In this week’s new releases, Chris Pine stars in “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” and Egyptian filmmaker Jehane Noujaim's "The Square" provides insight into the 2011 uprising in Cairo's Tahir Square and its aftermath.
★★ “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” (PG-13) “The descent from the sublime to the banal isn’t as depressing as it might have been with ‘Shadow Recruit,’ although the trip is often vertiginous. Directed by Kenneth Branagh in a jumbled blur of dizzying close-ups, revolving camera moves, hand-held action sequences and deceptive layers of shiny surfaces, ‘Shadow Recruit’ threatens to become less a resuscitation of the beloved Tom Clancy brand than yet another jumbled, jarring action flick that isn’t nearly as smart as its brainy protagonist.” – Ann Hornaday
★★★★ “The Square” (R) “In this vibrant, lyrical, graphic, sobering and finally soaring testament to aesthetic and political expression, Noujaim consistently provides light where once there was heat. With lucidity and compassion, ‘The Square" threads viewers through a complicated thicket of alliances and motivations and, most important, takes them on an immensely moving emotional journey through hope, betrayal, perseverance and surpassing courage.” – Ann Hornaday
★★★ “The Invisible Woman” (R) “‘The Invisible Woman’ is too sophisticated to let Dickens be an out-and-out-villain. Rather, like the author himself, the movie presents its protagonists as products of their time and human nature, always an amalgam of “the little good . . . the evil” of which we are all made.” – Ann Hornaday
★★★ “Life of a King” (PG-13) “Director Jake Goldberger, who co-wrote the script with David Scott and Dan Wetzel, works the game of chess as an allegory without working it into the ground. The film has a light hand despite its heavy subject matter.” – Michael O’Sullivan
★★1/2 “Ride Along” (PG-13) “Hart is clearly working overtime; there’s nothing effortless about his histrionic delivery, but it works. Ice Cube does less heavy lifting as the straight man (though who knows what kind of existential crisis he may be grappling with given the unprintable things he used to rap about police back in the day), but he conveys the checklist of important traits for the seasoned curmudgeon: exasperation, arrogance and, buried deep, a soft spot.” – Stephanie Merry
★★“The Nut Job” (PG) “There are never enough kid-friendly movies, it seems, so Surly and his plot will suffice. But when you compare ‘The Nut Job’ to the growing list of children’s movies that also delight adults, it’s hard to go back to the way things were.” – Stephanie Merry
★ “Devil's Due” (R) “Conveniently for the filmmakers, Zach and Sam’s house gets broken into shortly after they learn she’s pregnant, and several “Paranormal Activity”-style surveillance cameras are hidden by the intruders, unbeknownst to Zach and Sam. This results in a movie that, as with most other examples of the genre, looks like it was shot by a 13-year-old with a $2,000 gift card from Best Buy.” – Michael O’Sullivan