Mike at the Movies

Mike at the Movies

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (PG-13) **** So the franchise is launched again with Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) being chased by birds, lightning, poison gas, monkeys and, most deadly of all, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) of the Fascistic paradise of…

Mike at the Movies

The Counselor (R) **** When you see the cast of this film and its credits, you know you’re in for an interesting time: Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Bruno Ganz and Rosie Perez, just to…

Mike at the Movies

“Prisoners” (R)**** Hugh Jackman and Jake Gyllenhaal play opposite types in this excellent thriller whose only real problems are the musical score and its length of 153 minutes. The score is often unnecessary and even irritating as it underlines the…

Mike at the Movies

“The Spectacular Now” (R) ***** As a critic, I have been hard on low-talent, high-glamour young actors who mistake posing for acting and care little for depth or development of character. What a joy, then, to find not one but…

Mike at the Movies

“The Way, Way Back” (PG-13) ***** This is a perfect movie in many ways, but certainly perfect for this season because it’s about summer — that summer when character emerges from cliché, when adulthood emerges from childhood and where grown-ups…

Mike at the Movies

“The Wolverine” (PG-13) **** This action film has everything: talons that emerge from knuckles; instant healing (for a while); Hugh Jackman shirtless and ripped; martial arts fights between humans, whatever Jackman is and even a transformer; and especially the screen…

Mike at the Movies

“Despicable Me 2” (PG) **** Watching this franchise without laughing is a wasted enterprise. There are just too many charming parts for it to escape causing laughter and smiles. Steve Carell as Gru and Kirsten Wiig as Lucy, the rookie…

Mike at the Movies

“The Heat” (R) **** Finally, a summer comedy that’s actually funny. Going in, with Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock, you know the chances are good for some laughs and, though it starts slowly, the pace quickens, the gags multiply and…

Mike at the Movies

“Mud” (PG-13) **** Everyone involved with this film played it straight: no gimmicks, no out-of-character surprises, no phony emotional rants or pulls at heartstrings for effect. Just good, old-fashioned honest drama with a core theme that still resonates: romance vs.…

Mike at the Movies

“Star Trek Into Darkness” (PG-13) ★★★★ Most viewers of this movie may recall that it is, like other recent Star Trek films, a prequel. Spock, Kirk, Sulu and Scotty are all much younger than when we first came to know…