Movie Meter: Into the Storm Won’t Blow You Away, But It’s a Damn Fun Ride

Trailers and capsule reviews of the new films opening in Philly theaters this weekend.


Into the Storm: Okay, so it’s another cataclysmic twister flick, but the CGI is impressively disconcerting, the cast is, er, amiable enough, and for those of us who like seeing a charcoal sky with thick, ominous clouds churning like whipping cream, there’s plenty of spectacle hear to admire. Don’t go expecting anything deeply moving, or essential, but for what it is, it gets the job done reasonably well. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10%

Calvary: It’s a peculiar affair —the story concerns a priest in a small township along the Irish coast, who is told by a constituent during confession that he will be murdered in a week’s time to pay for the church’s various sins—but Brendan Gleeson is absolutely stirring in the lead, and the screenplay, by director John Michael McDonagh, gets under your skin just enough, though it paints an almost comical picture of just how dreadful everyone in a small town can be. The only other reasonable person is an ex-patriot American writer (M. Emmett Walsh), who lives by himself in a ramshackle hut on the water. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Mood Indigo: And, by contrast to the big-budget, studio job at the top of this list, here’s the latest from French freak-out visionary Michel Gondry, concerning a charmingly wealthy man (Romain Duris) whose lovely, quirky girlfriend (Audrey Tautou) develops a rare malady involving a flower growing in her lungs. Sounds, er, romantic? But Gondry, a critical darling, whose previous films include Be Kind Rewind and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind has a way of taking unlikely premises and making them work surprisingly well. He has his work cut out for him here. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 61%


What If: A largely trouble-free rom-com from Michael Dowse starring Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe, obviously) and Zoe Kazan. It works just well enough to keep your interest, though the first third of the film has everybody trying too hard. But once it finds its groove it’ll slide past you like a slightly clammy summer day. You won’t shed any tears—unless you are really fanatical about Wizard School graduates—but we don’t suppose you’ll grit your teeth too terribly much either. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 73%

Step Up: All In: People who appreciate fine dance choreography should be thoroughly entertained by this latest installment of the endless dance-challenge series, as long as you can forego anything resembling proper “story,” “characters” or “narrative arc.” We can sum it up for you thusly: People struggle to “make it,” then they dance a lot, and then they eventually get there. See, we can be open-minded about such things. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57%

The Hundred-Foot Journey: A whimsical-sounding bit of fluff from Disney involving a restaurant rivalry in the gorgeous South of France. One is a new-school Indian bistro, lead by dynamic, young chef Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), who
just moved to the area with his family; the other is a snooty, firmly established, Michelin-starred French snobbery, lead by icy proprietress Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). We can assume that hijinks ensue until everyone learns to live together in culinary harmony. It would be fun if it ended in some kind of Peckinpah-like bloodbath, but more’s the pity. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%


Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Maybe not so much a sweet, retro comeback than a plaintive cash-grab by a huge movie studio that is utterly bereft of any original ideas of its own and instead glommed onto a hapless retread in hopes of squeezing a big opening weekend. He’s not the director, only one of the main producers, but we can still thank Michael Bay for this latest debacle. And someone please talk with Megan Fox about hiring a new agent. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33%