10 Cloverfield Lane A lot of people were disappointed with the original Cloverfield, mostly because they thought it spent not enough time on the monster and too much on the movie's human cast of scenemaking downtown New Yorkers. Didn't bother me in the least: You have to fully establish why I should want to see people die before I can enjoy the spectacle. Unfortunately, neither the monster nor its survivors appear in 10 Cloverfield Lane, which isn't a standard sequel but purportedly takes place "in the same universe" as its predecessor. The protagonist this time is a car-crash survivor held captive by a survivalist who swears that the world has been subjected to a chemical attack. Sounds like the potential for schadenfreude is still strong, because my one wish for Armageddon has always been that the Doomsday preppers go first. (PG-13)
The Brothers Grimsby When Sacha Baron Cohen walked onstage at the Oscars, the world exclaimed, "Oh my God, he's doing it in character as Ali G!" Except for everyone under the age of 35, who asked, "Who the hell is Ali G?" Good thing for Cohen his latest flick doesn't involve his rapidly fading cast of alter egos, but centers instead on an English football hooligan who learns that his brother is an agent for MI6. The bad news: The movie is already Cohen's weakest-opening picture in the U.K. – the one place on Earth where people actually know what "football hooligan" and "MI6" mean. (R)
The Young Messiah One of the most interesting aspects of Jesus' life is that we know almost nothing about what he did between his early childhood and his emergence as an adult. It keeps the story suitably mysterious and invites all manner of ongoing speculation. Of course, you used to be able to say the same thing about Batman, until Christopher Nolan went and filled in every goddamn blank. Now here comes The Young Messiah to go all Jesus Begins on us, detailing the wholly made-up seventh year in Christ's life, when he may or may not have recognized his true mission. The movie is based on a book by Anne Rice, who returned to Catholicism in 1998 after a near-death experience. Just like a lot of noted deviants! (PG-13)
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