By Jay Bobbin Zap2it
(Ratings for each film begin with a "star'' rating -- one star meaning "poor,'' four meaning "excellent'' -- followed by the Motion Picture Association of America rating, and then by a family-viewing guide, the key for which appears below.)
"The Boss": Again giving herself a movie role, in tandem with her director and co-writer husband Ben Falcone, Melissa McCarthy expands on work she did with the Groundlings comedy troupe as Michelle Darnell ... a ruthless businesswoman who has a major fall from grace when she's convicted of insider trading. Hoping to reclaim her former stature when her prison term ends, it doesn't exactly work that way, forcing her to seek shelter with her former assistant (Kristen Bell) and determine a way to reinvent herself. Particularly enjoyable are McCarthy's scenes with Peter Dinklage ("Game of Thrones''), as a rival with whom she shares a past. Kathy Bates and "Saturday Night Live's'' Cecily Strong also appear. DVD extras: deleted scenes; extended and alternate scenes; outtakes. *** (R: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Barbershop: The Next Cut": Though it comes more than a decade after the previous movie in the franchise, this latest chapter retains many of the original cast members. The title establishment goes co-ed, generating a battle of the sexes and the shears -- and despite the good, highly spirited times within those walls, turns for the worse in the neighborhood overall demand unity to improve conditions. Returning stars include Ice Cube, Cedric the Entertainer, Anthony Anderson and Eve; Regina Hall, Common, J.B. Smoove and Nicki Minaj also appear. The script was co-written by "black-ish'' creator Kenya Barris. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; deleted scenes; outtakes. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Criminal": Evoking earlier melodramas such as "Face/Off,'' this clever adventure written by David Weisberg and the late Douglas Cook ("The Rock'') casts Kevin Costner as an ex-convict who becomes the object of an experiment to transplant the mind of a slain CIA agent (Ryan Reynolds) into him. The aim is to retrieve a computer program that could infiltrate nuclear-defense systems around the world, but complications arise, including the former felon's increasing involvement with the agent's widow (Gal Gadot, "Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice''). Tommy Lee Jones, Gary Oldman, Alice Eve, Michael Pitt and Robert Davi also are in the cast. DVD extras: two "making-of'' documentaries; deleted scenes; music video. *** (R: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"I am Wrath": John Travolta returns to action mode in this melodrama, playing an ex-covert espionage agent who launches a personal revenge mission that becomes much more. After his wife is killed and the chief suspect is set free by dirty cops, his determination to avenge the death turns out to be connected to a government conspiracy. Christopher Meloni plays a friend who helps him in a cast that also includes Amanda Schull ("12 Monkeys'') and Rebecca De Mornay. DVD extra: audio commentary by director Chuck Russell and screenwriter and co-star Paul Sloan. *** (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also releasing this week:
"Sing Street": A specialist in dramas that revolve around music, as he proved with "Once'' and "Begin Again,'' writer-director John Carney works that genre again with the story of a 1980s Irish teen (played by Ferdia Walsh-Peelo) who tries to get past troubles at home by entertaining dreams of joining a band and making music videos. Those accelerate toward reality when a young woman (Lucy Boynton) becomes his muse, prompting him to assemble his own music group so he can get going. Aiden Gillen and Jack Reynor also star. *** (PG-13: AS, P) (Also on On Demand)
"Hardcore Henry": Using a conceit rarely attempted in movies, this thriller unfolds almost totally from the perspective of the protagonist ... making the viewer his ''eyes," as it were. The Russian-American co-production is a science-fiction adventure that puts Henry -- refitted with cybernetic prosthetics after an accident -- on the trail of stolen research and a kidnapped woman (Haley Bennett) who claims to be his wife. Moscow becomes the setting of much of the action, which literally is fast and furious. Sharlto Copley (''District 9") and Tim Roth also star, and it's interesting to note that the bounty of first-person footage was captured via cameras mounted on a special mask made expressly for this production. *** (R: AS, N, P, GV)
"The Blacklist: The Complete Third Season" (Aug. 2): Now that she's a fugitive from justice, Red (James Spader) does what he can to protect Liz (Megan Boone), even from her former comrades. (Not rated: AS, P, V)
"The Huntsman: Winter's War" (Aug. 23): Battling sisters (Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt) pose big challenges for the Huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) and his true love (Jessica Chastain). (PG-13: AS, V)
"Halt and Catch Fire: The Complete Second Season" (Aug. 9): The personal-computer revolution continues to advance in the AMC series; Lee Pace stars. (Not rated: AS, P)
"A Hologram for the King" (Aug. 9): Tom Hanks plays a businessman struggling to adjust to overseas customs while trying to close a deal. (R: AS, N, P)
"Roots" (Aug. 23): The remake of the landmark miniseries about author Alex Haley's family background features Forest Whitaker and Laurence Fishburne. (Not rated: AS, V)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending July 10, 2016, courtesy of comScore)
2) "Whiskey, Tango, Foxtrot"
3) "13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers Of Benghazi"
4) "10 Cloverfield Lane"
6) "How to be Single"
7) "Ride Along 2"
8) "The Revenatnt"
9) "Triple Nine"
10) "Dirty Grandpa"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence