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What To Watch This Weekend: 'The Upside,' 'Replicas' And More

Patch logo Patch 1/11/2019 Beau Behan
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Themes of love, friendship and family prevail in the batch of new releases heading to theaters this weekend. In the feel-good movie,"The Upside," Bryan Cranston and Kevin Hart star as two men from different worlds, who overcome their differences to forge a lifelong bond.

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Meanwhile, in the sci-fi thriller,"Replicas," Keanu Reeves stars as a neuroscientist who will stop at nothing to resurrect his dead wife (Alice Eve) and their children.

Finally, the family-adventure film, "A Dog's Way Home," also hits theaters, starring Ashley Judd as a military veteran suffering from PTSD, who finds comfort in a dog named Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard).

Here's what to see and what to skip this weekend:

Movies Out This Weekend

“The Upside” — Bryan Cranston, Kevin Hart, directed by Neil Burger

Inspired by a true story and based on the 2011 French hit “The Intouchables,” Neil Burger’s dramedy is about two men from worlds apart who forge an unlikely bond of friendship and gain priceless wisdom in the process.

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The film stars Bryan Cranston as the fastidious New Yorker Phillip Lacasse, a billionaire left paralyzed from the neck down after a reckless paragliding incident, and Kevin Hart as Dell Scott, his unhappy, irreverent caretaker, who is an ex-con in search of a fresh start in life.

Despite a rocky start, our protagonists quickly realize that they can learn from each other’s experiences, giving both men a renewed sense of hope, fervor and purpose in life.

See it. Cranston and Hart exude warm vibes of friendship and human possibility, though the movie is too predictable.

Watch the trailer:

“A Dog’s Way Home” — Ashley Judd, Jonah Hauer-King, directed by Charles Martin Smith

Ashley Judd and her “Dolphin Tale” director Charles Martin Smith reunite for “A Dog’s Way Home,” a story about the power of unconditional love and one’s sense of belonging. Adapted from Bruce W. Cameron’s best-selling novel, “A Dog’s Purpose,” the film version centers on Bella, a dog who embarks on a 400-mile journey home.

The story begins in Denver where medical student Lucas (Jonah Hauer-King) and his girlfriend Olivia (Alexandra Shipp) find an orphaned puppy in an abandoned house in their neighborhood. The young man names her Bella and takes her home in an effort to comfort his mother, Terri (Judd), a military veteran suffering from PTSD.

However, animal control suddenly shows up at their house threatening to take Bella away because she is part pit bull, a breed that is forbidden within city limits. Lucas has only one way to save the dog. That is, to move out of Denver.

Meanwhile, Bella stays with Olivia’s relatives in New Mexico until Lucas can find a new apartment. But the dog decides to escape and begins her two-year odyssey in search of her owner.

See it. It’s a heartwarming and uplifting movie, notwithstanding some clichés.

Watch the trailer:

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“Replicas” — Keanu Reeves, Alive Eve, directed by Jeffrey Nachmanoff

Keanu Reeves stars as a daring scientist in Jeffrey Nachmanoff’s sci-fi thriller about love, family, and human preservation.

“Replicas” centers around William Foster (Reeves), a neuro-scientist who is on the verge of a breakthrough in the fields of replication and cloning. To celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, the middle-aged genius and his family take a serene road trip to a secluded beach house. However, what promises to be an exciting family getaway turns tragic when a thunderstorm causes their SUV to crash down a mountain. In the aftermath of the accident, Foster’s wife Mona (Alice Eve) and their three children die.

Desperate and defiant, Foster will stop at nothing to bring his family back, even if it means creating their brain replicas and cloning their bodies.

Note: This movie was not screened in advance for film critics, so we cannot provide a See/Skip verdict at the time of this guide's publication.

Watch the trailer:

Other Entertainment News:

Top Photo: (Clockwise) "The Upside"/STX Films; "Replicas"/Entertainment Studios; "Replicas"/Entertainment Studios; "A Dog's Way Home"/Columbia Pictures

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