New movies this week*
*These three films opened in Tampa Bay on Christmas Day. There are no new releases for Friday.
The gist: A bounty hunter buys a slave to help him kill white people in the South two years before the Civil War. It's from Quentin Tarantino, so it's sure to be calm, evenly paced and bloodless. R
The cast: Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprico, Samuel L. Jackson, Kurt Russell and Kerry Washington.
The buzz: Almost universal acclaim for a story you wouldn't be able to discuss in polite conversation. Like all his movies. "Tarantino, with lip-smacking down-and-dirty subversive gusto, rubs our noses in the forbidden spectacle of America's racist ugliness," Entertainment Weekly says.
The gist: In case the one with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman didn't do it for you 16 years ago, here's more stars singing the tale of a convict on the lam who adopts a whore's daughter, then falls in with a pack of traitors who go all Waco on the Parisian government. Yeah, doesn't sound so romantic and grand when you put it that way, does it? PG-13
The cast: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, Sacha Baron Cohen, Dakota Fanning and Helena Bonham Carter.
The buzz: A somewhat uneven telling, but what do you want with such a huge tale? "It is enormous and sprawling and not the slightest bit subtle. But at the same time, it's hard not to admire the ambition that drives such an approach," the AP says.
The gist: An older couple watch their grandchildren for a week, but learn their daffy helicopter-parent kids have taught them old-school rules don't apply anymore. Great. Do endless beatings still apply? Because those are available. PG
The cast: Billy Crystal, Bette Midler, Marisa Tomei, Tom Everett Scott and Bailee Madison.
The buzz: This is a family-friendly pic that comes out at Christmas, so it surely ends happily. Not that we know, because it wasn't screened for critics. It must be the best movie ever made!
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org