★★★½ (out of four) “Bros” (R; 115 minutes): “Bros,” the latest romantic comedy to hit theaters, is absolutely revolutionary. And totally conventional. It’s a film where both extremes can be true at the same time. The revolutionary part comes from it being the first gay rom-com produced and distributed by a major American studio. And yet it hews very closely to the classic rom-com formula. That’s the genius of “Bros” — telling LGBTQ stories and wrapping it in a familiar storyline that everyone can relate to. It’s not a perfect film, but name us a perfect rom-com. This one, starring Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane, has what the best have: heart, good faith and good old fashioned love. Welcome, “Bros,” to the canon. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Mark Kennedy, The Associated Press
“The Good House” (R; 114 minutes): Life for New England real estate agent Hildy Good (Sigourney Weaver) begins to unravel when she hooks up with an old flame (Kevin Kline) from New York. Based on Ann Leary’s “The Good House.” Grand Cinema.
★★½ “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” (R; 126 minutes): For his follow-up feature to his Oscar-winning 2018 film “Green Book,” director Peter Farrelly has turned to a genial true story from the Vietnam War. “The Greatest Beer Run Ever” isn’t your typical Vietnam film. Based on a wild, wildly improbable real-life tale, it hews closer to comedy than gritty war drama — it’s Nam-com, if you will. But over the course of the film, it evolves from lark to dark, as the central protagonist (Zac Efron) learns the brutal reality of war during his harrowing journey delivering cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon to his pals. Full review here. Multiple theaters and streaming on Apple TV+. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service
“The Justice of Bunny King” (nor rated; 101 minutes): Bunny King (Essie Davis) is a mother of two with a sketchy past. While battling the system to reunite with her children, a confrontation leads her to take her niece under her wing. With the world against them, Bunny’s battle has just begun. Grand Cinema.
“Riotsville, USA” (not rated; 91 minutes): After the social upheaval of the 1960s, the U.S. government spent millions building model towns where newly militarized police forces could practice quashing street protests. Built from archival footage, this documentary tells how militarized police forces were trained. SIFF Cinema Uptown.
★★ “Smile” (R; 115 minutes): Writer/director Parker Finn’s feature debut “Smile” boasts the thinnest of premises based on a laundry list of horror movie trends and tropes, from the historical to the contemporary. Finn inserts the latest hot topic in horror — trauma — into a story structured around a death curse chain, as seen in films like “The Ring,” “It Follows” and “She Dies Tomorrow.” All that’s needed to pass along the curse is a mere smile, but it’s the kind of chin-lowered, eyes-raised toothy grin that communicates something far more devious than friendly. That’s pretty much the movie right there. Oh, and jump scares. A whole lotta jump scares. Finn continually walks a line in “Smile” in which one constantly wonders if the movie is just dumb, or so dumb it’s looped back around to smart again. Full review here. Multiple theaters. — Katie Walsh, Tribune News Service