by Kam Williams
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Me Before You (PG-13 for suggestive material and mature themes) Adaptation of Jojo Moyes' romance novel about the love which blossoms between a small town nurse (Emilia Clarke) and a wealthy gentleman (Sam Claflin) left paralyzed and depressed by a recent motorcycle accident. Supporting cast includes Vanessa Kirby, Charles Dance and Jenna Coleman.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (R for sexuality, drug use, graphic nudity and pervasive profanity) Musical mockumentary revolving around the trials and tribulations of a desperate one-hit wonder (Andy Samberg) whose second album is flopping. Ensemble cast includes Sarah Silverman, Imogen Poots, Bill Hader and Maya Rudolph, and features cameo appearances by Simon Cowell, Jimmy Fallon, Pink, Snoop Dogg, Adam Levine, Usher and Seal.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (PG-13 for sci-fi violence) Live-action adaptation of the video game of the same name finds the crime-fighting quartet (Pete Ploszek, Noel Fisher, Alan Ritchson and Jeremy Howard) battling their revenge-minded nemesis, Shredder (Brian Tee), who has joined forces with a diabolical mad scientist (Tyler Perry). With Megan Fox, Laura Linney, Will Arnett and Brad Garrett.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Approaching the Unknown (R for profanity) Sci-fi thriller about an American astronaut (Mark Strong) on a one-way mission to Mars. With Luke Wilson, Sanaa Lathan and Charles Baker.
Art Bastard (Unrated) Reverential biopic about maverick artist Robert Cenedella, an inveterate iconoclast who has managed to enjoy an enduring career without compromising his rebellious spirit.
The Final Master (Unrated) Martial arts adventure, set in China before World War II, about an ambitious Wing Chun practitioner (FanLiao) who must defeat 8 dojos in order to open his own karate school. With Jia Song, Wenli Jiang and Shih-Chieh Chin. (In Mandarin and English with subtitles)
The Fits (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama, set in Cincinnati, chronicling an 11 year-old tomboy's (Royalty Hightower) attempt to find acceptance by joining a tight-knit dance team at the local rec center. With Alexis Neblett, Inayah Rodgers and Makyla Burnam.
The God Cells (Unrated) Healthcare documentary exploring the viability of fetal stem cell injection therapy for a variety of neurological and immunological ailments.
It's So Easy and Other Lies (Unrated) Warts-and-all biopic about Guns N' Roses' bass player Duff McKagan, chronicling his fame and fortune as well as his near-fatal struggle with alcohol and drugs. featuring commentary by Slash, Nikki Sixx and Benny Urquidez.
Time to Choose (Unrated) Eco-documentary, directed by Oscar-winner Charles Ferguson (Inside Job) and narrated by Oscar Isaac, exploring solutions for the climate change crisis.
Urge (R for disturbing violence and sexual behavior, drug use and pervasive profanity) Suspense thriller about a mysterious nightclub owner (Pierce Brosnan) who introduces some revelers to a new designer drug which strips them of their inhibitions. With Ashley Greene, Alexis Knapp and Danny Masterson.
The Witness (Unrated) Bystander Effect documentary revisiting the murder of 28 year-old Kitty Genovese in Queens in the wee hours of March 13, 1964 which awakened 38 of her neighbors, all of whom failed to call the police.