Picks of the week
(PG, 128 minutes, Disney): Kevin Costner plays a novice high-school track coach who shapes a group of disadvantaged teens into champion cross-country runners in this fact-based drama. The 1980s-set film, based on a true story, is pretty much paint-by-numbers, but it does add a few surprising dashes of color. Directed by Niki Caro (“Whale Rider,” “North Country”), “McFarland USA” is a rare look at a dusty farm community and it gives a voice to Hispanic actors usually cast only in stereotypical minor roles. Carlos Pratts is a standout as one of the runners, who is also interested in Jim’s oldest daughter. The 28-year-old actor looks closer to 30 than 18, but he still makes an impression, playing the team’s fastest runner, a loner who never imagined he would be anything other than a picker. Contains some violence and strong language. Extras: A “McFarland Recollections” interview with Costner, Coach Jim White and members of the 1987 cross-country team; deleted and extended scenes; “Inspiring McFarland” featurette and “Juntos” music video by Juanes.
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(R, 104 minutes, Warner): Will Smith and Margot Robbie bring low-key erotic chemistry to an easy simmer in this smooth, sophisticated, often amusing little caper flick about con artists and their sauciest swindles. Nicky (Smith) is the head of a criminal organization dedicated to a volume business in small takes: pickpockets, credit card thefts and sleights of hand resulting in the loss of your watch or wedding band. Nicky and Jess (Robbie) meet cute in New York, and soon she’s begging him to tutor her in the dark arts of misdirection and behavioral science. Soon, they’re pulling the Big Job in New Orleans, at the Super Bowl. All of this is staged with larky finesse and cynical fun by writer-directors Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, the writers behind the holiday cult classic “Bad Santa” and the wonderful romantic comedy “I Love You, Phillip Morris.” Their excellent taste shows in a vintage soundtrack and down-and-dirty dialogue delivered with disarming sunniness. Contains profanity, some sexual content and brief violence. Extras: Deleted scenes. On Blu-ray: “Masters of Misdirection: The Players in a Con” featurette, “Will Smith: Gentleman Thief,” “Margot Robbie: Stealing Hearts,” alternate opening.
(PG-13, 127 minutes, Warner): This futuristic thriller, the latest from the Wachowski siblings (“Matrix”), stars Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum. The film is bursting with vivid details: wolf-man hybrids and flying lizard warriors, invisible spaceships and volcanic kingdoms. Kunis plays Jupiter Jones, the daughter of immigrants, working as a maid in Chicago and sharing a bedroom with her mother and aunt. It’s a humble existence, especially considering she’s a queen, at least to the people who live on far-off planets. Jupiter is heir to a huge fortune, but some people want her dead. Luckily, former intergalactic crime fighter Caine (Tatum) appears and ends up rescuing her from evildoers and explaining the cosmos. He’s a “splice” – part-wolf, part-man – and 100 percent melancholy dreamboat. One of the bad guys is played by Eddie Redmayne, the “The Theory of Everything” Oscar winner; here, he’s hilariously over-the-top. Contains violence, sequences of sci-fi action, some suggestive content and partial nudity. Extras: Featurettes on Jupiter Jones and Caine characters. On Blu-ray: Featurettes “The Wachowskis: Minds Over Matter,” “Worlds Within Worlds Within Worlds,” “Bullet Time Evolved” and “From Earth to Jupiter (And Everywhere in Between).”
‘The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water’’
(PG, 93 minutes, Paramount): The absorbent, yellow and porous underwater hero visits our world in this 3-D animated adventure. Since the giggle-prone cartoon hero made his debut on Nickelodeon in 1999, he’s been repeatedly involved in shenanigans that range from just plain silly to straight-up surreal. In “Sponge Out of Water,” things get weird, too, but in a way that lacks the often infectious absurdity of the series and the previous movie. Contains mild action and rude humor. Extras: Deleted/extended/alternate/test scenes; several featurettes, including a making-of, “When I Grow Up, I Want to Make Funny Sounds,” “Becoming Burger Beard,” “It’s Hip to Be SquarePants,” “A Day in the Life of a Sponge,” “Plankton Rules the World!” and “Bikini Bottom Confidential: Rock Stars of the Sea; three SpongeBob sing-alongs, including “Theme Song/Rap Battle,” and “Squeeze Me” music video by N.E.R.D.
“The Dog Who Saved Summer”
“American Bad Boy”
“Rectify: Second Season”
“The Wire: The Complete Series”
“Parks & Recreation: Season Seven, the Farewell Season”
“Justified: Final Season”
“Blindsided” (aka “Penthouse North”)
“Wish You Well”
“Smiling Through the Apocalypse: Esquire in the 60s”
“With This Ring”
“The Taking of Tiger Mountain”
“The Poltergeist of Borley Forest”
“Monsters Dark Continent”
“The John Wayne Westerns Film Collection”
“Tom and Jerry: The Gene Deitch Collection”
“Pretty Little Liars: Fifth Season”
“Rizzoli & Isles: Fifth Season”
“Falling Skies: Fourth Season”
“The Last Ship: The Complete First Season”