‘Boyhood,’ ‘Wish I Was Here’ and other new movies, reviewed

In this week’s new releases, Richard Linklater's "Boyhood" is a unique coming-of-age tale filmed over the course of 12 years; it receives four stars. "Wish I Was Here," Zach Braff's follow up to "Garden State," is a comedy but also a tear-jerker.


Ellar Coltrane, left, started filming scenes for “Boyhood” as a young child, with Ethan Hawke playing the role of his father. (IFC Films)

Boyhood” (R) “‘Boyhood’ breaks open a brand new genre: a fictional drama contoured and shaped by reality; a lightly scripted ensemble piece executed by both professional and non-professional actors; an experiment in time, narrative and cinematic practice that utterly transforms the boundaries of what film can look like and feel like and achieve.” – Ann Hornaday

½ “Wish I Was Here” (R) “‘Wish I Was Here’ touches on some timely themes and does so with an artistic vulnerability. You have to hand it to Braff. For a guy who must feel unfairly targeted, he doesn’t shy from being who he is and making, essentially, a grown-up version of ‘Garden State.’” – Stephanie Merry

The Purge: Anarchy” (R) “If you’ve seen the trailer, you already know that its villains are the one-percenters, the monied oligarchs who, in the film’s dystopian vision, round up the underclass and slaughter them for sport. This, of course, makes no economic sense, since killing your own workers is an even stupider business strategy than underpaying them — and a sure-fire path to the poorhouse.” – Michael O’Sullivan

★★★Me and You” (Unrated) “‘Me and You’ isn’t exactly a coming-of-age story. By the end of his week with Olivia, it’s clear that our hero still has a lot of growing up to do. But over the course of a few short days underground, one other thing becomes clear. By trying to live off the grid, Lorenzo discovers how inextricably tethered to each other we all are.” – Michael O’Sullivan

★★★Ilo Ilo” (Unrated) “Winner of the best debut film award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, ‘Ilo Ilo’ is gentle and discerning. Sensitive performances by the four main players suit the tone, which is naturalistic and even earthy — most of the characters are shown going to the bathroom — yet ultimately poignant.” – Mark Jenkins

½ “Yves Saint Laurent” (R) “The film is artfully shot with eye candy galore: sumptuous dresses, beautiful people and scenes from Pierre and Yves’s time in Morocco. But for all its visual stimulation, the story does little to awaken emotions. When he wasn’t silent, Yves Saint Laurent could be cruel and selfish. He may have been a genius, but if he was at all likable, this movie doesn’t show it.” – Stephanie Merry

Planes: Fire and Rescue” (PG) “‘Planes: Fire & Rescue’ appears to be a cartoon that’s designed for kids, and designed to sell anthropomorphized helicopter toys to kids. To be clear, it is both of those things. But this sequel — which improves slightly on its lazy predecessor, last year’s “Planes” — is also a movie made to appeal to the middle-aged, particularly those who enjoy watching an animated air show set to the sound of ­AC/DC.” – Jen Chaney

★½ Sex Tape” (R) “By that measure, ‘Sex Tape,’ about a married couple whose intimate home movie has been accidentally shared with the world, satisfies, albeit in a way that’s less than earth-moving. There are recurring gags — some of which work and some of which don’t — and one very nice surprise.” – Michael O’Sullivan

Macy L. Freeman is an editorial aide for the Weekend/Going Out Guide section at The Washington Post.
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Stephanie Merry · July 18