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What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews This Week

The summer movie season has officially begun.  Kicking off the blockbuster barrage of the next few months is Joss Whedon’s much anticipated superhero flick “The Avengers,” which has been getting almost unanimously glowing reviews across the board.  As is always the case with summer, a number of smaller films are opening alongside the weekly big budget monsters.  Also opening this week: a top-notch cast in the counter-programming “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”; Kathleen Turner returns from a long onscreen absence in the “The Perfect Family”; Samuel L. Jackson stars as a serial killer in “Meeting Evil”; and the water crisis documentary “Last Call at the Oasis.”

Click through below for all the reviews from the Indiewire network for this week’s new releases.

“The Avengers”

Leonard Maltin
We can only invest in an action movie if we relate to the characters and believe that something is at stake. Whedon gives us all of that and more, in a film that clocks in at well over two hours but never seems long.

The Playlist, Oliver Lyttelton: A-
It’s not just the best Marvel movie to date (although it is that), and it’s not just in the very top tier of superhero movies (although it is), but it’s one of the most all-around satisfying summer blockbusters since God-knows-when.

The Playlist, Todd Gilchrist: B
“The Avengers” is a winning piece of popcorn entertainment that does better with characters in an ensemble setting than many ever did when they starred in their own vehicles.

Shadow and Act

The Avenger’s could not have gotten a better writer/director for the task than Joss Whedon. His love for multiple character stories, incredible gift for banter and wit are on full display.

“The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel”

Indiewire: B
With a cast this large, the plot at times feels more suited for a BBC miniseries, but thanks to reliable director John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love,” “The Debt”) — who’s proven himself adept at handling big ensembles — “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is a charming, if predictable, diversion

Leonard Maltin
Stereotypically, this is the kind of movie you’d encourage your parents or grandparents to see.

“First Position”

Indiewire: C-
Odd that a film presumably devoted to showing a lovingly warts-and-all celebration of ballet’s most ardent youth devotees can’t show more than 10 seconds of these dances before dissolving or cutting away to yet another teary face.

“Last Call at the Oasis”

Indiewire: B
The message takes its time to get going, but eventually finds a few entertaining grooves

“A Little Bit of Heaven”

Indiewire: C
The glossy sheen that envelops the entire film blunts the impact of some potentially moving moments, as any discussion of mortality or religion seems like a tangential afterthought.

“Meeting Evil”

Indiewire: B
The script leaves a lot of loose ends dangling and doesn’t always ring true.  If you are able to overlook these technicalities, “Meeting Evil” can be a fun way to waste an hour and a half.

“The Perfect Family”

Indiewire: D+
The frankly embarrassing film works overtime to make sure it doesn’t lose any potentially on-the-fence mildly Catholic audience members

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