No. 1

22 Jump Street

Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum are back as undercover cops who aren’t overly bright


This sequel to the 2012 hit 21 Jump Street is just as dumb – funny as the first – so jump on it. Chasing drug dealers at college instead of high school this time, undercover cops Jenko and Schmidt are still trying to pass as brothers, even though Jenko (Tatum) is a virile side of beef and Schmidt (Hill) is – well, really, what are any of us compared to Tatum? Lungs and legs. The stars have pared their repartee into an illogical buzz of half-sentences: It’s a terrific joint performance. But they kindly cede the movie to Jillian Bell as a sour coed who can’t resist ripping into Hill for being obviously old. In a movie full of bromance, she and Hill engage in foreplay so physically awkward they could be in a plunging elevator. (R)

No. 2

How to Train Your Dragon 2

Hiccup the Viking takes off with even more winged wonders


Dream Works’ 2010 film about a young Viking named Hiccup (voice of Jay Baruchel) and his domesticated dragon Toothless was a charming idyll – something you don’t expect from a culture of large men with horned helmets. The new story, which imagines a threat to dragons everywhere, is a little darker. (Note to parents: Something scary happens. You’ll wish Tara the rescue cat were on standby.) But it’s one sumptuous piece of animation, full of fun and flying marvels. (PG)

No. 3

The Escape Artist


David Tennant (Doctor Who, Broadchurch) is Will Burton, a clever if amoral defense lawyer who gets an accused murderer off the hook on a technicality – and yet the freed man, apparently an ingrate as well as a psycho, turns on Burton for treating him with polite disdain. This is a rattling tale of revenge but played out in the exploitable loopholes of the law. (PBS Masterpiece Mystery!, June 15; check local listings.)

No. 4



The sequel to the smash hit Dots (20 million downloads!) adds two round-faced characters, Amelia and Jacques, and an intricate universe with 85 challenging levels. The result: addictive number-crunching. (Now free in Apple’s App Store.)

No. 5

Rita Ora: “I Will Never Let You Down”


Rita Ora had previously been known for her questionable fashion choices and her meager attempts to be Rihanna. Not anymore. Her frothy, buoyant new single has the catchiest hook since “Call Me Maybe” and should be a contender for song of the summer. PS: You can also catch Ora as Mia in the Fifty Shades of Grey movie adaptation, due out next year.

No. 6

The Best New Books

Margaret Mead’s life reimagined, a straying husband’s tale and a spirited defense of dads

Paul Raeburn: Do Fathers Matter?


See that baby flying high on the cover? Mom might not approve, but dad-style roughhousing helps kids build confidence and learn about risk-taking. Drawing on neurobiology, animal studies and social science, author Raeburn makes a convincing case for the “overlooked” parent’s importance. Happy Father’s Day, Dad!

Lily King: Euphoria


Three anthropologists – an American woman, her husband and a lonely Englishman—venture into New Guinea’s tribal societies in this transporting novel set in the 1930s and inspired by Margaret Mead. There’s a love triangle (yay), but King also explores both the exhilaration and the moral ambiguities of the scientists’ quest.


Courtney Maum: I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You


British artist Richard Haddon has a supportive estranged wife, a loving daughter and a successful first show under his belt. But all he can think about is Lisa, the lover who’s recently left him – until a painting he did for his wife, Anne, suddenly sells and he’s jolted into reevaluating his choices. Funny, touching and wise about love and vanity, this seductive debut might leave you rethinking some decisions of your own.


Alison Sweeney: Scared Scriptless

The former Days of Our Lives star has poured all her showbiz knowledge into a fun, frothy novel about a Hollywood script supervisor.

Bret Baier: Special Heart

Fox News anchor Baier’s son Paul, now almost 7, was born with serious congenital heart defects. Baier opens up about his family’s emotional journey.

Jenny Mollen: I Like You Just the Way I Am

It’s hard to believe, but Twitter phenom Mollen is even funnier in these endearing personal essays.

No. 7

Jennifer Lopez A.K.A.

Back on the block!


“This is not the girl you used to know,” Jennifer Lopez proclaims on the title track of her new album. We know better: The J.Lo we’ve loved since 1999’s On the 6 is here, absolutely – and has gotten better with time. She coos about romance on the catchy “First Love,” but it’s the ballad “Let It Be Me” that again proves she’s got the voice and, just as important, isn’t afraid to let us hear the vulnerability.


No. 8

Game of Thrones


We’ll remember this as the season in which a pie killed a king and a man’s head burst open like a cherry tomato kept too long under the broiler. Yet who’s to know whether something even worse won’t happen in episode 10? But Tyrion (Peter Dinklage), noble of heart if justifiably out of sorts, must live to see another day. Seriously. Mustn’t he? (HBO, June 15, 9 p.m.)

No. 9

Cold Justice


Kelly Siegler and Yolanda McClary, with backgrounds as a prosecutor and a crime-scene specialist, reopen cases long dormant. The show returns midseason with the 1988 murder of Alma Henderson in Bay City, Texas. Distinctive for its cool, methodical, matter-of-fact toughness. (TNT, June 20, 9 p.m.)

No. 10

The Grand Budapest Hotel

Ralph Fiennes, perfect host in a rude world


Director Wes Anderson’s movie is a delicate fantasy of the past: vintage postcards viewed through a toy telescope. Ralph Fiennes, in a ravishing, dandyish turn, is Gustave, manager of a grand European hotel before World War II. Dodging his way through an absurd caper, Gustave is a master of panache. But Fascists are afoot, and history’s boot comes down hard. (Also streaming on iTunes and elsewhere June 17.)

No. 11

Willie Nelson


In the spirited Band of Brothers, his first album of mostly new material in years, the 81-year-old legend is ready for any challenge yet to come: “It’s just one more storm in the sea,” he sings in “Bring It On.”

No. 12

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee

Season 4 of the Jerry Seinfeld vehicle shifts into drive


Jerry Seinfeld’s online series, in which he picks up a buddy for a spin and java, caught some flak last season. He was accused of running a road club for white male comedians. Please: This is a funny vanity project that lets Seinfeld show off cars from his collection and laugh with whomever he wants. The next thing you know, stand-up jokes will require trigger alerts. Guests this go-round include Aziz Ansari and Sarah Jessica Parker. (Streaming at Crackle June 19.)

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