A rundown of select films currently playing in theaters

NEW IN THEATERS:

“Dark Phoenix”
Sophie Turner is no stranger to fire, having witnessed dragon-led destruction on “Game of Thrones.” But in the latest film in the “X-Men” series, Turner wields the power as Jean Grey.

“The Secret Life of Pets 2”
This series of children's films explores the lives pets lead when their humans are away at work/school, which isn't exactly the most original premise for a film but still ought to provide parents with 90 minutes or so of distraction with which to reclaim a degree of that same freedom.

ALSO PLAYING:

“Aladdin”
Director Guy Ritchie, working from a script he co-wrote with John August, engages the audience with a mix of feel-like-a-kid-again nostalgia and some pivots. This “Aladdin” knows when to stray and when to give the audience those fond old moments. (3 stars)

“John Wick 3: Parabellum”
“John Wick 3” often feels like an arthouse Steven Seagal flick, and I mean that as praise. It starts at hyper-violent and over-the-top and then sees where it can go from there. (3 stars)

“Brightburn”
“Superman” meets “The Omen” in this genre mashup, which finds a child crash-landed from space who eventually breaks bad after he discovers he has alien powers.

“Pokemon Detective Pikachu”
Despite having a name that sounds like a sneeze when said aloud (try it!), Pikachu is undoubtedly the cutest Pokemon character, making them the ideal starring vehicle for this well-received children's film.

“Long Shot”
Part “Beauty and the Beast” rom-com, part political satire, “Long Shot” links a schlubby speech writer (Seth Rogen) with a model-esque presidential candidate (Charlize Theron).

ALIVE RECOMMENDS:

“Booksmart”
One of the things that “Booksmart” does best is turning high-school tropes on their ear. It deals in stereotypes before making almost all of them more complex. That's what's so refreshing about “Booksmart.” It doesn't deal in heroes and villains. All these kids are all right, and that's a pretty great message. (5 stars)