1.  Dark Phoenix  (PG-13)

Sophie Turner from “Game of Thrones” returns as Jean Grey.  She’s a powerful mutant with telekinetic powers who unleashes her Phoenix alter-ego on her fellow X-Men after she’s hit by a solar flare while on a rescue mission to save some astronauts.

Jessica Chastain also joins the cast as the movie’s other villain, a white-haired mystery woman who manipulates Jean and encourages her not to trust any of the X-Men.

Unfortunately, “Dark Phoenix” has been getting slammed by a lot of the critics.  As of last night, it only had a Rotten Tomatoes score of 24%.  But the movie’s still expected to rake in somewhere around $50 million this weekend.  It’s directed by Simon Kinberg, who also wrote the screenplays for “X-Men: The Last Stand”“X-Men: Days of Future Past”, and “X-Men: Apocalypse”.

As you may remember, Disney recently acquired Fox, so that means we’ll finally have a chance for the X-Men to enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

As for the future of the X-Men universe outside of the MCU . . . Fox recently cancelled “The Gifted”, but the third and final season of the FX series “Legion” kicks off later this month on June 24th.  There’s also next year’s horror thriller The New Mutants, which features Sophie’s “Game of Thrones” sister Maisie Williams as a mutant.  That hits theaters next April.

 

2.  The Secret Life of Pets 2  (PG)

Patton Oswalt takes over as Max, the Jack Russell Terrier voiced by Louis C.K. in the first movie.  In this one, his owner gets married, has a kid, and takes him on a road trip.

Harrison Ford is a farm dog who helps Max get over his fears, and Tiffany Haddish plays a Shih Tzu who tells the rabbit to rescue a tiger cub from the circus.

3.  Late Night  (R)

Emma Thompson is a late-night talk show host who adds Mindy Kaling to her staff merely as an affirmative action hire.  And quickly relies on her to revitalize her career after the network threatens to replace her with someone younger for better ratings.

Amy Ryan from “The Office” plays the head of the network, which makes sense since Mindy wrote the screenplay.  The rest of the cast includes John Lithgow as Emma’s husband and comedian Ike Barinholtz as her potential replacement.