Movie Meter: Brad Pitt Kills More Nazis, Channing Tatum and Zoe Saldana Get Animated

What to see (and skip) in local movie theaters this weekend.


Fury: Somehow, when Brad Pitt stars in a film it takes on a larger, more-important caste. It’s a good thing that David Ayer’s thoughtful WWII picture doesn’t shy away from its own gravitas. Moody, overcast and intense, the film—which follows Pitt as the commanding officer of a tank brigade making its way through bomb-blasted Germany in the last throes of the war—more than earns its stripes. Just a warning, though: It doesn’t spare much on the bloody, gruesome carnage of men killing each other. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

The Book of Life: Wait, let me direct quote their publicity material for you: “a vibrant fantasy-adventure, tells the legend of Manolo, a conflicted hero and dreamer who sets off on an epic quest through magical, mythical and wondrous worlds in order to rescue his one true love and defend his village.” It’s getting decent notice from critics, and has some intriguing voice talent attached (Channing Tatum, Zoe Saldana, Ron Perlman), but isn’t that the plot of every Super Mario game ever made? Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%


St. Vincent: I know it has the elusive Bill Murray as its lead, and I know it gives him yet another chance to charm us silly, but apparently, that’s by far the best thing it has going for it. Consensus is mixed, but many critics found the convention of the film— Murray plays a grumpy older gent who befriends a hard-luck kid—painfully played out. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%


The Best of Me: Being a fair-minded fellow, I have to acknowledge the existence of many groups of people I do not necessarily agree with: Obama truthers, ketchup lovers, Cowboys fans. But people who actively enjoy movies based on Nicholas Sparks novels almost completely elude me. This latest adaptation finds former high school lovers Dawson (poor James Marsden) and Amanda (Michelle Monaghan) reuniting in their hometown for a friend’s funeral. I’m going to go ahead and guess that some sort of complication ensues, but that, in the end, they will tearfully be in each other’s tight embrace. (Sorry if that turns out to be a spoiler.) Based on this dreadful RT score, apparently I’m not the only critic who can’t take it anymore. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 8%