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

From Ender's Game to Last Vegas, get the scoop on what's playing in theaters

Asa Butterfield is being recruited to save the planet in Ender's Game, Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson are traveling back in time to the first Thanksgiving in Free Birds and Morgan Freeman & Co. are hitting the strip (clubs) in Last Vegas. These are the movies to check out -- will you be grabbing your popcorn and seeing one of them this weekend?

'Ender's Game' (Nov. 1)

Ender's Game Review

Summit Entertainment/Lionsgate

Short Story: Based on Orson Scott Card's science-fiction novel of the same name, Ender's Game follows the shy -- but impressively bright -- youth Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield). When an alien race invades Earth, the International Fleet recruits Ender to lead the battle that will decide the fate of the human race. Also starring Harrison Ford as the esteemed Colonel Graff and Ben Kingsley as outgoing commander Mazer Rackham.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "Considering the sizable budget expended on Ender's Game, one could have hoped for something a bit more groundbreaking." -- The Huffington Post

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 69%

Good for Kids? Despite a PG-13 rating, Common Sense Media tells parents to expect "frequent peril and violent battle scenes," which could make Ender's Game unsuitable for little ones.
Click here for the full Common Sense review.

'Free Birds' (Nov. 1)

Free Birds Review

Relativity Media

Short Story: When sensible turkey Reggie (Owen Wilson) is given the presidential pardon, his Thanksgiving woes are over — or so he thinks. But after he encounters wild turkey Jake (Woody Harrelson), the two are suddenly traveling back in time to 1621, and the first Thanksgiving, to get turkeys off the menu once and for all.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "The good news: The talking turkeys in Free Birds are so unappealing and unfunny that your kids will probably feel guilt-free eating their real-life counterparts this Thanksgiving." -- Entertainment Weekly

Good for Kids? Common Sense Media warns merely for some "comedic violence" in Free Birds, but this PG-rated animated flick is bound to please viewers of all ages.
Click here for the full Common Sense review.

'Last Vegas' (Nov. 1)

Last Vegas Review

CBS Films

Short Story: It's never too late for a bachelor party in Vegas! At least, that's the mindset of four old friends (Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro and Kevin Kline), who reunite for a boys' night out before one of their own gets married to a very young bride.
Click here for the official movie site!

What They're Saying: "To call this the geriatric Hangover is both accurate and misleading, as the main fun here is not so much the broad humor as it is to watch five great old pros imparting pleasure while obviously having it themselves." -- The Hollywood Reporter

Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 46%

Good for Kids? Despite being compared to The Hangover, Last Vegas isn't quite as crass. The film is rated PG-13 for sexual content and language, but should be enjoyable for young teens with parental accompaniment.
 

'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 (Michael 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: 34%

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 (Johnny 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: 62%

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.

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