A Viewer's Guide to Weekend Movies: Brains vs. Brawn

Lucy sees your impressive muscles, Hercules, and scoffs. She grew those muscles 20% of her brain ago.

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How was your week, y'all? Pretty long, right? We feel you. We are firmly in the dog days of summer, and all we want is for it to be October so we can see Gone Girl and Dear White People. Luckily, this weekend's got some solid options to tide you over until then.

In Theaters

After last week's disaster, things are looking up in the land of wide releases! Both of this week's widest releases got solid reviews; in Hercules' case, that's pretty surprising. Brett Ratner directing Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson in a swords-and-sandals epic doesn't sound like our idea of a great time, yet according to The Telegraph's Tim Robey, it is "an oafish pleasure." Sounds kind of fun!

Between the brains and brawn battle at the cinema this weekend, though, we'd pick brains. Our David Sims called Lucy "delightful, at times half-baked madness" that represents the kind of high-octane blockbuster filmmaking we need more of.

Lastly, we should probably give poor Diane Keaton a break, but her new movie And So It Goes looks like it's exactly as unremarkable as the rest of her recent filmography. We'll let the 15 percent Rotten Tomatoes score speak for itself. Sorry, Diane.

In Limited Release

Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight is hitting just a handful of theaters, and judging by the quality, it might be best if it stayed there. But if it does do well (it will not do well), you can expect a lot of people to not be sure how to talk about it.

A significantly better-reviewed limited release: Happy Christmas, Anna Kendrick and Melanie Lynskey's new film. It's been available on demand for a while, but this is your first chance to see it in theaters. Though if you miss it, don't worry: Kendrick's gonna be around for a while.

Video on Demand

Pickings are a little slim on demand this week. You can watch Heaven Is For Real, the movie about a boy who says he died and saw heaven, then came back. Apropos of nothing, we're just reminding you of this parody Twitter account:

So yeah, watch Heaven Is For Real if you want! There's also Tyler Perry's The Single Moms Club, which, OK, maybe this is the weekend to get out of the house. You deserve it!

Movies on TV

Enforcing the point, there are slim pickings on TV this week as we approach the end of the month. Showtime's highlights are the same as they've been the past few weeks – their lineup will refresh next week. HBO, however, is offering you something new in Getaway, which stars Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez (truly a buddy comedy pair waiting to happen) and has a 2% rating on RT. That's not a typo. Remember: new is not always good. Anyway, if your TV happens to be tuned to HBO Saturday at 8 p.m., that's what you'll be seeing. Sorry.

Streaming on Netflix

Luckily, some pretty great films are now streaming on Netflix! The Master is Paul Thomas Anderson's prickly, challenging film that's not about Scientology except it's totally about Scientology. On a somber note, it's also one of Phillip Seymour Hoffman's last performances – and it's a fantastic one.

The Immigrant also joins the Netflix slate despite also being in select theaters. It has a fantastic 87% rating on RT and is just the thing to sate your need for a great period piece in your life. If you're in the mood for something lighter, Hitch is also now streaming. Everyone loves Hitch! It's Will Smith's last great flick! Let's pretend he never aged any further and we never had to hear about After Earth.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.