It may seem early to start a “Worst Movies of the Year” list, but surely “Baywatch” will qualify. A raunchy parody of the old TV series, “Baywatch” struggles to mine a few meager laughs from gross-out jokes, but it drowns in its own off-color excesses. Dwayne Johnson and Zac Efron have charisma and the female cast members provide plenty of cheesecake, but they’re efforts can’t resuscitate this victim.
And speaking of shipwrecks, Johnny Depp’s latest appearance as Capt. Jack Sparrow isn’t enough to save the bloated adventure, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales,” the fifth entry in the popular series. The production values are stupendous and it has some dazzling action sequences, but the plot is so perplexing that it seems like they were making it up as they went along. An Easter Egg after the credits hints that there may be one more episode in the works.
Reclusive actress Debra Winger and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tracy Letts star in “The Lovers,” a comic drama about an aging married couple who are both involved in extramarital affairs. Things get complicated when they start cheating on their lovers…with each other. It’s beautifully acted and more than just a little twisted.
Liev Schreiber’s affable performance is the driving force behind “Chuck,” the true story of ups and downs in the life of Chuck Wepner, the boxer who inspired the story of “Rocky” and gained fame by going 15 rounds with Muhammad Ali. The strong supporting cast includes Jim Gafigan, Elizabeth Moss and Naomi Watts. While it’s no knockout, “Chuck” is one likable palooka.
Also opening this week, “The Survivalist” is a post-apocalyptic drama about a man protecting his small harvest from starving strangers. “Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent” is a documentary about the famous and influential chef.