4 Best Movies to Watch by Poorna Jagannathan

Staff & contributors
Those familiar with John Green’s many book-to-movie adaptations (The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns) will recognize the author’s signature quirks in Turtles All the Way Down. There are kids who spout out quotable quotes and love interests too gorgeous to be real. But just the same, teenagers are given a fuller and deeper understanding here, which is Green’s best trademark and true strength. Helped by Director Hannah Mark’s strong vision, Turtles All the Way Down is a relatable and heartwarming look into the gnawing pain that can come with growing up. Specifically, the film invites us into the troubled mind of Aza, who suffers from debilitating OCD. It’s a realistic (and never pitiful) assessment of how anxious teens navigate love, friendship, and maybe most notable of all, money. There’s a focus on economic realities here that feels fitting and wise in this day and age. Many people forget how keenly aware young people are of money, and it’s refreshing to see it play out here, even if it’s just in the peripheral.

Genre: Drama, Romance

Actor: Cree Cicchino, Debby Ryan, Felix Mallard, Hannah Marks, Isabela Merced, J. Smith-Cameron, John Green, Judy Reyes, Kaleigh Howland, Kevin Crowley, Maliq Johnson, Poorna Jagannathan, Tim Gooch

Director: Hannah Marks

Rating: PG-13

You ought to know what you’re getting into with a movie like The Out-Laws, a production from the Adam Sandler-founded Happy Madison banner that’s behind such lofty cinematic heights as Grown Ups and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Even in that charitable frame of reference, though, The Out-Laws feels, even more than usual, like a tax write-off for its creators and a sweet solely-for-the-paycheck gig for its starry cast, who don’t have to do much by way of actual dramatic work here. The perfunctory editing and bland direction often seem disinterested in (or, perhaps, embarrassed by) most of the script’s attempts to be funny, and so the film rushes through its scenario, which is only mildly amusing to begin with. In a movie like this, that’s more of a blessing than a curse, even if it does mean some of its better moments get short shrift from the whistlestop treatment. All in all, even as Happy Madison vehicles go, this is an utterly forgettable 95 minutes — the kind you’ll barely even be able to recall by the time the credits roll.

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance

Actor: Adam Devine, Anthony Belevtsov, Betsy Sodaro, Blake Anderson, Cale Schultz, Dean Winters, Derek Russo, Ellen Barkin, Haley Leary, Jackie Sandler, Jackson Beals, Julie Hagerty, Laci Mosley, Lauren Lapkus, Lil Rel Howery, Lynne Ashe, Michael Rooker, Mo Gallini, Montrel Miller, Nina Dobrev, Orelon Sidney, Otis Winston, Paul Eliopoulos, Peggy Walton-Walker, Pierce Brosnan, Poorna Jagannathan, Rebecca Covert, Reyn Doi, Richard Kind, Sunny Sandler, Tywayne Wheatt, Zele Avradopoulos

Director: Tyler Spindel

Rating: R