A few not-so-shocking giveaways about this week’s new movie releases, including Justice League and Frank Serpico
Matthew Lickona 6 p.m., Nov. 17
Director J.J. Abrams at his most J.J. Abrams-y. A lens flare light show. A Spielberg homage (the opening is taken straight from Raiders of the Lost Ark). Deft nostalgia-mining coupled with equally deft placement of the extracted gems in the crown of his new creation (a Tribble plays a key role!) And finally, a series mostly coherent action sequences, clean execution at the level of character, and a feeling of old-fashioned Hollywood entertainment. Captain Kirk (Chris Pine) is now in charge of his beloved starship Enterprise, but his cocksure attitude gets him in trouble. First officer Spock's (Zachary Quinto) strict moral reasoning, once seen as a stumbling block, assumes the role of crucial counterbalance in the fight against one-man WMD John Harrison (an impassive and ominous Benedict Cumberbatch). Of course, the thing about WMDs is, there's always someone who wants to use one. With Peter Weller, Bruce Greenwood. 2013.