Big-Screen Cheat Sheet: Which Movie Should You See This Weekend?

From The Counselor to Bad Grandpa, get the scoop on what's playing in theaters

Michael Fassbender is joining an A-list cast in the drug trafficking business in The Counselor, and Johnny Knoxville is reprising a beloved Jackass character in Bad Grandpa. These are the movies to check out -- will you be grabbing your popcorn and seeing one of them this weekend?

'The Counselor' (Oct. 25)

The Counselor Review

20th Century Fox

Short Story: Anyone who refers to himself simply as "The Counselor" must be living pretty large, right? At least, that's the case for our title character (Fassbender), a well-to-do lawyer who can't quite get his hands on enough money. But when he gets involved in a very large drug deal, the dangerous business of Mexican drug trafficking gives The Counselor more than he bargained for. Also featuring a star-studded ensemble cast, including Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Despite its scaldingly hot cast and formidable writer/director combination, The Counselor is simply not a very likable or gratifying film." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 47%

Good for Kids? Definitely not. If the Mexican drug trade weren't enough to turn kids away, the film's R-rating for graphic violence, some grisly images, strong sexual content and language certainly will be.

'Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa' (Oct. 25)

Bad Grandpa Review

Paramount Pictures

Short Story: When octogenarian Irving Zisman's (Knoxville) crack-addicted daughter faces jail time again, he is tasked with transporting his 8-year-old grandson (Jackson Nicoll) across the country to live with his low-life father. Naturally, lewd antics ensue.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa shows there’s still comic life in this decade-old franchise -- provided, of course, the sight of a senior citizen getting his penis caught in a vending machine is the kind of thing that brings a smile to your face." -- Variety

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 83%

Good for Kids? Don't let the presence of an 8-year-old boy fool you! Although Common Sense Media insists Bad Grandpa is lighter in tone than previous Jackass flicks, the site also warns parents "that the level of vulgarity and sexual innuendo is still very high."
Click here for the full Common Sense review.

'Carrie' (Oct. 18)

Carrie Review

MGM/Screen Gems

Short Story: If Sissy Spacek scared the pants off you in the 1976 original, you won't have trouble remembering the plot of this horror movie reboot. The bottom line? Carrie White (Chloe Moretz) is a high school outcast, who channels her newfound telekinetic powers to get revenge on her bullies. Also starring Julianne Moore as Carrie's God-fearing mother, Margaret.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Something's missing from this well-made venture. What's there is more than respectable, while staying this side of surprising." -- Chicago Tribune

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 49%

Good for Kids? Some Halloween flicks are suitable for young kids, but Carrie isn't one of them. When it comes to this R-rated remake, Common Sense Media tells viewers to expect "lots of violence and blood, some nudity and profanity and plenty of scary moments."
Click here for the full Common Sense review.

'The Fifth Estate' (Oct. 18)

The Fifth Estate Review

Walt Disney Studios

Short Story: Ever heard of WikiLeaks? If not, The Fifth Estate can clue you in, as it chronicles the story of founder Julian Assange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg (Daniel Bruhl), who team up and begin exposing government secrets, corporate crimes and more jaw-dropping information. But all too soon, Assange and Berg's endeavor becomes a major question of ethics -- one they're not exactly prepared to answer.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Told in a jazzy, chaotic style that throws computer algorithms and text messages on the screen, and with dialogues that the camera keeps swiveling and jerking to catch up with, The Fifth Estate means to be both a filmic and an Internet experience. But it’s really an old-fashioned falling-out-of-love story, as seen from Domscheit-Berg’s perspective." -- TIME

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 38%

Good for Kids? Although it's only rated R for language and some violence, The Fifth Estate also deals with complex topics, like computer hacking and the journalism industry, that might be over kids' heads.

'Escape Plan' (Oct. 18)

Escape Plan Review

Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

Short Story: Ray Breslin (Sylvester Stallone) is a structural security expert who has a habit of getting locked up -- only to find the weak spots in each prison's security and escape just as quickly as he arrived. But when he is suddenly incarcerated in the world's most secure prison, it takes help from fellow inmate Emil Rottmayer (Arnold Schwarzenegger) for Ray to break out.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "They just don't make 'em like this anymore, and it's a good thing, too. A portion of the Expendables audience will reliably turn out for this claptrap, but it really is a blown opportunity to do something at least amusing, if not special, with the two still-pumping muscle-bound legends." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 47%

Good for Kids? It doesn't look like any of this weekend's films are all that family-friendly! The fifth R-rated flick of the bunch, Common Sense Media says Escape Plan contains "plenty of peril, intense violence, strong language, smoking and drinking and other mature content."
Click here for the full Common Sense review.

Rebecca Iannucci is an iVillage contributing writer. Follow her on Pinterest, Twitter and

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