Weekend movies: Star Trek Beyond, Seoul Searching, Life, Animated and more

A quick scan of new releases in theatres. Plus what to watch right now on Netflix.


>>> Star Trek Beyond has a few pacing problems and one ending too many, but it’s still a really satisfying adventure that comes closest to recapturing the spirit of the original series – and is perhaps the first film in the rebooted series that truly stands on its own.Three years into their deep-space mission, the crew of the Enterprise is getting comfortable with boldly going where no one has gone before… until a distress call sends them into an uncharted nebula where they’re captured by a madman (Idris Elba) bent on starting a war with the Federation. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing.

Rating: NNNN


Seoul Searching is a comedy about foreign-born Korean teens who attend a summer camp in Seoul to learn about their heritage. Anyone raised on John Hughes movies will recognize the vibe straight away. It’s The Breakfast Club stretched out over a few weeks: a bunch of mismatched teens are thrown together to eventually discover they’re not that different after all. Of particular interest are the punk (Justin Chon), the Madonna lookalike (Jessika Van) and the jarhead (Albert Kong), who all have at least one additional dimension beyond their chosen identities. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NNN


>>> Dangerous Liaisons: The Films Of Eric Rohmer doesn’t just pull out the usual half-dozen acknowledged classics. It’s a proper retrospective, the first in more than two decades, and it arrives six years after Eric Rohmer’s death in 2010. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NNNNN


Lights Out is based on a short film that made terrific and terrifying use of a flickering bulb, a figure in the shadow and snappy editing. The gimmick runs its course in under three minutes and did not need to be made into a feature. But we have one anyway, with near identical scenes recreated and buried in an otherwise fright-less and muddled effort. As with the original, people must flee towards the light from a banshee that can only creep in the shadows. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NN


The Blackout Experiments is a documentary about people who repeatedly patronize a horror-house experience called Blackout, where they submit to torture sessions tailored to their specific fears. Director Fox filmed these midnight sessions, which seem inspired by the Guantánamo Bay interrogation manual: stress positions, humiliation, forced nudity, limited physical assault. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NN


Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie relies on fans’ goodwill and familiarity with the decades-old BBC show in which Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley played the shallow, klutzy, lewd PR woman Edina and her ever-inebriated BFF, Patsy. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NN


Ice Age: Collision Course is the fifth movie in a franchise that has grown more lucrative over 14 years, even as the quality, which began at mediocre, has steadily declined. Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (Dennis Leary) and Sid the dim-witted sloth (John Leguizamo) have conquered sub-zero temperatures, a meltdown, the dawn of the dinosaurs and the breakup of Pangaea. In Collision Course, they’re outrunning meteors, stubbornly refusing extinction. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: N


>>> Train to Busan is the best fast-zombie picture since the Dawn Of The Dead remake it’s also an awful lot of fun. Almost the entire film takes place on a speeding train travelling from Seoul to Busan, and focuses on a handful of passengers trying to survive an outbreak already in progress. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NNNN


>>> Our Little Sister explores what happens when three adult sisters (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) invite their teenage half-sister (Suzu Hirose) to live with them after their father dies. Kore-eda (After Life Nobody Knows Like Father, Like Son) may be adapting Akimi Yoshida’s contemporary manga Umimachi Diary, but he’s working in the classical style of Yasujiro Ozu, finding entire worlds in the microcosm of one family. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NNNN


>>> Life, Animated is a moving testament to the power of film. Diagnosed with autism at three, Owen Suskind makes sense of the world through Disney animated movies, though his parents and doctors were slow to clue into this. His first words after four years of silence concerned The Jungle Book and Peter Pan, and a tiny line of dialogue from The Little Mermaid expressed his desire to communicate. (See full review). 

Opens July 22. See listing. 

Rating: NNNNN


Available now on Netflix


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It Follows is high-concept nail-biter about 19-year-old Jay (Maika Monroe), whose new boyfriend infects her with a sexually transmitted demon that will stalk and kill her unless she passes the curse along to someone else. (See full review). 

Rating: NNNN

Available to watch here. 

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