New movies this week
The gist: A macaw that doesn't know how to fly is birdnapped and has to find its way back home with the help of a bunch of talking animals. Word is they may even sing about it. G
The cast: Voices of Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, will.i.am, Jamie Foxx, Tracy Morgan and George Lopez.
The buzz: It's made by an Ice Age collaborator, so you know it's going to be a fun cartoon movie, if not quite Pixar-caliber. "Like its flight-challenged parrot protagonist, Rio takes a while to get off the ground but manages to soar by the end," Variety says.
The gist: A recreation of the military trial of Mary Surrat, the only woman charged as a co-conspirator in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Don't Google her name if you don't want to know what happened.
The cast: Robin Wright Penn, James McAvoy, Tom Wilkinson, Evan Rachel Wood, Kevin Kline and Alexis Biedel.
The buzz: An interesting true-life morality play that can be a little too dry at times. "Robert Redford's depiction of the trial of Mary Surratt is, at heart, sort of a history lesson, a really interesting one," the Arizona Republic says.
The gist: Wes Craven returns to Woodsboro to kill off a bunch of kids who probably were barely out of diapers when the first installment came out. Oh, and to give Neve Campbell some work. R
The cast: Campbell, Courteney Cox-Arquette, David Arquette, Emma Roberts, Hayden Panettiere, Rory Culkin, Mary McDonnell, Kristen Bell, and Anna Paquin.
The buzz: Well, it may be a retread, but Craven knows his business. It ain't Shakespeare, after all. "For genre geeks, this can be fun — although nothing in Scream 4 is quite as clever as the filmmakers seem to think it is," the Philadelphia Inquirer says.
Elephant in the Living Room
The gist: A documentary about the weirdos and morons who like to raise deadly pets, like the guy who had two pet lions. And these people wonder why one day Fluffy decides to eat them for lunch. No MPAA rating.
The cast: Tim Harrison, Terry Brumfield, Tippi Hedren, Russ Clear and Casey Craig.
The buzz: A reasonable doc about unreasonable people. "The Elephant in the Living Room is damning, but also very sad. These stories, as Harrison points out, never have a happy ending," the Orlando Sentinel points out.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org