‘Godzilla,’ ‘Million Dollar Arm’ and other new movies, reviewed

In this week's new releases, "Chef" and "Million Dollar Arm" outperform "Godzilla." Here are excerpts from Friday's new reviews:


In this latest version of the monster’s tale, Godzilla has been around for 60 years before tearing into San Francisco. (Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures)

1/2 "Godzilla" (PG-13) "…'Godzilla' is cheesy, cliched and shallow. Though it exploits our fears of environmental calamity, it gives short shrift to any deeper message. As Watanabe's scientist character opines, sagaciously, before resuming his expression of concerned dismay, 'The arrogance of man is thinking nature is in our control, and not the other way around.'" – Michael O’Sullivan

"Million Dollar Arm" (PG) "In a movie culture increasingly dominated by niche audiences, there's a special place of honor reserved for that rare film that can appeal to just about everyone. 'Million Dollar Arm,' an easygoing and unpretentiously entertaining baseball drama, is just that kind of film, one that tells a terrific story by way of an appealing cast, handsome production values and a warm, unaffected tone." – Ann Hornaday

1/2 "Chef" (R) "In culinary terms, 'Chef' is comfort food. It's not great art, but it's wholly, deeply satisfying, down to the soul." – Michael O’Sullivan

1/2 "The Double" (R) "Adapted for the screen by director Richard Ayoade ('Submarine') and Avi Korine (the kid brother of 'Spring Breakers' auteur Harmony Korine), 'The Double' retains all of (Fyodor) Dostoevsky's central themes. Madness, alienation and the loss of identity swirl around the film's edges like film-noir fog." – Michael O’Sullivan

1/2 "Palo Alto" (R) "Like her aunt Sofia Coppola ('Lost in Translation,' 'The Bling Ring'), Gia Coppola has a keen ability to create a mood. 'Palo Alto' conjures the strange mix of malaise and desperation that marks adolescence." – Stephanie Merry

1/2 "God’s Pocket" (R) "Although the bouts of comedy make a calamitous finale feel less imminent, the tragedy remains: Our opportunities to see (Philip Seymour) Hoffman’s work are numbered, and even in a flawed movie, he's beyond reproach." – Stephanie Merry

 "A Night in Old Mexico" (Unrated) "'A Night in Old Mexico' succeeds when it comes to suspense, and the ever-evolving plot will keep viewers guessing. But the movie doesn’t have the same kind of emotional depth that (Robert) Duvall and (William D.) Wittliff managed to pull off decades ago. Worse, the dialogue often sounds stilted." – Stephanie Merry

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