Coming Soon: A Moviegoer’s Guide to May

“High-Rise”

Who: Tom Hiddleston, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elizabeth Moss and Jeremy Irons
What: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.
When: May 13th
Why: Another alum of Fantastic Fest 2015, this J.G. Ballard adaptation from Ben Wheatley (“Kill List,” “A Field in England”) isn’t a perfect film, but it does have some amazing visuals to go along with its biting condemnation of ‘80s yuppie culture (and, in fact, the wealth inequality and conservative austerity measures that pervade society today). Hiddleston is great as the enigmatic new tenant in a futuristic high-rise that slowly devolves into brutal chaos, with various levels of the building waging war. There are a few too many montages of the anarchy, and the commentary is a bit on the nose, but mostly, it’s an enthralling tale of the haves and have-nots pitted against one another.

“The Nice Guys”

Who: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer and Kim Basinger
What: A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.
When: May 20th
Why: Writer/director Shane Black is back in “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang” mode after venturing into the Marvel universe with “Iron Man 3.” This film looks hilarious with the various incompetence of leads Crowe and Gosling complementing each other while working on a case. Black helped reinvigorate and pioneer the buddy cop movie with the first two “Lethal Weapon” films and “The Last Boy Scout,” amongst others, and seems to be back in that groove with a movie that looks like “Inherent Vice” meets, well, “Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.” Lots of great action and comedy seemingly abound with this latest buddy pairing that is one of my most anticipated films of 2016.

“Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising”

Who: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloë Grace Moretz and Selena Gomez
What: After a sorority moves in next door that’s even more depraved than the fraternity before it, Mac and Kelly ask for help from their former enemy, Teddy.
When: May 20th
Why: The first “Neighbors” was a surprisingly funny clash of titans, with Efron holding his own alongside proven comedy stars like Rogen and Byrne. The plot of the original was so simple and stupid that it shouldn’t have worked, but the gags and through line of accepting maturity elevated the material and made it an incredibly pleasant romp. Can the same formula work again, or will it be too much repetition? Only time will tell, but the infusion of new blood in Moretz and Gomez, as well as the scenario of uniting former rivals against a common enemy suggests enough new ground for the cast to mine for laughs.

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