Can Melissa McCarthy breathe life into a tired comedy formula? Well, she gives it the old college try in “Life of the Party.” When dumped by her husband, McCarthy decides to go back to college, the same school her daughter attends. McCarthy and her director husband Ben Falcone have no one to blame but themselves for the derivative script, but McCarthy nearly saves the soiree by the sheer force of her personality.
“Breaking In” is yet another movie with an overworked premise. Gabrielle Union stars in this tired thriller about a woman who fights back against home intruders who’ve taken her two kids hostage. The cast members display two emotions in this movie, anger and boredom. Viewers might feel both.
In “The House of Tomorrow,” Asa Butterfield plays a sheltered teen who lives with grandma Ellen Burstyn in a Buckminster Fuller geodesic dome. When he finally makes some friends, he discovers the joys of punk rock. While the coming-of-age drama never amounts to much, it has some low-watt charm.
Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg is the subject of the love letter documentary, “RBG,” an overview of the 84-year-old’s public life as an iron-willed liberal jurist and private life as an opera-loving grandma. While the film is never quite as fascinating as its subject, it’s effective as a primer on her life as well as an engaging Valentine to a feminist leader.
Also opening this week, “Godard Mon Amor” is a French comedy that dramatizes the events of 1967 when the famous filmmaker was shooting one of his New Wave classics. “Gemini” is a noir thriller involving a Hollywood starlet. Zoe Kravitz stars. Joaquin Phoenix plays a veteran who tracks down missing girls in the suspense drama “You Were Never Really Here.” Margot Robbie and Simon Pegg star in the hired killer drama, “Terminal.”