The Recorder

Philadelphia Inquirer Movie Guide

American Assassin. 1.5 stars. A black ops recruit and a Cold War veteran are recruited by the deputy director of the CIA to stop a mystery operative hitting civilian and military targets. With Dylan O’Brien, Michael Keaton, Sanaa Lathan, Shiva Negar, Scott Adkins, Taylor Kitsch. Directed by Michael Cuesta. (1:51) R (violence, language)

Annabelle: Creation. 3.5 stars. A nun and several girls from a closed orphanage move in with the bereaved dollmaker, his wife and the possessed doll in this horror sequel. With Stephanie Sigman, Talitha Bateman, Anthony LaPaglia, Miranda Otto. Written by Gary Dauberman. Directed by David F. Sandberg. (1:49) R.

ATOMIC BLONDE. 2.5 stars. Charlize Theron is a rampaging British agent in Berlin as the wall collapses in 1989, teaming with another agent (James McAvoy) to help a defector and find a traitor. Works well as actioner, not so well as espionage thriller. 1 hr. 55. R (violence, nudity).

THE BIG SICK. 3.5 stars. Based on comedian Kumail Nanjiani’s life, a funny, touching comedy of a Pakistani American caught between his religious family and the American woman (Zoe Kazan) he loves. With Holly Hunter, Ray Romano. 1 hr. 59 mins. R (sexual references)

Brad’s Status. ” — Ben Stiller stars as a middle-aged man questioning his life while visiting Boston with his college-bound musical prodigy son. With Austin Abrams, Michael Sheen, Luke Wilson, Jemaine Clement, Jenna Fischer. Written and directed by Mike White. 1 hr. 41 mins. R (language)

CROWN HEIGHTS. 2.5 stars. Poetic but muted true story of a man (former NFL player-turned-actor Nnamdi Asomugah) who devotes his life to freeing a friend (LaKeith Stanfield) wrongly convicted of murder. 1 hr. 39 mins. R (language)

DUNKIRK. 3.5 stars. Christopher Nolan’s visually sweeping, stirring account of the way ordinary citizens, in the early days of World War II, affected the massive evacuation of stranded British troops from a French port surrounded by Germans. With Mark Rylance, Kenneth Branagh, Tom Hardy, and Harry Styles. 1 hr. 47 mins. PG-13 (violence)

GIRLS TRIP. 3 stars. Malcolm Lee’s vulgar but good-natured comedy about four women (Jada Pinkett Smith, Regina Hall, Queen Latifah, Tiffany Haddish) reuniting for a wild weekend in New Orleans. Lots of star cameos, including Kevin Hart, for a split second. 2 hr. 2 mins. R (nudity, obscene language)

THE HITMAN’S BODYGUARD. 3 stars. An uptight security pro (Ryan Reynolds) is assigned to guard an assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) scheduled to testify against a genocidal dictator (Gary Oldman). Not great filmmaking, but these days, even the sophomoric spectacle of racial solidarity, in the form of a buddy comedy, is way better than nothing. 1 hr. 41 mins. R (violence, language)

It. 3 stars. Children in a small Maine town face off with a murderous clown called Pennywise. With Jaeden Lieberher, Wyatt Oleff, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard. Directed by Andy Muschietti. 2 hrs, 15 mins. R (violence/horror, bloody images, and for language)

LOGAN LUCKY. 3 stars. Steven Soderbergh comes out of retirement for this “hillbilly heist” movies about a blue collar man (Channing Tatum) who decides (along with Adam driver, Riley Keough and Dan Craig) to rob the NASCAR track that fired him. A little long, but rewards you with laughs and surprises if you stick around long enough. 1 hr. 59 mins. PG-13 (language)

mother! 3 stars. Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris and Michelle Pfeiffer star in this psychological thriller where unexpected guests cause turmoil in a couple’s relationship. Written and directed by Darren Aronofsky. 2 hrs. 1 min. R (strong disturbing violent content, some sexuality, nudity and language)

WIND RIVER. 2.5 stars. Taylor Sheridan’s screenplay has smart dialogue, likable neo-Western heroes in cowboy hats, sudden open-carry shootouts, a capable woman navigating a man’s world, and some searing social commentary, but as a rookie director, Sheridan gets lost trying to assemble these elements into a tight package. 1 hr. 41 mins. R ( strong violence, disturbing images including a rape, language)

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING. 3 stars. Actor Tom Holland heads this upbeat, up-tempo reboot, awkwardly trying to fight crime (Michael Keaton is The Vulture) and date the beautiful captain of the debate team. With Robert Downey Jr. and Zendaya. 2 hrs. 13 mins. PG-13 (some violence)

DESPICABLE ME 3. 2.5 stars. Gru meets his lost brother, Dru, and they team up for a heist, much to the delight of the bored Minions. Featuring the voices of Steve Carell and Kristin Wiig. 1 hr. 33 PG (action and rude humor)