The Darkness Unlike a lot of people, I didn't think much of 1999's Stir of Echoes. About the only thing I took from it was that, if you marry Kevin Bacon, sooner or later, it's going to ruin your lawn. Yet people keep starting families with him in supernatural thrillers – like The Darkness, in which he and his clan take a trip to the Grand Canyon and come home to discover they've been pursued by a malevolent spirit that preys on their worst fears. From what I know of family vacations, bringing your worst fears to life is definitely part of the package. But you usually don't have to wait to get home from the Grand Canyon: The experience is in full swing by the time you check into a motel in Paducah, Kentucky. Either way, somebody ought to tell Kyra Sedgwick to look into a good Airbnb. (PG-13)
Money Monster A few years ago, I started to compile a mental list of movies in which female journalists and other members of the media have inappropriate relationships with people they're supposed to be working with and/or covering. I stopped counting at about eleventy billion. From A Face in the Crowd to Thank You for Smoking to Iron Man, the cinema remains convinced that women cannot separate the demands of their careers from the ongoing drive to get that good D. Continuing the tradition is Money Monster, in which a TV investment guru (George Clooney) is held hostage on the air by a viewer he ruined with his financial advice. Also caught up in the siege is the show's producer (Julia Roberts), who of course just happens to be her star's girlfriend. There could be a lot else to recommend this flick, but I'm not terribly inclined to find out as long as it could just as easily be titled The Night Jim Cramer Kissed Me. Sell! (R)
Rio I Love You The folks who brought us Paris Je T'aime and New York I Love You offer up the latest installment in the series that's come to be known as Cities of Love. ("Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred tourists ...") This one's an anthology of vignettes set in the shadow of that world-famous big-ass Jeebus statue. Contributors include Fernando Meirelles of the great City of God and South Korea's Im Sang-Soon, who presents us with the story of a waiter who also happens to be a vampire. Yeah, there's something they don't show you in the travel brochure. (R)
Sing Street Once director John Carney spins a semi-autobiographical musical about a kid in 1980s Dublin who discovers that the best way to win the heart of his crush is to start a rock & roll band. Wait a minute – picking up the guitar to get chicks? It's so crazy it just might work! (At least until somebody invents boogie-boarding.) The soundtrack mixes original tunes with numbers by the likes of Motörhead and the Jam. At one point, Bono and the Edge were going to be involved too, but those plans fell through. And thank God, because did you see what they did to Spider-Man? It took an entire Civil War to straighten that whole thing out. (PG-13)
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