Top 10 of 2014


Top 10 of 2014For most of the year, I asserted that this was kind of a down year for movies in terms of quality and to a lesser degree, of box office as well. Although there have been some really good movies that would be contenders for the best movie of the year in any year, I still think that overall there were fewer movies that had the slam dunk quality overall of years past.

Still, the movies on this top 10 list were all of very high quality and you won’t go wrong in watching any of them. I was pleased to see that there were a number of indie movies that really stepped up the game; in fact, I think it’s a safe bet to call this the Year of the Indie. While some of these are indies in name only, distributed by major studios who have developed distribution arm for foreign films and smaller scale American films produced outside of the studios (i.e. Fox Searchlight, Sony Classics and Paramount Vantage), plenty are true indies with no financing or distribution from a major.

We continue to see a migration of traditional distribution in which movies received a theatrical release, followed about six months later by a home video release and ending up with a premium cable release about a year after the initial theatrical release. That is no longer the case as people are more and more watching films at home rather than in theaters. Some of the major indie distributors like Magnolia and IFC are releasing their films in On-Demand format concurrently with their theatrical release (and often ahead of it) which makes good fiscal sense for them. Mid-majors like Weinstein and Lionsgate have begun to follow suit. Universal even decided to release the acclaimed Joe Carnahan film Stretch into on-demand without a theatrical release which is a bit disturbing but sensible as well. We might see marginal studio films going that route more often in the future.

As with previous years, you can learn more about each movie on the top 10 list by clicking on the title to access my initial review, or clicking on the photo of the movie to go to the movie’s website or Facebook page when available. The information given should be self-explanatory. This year we’re also adding the top 10 films’ Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic scores as of the date I write the blurbs.

As always, the list is entirely arbitrary. How I rank these movies today isn’t necessarily how I would rank them tomorrow. I am also ignoring half-points from the initial ratings so you might see a 9.0 ranked ahead of a 9.5. It’s my list. Deal with it. In any case, at the end of the day the order the films are ranked in is unimportant save for the number one movie of the year. The thing to remember is that all of these films including the honorable mention films are all of the highest quality and you can’t go wrong seeing any of them. Hopefully this list will suggest a few to you that you might have missed during the year or didn’t get distribution in your home town. Many of them will be already out on home video or VOD, while a few may still be in your local theaters. Do yourself a favor and try and see as many of these as you can. You won’t regret it.

HONORABLE MENTION

There are a number of movies that didn’t quite make the cut of the top ten. I thought I’d add them here so you can get an idea of which ones came close, were considered and ultimately not chosen. Again, I will stress that all of these are quality films worth seeking out if you’re looking for entertainment, enlightenment or insight. I didn’t include links here but if you want to read my reviews of any of these, simply type in the title into the search field and have at it. So, in no particular order;

The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Wind Rises, The Babadook, Before I Disappear, Ida, The Trip to Italy, Doomsdays, Tim’s Vermeer, Copenhagen, Chef, Bad Words, The Final Member, The Zero Theorem, The Devil’s Knot, The Railway Man, Cold in July, Blue Ruin, The Fluffy Movie, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Interstellar, The Boxtrolls, The Good Lie, Birdman, Foxchaser, Wild, Slingshot, Ernest and Celestine, The Lunchbox, Jodorowsky’s Dune, The LEGO Movie, Locke, Force Majeure, Life Itself.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier10. CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

(Disney/Marvel) Chris Evans, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Anthony Mackie, Toby Jones, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Hayley Atwell. Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo

Released April 3, 2014 Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America fresh from saving New York City from an alien invasion is an integral part of SHIELD, protecting the world and particularly the United States, from threats too powerful for local law enforcement to handle. But something is attacking SHIELD from within and Rogers, who knows nobody from this era after having been frozen in the Arctic for nearly half a century, doesn’t know who to trust or what to believe. He’s a black and white kind of guy in a shades of grey world.
WHY IT IS HERE: Hearkens back to the political thrillers of the 1970s coupled with a modern special effects-laden action film. Was the box office champion for much of 2014 until a Marvel mate came to take the crown from Cap. But more importantly, people began to see that Marvel movies could be a lot more than superhero films.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: Cap takes out an elevator full of would-be assassins.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 89% positive reviews. Metacritic: 70/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $259.8 million domestic, $714.1M total (as of 1/13/15).
BUDGET: $170 million
STATUS: Currently available on home video. Download from iTunes/Vudu/Amazon. Stream on Vudu/iTunes. Rent DVD/Blu-Ray on Netflix.

Whiplash9. WHIPLASH

(Sony Classics) Miles Teller, J.K. Simmons, Paul Reiser, Melissa Benoist, Austin Stowell, Nate Lang, Chris Mulkey, Damon Gupton, Suanne Spoke, Max Kasch, Charlie Ian, Jayson Blair, Kofi Siriboe, Kavita Patil. Directed by Damien Chazelle

Released October 10, 2014 A driven young jazz drummer attending a prestigious music conservatory in New York City yearns to be the best, and in order to do that will have to make sacrifices. Taken under the wing of a stern taskmaster of an instructor, the two strong wills meet head on as Chazelle asks us to consider at what point the price of greatness becomes too dear.
WHY IT IS HERE: Newcomer Chazelle has delivered a taut, engaging movie in which two performances take front and center. Teller proves that he can be a compelling lead actor, while veteran character actor Simmons delivers the performance of his career for which he has already won a Golden Globe and is the odds-on favorite for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar next month.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: Andrew’s drum solo in a situation in which he had been set up to fail, yet ends up triumphing despite the adversity.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 95% positive reviews. Metacritic: 88/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $6.2 million domestic, $7.1M total (as of 1/13/15),.
BUDGET: $3.3 million
STATUS: Scheduled for home video release on February 24. Digital download pre-order available on Vudu.

Gone Girl8. GONE GIRL

(20th Century Fox) Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Patrick Fugit, Carrie Coon, David Clennon, Lisa Barnes, Missi Pyle, Emily Ratajkowski, Casey Wilson, Lola Kirke, Boyd Holbrook, Sela Ward. Directed by David Fincher

Released October 2, 2014 When his wife disappears, Nick Dunne fears the worst – maybe she’s been kidnapped or possibly, given the blood at the scene of the crime – murdered. But when signs point to Nick being the killer, suddenly the sympathy he’d been receiving turns to something else. Almost nobody believes him. However, even Nick doesn’t suspect what’s going on and who’s behind it.
WHY IT IS HERE: One of the big box office hits of 2014 took a lot of people by surprise. Fox did a masterful job of marketing the film without revealing its twists and turns. Fincher directs it masterfully, making sure that everything that happens onscreen has a reason for it. Pike got a Golden Globe nomination for her star-making performance and may well net an Oscar nom as well.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: I can’t reveal too much about the scene without spoiling the surprises but let’s just call it “NPH gets lucky…or does he?”
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 89% positive reviews. Metacritic: 79/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $167.2 million domestic (as of 1/14/15), $365.4M total.
BUDGET: $61 million
STATUS: Currently available on home video. Download from iTunes/Amazon/Vudu/Target Ticket. Rent DVD/Blu-Ray from Netflix/Blockbuster. Stream from Amazon/Vudu/iTunes/Target Ticket.

The Imitation Game7. THE IMITATION GAME

(Weinstein) Benedict Cumberbatch, Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode, Rory Kinnear, Alan Leech, Matthew Beard, Charles Dance, Mark Strong, James Northcote, Tom Goodman-Hill, Steven Waddington, Ilan Goodman, Jack Tarlton. Directed by Morten Tyldum

Released November 28, 2014 The story of Alan Turing wasn’t a particularly happy one. A brilliant mathematician with a lifelong passion for cyphers, he was enlisted by the British Army during the Second World War to crack what was then thought to be an unbreakable code – Enigma. The Germans used it for all their communication and the Allies were losing the war largely because of it. The socially awkward Alan has a secret of his own – and that secret might just lose the war for the Allies altogether.
WHY IT IS HERE: Well-acted throughout, with an Oscar-worthy performance by Cumberbatch in the lead role, with Knightley giving some fine support. The movie is told as something of a wartime thriller, but it’s so much more. The agonizing decisions that Turing had to make in order to make his machine work and then on keeping their progress hidden from the Germans is truly heart-wrenching.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: An a-ha moment that leads to a breakthrough.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 90% positive reviews. Metacritic: 72/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $41.0 million domestic (as of 1/14/15), $81.9M total..
BUDGET: $14 million.
STATUS: Still in wide release.

Mission Congo6. MISSION CONGO

(C-Colony) Pat Robertson, Robert Hinkle, Jessie Pott. Directed by David Turner and Laura Zizic

Released April 5, 2014 A compelling documentary that looks at televangelist Pat Robertson and his humanitarian aid program Operation Blessing. Ostensibly sending medical supplies and personnel to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire) to help aid the hundreds of thousands of refugees from Rwanda which was then in the throes of a civil war and genocide, the filmmakers contend that Robertson’s prime focus was mining diamonds and not saving lives.
WHY IT IS HERE: While decidedly one-sided (Robertson was invited to be interviewed but declined – he’s steadfastly denied the charges) the evidence is presented in an organized and thoughtful manner. Using tax returns, archival footage and eyewitness accounts, the filmmakers put together a pretty damning case against the preacher.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: The footage showing the real places supposedly helped by Operation Blessing and how the reality differs greatly from how Operation Blessing portrays things.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: No score yet. Metacritic: No score yet.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: No information available.
BUDGET: Not available.
STATUS: Not available. May still be playing the festival circuit.

The Kill Team5. THE KILL TEAM

(Oscilloscope Laboratories) Adam Winfield, Jeremy Morlock, Justin Stoner, Andrew Holmes, Chris Winfield, Emma Winfield, Eric Montalvo. Directed by Dan Krauss

Released April 6, 2014 Some may remember a few years back a squadron of soldiers that was brought up on charges of unjustifiably murdering Afghan civilians and keeping human remains as souvenirs of their misdeeds. This is a documentary about the men in that squadron, how they were hung out to dry by the Army who denied the atrocities that they were later to have proven that they committed had actually happened.
WHY IT IS HERE: A very gripping look at one of the less savory incidents of the war. We focus mainly on Winfield, who tried to blow the whistle on what was happening but instead ended up in prison. This illustrates how officers are treated differently than enlisted men, how CYA is a military code in and of itself and how innocents get caught in the middle. The very best documentary of 2014, a year in which great documentaries were the norm and a Florida Film Festival favorite.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: The aftermath of the sentencing of Adam Winfield.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 90% positive reviews. Metacritic: 72/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $18,983 domestic (as of 1/16/14), $18,983 worldwide.
BUDGET: Not available
STATUS: Currently available on home video. Download from iTunes/Vudu/Amazon. Rent DVD from Netflix. Stream from iTunes/Vudu/Amazon.

Guardians of the Galaxy4, GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

(Disney/Marvel) Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Lee Pace, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel (voice), Bradley Cooper (voice), Glenn Close, John C. Reilly, Djimon Hounsou, Michael Rooker, Benicio del Toro, Karen Gillan, Josh Brolin. Directed by James Gunn

Released August 1, 2014 A group of misfits, criminals and genetic mistakes are all that stands between the universe and a power-mad fanatic who has hold of one of the most powerful artifacts in reality. Led by the displaced human Peter Quill – who prefers to be called Star Lord – the beautiful and deadly assassin Gamora, the sentient tree Groot, the genetically enhanced Rocket Raccoon and the vengeful strong man Drax the Destroyer, these five will stand against Ronan the Accuser and the machinations of the evil Thanos – and the Infinity Gem.
WHY IT IS HERE: Spectacle, action, comedy, pathos – this film has it all. The box office champion of 2014 (although that will have likely changed by the time this is published, or at least shortly thereafter), this proves that Marvel can take some of their most obscure properties and make huge box office hits out of them. Some have said this will end up being the Star Wars for this generation. Okay, well, that was me that said it. In any case, Da Queen would kill me if this didn’t at least make my Top 5.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: One of the Guardians mourns a fallen comrade.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 91% positive reviews. Metacritic: 76/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $333.2 million domestic (as of 1/20/15), $772.8 million total.
BUDGET: $170 million.
STATUS: Available on home video. Download from Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Target Ticket. Rent DVD/Blu-Ray from Netflix. Stream from Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Target Ticket.

Her3, HER

(Warner Brothers) Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson (voice), Olivia Wilde, Chris Pratt, Rooney Mara, Kristen Wiig (voice), Bill Hader (voice). Directed by Spike Jonze

Released January 10, 2014 In the near future, we rely on computers more than ever and it takes a powerful operating system to keep up with demand. When a new OS with the capacity for learning debuts, it hits some people like a ton of bricks. For Theodore Twombly is in love – with his operating system.
WHY IT IS HERE: Although it came out for an Oscar qualifying run in December 2013, most of the country didn’t get to see it until January. Shaply funny in places with a wit and an eye for our modern social media obsessed culture. This would have ended up on last year’s even harder to crack top 10 if we’d had the opportunity to see it in December.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: Theo and Samantha have a steamy bedtime conversation.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 94% positive reviews. Metacritic: 90/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $25.6 million domestic (as of 1/20/15), $47.4 million total.
BUDGET: $23 million.
STATUS: Available on home video and on HBO. Download from Amazon/iTunes/Flixster/Vudu. Stream from iTunes. Rent DVD/Blu-Ray from Netflix.

The Double2. THE DOUBLE

(Magnolia) Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Yasmin Paige, Noah Taylor, James Fox, Cathy Moriarty, J. Mascis. Directed by Richard Ayoade

Released May 9, 2014 Simon is a mousy but hard-working office drone has an existence of invisibility; people forget that he’s worked there for seven years and the girl of his dreams won’t even give him a second glance. All that changes when James starts working in the office. James is everything that  Simon is not – self-confident, charismatic and irresistible to women. However, James is also everything that Simon is – an exact physical double. And, to Simon’s despair, he is taking over Simon’s life.
WHY IT IS HERE: Yeah, I know that the retro-futurist look is nothing new but few movies take advantage of it as well as this one, and none since Brazil in an office environment. Eisenberg delivers the kind of performance that serves notice that he’s not a nebbish-y kid anymore. This was the best narrative film from this year’s Florida Film Festival and my favorite overall.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: Some cops talk to Simon about the chances he’ll commit suicide.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 82% positive reviews. Metacritic: 68/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $200,406 (as of 1/21/15), $1.7 million total.
BUDGET: Not available.
STATUS: Available on home video. Download on Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Target Ticket. Stream on Netflix/Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Target Ticket. Rent Blu-Ray/DVD on Netflix.

Boyhood1. BOYHOOD

(IFC) Ethan Hawke, Patricia Arquette, Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Steven Prince, Bonnie Cross, Marco Perella, Libby Villari. Directed by Richard Linklater

Released July 11, 2014 We capture the life of a young boy growing into a young man over a 12-year period. Young Mason, his single mom, his sister Samantha and his dad cope with the vagaries of being a divorced family, through abusive stepdads, periods of acting out, attempts to find himself as he goes through high school and prepares for college. Filmed over a period of 12 years with the same cast and much of the same crew makes the aging process natural and believable.
WHY IT IS HERE: If Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were still alive, I believe they’d both likely vote this the film of the decade or at least one of them. This is the ultimate slice of life film and Linklater deserves all the accolades he’s received for this movie. There are no mysteries, no explosions, no contrived romances – but nonetheless this movie pulls you in and affects you deeply, thanks to some wonderful performances and Coltrane’s natural abilities. Sometimes the universe lines up in such a way that everything works the way you hope it would – this is one such instance.
HIGHLIGHT SCENE: There are several but there’s a conversation between Mason and his dad at a graduation party which is priceless.
CRITICAL MASS: Rotten Tomatoes: 98% positive reviews. Metacritic: 100/100.
BOX OFFICE RESULTS: $24.6 million domestic (as of 1/21/15), $43.8M total.
BUDGET: $4 million.
STATUS: Currently available on home video. Download from Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Flixster. Rent DVD/Blu-Ray from Netflix. Stream from Amazon/iTunes/Vudu/Flixster.

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New Releases for the Week of October 31, 2014


NightcrawlerNIGHTCRAWLER

(Open Road) Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo, Bill Paxton, Riz Ahmad, Ann Cusack, Kevin Rahm, Carolyn Gilroy, Leah Fredkin. Directed by Dan Gilroy

Down on his luck and desperate for a job, any job, Lou Bloom stumbles into the world of the nightcrawler – pseudo-journalists who go to crime scenes and get video of victims for local newscasts. It turns out Lou is really good at it but the more he sinks into the morass of compromised ethics and victims translated as cash, the closer to real trouble he comes.

See the trailer, clips, interviews and a promo here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard (opened Thursday)

Genre: Thriller

Rating: R (for violence, bloody images and language)

Before I Go to Sleep

(Clarius) Nicole Kidman, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Anne-Marie Duff. The victim of a traumatic accident is no longer able to form new memories; she wakes up each morning with all the events of the previous day erased from her mind. Instead of being surrounded by benevolent friends and family however, she may be surrounded by people who want to do her harm – and to make sure her memories remain erased.

See the trailer, clips, interviews and B-roll video here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard (opened Thursday)

Genre: Thriller

Rating: R (for some brutal violence and language)

Horns

(Radius) Daniel Radcliffe, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, Max Minghella. Suspected of violently raping and murdering his girlfriend, a man wakes up after a night of hard drinking with horns growing out of his head. He soon discovers that the horns can compel people to confess their sins and give in to their most selfish and perverse desires. Using this as a tool, he determines to discover the real culprit and make him pay.

See the trailer, promos, a clip and a link to order the full movie at Amazon here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Supernatural Fantasy

Rating: R (for sexual content, some graphic nudity, disturbing violence including a sexual assault, language and drug use)

Missionary

(Freestyle Releasing) Dawn Olivieri, Mitch Ryan, Kip Pardue, J. LaRose. Katherine is an ordinary housewife separated from her husband and raising her kid alone. She gets romantically involved with a Mormon missionary and things seem to be looking up. Then, she and her husband reconcile. She attempts to break-up with her boyfriend but he doesn’t seem to be inclined to take no for an answer and will stop at nothing to keep her as his.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Horror

Rating: R (for violence, sexuality and language)

The Zero Theorem

(Amplify) Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Melanie Thierry, Lucas Hedges. In the near-future, a gifted but damaged computer genius works in solitude on a project designed to prove that everything equals nothing. An odd cast of characters either help him or hinder him in his work. The latest movie from visionary director Terry Gilliam had a special screening earlier this year at the Enzian due to the movie having been written by UCF professor Pat Rushin. You can read my review of it here.

See the trailer, featurettes and a clip here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: R  (for language and some sexuality/nudity)

Four-Warned: September 2014


The EqualizerEvery month I’m going to look at every movie on the release schedule and try to assign them a numerical value corresponding to how anxious I am to see it. The lower the number, the more I want to see it. A one means I would walk through hell and high water to see it; a four means there’s no interest whatsoever. The numbers are not arrived at scientifically but they aren’t arbitrary either.

The numbers aren’t a reflection of the artistic merit of any of these films, but merely a reflection of my willingness to go to a movie theater and see it. The top four scores will be gathered as a means of reflecting the movies I’m anticipating the most; you may use that as a guide or not.

Most of the movies will never play theatrically where you live (unless you live in either New York or Los Angeles) but many of those that won’t will be available through Video-on-Demand; check with your local cable or satellite providers to find out if any specific movie is available through that medium.

Each entry is broken down as follows:

NAME OF FILM (Studio) Genre A brief description of the plot. Release plans: Wide = Everywhere, Limited = In selected markets. RATING A brief comment

Keep in mind that release dates are extremely subject to change, even at this late date.

FOUR TO SEE
1. THE EQUALIZER (1.3)
2. HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS (1.4)
TIE. THE MAZE RUNNER (1.4)
4. TUSK (1.6)
TIE. A WALK AMONG TOMBSTONES

FOUR TO SEEK OUT (FILMS NOT IN WIDE RELEASE)
1. AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (1.2)
2. THE ZERO THEOREM (1.4)
3. 20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (1.5)
TIE. LILTING (1.5)

RATING SYSTEM: 1) Must-see, 2) Should-see, 3) Perhaps-see, 4) Don’t-see

SEPTEMBER 5, 2014

FRONTERA (Magnolia) Genre: Drama. When his wife is killed while riding on their ranch, an ex-sheriff investigates an illegal Mexican who was on their land when the incident occurred. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 Looks like another powerful performance from Ed Harris.
GOD HELP THE GIRL (Amplify) Genre: Musical. Although she’s been an absolute catastrophe, a Glasgow girl knows she has the talent to front a band and when she finds two similarly wounded souls, they form a band that might just go places. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.1 From Belle and Sebastian front man Stuart Murdoch, a gentle pop music comedy.
THE IDENTICAL (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Musical. Identical twins, separated at birth during the Depression because their parents couldn’t afford to keep them both, live very different lives but strikingly similar as well. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 The healing power of rock and roll.
INNOCENCE (JSC) Genre: Horror. A pair of youngsters who are dealing with tragedy in their own lives enter a new prep school which they soon discover may be run by a coven of witches who drink the blood of virgins to keep their perpetual youth. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.7 Looks a bit like something that should air on the CW.
LAST DAYS IN VIETNAM (American Experience) Genre: Documentary. During the military evacuation of Saigon in 1975, a group of American soldiers and diplomats face a moral quandary of whether to follow orders and save only U.S. citizens or try and save as many South Vietnamese citizens as they can. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 A searing look at one of the most unforgettable events of the late 20th century.
THE LONGEST WEEK (Gravitas) Genre: Romantic Comedy. The former heir to a fortune is disinherited and thrown out on his ass in a nasty divorce case; taken in by a close friend, he falls for his friend’s girlfriend and tries to maintain the charade that everything is okay. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 Jason Bateman is the closest thing to a sure thing in comedic acting these days.
MEMPHIS (Kino Lorber) Genre: Documentary. A singer of immense talent but a fragile psyche wanders in the mythic land of Memphis. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 The trailer looks a little bit scattered.
TRAILER PARK BOYS 3: DON’T LEGALIZE IT (Screen Media) Genre: Comedy. Plans to legalize marijuana in Canada threaten the boys plans to eventual riches so they head to Ottawa to lobby against it. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.9 A low-rent Canadian version of Cheech and Chong, only not funny.
WETLANDS (Strand) Genre: Dramedy. A rebellious teen with a penchant for masturbating with vegetables becomes infatuated with her male nurse during a hospital stay. Release Strategy: New York City (opens in Los Angeles September 12). RATING: 2.1 One of the most talked-about and polarizing movies to appear at this year’s Florida Film Festival.

SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

BORN TO FLY: ELIZABETH STREB VS. GRAVITY (Aubin) Genre: Documentary. Elizabeth Streb and her Extreme Action Troupe are revolutionizing dance – or perhaps more accurately, creating a brand new art form. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.5 It’s hard to tell the difference sometimes between someone genuinely pushing the limits or someone who thinks far too highly of themselves.
MY OLD LADY (Cohen Media Group) Genre: Drama. After inheriting a Parisian apartment from his estranged father, a New Yorker becomes embroiled in a real estate struggle regarding the person living there, her daughter and a rapacious developer. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.4 Any movie with Kevin Kline, Maggie Smith and Kristin Scott-Thomas is going to be on my list of must-sees.

SEPTEMBER 12, 2014

ARCHAEOLOGY OF A WOMAN (Emerald) Genre: Drama. The daughter of a woman who is in the beginning stages of elderly dementia discovers that her mom may be involved in a 30-year-old murder mystery. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.0 Interesting premise but the trailer is kind of disjointed.
AT THE DEVIL’S DOOR (IFC) Genre: Horror. An ambitious young realtor and her artist sister are pulled into the sinister web of a house she is selling that is inhabited by a sinister supernatural force. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.2 Looks absolutely terrifying.
ATLAS SHRUGGED III: WHO IS JOHN GALT? (Atlas) Genre: Drama. The conclusion (I think) of the trilogy based on the Ayn Rand novel. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 4.0 Conservative economists will be lined up at the door for this one.
THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY (Weinstein) Genre: Romance. The relationship of a couple that has been strained to the breaking point by tragedy is examined from both viewpoints. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles (expands September 19). RATING: 2.7 Combines two films that played at Cannes, subtitled His and Hers which is economical I suppose.
DOLPHIN TALE 2 (Warner Brothers) Genre: Family. The legendary dolphin Winter comes to the rescue of a young foundling named Hope in this family tale loosely based on the ordeals of the real dolphins. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 3.3 Looks really treacly and may cause insulin shock in diabetics.
THE DROP (Fox Searchlight) Genre: Crime Drama. When a bartender whose bar is used as a covert means of funneling cash to Brooklyn criminals becomes embroiled in a robbery gone sideways, he must find out who’s responsible or risk losing everything. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 One of the last movies with the late James Gandolfini.
FINDING FANNY (Fox Star) Genre: Romantic Comedy. Five friends go on a 20-minute trip to locate the long lost love of an old postman but get lost and find something else. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.5 Has that oddball Bollywood charm.
THE GREEN PRINCE (Music Box) Genre: Documentary. The extraordinary true story about the son of a Hamas leader who becomes a prized informant of Shin Bet, the Israeli intelligence service, and the agent who protected him in an incredibly dangerous situation for more than a decade. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.2 Looks as gripping as any John Le Carre spy film except that this actually happened.
HONEYMOON (Magnet) Genre: Horror. When a newlywed finds his wife wandering in the woods disoriented on their honeymoon, he begins to suspect that she’s in the grip of something truly sinister. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 A very creepy film with a Game of Thrones star headlining.
NO GOOD DEED (Screen Gems) Genre: Thriller. After a charming stranger gains entry into her home ostensibly to call for a tow truck, a cat and mouse game begins between a young wife and mother and the stranger who turns out to be a brutal escaped convict. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.8 Idris Elba versus Taraji P. Henson – excellent casting, I’d say.
THE QUITTER (Goodface) Genre: Drama. An ex-ballplayer whose career was an utter failure is forced to face his life decisions when his former girlfriend moves back into the neighborhood with her seven-year-old daughter. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 2.5 A trailer for this film is lacking.
THE SKELETON TWINS (Roadside Attractions) Genre: Comedy. Estranged twins are forced into a reunion which may change both their lives for the better. Release Strategy: Limited (opens wide September 19). RATING: 1.8 Pairing Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig sounds like a winner to me.
TAKE ME TO THE RIVER (Abramorama) Genre: Musical Documentary. The musical history and influence of Memphis is brought together as generations of Memphis artists and those influenced by the sound come together to record a historic album. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 When you consider the caliber of artists that emerged from Memphis and the enormous influence they’ve had on modern music, this is a must-see for any music fan.

SEPTEMBER 16, 2014

WORST FRIENDS (Level 33) Genre: Romantic Comedy. Badly injured in a car accident, a prankster has only a childhood friend and a physical therapist to help him recover – until his friend’s high school crush moves back in to town. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Looks mildly interesting.

SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

20,000 DAYS ON EARTH (Drafthouse) Genre: Music Documentary. Nick Cave has been one of the most respected and innovative performers in indie rock since his days with The Birthday Party and on through his time with the Bad Seeds. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 1.5 One of the true greats who doesn’t get his due.
THE GUEST (Picturehouse) Genre: Thriller. The grieving family of a soldier welcomes one of his comrades into their home, then as people around them begin to die mysteriously suspect their guest of being responsible. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.1 Adam Wingard is one of the most intriguing up-and-coming directors out there.

SEPTEMBER 19, 2014

A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES (Universal) Genre: Suspense. A cop-turned-private detective investigates the kidnapping and murder of the wife of a drug boss, finding that it is the work of a team of sadistic serial killers. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.6 Liam Neeson is one of the most bankable action stars in Hollywood.
ART AND CRAFT (Purple Parrot) Genre: Documentary. The world’s most prolific art forger gets an exhibition of his own work. Release Strategy: New York City only. RATING: 3.0 An interesting look inside the art world, warts and all.
FORT BLISS (Phase 4) Genre: Drama. Returning home from Afghanistan, a single mom and Army medic discovers her relationship with her son is fractured; she must find a way to rebuild it but the threat of re-deployment may put what progress she’s made in jeopardy. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Although I like the cast, something about the trailer left me ambivalent towards this.
HECTOR AND THE SEARCH FOR HAPPINESS (Relativity) Genre: Dramedy. A psychiatrist, believing he can’t help his patients find happiness unless he finds it for himself first, goes on a journey to see what happiness looks like. Release Strategy: Limited (expanded opening October 3). RATING: 1.4 Simon Pegg is one of my favorites right now; this is a very different role for him.
ICEMAN (Well Go USA) Genre: Martial Arts. Three vengeful brothers and the Imperial guard wrongfully accused of murder are frozen during battle, thawing out 400 years later in the modern era.. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.2 An interesting mix of martial arts fantasy and modern hard bitten gangster movie.
KEEP ON KEEPIN’ ON (Radius) Genre: Musical Documentary. Jazz piano legend Clark Terry undertakes one last mentorship as his health begins to fail. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.8 Great music and a marvelously touching story.
LIFE’S A BREEZE (Magnolia) Genre: Comedy. A struggling Irish family races against time to find a lost fortune. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.8 Another charming Irish movie; you gotta love it.
THE MAZE RUNNER (20th Century Fox) Genre: Science Fiction. Teens who have no memory find themselves in a mysterious glade surrounded by a deadly maze; when a new arrival begins to show signs of recovering his memory, everything changes. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, IMAX). RATING: 1.4 Based on a bestselling young adult novel, one hopes this will fare better than the dozens of poorly made and poorly received young adult would-be franchises.
RECLAIM (Lionsgate) Genre: Thriller. After their newly adopted daughter goes missing in a small town, a young couple realize that the adoption agency they trusted may be behind it. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 It worries me that John Cusack, an actor I adore, is turning into the new Nicolas Cage.
THE SCRIBBLER (XLRator) Genre: Science Fiction. Using a new treatment, a young woman with multiple personality disorder deletes the extraneous personalities one at a time but can she be sure that her own real personality won’t be eliminated at the end? Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.8 Visually impressive, this is based on an acclaimed graphic novel.
SPACE STATION 76 (Vertical) Genre: Sci-Fi Comedy. A space station is rife with drama as the alcoholic captain comes near to colliding with an asteroid. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles. RATING: 2.8 Kind of an Airplane in space with a 70s vibe going strong.
THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU (Warner Brothers) Genre: Dramedy. Four grown siblings struggle to carry out their father’s dying wish – that all four of them spend a week under the same roof with their mom. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.8 Awesome cast including Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda and Adam Driver.
TRACKS (Weinstein) Genre: Drama. The true story of a young woman who decides that in order to discover who she is, she must make a 2,000 mile trek through the Australian outback. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.0 Precedes the similarly themed and also-true story Wild by two and a half months.
TUSK (A24) Genre: Horror. An ambitious young journalist finds the story of a lifetime in an adventurer and raconteur who has an odd penchant for walruses. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 1.6 This Kevin Smith-directed opus looks plenty oddball and plenty intriguing.
THE ZERO THEOREM (Amplify) Genre: Science Fiction. Directed to work on a peculiar project by his boss, an eccentric computer genius discovers he is out to prove that life has no meaning. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.4 The latest from director Terry Gilliam received an Orlando premiere several months ago; read my review here.

SEPTEMBER 24, 2014

JACK AND THE CUCKOO CLOCK HEART (DADA) Genre: Animated Feature. After his heart freezes, a young man must use a cuckoo clock to keep his heart operating. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.9 Lushly animated and whimsical, this is not necessarily for kids.

SEPTEMBER 26, 2014

ASMODEXIA (IFC Midnight) Genre: Supernatural Horror. A wandering exorcist believes that the devil is preparing for something truly evil and breathtaking. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.3 An over-the-top Spanish demon movie; nobody does it better.
THE BOXTROLLS (Focus) Genre: Animated Feature. Below ground, a group of mischievous but good-hearted creatures raise an orphaned human boy who comes to their defense when they are threatened by the town above. Release Strategy: Wide. RATING: 2.0 From Laika, the studio that brought you Coraline.
THE EQUALIZER (Columbia) Genre: Drama. When he sees a young girl under the control of violent Russian mobsters, a man with a mysterious past can’t sit idly by. Release Strategy: Wide (Standard, IMAX). RATING: 1.3 While I was never a particular fan of the TV show, I will see anything Denzel Washington is in.
FISHING WITHOUT NETS (Drafthouse) Genre: Drama. Forced to become a pirate to support his family, a Somali man must make difficult choices when their seizure of an oil tanker becomes violent. Release Strategy: Los Angeles (opens in New York City October 3). RATING: 2.5 The concept sounds intriguing but there’s no trailer available.
GOOD PEOPLE (Millennium) Genre: Thriller. When a deeply in debt couple find a stash of cash in the apartment of a murdered tenant, they decide to keep it and use it to get themselves out of debt which doesn’t sit well with the guy who stole it in the first place. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.7 Interesting cast but generic thriller.
JIMI: ALL IS BY MY SIDE (XLRator) Genre: Musical Biography. Follows a year in the life of guitar legend Jimi Hendrix when he was on the verge of breaking into international stardom. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Not sure about this one; Jimi Hendrix is due for a great biopic but Andre Benjamin’s dialogue sounded so wooden on the trailer this might not be the one.
LILTING (Strand) Genre: Drama. A Chinese mother and her son’s lover (whom she only knows as his roommate) grieve together following the son’s untimely death despite a language barrier. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 1.5 Looks beautifully shot and emotionally powerful although the music drowned out the dialogue on the trailer I saw.
PRIDE (CBS) Genre: True Story. Striking British mine workers receive unexpected – and at first unwelcome – support from a Gay Advocacy group but the two sides eventually learn that there is greater strength in greater numbers. Release Strategy: New York City/Los Angeles/San Francisco. RATING: 1.8 Looks moving and funny and insightful all at once.
THE SONG (Goldwyn) Genre: Musical. A Country singer weds a vineyard owner’s daughter and writes a love song to her which becomes a breakout hit – and brings temptation into his life. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 3.9 Looks preachy and not in a good way.
THE TWO FACES OF JANUARY (Magnolia) Genre: Thriller. While vacationing in Greece in the 1960s, a wealthy couple become entangled with an American con man but the couple may not be what they seem either. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.6 Author Patricia Highsmith, promising young director Hossein Amini and stars Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac make for a potent combination.
TWO NIGHT STAND (eOne) Genre: Romantic Comedy. What was supposed to be a one night stand turns into something longer as the hook-up couple are snowed in his Brooklyn apartment by a blizzard and are forced to get to know each other. Release Strategy: Limited. RATING: 2.9 Could be a terrific premise but looks to go the easy route judging on the trailer.

SCHEDULED TO BE REVIEWED HERE AS NEW RELEASES
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby, Dolphin Tale 2, No Good Deed, Search Party, The Skeleton Twins, A Walk Among Tombstones, Hector and the Search for Happiness, The Maze Runner, Pride, This is Where I Leave You, Tusk, Jack and the Cuckoo Clock Heart, The Boxtrolls, The Equalizer

The Zero Theorem


Qohen Leth parties like it's 2099.

Qohen Leth parties like it’s 2099.

(2014) Science Fiction (Well Go USA) Christoph Waltz, Melanie Thierry, Matt Damon, David Thewlis, Ben Whishaw, Lucas Hedges, Tilda Swinton, Sanjeev Bhaskar, Rupert Friend, Peter Stormare, Dana Rogoz, Madison Lygo, Ingrid Bisu, Naomi Everson, Radu Andrei Micu, Tudor Istodor, Olivia Nita, George Remes, Iulia Verdes, Alin Olteanu, Margarita Doyle. Directed by Terry Gilliam

The more complicated life gets – and make no mistake, it grows more complex with each passing day – the more we struggle to make sense of it. If you think it’s bad now, just imagine with those living in the future are going to have to contend with.

Qohen Leth (Waltz) is an office drone who has all sorts of issues. He’s a bit of a hypochondriac, sure that he is dying. He refers to himself in the second person – we instead of I, us instead of me. He works for Mancom, a company that makes some kind of software that brings convenience – or nothing at all. He is a data cruncher which in the future involves a Tetris-like placing of data squares into geometric city-like constructions, while furiously pedaling a flywheel. Data is transferred in vials of liquid. Being an office worker in the future sucks.

Qohen lives in an abandoned church infested with rats and pigeons, leaking from the roof and looking inside like a bomb hit it. He sleeps in the pipe organ and really would prefer to work at home, having no love for his fellow man. He’s also obsessed with a phone call he is sure is coming – one which will explain to him What It All Means and what his place in the grand scheme of things is. He’s twitchy, neurotic and in short, the very model of a modern Major General.

He asks his boss Joby (Thewlis) to get him permission to telecommute which doesn’t seem likely; the company likes keeping track of its workers. Qohen also meets Bainsley (Thierry) at a party thrown by Joby that Qohen goes to reluctantly, mainly to try and get a one-on-one audience with Management (Damon), the reclusive CEO of Mancom. He doesn’t know how to handle the forward Bainsley and although she gives him her card, there doesn’t seem to be any future for a relationship there. However, he is successful in getting time with Management (who wears clothing to blend into the decor) and at last is given a project he can work on at home.

New equipment is installed in his cluttered cathedral, mainly by the genius level Bob (Hedges) who turns out to be the son of Management (now doesn’t that sound like an office-based horror flick?) who addresses everyone as Bob because he doesn’t have time to learn their names. But he really isn’t a bad sort.

In the meantime Qohen is doing strikingly well with the project and getting close to making it work and things with Bainsley are turning out superbly, particularly when they meet on a digital beach where the sun is eternally setting. Life is good online at least.

But the closer Qohen gets to completing his project, the more frustrated he gets and the more he begins to retreat back into his shell. As it turns out, the project is about mathematically proving that everything equals nothing, which proves that there’s no point to life. The chaos this will create Mancom will profit from. And so it goes.

This has director Terry Gilliam’s thumbprint all over it, from the details, the somewhat wacky atmosphere that has marked all his work from his time as the only American member of Monty Python’s Flying Circus through his visionary career. Gilliam is certainly an acquired taste; not everyone gets his sense of humor and clearly his films don’t make a lot of money with few exceptions (Time Bandits being one). However, his work can be startlingly good and when it works he is one of the best directors living today. Even throwaway lines – an advertisement for the Church of Batman the Redeemer – can bust me up laughing.

Waltz, head shaved and twitchy, is terrific here. You get the sense that this is an individual who is in deep pain and takes great pains to make sure he remains so. There are some hints that give background into his psyche  but clearly this is a man who in our society would be undergoing all sorts of therapy and might well be committed. He seems to fit in real well in the future.

He gets some fine support, particularly from Hedges whose Bob becomes good friends with Qohen in an oddball way, and Thierry who is beautiful and charismatic as the love interest. All of the characters show some sort of vulnerability at some point, wearing masks to hide their pain. Qohen is a little more up-front about it. Management, being management, shows no weakness.

Visually this is an amazing movie, from majestic scenes of a black hole to the rotting interior of Leth’s home and the clever scenes of what is supposed to be London (maybe) in the near future but is more than likely Bucharest. There is a definite steampunk look to the film which is kind of a thing this year in indie films.

This hasn’t received any sort of release yet, although the movie’s website is promising a summer release. I hope that the distributors deliver on this; this is a movie that should be seen, by Gilliam’s fanbase if by nobody else. This is among his very best films which makes it a classic in the making, so serious film buffs should check this out even if they aren’t especially fond of Gilliam’s work.

REASONS TO GO: When it hits the mark, it’s mind-blowing. Terrific set design and Waltz is terrific in a very different role than you’re used to seeing for him.

REASONS TO STAY: As Gilliam films are prone to do, they can meander sometimes. If you don’t like Gilliam’s films, you won’t like this.

FAMILY VALUES:  There are some expletives here and there as well as some sexuality and brief nudity.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT: During the park scene, screenwriter Pat Rushin (who also teaches creative writing at the University of Central Florida) can be seen on a bench writing on his briefcase; he’s actually writing motivational lines that scroll across the computer screen in the cubicles during a different part of the film. His wife can also be glimpsed reading a newspaper.

CRITICAL MASS: As of 5/2/14: Rotten Tomatoes: 54% positive reviews. Metacritic: 51/100.

COMPARISON SHOPPING: Brazil

FINAL RATING: 8/10

NEXT: The Railway Man

New Releases for the Week of April 25, 2014


The Other WomanTHE OTHER WOMAN

(20th Century Fox) Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Kate Upton, Taylor Kinney, Nicki Minaj, Don Johnson. Directed by Nick Cassavetes

A high-powered lawyer who has her pick of men has settled on one – who might be the One. When she discovers he’s married, she’s devastated. When she accidentally gets together with the wife of her former boyfriend, they discover that they have a lot in common – among other things that he’s cheating on the both of them with another woman. Joining forces with the other other woman, the three women plot this philanderer’s comeuppance.

See the trailer, clips, interviews and B-Roll video here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard (opens Thursday)

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic material, sexual references and language)

Brick Mansions

(Relativity) Paul Walker, David Belle, RZA, Gouchy Boy. In the Detroit of the near future (does that sound familiar?) a gigantic wall has been built around the worst slum, Brick Mansions. The crimelord of the district has put into motion a plan to devastate the entire city. An undercover cop and a fearless ex-con, each of whom have a stake in apprehending the crimelord, must (reluctantly) team up to stop him before all Hell breaks loose.

See the trailer, clips, interviews and B-Roll video here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard (opens Thursday)

Genre: Action

Rating: PG-13 (for frenetic gunplay, violence and action throughout, language, sexual menace and drug material)

From the Rough

(Freestyle Releasing) Taraji P. Henson, Michael Clarke Duncan, Tom Felton, Justin Chon. The swim coach of the woman’s swim team makes history as the first woman to coach a men’s golf team. Not only is she a pioneer, but she successfully takes the team to record-breaking heights. Based on a true story.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Sports Drama

Rating: PG (for language and thematic elements)

Joe

(Roadside Attractions) Nicolas Cage, Tye Sheridan, Gary Poulter, Ronnie Gene Blevins.An ex-con with a hair-trigger temper takes a homeless young boy under his wing to the chagrin of the boy’s alcoholic and brutal father. The ex-con, beset by his own demons, tries to set the boy on the right path of life while facing the consequences of his own poor choices. Sold out it’s showing during the Florida Film Festival, you can read my review here.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: R (for violence, disturbing material, language and some sexual content)

The Last Passenger

(Cohen Media Group) Dougray Scott, Kara Tointon, David Schofield, Lindsay Duncan. A weary London commuter and his son board the last train of the evening, headed home. As the train rolls into the night, he discovers that the conductor has disappeared and the brakes have been sabotaged. A lunatic has taken control of the train and means to commit suicide by train, taking the passengers with him.  This passenger, however, isn’t ready to die just yet.

See the trailer here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Thriller

Rating: R (for language)

The Quiet Ones

(Lionsgate) Jared Harris, Sam Claflin, Erin Richards, Olivia Cooke. University students set out to create a poltergeist, the focus of their experiments being a dangerously disturbed young woman who seems able to manifest dark energies. However as the experiment continues, they soon discover to their horror they have unleashed something far more dangerous than they imagined and much too powerful to contain.

See the trailer, clips, interviews, featurettes and B-Roll video here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard (opens Thursday)

Genre: Supernatural Horror

Rating: PG-13 (for intense sequences of violence and terror, sexual content, thematic material, language, and smoking throughout)

The Railway Man

(Weinstein) Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Hiroyuki Sanada. A veteran of the Second World War is haunted by his harrowing experiences in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. He and his cohorts are used as forced labor to build a railway system. Years after the war is over, he discovers that the interpreter whom he holds responsible for much of his brutal treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him and make him pay for what he did. This true story is based on the autobiography of Eric Lomax.

See the trailer, clips, interviews and B-Roll video here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Drama

Rating: R (for disturbing prisoners of war violence)

Walking With the Enemy

(Liberty) Ben Kingsley, Jonah Armstrong, Hannah Tointon, Burn Gorman.In the waning days of World War II, a young Hungarian man utilizes a stolen Nazi officer’s uniform to try and find his displaced family. Trying to get as many Jews to safety as he can, he disrupts the activities of the Germans in order to keep them from implementing their final solution in his city. Said to be inspired by actual events.

See the trailer and clips here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: War Drama

Rating: PG-13 (for war violence including crimes against humanity)

The Zero Theorem

(Well Go USA) Christoph Waltz, David Thewlis, Matt Damon, Tilda Swinton.  In a dystopian future, a reclusive computer genius is given the assignment of finding the meaning of life. Plagued by angst and confusion, he is tortured by unwanted visitors by those he doesn’t trust. It isn’t until he breaks down the walls he has erected for himself with love and desire that he finds the tools to carry out his assignment. The newest film from visionary director Terry Gilliam.

See the trailer, featurettes and a clip here.

For more on the movie this is the website.

Release formats: Standard

Genre: Science Fiction

Rating: R (for language and some sexuality/nudity)