Chloe Moretz Dirty Grandpa

Some Movies To See This Weekend, January 22, 2015

Friday, January 22, 2016 Rob Samuelson

Manage your expectations, people. That is not to say that the movies hitting theaters this weekend will definitely be bad, but they don't look like the types of things you will be talking about for years to come. Of course, those are sometimes exactly the movies you do end up loving. What do I know? Let's see what you can use to pass the time for a couple hours this weekend.

The Boy
Director: William Brent Bell
Writer: Stacey Menear
Starring: Lauren Cohan, Rupert Evans, James Russell

The Walking Dead's Lauren Cohan plays an American nanny hired by a positively spooked pair of late middle aged English people to care for their son. Emphasis on the “late middle aged” part, because they should not have a young boy needing care. Of course, there's more to it than that. It appears their son, long deceased in the regular sense of the word, has possessed the body of a large, creepy doll. He has specific rules that Cohan's character must follow, or else. It all looks rather silly, but maybe in a kooky and fun way. It's likely to give you more than a couple of jump scares, at the very least.

The 5th Wave
Director: J Blakeson
Writers: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner
Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Matthew Zuk, Gabriela Lopez, Liev Schreiber

This adaptation of a young adult alien invasion novel looks like it falls more on the dreary Divergent side of the spectrum than The Hunger Games, but you never know. Chloe Grace Moretz has been a strong performer since she was a little kid in Kick-Ass, but she hasn't fully gone into full-on heroic protagonist mode yet in her still-young career. This could be a franchise starter or it could fizzle in a slew of cheap, grayish-blue CGI. Despite co-writer Akiva Goldsman's claim to notoriety being his screenplay for Batman and Robin, he and other co-writer Jeff Pinkner helped make Fringe one of the best science fiction series of the 21st century, plus Susannah Grant wrote both Pocahontas and Erin Brockovich. That's a lot of talent in the people cracking this story, particularly with an eye toward character work. Maybe this story about Moretz fighting aliens to rescue her little brother won't be as dire as it looks.

Dirty Grandpa
Director: Dan Mazer
Writer: John Phillips
Starring: Robert De Niro, Zac Efron, Zoey Deutch

Robert De Niro doesn't really do lascivious. There's a hint of sexual menace at times – and overt, terrifying offenses in Martin Scorsese's Cape Fear remake – but basically he has avoided much leering, onscreen interest in women. Until now. He hangs out with his character's grandson, played by Zac Efron, on a trip to Florida for spring break. Efron's a wet blanket about to get married, but maybe his grandpa teaches him about living a little or something. Don't get your hopes up too high.  

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