Weekend Openings: There’s at least one ‘Fantastic’ option hitting theaters

Welcome back to Weekend Openings everybody! This week, we have a number of fun options for you to choose from, and I’d go so far as to say there’s more or less something for everyone. Just on a personal level, I enjoyed a number of the offerings I’ll be running down today, with one of the top three something I’d place among the very best releases of 2016 so far. High praise, I know, but it truly deserves that distinction. You’ll see exactly what I mean very shortly, since we’re about to kick the column off, right now in fact. Here we go!

Best Bet This Week

Captain Fantastic

I’m all about this drama, as you probably saw in my rave review. Viggo Mortensen shines in this Matt Ross film, which is an incredibly pleasant surprise. I went in with no preconceived notions about it, knowing really only that it had gotten raves at both the Sundance Film Festival and Cannes Film Festival. Now, I can vouch for the hype being well deserved. Mortensen and Ross have crafted something original and wholly unique. I really can’t recommend it enough, so if it’s playing anywhere near you this weekend, it’s the clear cut best choice in my eyes. Seek it out if you have to!

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 75%
Oscar Hopes – An outside chance of a play in Best Actor or Best Original Screenplay
Screen Count – 4 (Limited Platform Release)

Also Opening of Note

Cell

A number of years ago I read Stephen King’s book of the same name and thought it would be a quality horror flick. Fast forward to today and we’re getting the long shelved and apparently fairly porous adaptation. Initially a high priority meant to have been directed by Eli Roth and scripted by the team of Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, it now is coming to us courtesy of scribe Adam Alleca and director Tod Williams. The downgrade is apparently felt, as John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson seem to be completely wasted. Considering how it got a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, this probably is a must miss.

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 0%
Oscar Hopes – None
Screen Count – Limited Release

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates

I’ll confess to having laughed a pretty fair amount at my screening of this one, so I’m more positive about this one than the average critic. For some reason, I just apparently dig raunchy comedies with Zac Efron in them. Efron is game as always here, though Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza steal the show in this one from Efron and Adam Devine. The movie is pretty funny, but not quite hilarious, so I can’t really argue with anyone who doesn’t care for it. On my end though, it’s enough fun to warrant checking out, provided that this is your sort of thing.

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 47%
Oscar Hopes – No chance
Screen Count – 2,982 screens

The Secret Life of Pets

Another delightful option today is this one, which is the week’s second best choice. For my money, it’s the top animated release of 2016 so far, even if that’s not saying a whole lot. Pet owners especially will feel like a third of it is a long inside joke, or at least I felt that way. I joked about bringing my dog to confirm the factual accuracy of this expose, but it actually is a really strong family option. Louis C.K. is an excellent voice actor too, not that you had any reason to doubt that. This is as fun as any release that’s hit theaters this summer.

Rotten Tomatoes Score – 76%
Oscar Hopes – A nomination in Best Animated Feature is very possible
Screen Count – 4,369 screens

The Rest

The Dog Lover
Fathers and Daughters
Indian Point
Men Go to Battle
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Our Little Sister
Under the Sun
Zero Days

What will you be watching at the movies this weekend? Discuss in the comments!