New movies this week
Man on a Ledge
The gist: An ex-cop who is now a wanted felon stands out on a ledge while an NYPD negotiator tries to talk him down. But is it really a suicide attempt? Only for Sam Worthington's career. PG-13
The cast: Worthington, Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Edward Burns, Ed Harris and Mandy Gonzalez.
The buzz: It's a compelling story, but the critics aren't liking the execution. "This cloddishly contrived suspenser is too busy to bore, but too farfetched to thrill," Variety warns.
The gist: Liam Neeson continues to make the manliest movies in Hollywood, this time as the leader of a bunch of oil-rig workers trying to escape the elements (and a pack of hungry wolves) after their plane crashes. Because no one wants to eat Bubba or Jimmy. R
The cast: Neeson, Frank Grillo, John Diaz, Dermot Mulroney, Dallas Roberts, Joe Anderson and Nonso Anozie.
The buzz: Pretty good, if you're looking for this sort of thing. "A man's-man of a genre pic that will satisfy the action audience while reminding more discerning viewers what they saw in director Joe Carnahan's decade-old breakthrough, Narc," the Hollywood Reporter says.
One for the Money
The gist: A desperate Jersey Girl (is there another kind?) takes on a job as a recovery agent for a bail bond company, then has to go get her high school ex, who happens to be a former cop and current murder suspect. Nobody wrote that in the yearbook. PG-13
The cast: Katherine Heigl, Jason O'Mara, Daniel Sunjata, Nate Mooney, Sherri Shepherd and John Leguizamo.
The buzz: A rom-com not screened for critics? This one has Gigli written all over it.
The gist: Glenn Close is so convincing as a woman living as a man in 19th century Ireland, we didn't even realize it was her in the trailer until the big reveal. That Oscar bid is going strong. R
The cast: Close, Mia Wasikowska, Janet McTeer, Brendan Gleeson, Aaron Johnson and Pauline Collins.
The buzz: Unfortunately, the critics are pretty divided on this one. "There is comedy in it. But mostly there's just a kind of soft, quiet sadness — about lives unlived, about chances lost, about loves forever unexpressed," the Newark Star-Ledger says.
A Dangerous Method
The gist: Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud fall for a crazy patient played by Keira Knightley. That explains a lot, actually. R
The cast: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon and André Hennicke.
The buzz: A David Cronenberg special, so you know it's good. And freaky. "Cronenberg has reached the stage of his career where he doesn't feel it necessary to pander to expectations. Instead he seeks to engage us, and he succeeds," the Toronto Star says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org