“Jack Reacher: Never Go Back” could be described as “’The Last Samurai’ with a Pistol.” Tom Cruise reunites with “Samurai” director Ed Zwick in Cruise’s second go round as Lee Child’s backside-kicking ex-military policeman turned lone vigilante. While it has a sufficient action quotient for undemanding genre fans, this modest thriller is mostly boilerplate fare. Tom seems to be operating on Cruise control.
“Denial” is a taut, intriguing true story about an important British legal case. Rachel Weisz plays an American historian who is sued for libel by a Holocaust denier when she calls him a liar. Is someone lying when they really believe what they say is true, even when it isn’t? “Denial” should spark some interesting post-movie coffee talk.
“Ouija: Origin of Evil” is a prequel to the 2014 horror hit. When a fake medium tries out a Ouija board, her daughter becomes possessed by an evil spirit. A very talented cast and taut pacing help make this low budget entry a surprisingly effective little thriller.
“Keeping Up with the Joneses” is a spy spoof that should have been a lot better than it is. Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher are a suburban couple whose lives are upended when international spies Jon Hamm and Gal Gadot move in next door. The middling film is far less than the sum of its parts.
Also opening this week, Tyler Perry returns with a timely spoof, “Boo! A Madea Halloween,” Rob Zombie is back with “31,” a horror movie about killer clowns that is definitely not a spoof, “Miss Hokausai” is a Japanese manga anime film, “In the Valley of Violence” is a Western starring Ethan Hawke and John Travolta, and “I’m Not Ashamed” is a faith-based film that centers on one of the victims of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.