In this week’s new movies, Woody Allen's “Blue Jasmine” starring Cate Blanchett impresses critic Ann Hornaday, receiving three stars. Alas, the cliche-filled "2 Guns,” starring Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, disappoints.
★★★ “Blue Jasmine” (PG-13) ““Blue Jasmine” may not be a comeback in any aesthetic or professional sense, but it nevertheless feels like Allen has come back: to the psychic space and collective anxieties of the country of his birth and a real world that, for a while there, he seemed to have left behind.” – Ann Hornaday
★★1/2 “Europa Report” (PG-13) “For the most part, the structure of “Europa Report” works, blending footage from inside the shuttle, stunning images of outer space, faux archival news reports and first-person interviews. At first, the film is so engrossing and the images so arresting that audience members might have to be reminded this isn’t an Imax documentary at the Air and Space Museum. That’s a testament to excellent special effects, including stellar re-creations of zero gravity.” – Stephanie Merry
★1/2 “2 Guns” (R)“If the reckless gunplay is offensive, the verbal repartee is too often stale: One running gag has to do with police officers and doughnuts, which was already hackneyed when ‘The Simpsons’ first went on the air. Along with the slow-motion gun fights, over-the-top truck chases, brutal torture involving a baseball bat and an angry bull, and an over-arching tone of crass cynicism, “2 Guns” feels like it’s all been done before…” – Ann Hornaday
★★ “The Smurfs 2” (PG) “Almost everything about ‘Smurfs 2’ signifies an improvement over the original. Five credited screenwriters overload Gosnell with an abundance of lightweight story lines, allowing “Smurfs 2” to bounce along at an energetic pace and sidestep the superfluous comedic potholes that repeatedly knocked the first film off course.” – Sean O’Connell