LOS ANGELES — Mixed martial arts superstar Gina Carano is knocking out the critics, with her film debut, "Haywire," earning strong reviews in its opening weekend.
Carano stars in director Steven Soderbergh's action thriller as a special-ops agent trying to figure out who double-crossed her after a secret mission in Barcelona. AP Movie Critic Christy Lemire gave it three stars out of four, calling Soderbergh's film: "zippy, hugely entertaining and well-crafted as always (since he once again serves as his own cinematographer and editor), but not one of his more important films in the broad scheme of things."
Also opening nationwide this weekend is "Red Tails" from executive producer George Lucas, about the nation's first black fighter pilots who served during World War II. AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle gave the movie two stars out of four, writing: "In 'Red Tails,' the famed Tuskegee Airmen get the John Wayne-style heroic rendering they very much deserve, but in a hackneyed and weirdly context-less story that does them a disservice."
Opening to strong reviews in New York and Los Angeles is the Mexican thriller "Miss Bala," about a pageant queen who becomes a captive pawn in the gang wars along the United States-Mexico border. Lemire gave it three stars, saying: "With long, fluid takes that create a mesmerizing tension, (director and writer Gerardo Naranjo) initially draws us into a world of youthful optimism, one which ends up being wildly unpredictable and increasingly desperate."
Here's a look at how these movies fared on the top review websites as of Friday afternoon. Each score is the percentage of positive reviews for the film:
— "Miss Bala": Metacritic, 82; Movie Review Intelligence: 87.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 89. Average: 86.3.
— "Haywire": Metacritic, 67; Movie Review Intelligence, 69.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 83. Average: 73.3.
— "Underworld Awakening": Metacritic, 59; Movie Review Intelligence: 40.4; Rotten Tomatoes, 40; Average: 46.5.
— "Red Tails": Metacritic, 45; Movie Review Intelligence: 47.8; Rotten Tomatoes, 33. Average: 41.9.