This Week at the Movies: ‘Sausage Party,’ ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ ‘Hell or High Water’

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Are you having a lousy time at the movies this summer? Do you keep going to the multiplex all full of hope and wonder, and end up leaving full of only popcorn and soda? Have you found this season’s big summer movies to be mildly disappointing at best and soul-crushingly terrible at worst? Well, here’s something I never thought I’d write again: there are three big new movies this week, and they’re all good.

  • The best of the bunch is Hell or High Water, a crackerjack crime picture from director David Mackenzie (Starred Up) and writer Taylor Sheridan (Sicario), which pits lawman Jeff Bridges against bank robbing brothers Chris Pine and Ben Foster in a contemporary Western that threads its needle with the hopelessness of the 21st century economy. Our rave review is here; it opens this week in limited release before going wide on the 19th.
  • Also well worth your time is Pete’s Dragon, which transforms one of Disney’s weakest “classics” into a warm, charming, lyrical ode to childhood, friendship, and growing up. Read more here.
  • And then there’s Sausage Party, the cheerfully filthy and occasionally (surprisingly) thoughtful NOT FOR KIDDIE animated comedy from the Seth Rogen / Evan Goldberg factory. Check out our review here, and our report from its work-in-progress screening at SXSW here.
  • Finally, in limited release, we have the ensemble comedy/drama Joshy, in which Thomas Middleditch’s weekend bachelor party becomes rather a sobering affair following the suicide of the bride-to-be. The ace ensemble cast (also including Adam Pally, Jenny Slate, Nick Kroll, Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, and Alex Ross Perry) shines, and writer/director Jeff Baena throws some well-placed curveballs. Read more in our BAMcinemaFest review here, and in the August indie guide here.

And there’s always last week’s movies to catch up on as well. Just don’t go see Suicide Squad. Seriously, you deserve better than that.