New in Theaters: 'The Monuments Men,' 'The Lego Movie,' 'Vampire Academy'

The Monuments Men

We’ve another diverse group of new releases coming into theaters this weekend—a war drama based on a true story that you’ll have to see to believe, the latest young adult film featuring some kind of supernatural being, and the unlikely hero, an animated film utilizing popular children’s (and many adult’s) toys.

Arriving in theaters with a star-studded cast is The Monuments Men, the sort-of true story of an unlikely WWII platoon of seven historians, curators, and museum directors (Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Bob Balaban, Hugh Bonneville, Jean Dujardin, and George Clooney, who also wrote and directed the film) tasked with recapturing and protecting works of art being destroyed by Nazi troops across Europe.

As promising as this cast and premise might sound, critics are not convinced—the film sits at a mediocre 33% on Rotten Tomatoes. While the film has some decent moments, it mostly plods along while echoing other, more successful WWII films. With some heavy competition waiting in the wings, the Box Office Guru predicts a modest gross of $16 million.

On a lighter note, The Lego Movie also opens today. The first film to ever extensively feature Lego figures, it tells the tale of Emmet (Chris Pratt), an ordinary Lego worker who is mistaken for the potential savior of the world, and is tasked with defeating a diabolical villain (Will Ferrell) and his dangerous henchman (Liam Neeson); luckily, he will have the help of several Lego heroes (Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, and Alison Brie).

This movie scored incredibly well with the critics, earning a 97% on the Tomatometer. This movie has it all—dazzling animation, snappy dialogue, and laughs a-plenty. The film could be looking at an impressive opening weekend gross of $57 million.

Lastly, we have Vampire Academy, the latest young-adult-book-series-turned-movie to attempt a spin on classic supernatural monsters (in this case, vampires), directed by Mark Waters (Mean Girls). The film follows Rose Hathaway (Zoey Deutch), a vampire princess, and Lissa Dragomir (Lucy Fry), her friend and guardian, as they are forced to attend St. Vladimir’s Academy, the place they are trying to escape, and where they are in danger from both the Moroi (relatively nice vampires) and Strigoi (your more typical immortal, bllodthirsty vampires).

As far as critics are concerned, the film isn’t worth a second look—the folks at Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at a lowly 8%. It’s apparently one of the laziest attempts yet to recapture the Twilight audience, with a screenplay that did not receive enough thought before being approved. Accordingly, it can only expect weekend revenues of around $9 million.

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