry’s most reliable comedy directors with a film that’s set to become a mainstream hit. “Spy” isn’t the most original picture to hit theaters in 2015, but it is a consistently funny Hollywood concoction that entertains while poking good-natured fun at the espionage genre. Melissa McCarthy does most of the heavy lifting, but the excellent supporting cast – particularly Jason Statham in a rare comedic role – is likable as well.
Left to right, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo and Donatello fight the forces of evil in “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”
Photo courtesy of Paramount
A Woody Allen comedy, a star-studded film about family dysfunction and two science-fiction titles lead this week’s home video releases.
Zac Efron, left, Seth Rogen, middle, and Rose Byrne star in “Neighbors”
Photo courtesy of Universal Studios
This week’s major home video releases include an apocalyptic drama from the director of “Animal Kingdom” and a broad comedy featuring Seth Rogen and Zac Efron.
Danielle Bisutti gets creepy in the horror movie “Insidious: Chapter 2.”
Many movie studios decided to take a break for Christmas week, as only one major theatrical release is making it’s way to home video.
3 stars (out of four)
Rated: PG-13 for sexuality, some crude humor, partying and language
Story: Two middle-aged salesmen (Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson) lose their jobs and try to reinvent themselves with internships at Google.
Starring: Vince Vaughn, Owen Wilson, Rose Byrne, Aasif Mandvi and Max Minghella
Directed by: Shawn Levy
Bottom line: The film takes product placement to a new level; as it is essentially a recruiting ad for Google. Get past that and it’s also a consistently funny comedy that benefits from the same winning chemistry that Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson displayed in “Wedding Crashers.”
Left to right, Melissa McCarthy, Ellie Kemper, Rose Byrne, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Wiig star in “Bridesmaids.”
We’ve entered a slow period for home video because, for the second week in a row, only one major theatrical release is making its way to the small screen. The good news? That one release was a huge hit in theaters.
Saoirse Ronan plays the title character in director Joe Wright’s “Hanna.”
It’s an outstanding week for home video, as all three major releases rank among the best films of 2011.