In a season marked by tiresome sequels and remakes, it's amusing that one of the more entertaining popcorn movies is Doug Liman's Edge of Tomorrow, in which the same thing happens over and over and over. In a troubled future in which Europe has been invaded by gigantic alien squid-things, one hapless soldier (Tom Cruise) relives the same awful day: Hit beach in France, die, wake up and repeat. Until he meets another soldier (Emily Blunt) who has been in a similar time loop. Together, they re-do (and re-do and so on) the battle, hoping to defeat the aliens. (Yes, it's Groundhog Day, but now the consequences are the Fate of Entire World.)
Time-loop movies are always a kick — and this one has a fair amount of humor. Hitting the restart button on life is a heady fantasy, and Liman deftly handles the re-booting, keeping the narrative fresh. Cruise is also best in the film's middle, as we watch him transition from slick jerk to capable leader. (For once, we see the action hero earn his status, day by day.) The end is less effervescent, falling back on standard sci-fi action tropes, but the lather-rinse-repeat journey getting there is good clean fun.