New movie reviews: Critics' picks

Check out the best new movies, as reviewed by Time Out's critics, then find showtimes and buy movie tickets.

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Love Is Strange

  • Rated as: 5/5

New York-based filmmaker Ira Sachs (Keep the Lights On) creates a special kind of urbanity: softer and more inclusive than Woody Allen's, openly gay but family-focused, alive to the city's tensions and lulls. His latest movie also features a Chopin piano score, adding an exquisite sense of

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Boyhood

  • Rated as: 5/5

Looking at it one way, Boyhood represents a spectacularly cheap way of saving on actors’ salaries: To capture his rambling yet absorbing Texas family drama, director Richard Linklater (Bernie, Before Midnight) received agreements from several performers—including his eight-year-old daughter,

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

The Trip to Italy

  • Rated as: 4/5

“Second-album syndrome” is how costar Steve Coogan, in a meta moment of self-critique, describes his impending food tour with also-slightly-fictionalized Rob Brydon in director Michael Winterbottom’s sequel to 2010’s The Trip (which existed as both a film and a BBC series). This time, the

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Magic in the Moonlight

  • Rated as: 4/5

The more things change, the more Woody Allen stays the same: It’s a comfort that this singular artist’s worldview remains so staunchly his own—often archaically against fashion—and that nothing seems to halt his movie-a-year pace. (This, after a year in which he found widespread critical

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Thu Sep 18

Guardians of the Galaxy

  • Rated as: 4/5

To misquote Forrest Gump’s mother, Guardians of the Galaxy is like a box of chocolates. Or rather, it’s like a vast, family-size crate of chocolates, all wrapped in the shiniest packaging and exploding with sweetness and surprises. Maybe there are a couple of flavors you don’t care for, and

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Calvary

  • Rated as: 4/5

What do you tell a priest whom you plan to shoot point-blank between the eyes? “Say your prayers,” of course. John Michael McDonagh’s follow-up to 2011’s The Guard is a wickedly funny and Tarantino-esque black comedy—all fatalism and gallows humor but with a beating heart and an inquiring

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Chef

  • Rated as: 4/5

Carl Casper (writer-director Jon Favreau) is stuck in a chocolate-lava-cake rut. Ten years into his plum post at a high-end L.A. eatery, the onetime Miami food wunderkind has taken to passionless, crowd-baiting cooking, hamstrung by his seat-filling restaurateur boss (Dustin Hoffman). When that

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Get on Up

  • Rated as: 4/5

A grand piece of magic happens with Chadwick Boseman’s utter inhabitation of the role of James Brown—himself an artist who gave a lifelong performance—and still, the mysterious man behind the legend comes through with uncommon, heart-stopping electricity. It’s not just that Boseman has the

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

The Fault in Our Stars

  • Rated as: 4/5

Far from the shameless emotional pummeling it might have been, this adaptation of John Green’s cherished YA cancer drama finds a conduit to earned, understated tears—a tricky accomplishment given the material. The film’s linchpin is young Shailene Woodley (already the savior of several iffy

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Thu Sep 18

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

  • Rated as: 4/5

Let’s face it, high-minded ideas are all well and good, but can they compete with a chimp on horseback firing an Uzi? Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was as thoughtful as modern sci-fi gets, ditching the 1960s-born franchise’s gritty dystopian roots for a smart story of scientific

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

Neighbors

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne star in this comedy from the director of Forgetting Sarah Marshall as a happy thirtysomething couple with a kid. They move into a new house, only to discover that a fun-loving fraternity—presided over by a swaggering Zac Efron—is staking its claim next door. The family

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Thu Sep 18

Life Itself

  • Rated as: 4/5

Unusually moving (not only to stray film critics in your crowd), director Steve James’s keen profile of the late, great Roger Ebert works both as a compact appreciation of the reviewer’s vast public impact, as well as an unflinching peek into a cancer patient’s final months, fraught with

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Mon Sep 22

The Guest

  • Rated as: 4/5

One suspects obsessive fans of actor Dan Stevens’s ill-fated Matthew Crawley on Downton Abbey would be content to see him play nothing but rakish, tweed-waistcoated aristocrats until the end of his days. For the rest of us, the genuinely surprising new side he shows in Adam Wingard’s sharp

  1. Wed Sep 17 - Sun Sep 21

Los Angeles Plays Itself: movie review

  • Rated as: 5/5

Simply because it’s never going to make it to legal home video—not unless more than 200 movie clips are okayed—you’ve just got to clear your schedule and commit to this. CalArts professor Thom Andersen poured a lifetime of moviegoing (and his own complex affection for the city he calls

  1. Wed Sep 17
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