Summer movie season is officially here, which means audiences can expect a slew of exciting new films to choose from in the coming months. This week is no exception. We saw the release of several notable movies, including the third installment in the J.J. Abrams-produced Star Trek saga and a new horror flick that’s guaranteed to terrify you on a cellular level. Can’t decide what to buy tickets for first? Here are our staff’s picks for the three best movies in theaters now.
1. Star Trek Beyond
It’s been a few years since we’ve heard from Paramount’s Star Trek saga. Still, it feels like just yesterday that J.J. Abrams revived the long-dead film franchise with a stellar reboot. We’re now on the third film in the series, this time with Fast & Furious director Justin Lin at the helm. This pick comes with a warning: If you’re a Star Trek diehard, you might walk out disappointed by Lin’s more action-oriented approach even with Simon Pegg’s screenplay driving most of the high-concept elements.
From a critical perspective, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Star Trek Beyond is currently sitting at 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, with critical consensus calling it “an epic sci-fi adventure.” Just be sure to keep your expectations measured going in. As long as you’re out for a CGI-heavy popcorn flick, you’re going to have a good time when it’s all said and done.
2. Lights Out
It’s been a good year for horror director James Wan, having already struck pay-dirt with The Conjuring 2. Never one to stay idle for long, Wan is attached as a producer to another exciting new release from the genre. Lights Out is directed by relative newcomer David. F. Sandberg. Before now, Sandberg had largely specialized in shorter projects, making Lights Out his first feature-length directing job. A 78% positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes speaks volumes to his skills as a fledgling filmmaker in Hollywood, especially with a heavyweight like Wan riding along to help as a producer.
3. Don’t Think Twice
Last year was a rough year for comedy. A handful of big names in the industry took the year off to pursue other projects, and the resulting body of new releases was grim to say the very least. Thankfully, this year has seen a significant return to form for comedy cinema. Already we’ve gotten Deadpool, Hail, Caesar!, Keanu, Everybody Wants Some!!, The Nice Guys, Ghostbusters, and Zootopia, and that’s just in the last seven months. This weekend’s selection of films may gift us with a release that tops them all.
Trending at a whopping 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, Don’t Think Twice brings us a story about the rigors of aspiring comedians and the pitfalls of making comedy your career choice. NPR’s Andrew Lapin labels the film as “alternately hysterical and heartbreaking,” while the legendary Leonard Maltin likens it to Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. All in all, it’s been getting high praise on almost every front, making it more than worth your time this weekend.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!