This weekend at the movies things break down clearly: The new “Die Hard” installment and the latest Nicholas Sparks milktoast, “Safe Haven,” are generating execrable reviews, while foreign titles “No,” Chile’s Oscar nominee starring Gael Garcia Bernal, and Abbas Kiarostami’s mysterious romance “Like Someone in Love” are both a hit with critics. “Beautiful Creatures” falls somewhere in between; it is receiving solid reviews from critics, but no one is bewitched by this YA flavor of the month.
A Good Day to Die Hard Dir. John Moore, USA | 20th Century Fox | Cast: Bruce Willis, Jai Courtney, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Sebastian Koch | 15% Rotten | Boston Globe: “There are two problems with ‘A Good Day to Die Hard’: It’s terribly filmed and nothing in it makes any sense.”
Beautiful Creatures Dir. Richard LaGravenese, USA | Warner Bros. | Cast: Alice Englert, Alden Ehrenreich, Emma Thompson, Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, Emmy Rossum | 47% Rotten | New York Times: “There’s not much new under the moon here, which makes what the writer and director Richard LaGravenese does with the story all the more notable.”
Safe Haven Dir. Lasse Halstrom, USA | Relativity Media | Cast: Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough | 12% Rotten | Globe and Mail: “It’s hard to argue with the title here — Safe Haven, indeed. This is all about safety in the Hollywood workplace. Why make a movie when making a Hallmark-card-with-dialogue is so much less risky?”
No Dir. Pablo Larrain, Chile | Sony Pictures Classics | Cast: Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Luis Gnecco, Antonia Zeggers | 88% Fresh | Entertainment Weekly: “The movie — the third in a trilogy of powerful political dramas from Larraín, including “Tony Manero” and “Post Mortem” — uses period detail, archival footage, and ’80s-era technology to create an excellently authentic, bleached, crummy-looking document of a great democratic accomplishment.” | Our review
Like Someone in Love Dir. Abbas Kiarostami, France/Japan | IFC Films | Cast: Tadashi Okuno, Rin Takanashi | 81% Fresh | Hollywood Reporter: “The film constantly toys with the expectations of both its characters and the audience, transforming a classic three-way tale of mistaken identities into something much more mysterious and troubling.”