What to Watch: July 914

Despicable Me 2 (Savoy 16 IMAX): This film is a sequel to the 2010 animated comedy Despicable Me, in which master criminal Gru adopts three cute little girls in order to further his plans for world domination (it makes sense in the movie) and winds up loving his new role as father. In this go-round, the now-retired villain Gru is tasked with working as a secret agent to bring down a villain with plans of...well...world domination. He is partnered with hilarious spitfire Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig).

Why to Watch: The films in the Despicable Me series are great for kids and adults alike. Younger kids will absolutely adore Gru’s clone-like minions, while older children will love Gru (again voiced by Steve Carell with the world’s least distinguishable accent). The grownups in the audience will appreciate the nods to the difficulties of parenting. One of the nicest things about this growing film franchise is that its focus is placed heavily on family. This franchise works hard at being something everyone can appreciate, and this sequel largely succeeds.

Showing: Daily @ 11:05 a.m., 11:35 a.m., 12:05 p.m., 1:25 p.m., 1:55 p.m., 2:25 p.m., 3:45 p.m., 4:15 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 6:05 p.m., 6:35 p.m., 7:05 p.m., 8:30 p.m., and 9:00 p.m. In 3D @ 9:30 p.m.

Dr. Strangelove (The Art Theater Co-Op): The story of a demented Air Force general who launches an air strike against Russia, the race is on to cool off the Hot Line or, failing that, to grab the cushiest spot possible in the post-nuclear world. Peter Sellers is at his versatile best in three roles: earnest British squadron leader, apologetic American president, and, most unforgettably, crazed cyborg ex-Nazi scientist.

Why to Watch: The remarkable thing about the film is not the story, although the premise is hard to beat; it’s the characters that give this black-and-white comedy its spark. This film is one of the masterworks of director Stanley Kubrick, and it serves as a great commentary about fear, war, and politics. It’s a crazy movie with a classic ending.

Showing: Thursday, July 11 @ 10:00 p.m.

Labyrinth (The Art Theater Co-op): Jennifer Connelly plays a young girl whose baby brother is kidnapped by evil Muppets and taken to a castle hidden in a large maze. David Bowie plays The Goblin King, who rules this magical land in a dark yet hilarious Jim Henson musical.

Why to Watch: David Bowie’s pants. As dumb as that sounds, his costume is hysterical. The songs sung by Bowie are fantastic. The creatures look incredible, Connelly gives a remarkably assured performance for such a young actress, and the environments are still eerie considering this movie is a staple of the '80s.

Showing: July 12 @ 10:00 p.m., July 13 @ 10:00 p.m., and July 14 @ 11:30 a.m.

The Lone Ranger (Savoy 16 IMAX): This is a thrilling adventure infused with action and humor, in which the famed masked hero is brought to life through new eyes. Native American spirit warrior Tonto recounts the untold tales that transformed John Reid, a man of the law, into a legend of justice, taking the audience on a runaway train of epic surprises and humorous friction as the two unlikely heroes must learn to work together and fight against greed and corruption.

Why to Watch: It’s Pirates of the Caribbean on horseback in director Gore Verbinski’s latest action epic, and it has Johnny Depp as Tonto. Offensive casting aside, this action film looks great. You have a lawyer who is opposed to violence exacting revenge on those who wronged him. This has all the makings of a classic adventure film. Let’s hope it’s better than Wild Wild West.

Showing: Daily @ 11:45 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 6:15 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 9:25 p.m., and 9:55 p.m.

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain (Savoy 16 IMAX): Part stand-up show and part biographical travelogue of the short, but opinionated comedian who has gained a larger and larger following with his stand-up specials and comedy albums, this concert film captures Hart's sold-out two-night stand at Madison Square Garden.

Why to Watch: This film will work because audiences get a true look at the harsh realities of being a comedian — the days and weeks that go into a couple of hours of comedy. Do yourself a favor and give Hart a chance to explain. You will laugh; but, more importantly, you might be moved.

Showing: Daily @ 11:40 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 5:25 p.m., 7:20 p.m., and 9:15 p.m.

While you're at it:
Check out Mud, still playing this week at the Art Theatre Co-op.
On the horizon:
Get ready for Pacific Rim, Guillermo Del Toro's big monsters vs. robots brawl, starring Idris Elba and Sons of Anarchy's Charlie Hunnam.