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Film Reviews: Opening This Week (May 27-31, 2013)

31 May 2013 9:39 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

A critical digest of the week’s latest U.S. theatrical releases. Where applicable, links to longer reviews have been provided.

After Earth

Distributor: Sony

The last time M. Night Shyamalan tried his hand at a big-budget “Man vs. Wild” episode, with 2008’s “The Happening,” the unseen villainess was none other than Mother Nature herself. In the decided non-happening that is Shyamalan’s latest, “After Earth,” the threats lurking on a post-apocalyptic blue planet include baboons, predatory birds and a giant alien beastie that looks like a rejected prototype from H.R. Giger’s workshop. (At least there are no Tom Cruise clones.) But it’s Shyamalan’s career, and that of producer-director Will Smith, that seem to be struggling for survival in this listless sci-fi wilderness adventure — a grim hodgepodge of “Avatar,” “The Hunger Games” and “Life of Pi” that won’t come anywhere near equaling those juggernauts with the ticketbuying public. »

- Variety Staff

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