This weekend is bringing several notable new films to movie theaters — including Melissa McCarthy‘s latest comedy and a new heartfelt drama starring Jake Gyllenhaal. Can’t decide which option to check out first? Here are our staff’s picks for the top three flicks to check out this weekend.
1. Hardcore Henry
It’s hard not to be intrigued by the video game-like first person feature of Hardcore Henry, which puts you in the shoes of — you guessed it — Henry, a man brought back from the dead by his wife (Haley Bennett). Minutes later, his wife is kidnapped by powerful warlord Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) and he must go on a mission to get her back and discover the truth behind his (aka your) identity.
So far, Hardcore Henry has gotten mixed reviews. Currently holding a 52% score on Rotten Tomatoes, critics have called out the “bare-bones narrative” and “hyper-edited” fare. But let’s face it: With a movie like this, you come for the experience, not the story. As Rolling Stone put it, “It’s all about the ride, the relentless wallop and whoosh. But, hey, sometimes that’s all a cine-junkie needs for a fix.”
The comedy-drama stars Jake Gyllenhaal as Davis Mitchell, a successful investment banker who struggles to piece his life back together after losing his wife in a tragic car crash. What starts as a complaint letter to a vending machine company soon turns into a series of letters revealing startling personal admissions. Davis’s letters soon catch the attention of customer service rep, Karen Mareno (Naomi Watts), and amid emotional and financial burdens of her own, the two form an unlikely connection. Chris Cooper, Heather Lind, Polly Draper, and Brendan Dooling co-star.
Currently holding a 54% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, critics have said the well-meaning movie lacks substance and doesn’t quite come together in the end. Still, Gyllenhaal has earned high praise for his portrayal, with Variety writing, “Gyllenhaal grounds Davis’ wildly unraveling psyche, finding both the humor and heart in a man who admits to having spent the past 10 to 12 years incapable of feeling.” Between his performance and the superb supporting cast, that could be reason enough to make Demolition worth viewing.
3. The Boss
If R-rated comedies are more your speed, look no further than the latest feature from Melissa McCarthy. In The Boss, she stars as Michelle Darnell, as a titan of industry who is sent to prison after she’s convicted of insider trading. When she emerges ready to rebrand herself as America’s latest sweetheart, not everyone she screwed over is so quick to forgive and forget. Kristen Bell, Peter Dinklage, and Kathy Bates co-star in the comedy, which was directed by McCarthy’s husband, Ben Falcone.
At 20% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Boss isn’t exactly rolling in praise, with critics calling it a “weak-kneed comedy” and a “paper-thin story.” But as always, McCarthy is the true draw here, and for fans looking for more of her signature slapstick comedy, The Boss will deliver.