Reviews Of What Is In Theaters Now

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THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS 2

Rated: PG

Release Date: June 7, 2019

Director: Chris Renaud, Jonathan del Val

Stars: Patton Oswalt, Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Harrison Ford

Plot: The dogs have a kid in the house now and are doing everything they can to protect him

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

Here is all you need to know about this movie. My young daughter is a much harsher movie critic than I am. I loved this film and so did she. Therefore this may be one of the greatest movies ever made.

 

Okay, that's taking it too far, but it is a very good movie.

 

There are two greatest things about this film, First, it is laugh out loud funny. There are tons of jokes and sight gags for kids and adults. Several times during the screening I attended the entire crowd was laughing. Even my hard to please child was doubled over with laughter on a couple of occasions.

 

Second, it is mercifully short for parents. The running time is listed at 86 minutes. And because the pacing is fast and even, the time flies by. I never felt like I was bored. The short time also has another benefit. I didn't see a steady stream of parents chasing after their kids on the way to the bathroom. It seems we may have scientifically proven that young children can watch an 86 minute long film without needing a potty break as long as the movie is really good.

 

This sequel was also much less dark than the first one. You may recall the first film had several pretty scary and suspenseful moments for younger kids. This one still has some of that, but overall it is much more lighthearted and fun.

 

If you are looking for a good reason to get the kids out of the house for a couple of hours this is a great way to spend the time. You'll laugh a lot and you won't feel like you've wasted your time or money.

 

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THE UPSIDE

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 11, 2019

Director: Neil Burger

Stars: Kevin Hart, Bryan Cranston, Nicole Kidman

Plot: A wealthy man with quadriplegia hires an ex-con with no experience to take care of him

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

January is typically a pretty bad month for movies. All of the big awards stuff is crammed into the last several weeks of the previous year, and then January gets the leftovers. Well, somehow, this little gem of a film slipped through the system and landed in January.

 

Maybe it's a new trend? After all, one of the first films released last year was PADDINGTON 2 and it made my Top 10 Best Films of 2018 list. I don't think this one is going to be that special, but it is really good.

 

Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart have great chemistry. They are funny, their conflict is powerful, and you can feel the love and admiration they develop for one another over time. Add in and exceedingly straight-laced Nicole Kidman and this movie levels up to superstar status.

 

Yes, this movie is formulaic and almost sappy at times, but it never feels like it gets out of control. It is a touch too long. It probably could have had a good 20 minutes cut out and been just as good of a movie, if not better. Because it is so long, (just over 2 hours), it has some pacing issues, but they aren't so bad that the movie loses its overall momentum.

 

If you like films about overcoming obstacles, this is a great film for you. It's also really funny for those of you just wanting to laugh during the dreary months of winter.

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NIGHT SCHOOL

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: September 28, 2018

Director: Malcolm D. Lee

Stars: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Taran Killam, Megalyn Echikunwoke

Plot: A hustler returns to school to get his GED, but the night school teacher won't let him cut corners

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

It's hard to believe that anyone could steal the spotlight from Kevin Hart in a movie written by him and starring him, but Tiffany Haddish isn't just anyone. She is a comedic force, and she kills it in this movie.

 

Without Haddish this would be a fairly typical, mostly average comedy, but she raises it up a couple of notches to a film that is worth seeing in theaters. Ironically though, she isn't in the funniest scene in the whole movie. It is a scene which I wish I could see again because I missed nearly all of the dialogue for the following 2 minutes due to the audience, and me, laughing so hard.

 

 

While this isn't an instant classic like GIRL'S TRIP, it is one of the better comedies of the year and may be one of the best of Hart's career. We also get great performances from Romany Malco and Rob Riggle.

 

There are several laugh out loud moments throughout the movie, but it is also a heartwarming and triumphant story, a fun and engaging plot, and characters that are compelling to follow.

 

Technically speaking, there are a few annoying moments where we hear overdubs. It looks like the crew wanted to make R-rated jokes, but the studio wanted a PG-13 film. So there are times where we see the lips of someone saying one thing, but the sound is completely different...and almost always much more tame if you are a lip reader.

 

This is a great date night movie. It's a lot of fun and it's funny. You won't be upset you spent the money to see NIGHT SCHOOL.

CAPTAIN UNDERPANTS: THE FIRST EPIC MOVIE

Rated: PG

Release Date: June 2, 2017

Director: David Soren

Stars: Kevin Hart, Ed Helms, Thomas Middleditch, Nick Kroll

Plot: Two pranksters must help their principal take down the evil Professor Poopypants

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

 

 

If you are the parent or guardian of a boy between the ages of 7 and 12, don't even bother with reading this review or any others. Just throw your kid in the car and race to the theater as quickly as possible. They are going to think this it the greatest cinematic feat of all time. 

 

For the rest of the movie-going world this movie is okay. 

 

The story is fun and unique, but this isn't a movie that needs to be seen in theaters. However, if the kids are driving you crazy and you need to get out of the house for a little while, this movie will be a fun break that most people will enjoy. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

KEVIN HART: WHAT NOW?

Rated: R

Release Date: October 14, 2016

Director: Leslie Small, Tim Story

Stars: Kevin Hart, Halle Berry, Don Cheadle

Plot: Kevin Hart does his stand-up routine in front of a sold-out stadium

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Save some money and see a matinee

 

 

For those of you that love Kevin Hart's movies, but have never seen his stand-up act before you should know that the two are completely different. In his movies, Hart is, for the most part, a fun, lovable, goofball and mostly PG-rated. In his stand-up, Hart is raunchy, foul-mouthed, aggressive, demeaning, and extremely R-rated. 

 

That said, if you don't mind being offended by some of his jokes, (and believe me, you will be), this movie is incredibly funny. There were several times where I laughed loud and hard. Even the opening skit is really funny, and those are usually the worst part of a stand-up special. 

 

If nothing else, it is impressive just to see how huge Hart has become. There are hardly any music acts that can sell out a 50,000 seat stadium, much less any other comedians. Hart has truly reached a level of success that no other comedian could even come close to doing. 

 

There isn't anything in this movie that makes it necessary to see it on the big screen, but if you can handle the nastiness of his content, this would make a great date night movie. 

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS

Rated: PG

Release Date: July 8, 2016

Director: Yarrow Cheney, Chris Renaud

Stars: Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate

Plot: Max and his friends end up on a wild adventure after Max's owner comes home with a new pet

Trailer


Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

The studio that has given us the Minions has done it again with THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS. This film will be one that, when it comes out on DVD, will be put on repeat. 

 

It is fun, funny, exciting, and the story is great too. For the most part it is fine for all ages. I took my 4 year old and she loved the whole thing except one scary scene with a snake. Other than that, she laughed, bounced happily in her seat, and sat mesmerized by the magic unfolding on the screen. 

 

The best part of the movie are the nuances in all of the animals. Their quirks, habits, and weird routines are highly entertaining and extremely funny. You will be laughing out loud at how well the animators nailed it. 

 

This movie is a great one for the whole family.  

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: June 17, 2016

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul

Plot: Old high school pals hook up again, but this time it's to help save the world

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait until after opening weekend, but see this in theaters

 

 

Simply put, this movie is great. It is one of the funniest films of the year, and it has an interesting plot. I want to see it again just so I can hear all of the lines that I missed due to laughing. It has some great heartfelt moments as well as hilarious slapstick comedy. It is full of intrigue, suspense, action, and incredible moments between Hart and Johnson.

 

The chemistry between Hart and Johnson is wonderful. You can tell that they genuinely like each other and they pushed each other to make this the best movie it could be. I have a feeling we may see these two pair up again.

 

One of the best aspects of this film is that we get to see Dwayne Johnson truly act. His character is deep and nuanced, and he plays it flawlessly. He makes this movie significantly better than someone that would have just gone through the comedic motions.

 

It is Father's Day weekend. This one would be a great flick for a fun day with dad.

Posted by on in Movie Reviews

RIDE ALONG 2

Rated: PG-13

Release Date: January 15, 2016

Director: Tim Story

Stars: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, Olivia Munn, Tika Sumpter

Plot: Ben and James go to Miami to try to stop a drug dealer

Trailer

 

Clint Says: Wait for the DVD

 

The first film in this franchise was really funny and well done. This one doesn't quite live up to the first. It is funny and there is some good action in the movie, but the plot is cliche and the villain is one-dimensional and boring.

 

Ken Jeong steals the show. He is definitely the bright spot in this movie, and the way he plays off Kevin Hart makes for several good moments.

 

There aren't a lot of good comedies in theaters right now, so if you are looking for a few good laughs RIDE ALONG 2 will give you those, but don't expect it to be the side-splitting romp that the first film was.