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There’s a question every piece of intellectual property needs to ask itself before a new version is made: How seriously should we treat the source material?

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“CHiPs” was a wholesome TV show in the 1970s and ‘80s about two California Highway Patrol officers. They were a couple of good-natured guys who embodied California cool with their motorcycles and mirrored sunglasses, solving problems, catching criminals and brightening days everywhere.

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It’s Academy Awards time and what fun would the Oscars be without predictions? If you have an office pool, chances are you’ll make money if you go with these choices.

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It’s hard to overstate the magnificence of Kenneth Lonergan’s “Manchester by the Sea .” His third feature following “You Can Count on Me” and “Margaret” is one that swells with the spectrum of human emotion. Humor, anger, cynicism and love all crash into one another to create an elegant comp…

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It turns out that when space aliens do eventually arrive on Earth -- and, wouldn't you know it, they travelled all that way without bothering to learn any of our languages beforehand? -- we won't need any fancy high-tech gizmos with LED screens to communicate. All we'll need is a simple whit…

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In Gavin O’Connor’s “The Accountant,” starring Ben Affleck, the paper-pushing CPA — roughly the exact opposite of Schwarzenegger or Stallone — gets his shot at action hero stardom. If we pull out our calculators, we can deduce that the odds of this are slim. Carrying the one and rounding up,…

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Tate Taylor’s “The Girl on the Train” may be technically set in the Westchester suburb of Ardsley-on-Hudson, but its cocktail of commuter trains, marital infidelity and alcoholism make its proper setting Cheever Country.

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Renee Zellweger is charming as ever in “Bridget Jones’s Baby ,” a lively return to form for the unlikely trilogy about an ordinary woman and her professional and romantic woes.

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To all you Detroit-area robbery crews, we should probably warn you right away: It’s just not a good idea to pick 1837 Buena Vista Street for your big — and final — score. Take our word for it, walk away.

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After an exhausting summer buffet of set pieces, superheroes and whatever s-word you might use for “Suicide Squad,” the gentle “Pete’s Dragon” is a welcome palate cleanser.

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The superhero movie is at a strange crossroads. It generally either takes itself too seriously (“Man of Steel,” “Batman v Superman”) or delights in not caring a bit (“Deadpool”). The choice, dear moviegoer, is yours. Do you prefer your costumed heroes to brood or to break bad?

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Jason Bourne, as played by Matt Damon across four movies, is forever disappearing off the grid only to reluctantly resurface years later and again menace the CIA. He’s the spy who came in from the cold only to return to the cold, come in again, and, yet again, head back to the cold.

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In Pixar’s hands, the ocean — equal parts danger and wonder — is a vast metaphor for the choppy waters of parenting. Cloistered coral reefs of home are surrounded by frightful drop-offs and strong currents that can sweep a little fish out to an immense sea. When the difference between surviv…

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It can be hard to tell orcs apart at first. The fictional giants of the “Warcraft” video game franchise all have mean faces, protruding tusks and muscles so massive, they make The Rock look puny.

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It’s hard not to have a few biases going into “The Angry Birds Movie .” In the most cynical view of what gets made in Hollywood, an addictive app might just be at the bottom of the pile, languishing there in suspicious squalor with movies adapted from board games and amusement park rides.

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You can practically feel the beating heart of the jungle in Jon Favreau’s stunning adaptation of “The Jungle Book,” which is easily the most visually dazzling movie to hit theatres this year. Like “Avatar” before it, this CG and live action interpretation of Rudyard Kipling’s classic tale of…

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These lifelong Star Wars fans were among the first in line for Thursday evening's advance screening of "The Force Awakens" at Landmark Cinemas 7. From left, From left: Kyler Finlayson, Iain Burley (dressed as Kylo Ren),  Klara Crowley and Caitlin Burley. The film opens Friday in wide release. 

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They say timing is everything  — or at least a whole lot. And on several fronts, the George Clooney-produced Our Brand is Crisis, starring Sandra Bullock as a damaged, ruthless political consultant, has absolutely perfect timing.

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Wes Ball’s adaptation of the first book from James Dashner’s “Maze Runner” young adult novels, about a group of teens consigned to a mysterious labyrinth, yielded a feature that proved it could compete for the same audience as the “Hunger Games” and “Divergent” series.

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Not since Saigon in the 1970s has an American operation in Southeast Asia been as ill-conceived as “No Escape,” a taut, well-made and entirely dubious thriller.

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The likably awkward chemistry of Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg remains intact in “American Ultra,” a violent stoner action-comedy that’s half “Pineapple Express,” half

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The idea of the high-tech, emotionless super-soldier is so popular in movies, it’s practically a convention. The “Terminator” and “Bourne” franchises, and even last year’s animated “Big Hero 6,” imagine characters programmed to kill and the would-be world destroyers who want to control them.

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It’s not until the climax of “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.,” a colorful, Cold War-era spy thriller, that its main failing becomes clear: The plot doesn’t matter.

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I’ll admit it. About an hour into “Fantastic Four,” the inexplicably plodding and dreary new attempt to adapt the beloved Marvel story, I started thinking about Ethan Hunt from “Mission: Impossible.”

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There’s some interesting talk in the cleverly satisfying script of “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” about the element of luck. As in: How much is luck a factor in the success of Ethan Hunt and his IMF cohorts? After all, in the last movie they merely saved us from a nuclear holocaust. Wa…

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The most believable element in “Pixels” is that alien video-game creatures could attack our planet.

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“Inside Out,” the latest Pixar punch to the heart, navigates the labyrinth of a young girl’s mind in an antic, candy-colored romp through childhood memory to arrive, finally, gloriously, at epiphany.

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Cameron Crowe loves a good failure story, and specifically what happens after a disastrous fall from the top.

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 It’s infrequent and particularly satisfying when the remake of an especially memorable film equals or exceeds the experience of the original.

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There’s a lot to like about Disney’s “Tomorrowland.” It’s got George Clooney and Hugh Laurie, robots and explosions, a positive message, and it puts the fate of the future in the hands of two smart young girls.

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Is it possible for a movie to be at once ludicrously silly and genuinely moving? That’s the strange question you might find yourself asking while watching “The Age of Adaline,” a romantic fantasy with surprising heft that will likely have you scoffing at one moment, then furtively wiping awa…

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