Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Peltz, and Jack Reynor in Transformers: Age of ExtinctionTRANSFORMERS: AGE OF EXTINCTION

After the conclusion of its dialogue-free, if very noisy, prelude - one in which we discover that it was actually extraterrestrial robots, and not the Ice Age, that killed off the dinosaurs - the first words heard in Transformers: Age of Extinction are "Oh, shit!" I took that line as a metaphor for what we could expect over the next two and a half hours, but then, during my Friday-morning screening, it was immediately followed by another outburst: the sound of the little kid behind me laughing his ass off.

Trassformers: Dark of the MoonTRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON

As long as Transformers: Dark of the Moon didn't come off as the worst movie of the year - or rather, the worst movie of several years - it would stand as a notable improvement on 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. I'm greatly relieved, then, to say that Michael Bay's latest, ultra-loud toy story is not the foul, nightmarish, jaw-dropping travesty that its predecessor was. Only half of it is.