The DUFF: This teen melodrama isn't a paean to Springfield's favorite beer, but rather the story of a girl who learns she's considered a DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) within her social circle. The ensuing narrative of identities remade and bitch-queens dethroned is bound to captivate, especially if you're too young to have seen Mean Girls. One lucky preview attendee called the movie "a party." Then again, Duff Man says a lot of things. Oh yeah! (PG-13)
Hot Tub Time Machine 2: One of my favorite moments in the stupid flap over the Ghostbusters reboot came courtesy of some troglodyte poster on Ain't It Cool News, who complained that the studio hadn't just reimagined the new ecto-team as all-female, but had felt compelled to make one of them black as well. Yeah, dude ... tell us how slavishly you've memorized that original. Instead of bitching about the presence of Leslie Jones, consider how close we might have come to seeing this generation's Winston played by Craig Robinson, with Seth Rogen, James Franco and Jonah Hill as his pals. Anyway, Robinson is back for the sequel to Hot Tub Time Machine, proving that he can keep beating the same character into the ground with the best of 'em. Rob Corddry and Clark Duke return as well – but there's no sign of John Cusack. Make of that what you will. (I'm making a hat.) (R)
McFarland USA: Who but a Disney screenwriter could come up with this pitch: There's this poor Latino high school in California, right? And all the kids want is to become a running team that can rank among the very best in the sport. But what it takes for them to make their dream a reality is to experience the mentorship of a dedicated Caucasian coach. Whose name is – get this – Jim White. Hackneyed unto death, right? Now what would you say if I told you it's actually a true story? That's right: God is a Disney screenwriter! (PG)
Red Army: Then again, if you like your true-sports pictures to have a sharper edge, there's always this documentary about the rise to dominance of the Russian ice-hockey team during the Cold War. Political analogies are explored, cruel coaching practices are denounced, and co-producer Werner Herzog gets to stand on semi-familiar ground by presenting the tale of a metaphorical bear who'll rip your head off. (See what I did there?) Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter called the flick "one of the best documentaries that I have ever seen." Two days later, he was disappeared! (PG)
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