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Reel News: Just Mercy, Dr. Dolittle, and Bad Boys For Life

Welcome to Reel News, our weekly segment that looks at what films are in theaters this weekend, and whether they’re worth your money. Join Erin Keeney and Riley Winn as they take a look at Just Mercy, Dr. Dolittle, and Bad Boys For Life.

First up is Just Mercy, starring Michael B. Jordan, Jamie Foxx, and Brie Larson. Based on a true story and set in the 1980s, this movie explores the case of famed civil right defense attorney Bryan Stevenson and his fight to free Walter McMillan, who was sentenced to death row for the murder of an 18-year-old girl in 1987. Although there is a mountain of evidence proclaiming McMillan’s innocence, the system is stacked against him. “It’s a movie that shows how flawed the system is, Winn says. Keeney notes: “We’re getting a glimpse of just one of the impactful cases in Stevenson’s activist career.” Just Mercy is in theaters now.

Next up is Dolittle, starring Robert Downey Jr., Antonio Banderas, and the voices of Selena Gomez, Emma Thompson, Tom Holland, Octavia Spencer, John Cena, and others. This is the fourth adaptation of the 1920s-era children’s books by Hugh Lofting, and director Stephen Gaghan has delivered a visual effects heavy, $175-million film. Keeney says, “The studio realized they had to do some major tweaking on it because the computer-animated animals just weren’t working. They had 21 days of reshoots and additional post-production” on top of that, which pushed the movie’s release from last April to the new year. Winn notes, “I loved the comedic take on Dr. Dolittle with Eddie Murphy, and I’m excited to see this adventurous version.” Dolittle opens in theaters January 17.

Finally, we have Bad Boys For Life, the third installment of the action franchise starring Will Smith and Martin Lawrence. The two stars reprise their original roles of Miami cops, who are now fantasizing about retirement but get pulled into one last case. “These films have been box-office successes, and a lot of fans are wondering what took them so long to come back for a third!” Keeney says. Adds Winn: “I cannot wait to see Bad Boys For Life. The franchise is one of my favorites, with quick-witted banter between Smith and Lawrence and great soundtracks.” Bad Boys For Life opens in theaters January 17.

If you see one movie this weekend, Winn says, make it Bad Boys For Life.

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