CHICAGO - Whether you’re in a theater or streaming at home, movie choices exist in abundance, with more arriving every week. Here’s our take on what’s new, free, fun or all of the above.
"Jurassic World Dominion": Just going through the dino motions
(from left) Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon) and Kayla Watts (DeWanda Wise) in Jurassic Worl
Last we checked in on the "Jurassic World" franchise in 2018’s "Fallen Kingdom," Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howardwere releasing a host of dinosaurs into the wilds of California. Now "Dominion" is set four years later in the "neo-Jurassic Age," where humans and dinos tentatively live alongside one another across the globe. It’s a major shift for the "Jurassic" franchise, but the even bigger selling point here is that original "Jurassic Park" stars Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill are all back to reprise their iconic roles. (Alongside frequent franchise player BD Wong, of course.) Billed as the "epic conclusion of the Jurassic era," "Dominion" will almost certainly be one of the biggest blockbusters of the summer.
Our critic’s take: "Even with original franchise actors Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Sam Neill back for prominent roles alongside the new generation of stars, this nostalgia-fueled popcorn flick is lacking one crucial element: It's a "Jurassic Park" movie where the dinosaurs feel almost incidental." Read the rest of FOX film critic's Caroline Siede's review.
Rated PG-13. 146 minutes. Dir: Colin Trevorrow. Featuring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sam Neill, DeWanda Wise, Mamoudou Athie, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Isabella Sermon, Campbell Scott, Justice Smith, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Daniella Pineda.
How to watch "Jurassic World Dominion"
"Jurassic World Dominion" will dominate theaters nationwide when it opens June 10. It is not currently available to stream.
If you like "Jurassic World Dominion," try: "Independence Day," streaming free on Tubi
Independence Day (1996): Did you know "Independence Day" won an Oscar? It’s true! The "Will Smith punches an alien and says welcome to Earth" movie picked up a statuette for Best Visual Effects (a well-deserved win). Still, in our hearts, we’re always going to believe it won the Oscar for "Best Inspiring Speech from a Fictional President." Congrats, Bill Pullman! Rated PG-13. 144 minutes. Dir: Roland Emmerich. Also featuring Jeff Goldblum, Margaret Colin, Vivica A. Fox, Mary McDonnell, Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid.
"Fire Island": You’ll ardently admire and love this queer Jane Austen adaptation
Fire Island -- Set in the iconic Pines, Andrew Ahn’s "Fire Island" is an unapologetic, modern-day rom-com showcasing a diverse, multicultural examination of queerness and romance. Inspired by the timeless pursuits from Jane Austen’s classic "Pride an
Kick off the summer romance season with this hotly anticipated rom-com written by comedian Joel Kim Booster. Set on Fire Island, the famous gay escape destination off the southern shore of Long Island, the movie follows two best friends (Booster and "SNL" breakout Bowen Yang) who set off on their annual week-long vacation with an eclectic group of friends (including den mom Margaret Cho). "Fire Island" promises to be an unapologetic, modern day rom-com about found family, queer romance and cheap rosé, all loosely inspired by Jane Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice."
Our critic’s take: "The most surprising thing about Hulu’s empathetic and sharply funny film "Fire Island" is how faithful it is to Austen’s "Pride and Prejudice," tracing the contours of the beloved novel’s plot and (perhaps more importantly) brilliantly updating its ideas about class, agency, financial anxiety, difficult familial bonds, the institution of marriage and more. And like Austen, screenwriter/star Joel Kim Booster and director Andrew Ahn casually break the unspoken rules that dictate who gets to lead a love story and what they’re allowed to want from it. It’s also the funniest Austen adaptation since "Clueless," and that’s no small feat." Read the rest of FOX film critic Allison Shoemaker’s review.
How to watch "Fire Island"
"Fire Island" is now streaming on Hulu.
If you like "Fire Island," try: "Sense and Sensibility," streaming free on Tubi
Sense and Sensibility (1995): Other than William Shakespeare, there’s no one more influential on the modern day romantic comedy genre than Jane Austen. And the early 19th century novelist gets one of her best-ever adaptations in this winning romance from director Ang Lee and writer/star Emma Thompson. With its classic story of polar opposite sisters — the reserved, responsible Elinor (Thompson) and the expressive, emotional Marianne (Kate Winslet) — "Sense and Sensibility" basically delivers two rom-com storylines in one. So whether your dream is to hit it off with a charmingly humble Hugh Grant or get stuck in a dramatic love triangle with Greg Wise and Alan Rickman, there’s something for everyone here. Rated PG-13. 136 minutes. Dir: Ang Lee.
"Crimes of the Future": For body horror maestro David Cronenberg, 'surgery is the new sex'
Léa Seydoux, Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart in "Crimes of the Future."
The Beethoven of body horror returns. "Crimes of the Future" is Canadian auteur David Cronenberg’s first film since 2014’s "Maps to the Stars," and his first as both writer and director since 2012’s "Cosmopolis." And if the early trailers (and the response out of the Cannes Film Festival) are any indication, this is classic Cronenberg, a visceral, subversive exploration of autonomy, humanity, evolution and transformation. Cronenberg fave Viggo Mortensen plays a performance artist who, in a near-future, highly synthetic world, "publicly showcases the metamorphosis of his organs in avant-garde performances." French superstar Léa Seydoux plays his partner; Kristen Stewart is the investigator on their tail. It’s a safe bet that things get complicated, both in the world and inside the human body. Maybe skip the refreshment stand for this one.
Our critic’s take: "Cronenberg’s latest piece of body horror arrives in U.S. theaters straight out of Cannes, where it was subject to a bit of pearl-clutching over its graphic surgery scenes. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that "Crimes of the Future" turns out to be one of Cronenberg’s more cerebral —and funny! — films." Read the rest of film critic Katie Rife’s review.
WATCH FREE ON TUBI: David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortensen chart "A History of Violence"
How to watch "Crimes of the Future"
David Cronenberg’s "Crimes of the Future" is currently in select theaters across the country. It opens wide on June 10. It is not currently available to stream.
If you like "Crimes of the Future," try: "Videodrome," streaming free on Tubi
James Woods, Sonja Smit and Blondie’s Debbie Harry star in this lauded David Cronenberg film, which is widely considered a masterpiece of sci-fi body horror. Woods plays the head of a small television station who becomes obsessed with a mysterious broadcast called "Videodrome" — essentially a feed of people being murdered, maimed and tortured. And that’s just the set-up! "Videodrome" isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s essential viewing for anyone interested in horror and Cronenberg’s squicky canon. Rated R. 87 minutes. Dir: David Cronenberg. Featuring: James Woods, Debbie Harry, Sonja Smits, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley, Lynne Gorman.
Still in theaters: "Top Gun: Maverick," a "gloriously corny nostalgia fest"
If you feel like you’ve been hearing the haunting notes of the "Top Gun: Maverick" trailer forever, that’s because you have! This decades-in-the-making "Top Gun" sequel dropped its first trailer in July 2019 ahead of a planned summer 2020 release. That date was obviously pushed back by the pandemic, but as other blockbusters switched to streaming releases, Tom Cruise stuck by his, well, guns, for a theatrical release. And now the time has finally come to reignite the need, the need for speed. Cruise is back as Pete "Maverick" Mitchell, the courageous test pilot who’s charged with training a group of new Top Gun graduates. When it turns out one of them (Miles Teller) is the son of Maverick’s late friend "Goose," the aging aviator is forced to reckon with his past and figure out how to forge a new future.
Our critic’s take: "There’s a fist-pumping joy to watching an old-fashioned action blockbuster fire on all cylinders, even if its storytelling ambitions aren’t quite stratospheric." Read the rest of FOX film critic Caroline Siede’s review.
When will "Top Gun: Maverick" be streaming?
No date has yet been announced, but when it begins streaming, its home will be Paramount+ — and typically, films released to Paramount+ have arrived roughly 45 days after their big-screen premieres. Expect it in mid-July at the earliest.
If you like "Top Gun: Maverick," try: "Con Air," streaming free on Tubi
Forget "Snakes on a Plane." This is Cage on a plane! And Malkovich on a plane! And Cusack and Buscemi and Rhames and Chappelle on a plane! And a jail break on a plane! What more do you need in cinema? Rated R. 115 minutes. Dir:Simon West. Featuring: Nicolas Cage, John Cusack, John Malkovich, Steve Buscemi, Ving Rhames, Colm Meaney, Dave Chappelle.
Now streaming: "Emergency" (Prime Video) and "Ambulance" (Peacock)
About "Emergency": Half college buddy comedy, half social commentary thriller, "Emergency" is one of the more tonally unique films to come out of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. At the tail end of their senior year, best friends Kunle (Donald Elise Watkins) and Sean (RJ Cyler) are determined to become the first Black students to complete their school’s frat party Legendary Tour. But when they arrive home to find a white girl passed out on their living room floor, they’re forced to figure out how to help her without risking their own futures by calling the police.
- Our critic’s take: "What makes "Emergency" unusual is that its familiar formula takes place in the reality that Black people in America experience every day. It’s a simple yet devastatingly effective approach: What happens to "Superbad" or "Dazed and Confused" if our heroes have to worry about getting murdered by the police?" Read the rest of FOX film critic Allison Shoemaker’s review.
- The details: Rated R. 105 minutes. Dir: Carey Williams. Featuring: RJ Cyler, Donald Elise Watkins, Sebastian Chacon, Maddie Nichols, Madison Thompson, Sabrina Carpenter. Now streaming via Prime Video.
- If you like "Emergency," try: "Van Wilder," streaming free on Tubi
About "Ambulance": Love or hate him, you hear the name Michael Bay and you know what you’re going to get. Crashes! Explosions! Actors having intense conversations while driving and/or holding weaponry! This time around, it’s Jake Gyllenhaal and Yahya Abdul-Mateen II facing off as a pair of brothers on the lam. Abdul-Mateen plays a veteran who can’t keep up with his wife’s medical bills; Gyllenhaal is his criminal brother with a bank heist in mind. When things go sideways, they need a new getaway vehicle. Guess what they choose? Hint: It’s the title.
- Our critic’s take: ""Ambulance" is a patently absurd feast of spectacle and camp, a bifurcated mess that can’t decide what kind of movie it wants to be and so chooses instead to be several movies at once. None of those movies are good, exactly, but none of them are boring, either." Read the rest of FOX film critic Allison Shoemaker’s review.
- The details: Rated R. 136 minutes. Dir: Michael Bay. Featuring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Eiza González, Garret Dillahunt. Now streaming on Peacock.
- If you like "Ambulance," try: Michael Bay’s "Armageddon," streaming free on Tubi
New to Tubi: Holland Roden is "Obsessed to Death"
"The actors know it’s ridiculous, but the characters don’t," star Holland Roden explained to FOX Television Stations of her leading role in this twisted thriller. The former "Teen Wolf" star plays Cassie, a quiet young woman who’s ghosted by her new boyfriend Austin (Colton Royce) for popular cycling instructor Summer (Kathryn Kohut). Soon enough, however, Cassie worms her way into Summer’s fitness empire and starts to reinvent herself "spin class by spin class and lie by lie." But when fellow cyclist Gage (Jesse Reynolds) notices something is off, Cassie’s obsession with Summer turns violent.
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