(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.)
"Before I Fall": Zoey Deutch -- a daughter of Lea Thompson ("Back to the Future'') and director Howard Deutch ("Pretty in Pink'') -- is one of today's busiest young actresses, and this somewhat supernatural drama based on Lauren Oliver's novel has been one of the factors in making that so. She plays a car-accident victim who evidently has died, but she keeps experiencing the events of that tragic day over and over, each time learning more information about those in her life whom she thought she knew very well. Co-stars include Halston Sage, Logan Miller and Kian Lawley, but this clearly is a showcase for the talented Deutch, who makes the most of it. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Collide": Anthony Hopkins and Ben Kingsley clearly have more notable projects on their resumes -- a lot of them, in fact -- but there's undeniable fun in watching the two Oscar winners square off in this adventure. Nicholas Hoult, alias Beast in the "X-Men'' movies, plays a young man involved in European drug-dealing ... a pursuit that becomes more urgent when he needs money for the treatment of his ill girlfriend (Felicity Jones, in a role she filmed before becoming "Rogue One's'' heroine). Much of what unfolds feels familiar, but that Kingsley-Hopkins showdown is worth the price of admission -- or, in this case, a rental. *** (PG-13: AS, P, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"The Shack": Sam Worthington ("Avatar'') has the central role in this strongly spiritual drama, based on the same-named best seller, as a man grieving over the kidnapping and apparent death of his youngest daughter. He's lured by a mysterious letter to the shack where she may have perished, and there, several purported representatives of the Deity make him come to terms with what has happened and what may yet come. Oscar winner Octavia Spencer is among those playing the allegedly heavenly emissaries; country-music star Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell and Graham Greene also appear. DVD extras: five "making-of'' featurettes; audio commentary by director Stuart Hazeldine; deleted scene. *** (PG-13: AS, V) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
Also Releasing this Week:
"Hart to Hart: The Complete Series": Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers had worked together earlier in an episode of "It Takes a Thief,'' so their on-screen chemistry already was evident by the time they started this popular adventure series, created by best-selling novelist Sidney Sheldon and augmented by James Bond screenwriter Tom Mankiewicz, and produced by television veterans Aaron Spelling and Leonard Goldberg (with Wagner also a producer of the show). The stars play wealthy and much-in-love spouses Jonathan and Jennifer Hart, who just can't resist acting as amateur sleuths when mysteries fall in their path ... and that happened frequently enough for the series to have a five-season run, along with a set of TV-movie sequels. Veteran character actor Lionel Stander is a welcome presence as the Harts' manservant Max, and as was typical of Spelling's shows for ABC in the '70s and '80s, the roster of guest stars is a who's-who of Hollywood at the time. DVD extras: "making-of'' documentary; audio commentary on pilot episode by Wagner, Powers and Mankiewicz. *** (Not rated: AS, V)
"Fist Fight": The title event is what could result at a school -- and not between students, but two teachers -- in this comedy. As their high school's academic year draws to a close, one teacher (Charlie Day, "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia'') is beset by a variety of concerns, including his expectant wife. His list of worries increases by one when he causes the firing of a fellow faculty member (Ice Cube), a known tough guy whose challenge to be met in an after-school fight quickly becomes a major, much-anticipated occasion for the school. Co-stars include Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell ("22 Jump Street''), Dennis Haysbert and Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men''). DVD extras: deleted scenes. *** (R: AS, N, P) (Also on Blu-ray and On Demand)
"Victorian Slum House": The 19th-century challenges that were faced by families and individuals living in London's East End are re-created in this five-episode PBS series, which puts modern participants to the test of existing under the same conditions -- when having enough money for food and rent seemed next to impossible. The opening hour, "The 1860s,'' considers how working in the rag trade and using outdoor bathrooms were among the basic aspects of survival then. Each of the following episodes covers a subsequent decade. *** (Not rated: AS)
"A Cure for Wellness" (June 6): A company man (Dane DeHaan) heads for the Swiss Alps to retrieve his boss from a spa that isn't what it seems. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"John Wick: Chapter 2" (June 13): The ex-assassin (Keanu Reeves) goes to Italy when another killer wants his own sister eliminated; Reeves' ``Matrix'' colleague Laurence Fishburne co-stars. (R: AS, N, P, V)
"Beauty and the Beast" (June 6): Emma Watson and "Downton Abbey's'' Dan Stevens have the title roles in the live-action Disney version of the classic "tale as old as time.'' (PG: V)
"A United Kingdom" (June 6): The king of Botswana (David Oyewolo) risks his throne when he marries a British woman (Rosamund Pike) in the late 1940s. (PG-13: AS)
"Table 19" (June 13): Attending a wedding under strange circumstances, a woman (Anna Kendrick) trades stories with her reception tablemates. (PG-13: AS, P)
"The Lego Batman Movie" (June 13): Will Arnett voices the title character as the Joker (voice of Zach Galifianakis) threatens Gotham City once again. (PG: AS)
Oldies But Goodies:
"Groundhog Day" (1993): The same day keeps repeating itself for a weatherman (Bill Murray) in this comedy, now the source of a Broadway musical. *** (Also on Blu-ray)
"National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978): The antics of the members of Delta House ensure higher education is fun; John Belushi and Tim Matheson star. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
"The Silence of the Lambs" (1991): The match-up of Oscar winners Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster fuels this all-time suspense classic. **** (Also on Blu-ray)
TOP 10 DVD & Blu-Ray Rentals
(Week ending May 14, 2017, Courtesy of comScore)
1) 'Hidden Figures"
2) "Why Him?"
3) "Fantastic Beasts and Where to FindThem"
4) "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story"
7) "La La Land"
5) "Assasin's Creed"
9) "Monster Trucks"
10) "Collateral Beauty"
FAMILY VIEWING GUIDE KEY: AS, adult situations; N, nudity; P, profanity; V, violence; GV, particularly graphic violence.
STARTING THIS WEEK (New releases):