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Movie News & Reviews
Movies opening this weekend - July 25
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Photo courtesy of UNIVERSAL PICTURES
Scarlett Johansson stars in "Lucy", an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.
Besson directs Lucy, starring Johansson, Freeman; Johnson plays Hercules. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.

Lucy
Genre: Action and thriller
Cast: Scarlett Johansson and Morgan Freeman
Director: Luc Besson
Rated: R

From "La Femme Nikita" and "The Professional" to "The Fifth Element," writer/director Luc Besson has created some of the toughest, most memorable female action heroes in cinematic history.

Now, Besson directs Scarlett Johansson in "Lucy," an action-thriller that tracks a woman accidentally caught in a dark deal who turns the tables on her captors and transforms into a merciless warrior evolved beyond human logic.

Hercules
Genre: Action, adventure and fantasy
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan, John Hurt, Rebecca Ferguson, Ingrid Bolso Berdal, Aksel Hennie and Reece Ritchie
Director: Brett Ratner
Rated: PG-13

Paramount Pictures and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures' film "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson, opens on July 25.

Based on Radical Comics' "Hercules" by Steve Moore, this ensemble-action film is a revisionist take on the classic myth, "Hercules." The epic action film also stars Golden Globe Winner Ian McShane, Rufus Sewell, Joseph Fiennes, Peter Mullan and Academy Award-nominee John Hurt.

My Man Is a Loser
Genre: Comedy
Cast: Michael Rapaport, Bryan Callen, Tika Sumpter, Kathy Searle, Heidi Armbruster and John Stamos
Director: Mike Young
Rated: R

When it comes to women, playboy Mike (John Stamos) has all the right moves. So when Mike's buddies (Michael Rapaport and Bryan Callen) ask for advice on how to reconnect with their wives, Mike figures he'll share some secrets and help the guys regain their marriage mojo. But when Mike's lessons start backfiring with hilarious results, it takes a beautiful, no-nonsense friend (Tika Sumpter) to show Mike he still has a thing or two to learn about relationships.

The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

A Most Wanted Man
Genre: Action and thriller
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright, Willem Dafoe and Daniel Brühl
Director: Anton Corbijn
Rated: R

Hamburg, Germany: 2012. A mysterious, tortured and near-dead half-Chechen, half-Russian man on the run (Grigoriy Dobrygin) arrives in the city's Islamic community desperate for help and looking to recover his late Russian father's ill-gotten fortune.

Nothing about this young man seems to add up; is he a victim or a thief or, worse still, an extremist intent on destruction? Drawn into this web of intrigue are a banker (Dafoe) and a young female lawyer (McAdams) who is determined to defend the defenseless. All the while, they are being watched by the brilliant, roguish chief of a covert German spy unit (Hoffman), who fights to put the pieces together as the clock ticks.

In an adrenaline laced and heart-rending escalation of tension and collision, it's not long before he becomes everyone's most wanted man. A Most Wanted Man, a cerebral tale of intrigue in the vein of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, is also contemporary and deeply human, touching themes in love, rivalry and politics we live with every day.

Happy Christmas
Genre: Comedy and drama
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Melanie Lynskey, Mark Webber, Lena Dunham and Joe Swanberg
Director: Joe Swanberg
Rated: R

A budding novelist and her film director husband, Kelly (Melanie Lynskey) and Jeff (Joe Swanberg) and their 2-year-old son live a peaceful existence in Chicago.

But when Jeff's irresponsible younger sister, Jenny (Anna Kendrick), comes to live with them after a breakup, things start to change. Jenny begins a rocky relationship with a baby sitter-cum-pot dealer (Mark Webber), and she and a friend, Carson (Lena Dunham), instigate an evolution in Kelly's life, as her career and her relationship with her husband begin to grow in new directions. But are they welcome ones?

Magic in the Moonlight
Genre: Comedy and drama
Cast: Eileen Atkins, Colin Firth, Marcia Gay Harden, Hamish Linklater, Simon McBurney, Emma Stone, Jacki Weaver, Erica Leerhsen, Catherine McCormack, Paul Ritter and Jeremy Shamos
Director: Woody Allen
Not rated

Set in the 1920s on the opulent Riviera in the south of France, Woody Allen's "Magic in the Moonlight" is a romantic comedy about a master magician (Colin Firth) trying to expose a psychic medium (Emma Stone) as a fake.

Chinese conjuror Wei Ling Soo is the most celebrated magician of his age, but few know that he is the stage persona of Stanley Crawford (Firth), a grouchy and arrogant Englishman with a sky-high opinion of himself and an aversion to phony spiritualists' claims that they can perform real magic. Persuaded by his life-long friend, Howard Burkan (Simon McBurney), Stanley goes on a mission to the Côte d'Azur mansion of the Catledge family: mother Grace (Jacki Weaver), son Brice (Hamish Linklater), and daughter Caroline (Erica Leerhsen).

He presents himself as a businessman named Stanley Taplinger in order to debunk the alluring young clairvoyant Sophie Baker (Stone) who is staying there with her mother (Marcia Gay Harden). Sophie arrived at the Catledge villa at the invitation of Grace, who is convinced that Sophie can help her contact her late husband, and once there, attracted the attention of Brice, who has fallen for her head over heels.

From his very first meeting with Sophie, Stanley dismisses her as an insignificant pip-squeak who he can unmask in no time, scoffing at the family's gullibility. To his great surprise and discomfort, however, Sophie accomplishes numerous feats of mind-reading and other supernatural deeds that defy all rational explanation, leaving him dumbfounded. Before long, Stanley confesses to his beloved Aunt Vanessa (Eileen Atkins) that he has begun to wonder whether Sophie's powers could actually be real. If they were to be true, Stanley realizes that anything might be possible, even good, and his entire belief system would come crashing down.

Very Good Girls
Genre: Drama
Cast: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Ellen Barkin, Peter Sarsgaard and Clark Gregg
Director: Naomi Foner
Not rated

Best friends Lily (Dakota Fanning) and Gerry (Elizabeth Olsen), home for one last New York summer, make a pact to lose their virginity before leaving for college.

But when they both fall for the same handsome artist (Boyd Holbrook) and Lily starts seeing him in secret, a lifelong friendship is tested.
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