For one of the better box office weekends in January, three — (count ’em three!) — films will be released this Friday.
Arnold Schwarzenegger gets back in the leading man saddle with “The Last Stand.” The action flick from Kim Jee-Woon (“I Saw the Devil”) imagines Ah-nuld as a border patrol sheriff charged with making sure a drug lord doesn’t escape to Mexico.
If you’d like your action a little more hard-boiled, Mark Wahlberg’s turn in the noir-esque “Broken City” should be right up your alley. Here, Wahlberg plays a cop-turned-private-eye who is hired by New York’s mayor (Russel Crowe) and winds up smack dab in the middle of a life-or-death scandal.
But if it’s horror you’re hankering for this weekend, check out the Jessica Chastain-led “Mama.” The Golden Globe-winning actress stars in Guillermo del Toro’s supernatural thriller, which follows two young girls — believed to be dead — trying to acclimate back into a normal life. (Spoiler: It’s a rough transition.)
Before you make your selection at the cinema this weekend, take a look at our review roundup below!
Richard Corliss (TIME Magazine)
When any film works, it’s a miracle; <a href=”http://entertainment.time.com/2013/01/18/the-mystery-of-broken-city-who-killed-the-new-york-crime-drama/”>when it doesn’t, it’s this</a>.
Lou Lumenick (New York Post)
There’s rarely a <a href=”http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/lots_to_fix_in_broken_city_XUw6MdYzgppGaU3xFwq9mO”>believable moment</a> …
Stephanie Merry (Washington Post)
You may want to account for low expectations, but the crime drama “Broken City” turns out to be much better — and funnier and more suspenseful — <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/broken-city,1217527/critic-review.html”>than both trailer and release date portend</a>.
Leonard Maltin (indieWIRE)
What can you say about a story that takes so long to unfold <a href=”http://blogs.indiewire.com/leonardmaltin/broken-city”>but doesn’t take the time to flesh out its characters</a>?
Mark Jenkins (NPR)
As an opportunity for hard-boiled types to trade threats, blows and caustic banter, <a href=”http://www.npr.org/2013/01/17/169341062/broken-city-broken-movie-an-undernourished-noir?ft=1&f=1045″>this modern-day noir works reasonably well</a>.
Betsy Sharkey (Los Angeles Times)
The metaphorical mother-child connection becomes a mystical horror show of significant power. Sadly <a href=”http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/moviesnow/la-et-mn-mama-review20130118,0,6065018.story”>it comes too late</a> to save “Mama.”
Kyle Smith (New York Post)
Chastain has an excellent time. And so did I, for most of the movie: It’s much more suspenseful than violent, <a href=”http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/it_ghostly_but_not_ghastly_wjbLfkbCTeRNmao5TWX4YK”>being careful not to allow us to figure out Mama too quickly</a>.
Tom Long (Detroit News)
There’s something eerily effective about juxtaposing childhood innocence with the violent, the supernatural, the deranged. Evil shines all the more brightly <a href=”http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130118/ENT02/301180332/1034/Review-Horror-convention-meets-dark-imagination-spectacularly-spooky-Mama-“>when held up against the sweet promise of youth</a>.
Michael O’Sullivan (Washington Post)
There’s something dead and rotting at the center of “Mama,” and it <a href=”http://www.washingtonpost.com/gog/movies/mama,1236534/critic-review.html”>isn’t the ghost of the woman who lends the horror film its title</a>.
Staci Layne Wilson (Yahoo! Movies)
I rather liked the first half – but, caution: cliches abound, <a href=”http://voices.yahoo.com/mama-movie-review-jessica-chastain-goes-punk-the-11976488.html?cat=40″>and don’t go in expecting much based on the much-bandied Guillermo del Toro name</a>.
Elizabeth Weitzman (New York Daily News)
The script is a mess, built on lazy clichés, stilted jokes and easy payoffs. <a href=”http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv-movies/movie-review-stand-article-1.1241877″>What the movie does have, though, is enthusiasm</a>.
Richard Corliss (TIME Magazine)
Slapdash in its character portraits, the movie is slambang in its action scenes; <a href=”http://entertainment.time.com/2013/01/18/hero-glock-dirty-arnolds-back-guns-blazing-in-the-last-stand/”>it springs to life whenever it promises death</a>.
Richard Roeper (Chicago Sun-Times)
To call “The Last Stand” gratuitously violent is to pay the movie a compliment. <a href=”http://www.rogerebert.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130116/REVIEWS/130119995/-1/RSS”>It’s sort of the whole point</a>.
Sara Stewart (New York Post)
[It] just seems to want to gin up a lot of high-fiving for a lot of shooting, <a href=”http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/movies/ahnold_goes_gun_crazy_KchluPVlZ8Mjn8A32vbMLP”>and right now is the least palatable time I can think of for that</a>.
James Verniere (Boston Herald)
Arguably, <a href=”http://bostonherald.com/entertainment/movies/movie_reviews/2013/01/%E2%80%98stand%E2%80%99_falls_flat”>a future guilty pleasure</a>.