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The Conjuring -- As sympathetic, methodical ghostbusters Lorraine and Ed Warren, Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson make this old-fashioned haunted-house horror film something more than your average fright fest. In 1971, they come to the Perrons’ swampy, musty Rhode Island farmhouse — newly purchased from the bank — to investigate the demonic spirit that has begun terrorizing the couple (Ron Livingston and Lili Taylor) and their five daughters. Director James Wan (Saw) succeeds in patiently building suspense not out of bloodiness, but those old standbys of slamming doors and flashes in the mirror. Rated R, 112 minutes. — The Associated Press

RED 2 -- The joy of RED was seeing a cast packed with Oscar winners (Helen Mirren, Morgan Freeman, Richard Dreyfuss, Ernest Borgnine) and very good actors (John Malkovich, Mary-Louise Parker, Brian Cox and Karl Urban) flesh out and class up a Bruce Willis action film. “Codgers make the coolest killers” was its motto. And if anything, this “Retired, Extremely Dangerous” sequel ups the ante. Somebody’s Wikileaked info about a secret bomb project named “Nightshade” that retired government assassins Frank (Willis) and Marvin (Malkovich) were linked to decades before. Now they need to survive the hit men (Neal McDonough and Byung-hun Lee) sent to get them. Frank and Marvin also have to find the mad scientist (Anthony Hopkins) who built the bomb to clear their names. The change in directors to comedy-specialist Dean Parisot (Galaxy Quest) means there’s a laugh a minute amid all this mayhem. Raed PG-13, 108 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

R.I.P.D. A pair of undead cops are dispatched by the Rest in Peace Department to protect the world from supernatural threats. With Ryan Reynolds, Jeff Bridges and Mary-Louise Parker. Directed by Robert Schwentke. In 3-D. Rated PG-13, 136 minutes. — Los Angeles Times


Despicable Me 2 Stealing the moon can be a tough act to follow. Despicable Me 2 finds reformed criminal mastermind Gru (voiced by the innately animated Steve Carell) more or less embracing his newly domesticated life after adopting Margo (Miranda Cosgrove), Edith (Dana Gaier) and little Agnes (Elsie Fisher), even swapping his more nefarious activities for a startup jelly-and-jam-making operation. But he soon finds himself in a stickier situation when he’s dispatched by the top-secret Anti-Villain League to track down the perpetrator of a fresh heist involving a ginormous electromagnet. Returning directors Pierre Coffin and Chris Renaud and the returning writing team of Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul again maintain the energy at a brisk, buoyant clip, while Carell and the rest of the cast add an extra layer of dimension to those expressively drawn characters. Rated PG, 98 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter

Grown Ups 2 It would be dishonest to call Grown Ups 2 the most repellent high-profile comedy in recent memory. But that’s largely because few moviegoers have memories kind enough to have already erased 2010’s Grown Ups — which offered almost every loathsome quality of this installment, plus Rob Schneider. Adam Sandler returns as Lenny, a Hollywood player who since the first film has moved his family to his rural hometown, where the kids can bike to school and Dad gets plenty of Guy Time with pals Eric (Kevin James), Kurt (Chris Rock) and Marcus (David Spade). Happily, this film’s conception of male friendship is less reliant on insults and abuse than its predecessor. Which is not at all to say that the humor has matured. Rated PG-13, 100 minutes. — HR

The Heat -- This familiar riff on the buddy-cop formula relies on the tart chemistry shared by Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock. Bullock stars as a no-nonsense FBI special agent sent to track down and capture a brutal drug lord. It’s not long before she crosses paths with a rough-and-tumble Boston cop (McCarthy), and the inevitable personality clash ensues. Directed by Paul Feig (reuniting with McCarthy after Bridesmaids). — Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain A documentary following the stand-up comedian Kevin Hart on his 2012 tour. Directed by Leslie Small and Tim Story. Rated R, 75 minutes. — LAT

The Lone Ranger -- The Lone Ranger, stretching hard to both reinvent an out-of-date brand and breathe new life in the Western with a desperate onslaught of bloated set pieces, is a poor locomotive for Johnny Depp’s eccentric theatrics. Flashback-heavy plot mechanics, occasionally grim violence and surrealistic comedy add up to a confused tone that seems uncertain exactly how to position Depp’s Tonto in the movie, to say nothing of Armie Hammer’s wayward Lone Ranger. Rated PG-13, 149 minutes. — AP

Monsters University -- Pixar’s prequel to 2001’s Monsters, Inc. is neither a bold return to form nor another misfire following Brave and Cars 2, but a charming, colorful coming-of-age tale that would be a less qualified success for all but Pixar. But this is nevertheless pleasant, amiably animated family entertainment. Our expert “scarers”-to-be — the wisecracking pipsqueak Mike Wazowski (voiced by Billy Crystal) and the burly James B. Sullivan (John Goodman) — are college freshmen with high aspirations in Monster University’s prestigious Scare Program. Director Dan Scanlon, a veteran Pixar storyboard artist, populates the collegiate life with rich detail and sly but not forced references. Rated G, 103 minutes. — AP

Pacific Rim -- Guillermo del Toro co-wrote and directed this summer blockbuster about giant monsters that come from the bottom of the sea and threaten the world. Only a crew of manmade, Transformer-like machines can stop them. Or not. Entertaining silliness with spectacular special effects and plenty of action. Charlie Hunnam plays the once-fallen warrior now back for redemption against the creatures. Rated PG-13, 129 minutes. — Boo Allen

White House Down -- Staggeringly implausible, cartoonishly comical, Roland Emmerich’s White House Down is refreshingly dumb. The film is at its most entertaining when it’s a simple, ludicrous buddy movie, with Jamie Foxx’s President James Sawyer and his rescuer, Channing Tatum’s wannabe Secret Service agent, fleeing across the White House grounds, dropping one-liners as they go, eluding a gang of assailants led by a bitter turncoat (James Woods) and his ferocious henchmen (including Jason Clarke). Rated PG-13, 137 minutes. — AP

World War Z -- Might there be a real zombie apocalypse one day? What is increasingly quite plausible, alas, is a global pandemic, and World War Z cleverly melds that real-life threat into the more fanciful zombie premise. Despite the much-discussed production delays and budget overruns, this movie, based on the 2006 novel by Max Brooks (son of Mel), is pretty much what you’d want in a summer blockbuster: scary but not-too-gross zombies, a journey to exotic locales, a few excellent action scenes, and did we mention Brad Pitt? As Gerry Lane, a former U.N. investigator called upon to save the planet, Pitt is a calm, intelligent presence amid the insanity. Rated PG-13, 116 minutes. — AP