This week's box office releases reviewed

Yahoo UK Movies Features25 May 2012

Men in Black 3 – 3/5

In short:
Agents J (Will Smith) and K (Tommy Lee Jones) are back, patrolling the streets of New York and saving the planet from every alien threat out there. But their superior, O (Emma Thompson) hints that something deeper is going on with reticent agent K. There's little time to consider her comments though, as Boris The Animal (Jemaine Clement) has escaped from a moon prison and is determined to deliver retribution on K, the man who put him behind bars. As Earth comes under attack, J is forced back in time to assist a 1969 version of K (Josh Brolin) in averting catastrophe.

What we think:

Low on laughs and packed with far too much exposition for its own good, a late dramatic shift is the saving grace of this regulation sequel.

[Related video: Will Smith and Josh Brolin visit Yahoo! HQ for a chat]

The word out there:
The Sun: Brolin’s impression aside, the film is a mixed bag.
Empire: Despite some good moments, Agents J, O and K are missing an E.
TimeOut: Fifteen years since the jaunty original, a decade since its diabolical cash-in sequel: ‘Men in Black 3’ – is anyone really bothered?
Sky Movies: It's been ten years...but it's been worth the wait.

Release date: 25 May
Runtime: 105 mins
Rating: PG

Watch the trailer for 'Men In Black 3'

Moonrise Kingdom – 4/5

In short:

It's the summer of 1965 on a small island off the coast of New England, and earnest Khaki Scout Troop leader (Edward Norton) has just discovered that Sam (Jared Gilman) has done a runner. Local cop Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) launches a full-scale search, but his task is made more difficult when a second youngster disappears. Suzy (Kara Hayward) has escaped from her own troubles, and it is believed she and Sam have formed a pact to meet-up and get as far away as possible. Her parents (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray) are desperate to find their daughter, but there's no one who wants orphaned Sam. As the authorities close in, so does a wild storm, and we are embroiled in a race against time in the beautiful environs of this wild and remote location.

What we think:
Twee, but not too whimsical, this is Wes Anderson at his very best. A great adult cast and two superb performances from the young leads make for a charming film that lives up to its hype.

The word out there:
Financial Times: The most successful moments are just single shots or ideas... Only now and again does one get a wash of something unifying, deep.
Empire: Terrific performances from sprogs to stars and a lovely sense of the sorrow and joy of growing up.
TimeOut: It’s an American ‘Pierrot le Fou’ refashioned in retrospect with Anna Karina and Jean-Paul Belmondo as pre-teens.
MovieVortex: Even through the layers of oddity and idiosyncrasy, we can see real people and issues inside this mesmerisingly cool story.

Release date: 25 May
Runtime: 94 mins
Rating: 12A

Watch the trailer for 'Moonrise Kingdom'

What To Expect When You're Expecting – 2/5

In short:
Across America, a group of adults of various ages and walks of life are united by one theme in their lives: they're about to have a baby. TV fitness instructor Jules (Cameron Diaz) and her reality TV dance partner/lover Evan (Matthew Morrison) are locked in a power struggle ahead of their new arrival, baby store owner and author Wendy (Elizabeth Banks) is finding pregnancy far from the glowing dram-world she'd hoped for, while her husband Gary (Ben Falcone) has issues with his own dad (Dennis Quaid) to resolve before he becomes one. Elsewhere, young food van owners Rosie (Anna Kendrick) and Marco (Chace Crawford) have a 'surprise' ending to their first date, and photographer Holly (Jennifer Lopez) is set to adopt an Ethiopian child - just as her job security plummets to a new low. While she freaks out, her husband (Rodrigo Santoro) seeks advice from a close-knit gang of park walking Dads (including Chris Rock).

What we think:
Expect to be bored and frustrated with this shallow and uneven ensemble nonsense.

The word out there:
The Telegraph: For a film...  with delusions of its own constant hilarity, it’s almost surreally free of laughs.
TimeOut: Bringing a child into the world is no laughing matter, and all involved seem to have done their level best to make things as mirthless as possible.
Film4: Utterly predictable, emotionally-manipulative, and occasionally unforgivably cynical, What To Expect... has just enough humour and engaging performances to prevent cramps and nausea during viewing.
IndieLondon: The inevitable multi-birth finale is as contrived and hysterical as you may anticipate but even so gives rise to one or two touching moments.

Release date: 25 May
Runtime: 109 mins
Rating: 12A

Watch the 'What To Expect When You're Expecting' trailer

Iron Sky – 2.5/5

In short:
If you thought the Nazis were destroyed in the Second World War, think again. The proud Aryan disciples of Hitler actually fled to the moon, where they've been plotting to conquer the Earth and create their fourth Reich. However, when a publicity stunt by the first female President of the USA (Stephanie Paul) goes wrong, and strands black astronaut James Washington (Christopher Kirby) on the dark side of the moon with the colony of racist fascists, the Nazis are forced into early action. They launch a full-scale invasion of Earth and this time they mean to win.

What we think:
Ill-judged attempts at political satire and some ropey plot twists mean 'Iron Sky' falls short of the cult status it so desperately craves.

The word out there:
The Guardian: As net-spawned exploitation fodder goes, it's more inspired and likable than Snakes on a Plane or The Human Centipede
The Film Pilgrim: Iron Sky is one 90 minute misfire which regardless of claims has no camp value, no laughs, no edge and ultimately no point.
Den of Geek: Despite its largely unsuccessful gag rate, one or two moments of the more gonzo/scatological comedy really do hit the mark, while the digital FX work throughout is of a very high standard.
The Fan Carpet: Iron Sky... is lacking simply because it isn't as funny as it should be. Or as it thinks it is.

Release date: 23 May
Runtime: 93mins
Rating: 15

Watch the trailer for 'Iron Sky'

Free Men – 3/5

In short:
In Nazi-occupied Paris, Algerian immigrant Younes (Tahar Rahim) is earning money to send back to his father by plying his trade on the black market. To keep his 'business' he makes a bargain with the authorities to spy on the local mosque. Younes keeps a close eye on Moroccan envoy Si Kaddour Ben Ghabrit (Michael Lonsdale), but becomes drawn to singer Salim Halali (Mahmud Shalaby). As the two spend more time together, he discovers that his new friend is Jewish - and in increasing danger from the regime. At the same time, he encounters his missing cousin who has taken a role among French resistance fighters, and a beguiling woman with an interest in a free Algeria (Lubna Azabal): is all of this a recipe for a change of perspective for the apolitical immigrant?

What we think:
Solid wartime drama of conscience also offers an interesting reminder that some issues transcend race, religion and ethnicity.

The word out there:
The Guardian: The tension doesn't grip as it should, but it's a worthwhile reminder of a moment of Muslim-Jewish co-operation.
Total Film: Modest in both budget and impact, it’s nonetheless intelligently executed, with a typically fine performance from Michael Lonsdale as the Muslim rector keeping German authorities at bay...
Little White Lies: Passionate if insubstantial period piece. Rahim is the real deal, though.
Sky Movies: It's a quietly thoughtful film that eschews cheap sentimentality and - through the assured performance of Rahim - demonstrates that good can come from the most unlikely places.

Release date: 25 May
Runtime: 99mins
Rating: 12A

Watch the trailer for 'Free Men'

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