Pick of the week: “Begin Again” — It’s not “Once.” It’s not “Sing Street.” But I would argue that John Carney’s second feature, starring Mark Ruffalo as a down-on-his-luck music producer who thinks he’s found a star in singer-songwriter Keira Knightley, does capture the joyful spirit of music and creation. The Cee Lo cameo is ill-advised in retrospect, of course.
“Mission: Impossible III” — After the letdown that was John Woo’s second “M:I” movie, J.J. Abrams revived the franchise (and set the template for later films) with this fast and clever ride, featuring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as a truly chilling villain.
“Firewall” — Harrison Ford did sort of his own “Taken” a decade ago as a software security expert who has to wrangle with bad guy Paul Bettany when his family is kidnapped. It’s not “The Fugitive,” but it’s an effective sort of B-movie potboiler, and you do get to see Harrison Ford kill a guy with a blender.
“Minions” — My full review is here. Loved the first “Despicable Me,” was left cold by the second, but this spinoff cash grab focusing on the little yellow guys does capture some of the anarchic fun of the first movie.
“Hellion” — My full review is here. Not to be confused with the horror film “Hellions,” Aaron Paul excels as a grieving young widower who has to adjust to life as a single father with a rebellious older son in this underseen but strong indie drama.