Wondering what movie to spend your hard-earned money on this weekend? Here’s a handy guide to the new releases.
What’s the story: Think of it as Batman Begins but with Robin Hood. Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott team up for the fifth time (!) in the past decade for Robin Hood, a prequel of sorts to the classic tale of merry men. But lest you think this is your grandfather’s Robin Hood (or even your own—Kevin Costner for life!), Messrs. Crowe and Scott eschewed the fluffier aspects of the legend in favor of a gritty realism. Which is code for “this won’t have as much action and humor as you think it should.” The reviews confirm as much—apparently, all the action from the trailer takes place in the final 20 minutes—and it makes you wonder: Will summer audiences want to spend two and a half hours with something so drab, especially without the promise of a theme by Bryan Adams?
Who should see it: Kevin Costner.
Letters to Juliet
What’s the story: Because it’s been about six weeks since Amanda Seyfried had a movie in theaters—we still remember you, Chloe—here comes Letters to Juliet, a Nicholas Sparks–like romance without the heartbreak. Ms. Seyfried stars as a young and hopeful journalist (is there any other kind?) on holiday in Verona, Italy, who uses her obsession with Romeo & Juliet to help an old grandmother (Vanessa Redgrave) find a long-lost love. There’s an inattentive boyfriend and a grandson, too, and based on those descriptions, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out which guy winds up kissing Ms. Seyfried at the end. (Hint: Not the boyfriend.) Critics have been unkind—our Rex Reed calls Letters to Juliet “maddeningly predictable”—but considering Ms. Seyfried was able to turn Dear John into a box office success, does it matter?
Who should see it: Nicholas Sparks.
What’s the story: What kind of movie is Just Wright? The kind where the Wright in the title refers to Queen Latifah’s character, Leslie Wright, a physical therapist who helps an NBA player (Common) recover from a knee injury. Naturally, she becomes smitten, but since her best friend is busy going on Basketball Wives with him, there are some problems. NBA players Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo and Dwayne Wade make appearances, so if you’re a girl trying to talk your boyfriend into seeing this, drop their names and see if that works. But be forewarned: The reviews are gaseous.
Who should see it: Lebron James.
Also opening this weekend: The DIY drama Touching Home; Ken Loach’s latest, Looking for Eric.