‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ ‘Blue Ruin’ and other new movies, reviewed

In this week’s new releases, Andrew Garfield stars as Peter Parker in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ though certain character flaws may have had a negative impact on the film. The new thriller ‘Blue Ruin,’ a film by Alexandria native Jeremy Saulnier, receives four stars. Here are excerpts from this week's reviews:


Andrew Garfield returns as Peter Parker and his superhuman alter ego in the longer, louder sequel, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” (Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc.)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2” (PG-13) “. . . in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ some cracks are showing in the character’s internal dynamic. Spider-Man’s cheeky one-liners have always carried the ring of giddy liberation, the gee-whiz expressions of a shy teenager in the throes of newfound power and freedom. In ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ they just sound snarky.” – Ann Hornaday

Blue Ruin” (R) “Moody, atmospheric, skillfully constructed and spiked with sporadic paroxysms of brutal violence, it’s in many ways typical of movies by emerging filmmakers, most of which are designed to show off technical chops and little else. The last thing the world needs is another empty genre exercise. Which makes ‘Blue Ruin’ that much more of an exhilarating astonishment.” – Ann Hornaday

Jodorowsky Dune” (PG-13) “Unlike its subject, ‘Jodorowsky’s Dune’ is surprisingly conventional as a documentary; it resorts to a wearying number of talking heads to relate a story that turns out to be as cautionary as it is compelling.” – Ann Hornaday

1/2 “Fading Gigolo” (R) “Though the movie’s setup is far-fetched, its biggest challenge isn’t plausibility, but moral expediency. Despite Fioravante’s initial qualms about taking on his first client (Sharon Stone) — who happens to be Murray’s gorgeous, sexually frustrated doctor — our hero quickly relents, with minimal discussion of right and wrong.” – Michael O’Sullivan

For No Good Reason” (R) “‘For No Good Reason’ rambles too much for its own good, compared to more traditional documentaries.” – Michael O’Sullivan

Just a Sigh” (Unrated) “Without much to go on, ‘Just a Sigh’ lives up to its name. It disappears without a trace.” – Stephanie Merry

1/2 “Now: In the Wings of a World Stage” (Unrated) “…unlike ‘Katy Perry: Part of Me’ or ‘One Direction: This Is Us,’ the chronicle of ‘Richard III’ can never really deliver the goods. With concert documentaries, big-time fans see their favorite musician perform renditions of beloved tunes. But seeing bits of Spacey’s performance can only make theater-loving moviegoers wish they could see more. The film serves an effective marketing tool after all, with some lively footage and funny interviews. It’s just too bad viewers can’t see the actual play.” – Stephanie Merry

Decoding Annie Parker” (R) “As directed by Steven Bernstein, a veteran director of photography who makes his feature film debut here, ‘Decoding Annie Parker’ frequently dangles on the precipice of falling into Lifetime Original Movie territory.” – Jen Chaney

1/2 “Friended to Death” (R) “The movie, which has been well-received at a handful of ­film-festival screenings, wears its quirky heart on its sleeve, boasting sometimes defiantly silly dialogue.” – Michael O’Sullivan

Check out our 2014 Summer Movie Guide and see what's coming to theaters this summer.

Macy L. Freeman is an editorial aide for the Weekend/Going Out Guide section at The Washington Post.
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