Here comes trouble: Tom Hiddleston stars as Loki in “The Avengers.” The record-breaking box-office behemoth is about to enter its second weekend.
Updated: May 14, 2012 11:13AM
Rated: PG-13 for comic horror violence, sexual content, some drug use, language and smoking
Stars: Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter
After two centuries of imprisonment by witchcraft, vampire Barnabas Collins (Depp) returns to his ancestral manor in the 1970s and attempts to rejoin his dysfunctional family. Tim Burton (“ Alice in Wonderland”) directed the adaptation of the 1960s Gothic soap opera.
THE AVENGERS ★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: PG-13 for intense sequences of sci-fi action and violence throughout, and a mild drug reference
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston
Writer/director Joss Whedon (TV’s “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) delivers all the spectacular action a summer-movie audience could possibly hope for with this much-anticipated Marvel superhero extravaganza — and he does it with intelligence and humor to spare. The comic book dream team of Thor, Iron Man, Captain America and the Incredible Hulk are called upon to save the world from an alien invasion led by Thor’s petulant half-brother Loki (Hiddleston). The only really surprising thing is how funny things get from time to time — with the biggest yuks provided by Big Mean Green.
THE BEST EXOTI C MARIGOLD HOTEL
Rated: PG-13 for sexual content and language
Stars: Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Maggie Smith, Dev Patel
British seniors expecting to retire in grand style in India learn that the accommodations are not quite as described in the brochure. John Madden (“Shakespeare in Love”) directed the comedy.
B ULLY★ ★ ★ 1/2
Stars: Alex Libby, Kelby Johnson, Ja’Maya Jackson
This controversial, activist documentary sets aside balanced, even-handed objectivity for offers an uncomfortably personal view of how it feels to be bullied, and the devastating effect it can have on the lives of young people and their families. Emmy-winning director Lee Hirsch (“Amandla!”) examines the stories of five bullied kids. Haunting.
THE CABIN IN THE WOODS★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: R for strong bloody horror violence and gore, language, drug use and some sexuality/nudity.
Stars: Anna Hutchison, Chris Hemsworth, Kristen Connolly
This frequently brilliant meta-parody of horror-movie tropes from director Drew Goddard and co-writer Joss Whedon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer”) dazzles with the sheer ambition of its conceit. A must-see for genre fans who appreciate a good, deconstructive laugh.
CASA DE MI PADRE★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: R for bloody violence, language, some sexual content and drug use
Stars: Will Ferrell, Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Genesis Rodriguez
The funniest movie of the year may also turn out to be the strangest. In addition to the most intentionally awful. Ferrell stars as Armando (and speaks Spanish throughout) in this dead-on-target parody of a truly bad 1970s-era Mexican action/melodrama. Hilarious.
Stars: Tim Allen
A 3-year-old chimp separated from his troop is adopted by a full-grown male in this Disney Nature documentary. Film and sitcom star Allen narrates.
DARLING COMPANION★ ★ 1/2
Rated: PG-13 for some sexual content including references and language
Stars: Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Richard Jenkins, Dianne Wiest, Mark Duplass
Unlike the lost pooch motivating the plot of this baby-boomer update from Lawrence “Big Chill” Kasdan, “Darling Companion” never entirely loses its way. But the emotional territory it sniffs and explores is mildly diverting at best. A handful of warm, fuzzy love stories involving an appealing cast (notably Kline and Keaton), a thin veneer of snappy one-liners and heaps of gorgeous scenery maintain interest —but only superficially.
TH E FIVE-YEAR ENGAGEMENT
Rated: R for sexual content and language throughout
Stars: Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Chris Pratt
An engaged couple (Segel, Blunt) keep running into delays on the way to the altar. Nicholas Stoller (“Forgetting Sarah Marshall”) directed the comedy and co-wrote the script with “Sarah Marshall” collaborator Segel.
TH E HUNGER GAMES★ ★ ★
Rated: PG-13 for intense, violent, thematic material and disturbing images — all involving teens
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth
The much-anticipated movie version of Suzanne Collins’ book does little more than faithfully replicate the mega-best-selling original. Still, this proficient and generally satisfying adaptation gets the job done and then some, primarily because of the perfect casting of Lawrence as the bow-hunting hero ine.
THE LORAX★ ★ ★
Rated: PG for brief mild language
Stars: Danny DeVito, Zac Efron, Betty White, Ed Helms
A young boy who learns how a mysterious old hermit (Helms) turned a natural paradise into a wasteland decides to make a difference in his home town. Chris Renaud and Kyle Balda (“Despicable Me”) directed this animated Dr. Seuss adaptation.
THE LUCKY ONE
Rated: PG-13 for some sexuality and violence
Stars: Zac Efron, Taylor Schilling, Blythe Danner
After three tours in Iraq, a marine (Efron) travels to North Carolina in search of the young woman he believes was his good-luck charm. Scott Hicks (“Shine,” “Snow Falling on Cedars”) directed the roman ce.
THE PIRA TES! BAND OF MISFITS★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: PG for mild action, rude humor and some language
Stars: Hugh Grant, Salma Hayek, Jeremy Piven
A pirate captain (voiced by Grant) competes with rivals Black Bellamy (Piven) and Cutlass Liz (Hayek) for the title of Pirate of the Year. The Aardman Animation team of Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt (“Chicken Run”) directed the animated comedy.
Rated: R for bloody violence and grisly images
Stars: John Cusack, Alice Eve, Luke Evans
Edgar Allan Poe (Cusack) becomes involved in a police investigation when a serial killer begins replicating the horrific deaths in his stories. James McTeigue (“V for Vendetta”) directed the thriller.
Rated: R for strong violence throughout, and for language
Stars: Jason Statham, Catherine Chan, Chris Sarandon
A young girl being hunted by gangsters for a priceless numerical code in her memory is protected by a former cage fighter (Statham) whose life was ruined by the same bad guys. Boaz Yakin (“Prince of Persia”) directed the thri ller.
THINK LIKE A MAN★ ★ 1/2
Rated: P-13 for sexual content, some crude humor and brief drug use
Stars: Chris Brown, Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union
In one sense an extended infomercial for comedian Steve Harvey’s best-selling relationship advice book, “Think Like a Man” also works reasonably well as a romantic comedy, with a variety of women playing head games with the men in their lives after Harvey gives them the lowdown on male psychology. But that’s mostly due to an appealing cast and the ensemble chops of director Tim “Barbershop” Story.
THE THREE STOOGES
Rated: PG for slapstick action violence, some rude and suggestive humor including language
Stars: Sean Hayes, Will Sasso, Chris Diamantopoulos
Moe, Larry and Curly (Diamantopoulos, Hayes and Sasso) uncover a murder plot while trying to save their childhood orphanage. Bobby and Peter Farrelly (“There’s Something About Mary”) directed the comedy.
Rated: PG-13 for disaster-related peril and violence, nudity, sensuality and brief language
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet
Writer-director James Cameron’s Oscar-winning, record-setting box-office smash rises from the depths for another fateful voyage: this time in 3-D.
21 JUMP STREET★ ★ ★ 1/2
Rated: R for crude and sexual content, pervasive language, drug material, teen drinking and some violence
Stars: Jonah Hill, Channing Tatum
This at-times-inspired parody of the late-’80s TV show that launched Johnny Depp is considerably better than you might expect — despite being rude, politically incorrect and insanely violent. The directors of “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” make the most of the surprising chemistry between Hill and Tatum as mismatched undercover partners.