Here's what to see, what to skip and what to seek out this weekend at the movies.
See This: Star Trek Into Darkness:
Why bother with calendars? (They're so predictable anyway.) This is how you know summer's arrived – with a blockbuster at the cineplex.
J.J. Abrams's second voyage at Star Trek's helm is very nearly as good as the first, with zippy action sequences, a wonderfully menacing bad guy, and a deepening relationship between Kirk (Chris Pine) and Spock (Zachary Quinto) ... and Spock and Uhura (Zoë Saldana) … and Kirk and all the single ladies.
Benedict Cumberbatch, perhaps better known as my TV boyfriend Sherlock Holmes, uses his powers for evil as John Harrison, a mysterious Starfleet turncoat who becomes the most hunted terrorist in the galaxy. The man has secrets – secrets you don't want to go searching for on the Internet box, lest you spoil some cool stuff for yourself.
What I will tell you is that while Into Darkness deals with some heavy stuff – namely the humbling of that cocky Kirk – the film stays nimble with in-jokes for Trekkers and more accessible humor for space tourists. Plus, it gives Bones (Karl Urban) and Scotty (Simon Pegg) great moments in the spotlight.
Provided you're willing to overlook a few minor plot holes, Into Darkness sounds like a fine idea this weekend.
Skip That: The English Teacher:
It pains me to say bad things about a movie that stars Julianne Moore, Greg Kinnear and Nathan Lane at his hammy best, but I must.
The movie starts out well enough: English teacher Linda Sinclair (Moore) decides to help a promising former student (Michael Angarano) by staging his play at her high school. Then she does something fairly stupid, for which the film punishes her mercilessly.
I just can't stand it when romantic comedies – for that's what Teacher hopes to be when it grows up – humiliate smart, capable women for the sake of humor. It just isn't funny.
Seek This One Out: Stories We Tell
There are features, and there are documentaries. And then there are weird, fascinating hybrids like this one from director-actress Sarah Polley.
Stories We Tell aims to get at the truth behind a mystery in Polley's intriguingly complex family. But whose truth? Her late mother's? Her father's? Her own?
To tell the story – and trust me, you want to hear it – Polley weaves in re-enacted home movies and first-person interviews with much of her family, and even has her father read from his memoir about what happened. So ... what did happen? I wouldn't dare spoil it for you.