Movie Meter: Interstellar Is Predictably Spectacular, Big Hero 6 Makes Disney-Marvel Magic

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


Interstellar:  Please consider this a vote based more on the spectacle of the film—which director Christopher Nolan shot in wondrous 70mm—than the film itself. Essentially, a large, well-rounded cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, and Michael Caine, receive a timely lesson in gravitational physics that involves ripping through space-time in search of a new planet for human beings to populate. Long-winded, stilted, and weirdly unsatisfying, the film’s brilliant effects and all-out audaciousness help save it from Nolan’s more fanciful notions about physics and quantum mechanics. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Force Majeure: A brilliant piece of chicanery from Swedish director Ruben Östlund, this film is about a wealthy married couple and their two children on a ski trip in the French Alps, at a positively fabulous-looking hotel. The trouble comes after an avalanche scare, wherein the husband takes flight rather than stay to protect his family, and his subsequent denial of having done exactly that. Part black-comedy, part closely observed social drama, Östlund’s film offers many intriguing twists and turns. It’s a film you will want to discuss long after you’ve left the theater. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 95%

Big Hero 6: It is just possible Disney has struck gold yet again from their acquisition of Marvel Comics back in 2009. This semi-obscure superhero team appears to have been adapted almost precisely because very few people would complain about these comics being transmuted into smaller-kid fare. Whatever its origins, the animated result appears to have tickled critics across the nation, so there’s that. The voice talent is also pretty underplayed, so perhaps they’re going with the winning formula that helped catapult Guardians of the Galaxy to box-office glory. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

The Way He Looks: This sweet Brazilian film from Daniel Rebeiro centers on the burgeoning romantic relationship between Leonardo, a blind teen, and Gabriel, a kid new to the region. Leonardo is planning on going away for a year abroad but, to the consternation of his best friend Giovana, his relationship with Gabriel begins to throw a wrench into his plans. The South American coming-of-age tale seems to have beguiled a large percentage of critics, who find the boys incredibly likable and their relationship believably authentic. Evidently, there is a remarkably happy ending, so if you’re into positivity right now (or could use a boost), this might be the one for you. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 91%


Laggies: Lynn Shelton has a way with Millennials, specifically, those twenty-somethings who find themselves caught between adulthood and their sweet, sweet slacker youth. Her new film stars Keira Knightley as a 28-year-old woman educated up to her ears but barely employed. Upon being proposed to by her boyfriend, played by Mark Webber, she does the sensible thing and runs away to the house of a recent teenage friend and her single dad, played by Chloë Grace Moretz and Sam Rockwell. As good and temperate as Shelton is, the general consensus is that the film falls a bit into the meandering, unfocused pace of its main character, but remains a genial good time. Knightley fans may still take the plunge, but everyone else can wait to watch this at home (preferably in their parents’ basement). Rotten Tomatoes Score: 69%

Camp X-Ray: With this and the soon-to-be-released Clouds of Sils Maria, it’s clear that Kristen Stewart has had quite enough of being a teen idol. She’s branching out in new and interesting ways, and doing so in a series of smaller, much more nuanced and quirky films. Here, she plays a young woman who joins the military to make a difference in the world, but finds herself stationed as a guard at Guantanamo Bay making an unlikely alliance with one of the inmates. Apparently, the role of the taciturn military guard suits Stewart’s slightly disassociated delivery to a tee, but the film, despite its intriguing set-up, doesn’t end up having all that much to say. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Awake: The Life of Yogananda: It’s hard to argue with a film that’s earning a great score on Rotten Tomatoes, no matter the quibbles about their scoring methodology. Something tells us you likely won’t be missing much if you check this doc about the progenitor of Yoga and Hindu religion in the Western World in the comfort of your own ashram. As Yogananda came West back in the roaring ’20s, the film utilizes expansive re-enactments, interviews, and archival photos to tell his influential story. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%