New movies this week
The gist: Watch and wonder as a married couple's relationship falls apart, with plenty of flashbacks and cross-edits keeping us guessing as to why they never had a chance. Plus, it almost got an NC-17 for its sex scene, so there's that. R
The cast: Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams, John Doman, Mike Vogel, Faith Wladyka and Marshall Johnson.
The buzz: It's a good thing the MPAA came to its senses, because it's a movie that deserves a wide release (no pun intended). "It's a heartbreaker, but one made bearable by Ryan Gosling and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams, who deliver performances that feel so real they transcend acting and become something else altogether," the Kansas City Star raves.
The Company Men
The gist: An examination of how downsized white-collar executives reshape their lives when their jobs are claimed by the recession. A pity piece for rich, white men? Boy, Hollywood sure has its finger on the pulse of American sympathies! R
The cast: Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper and Rosemarie DeWitt.
The buzz: If you can get over the ridiculous idea that anybody will care about its premise, it's an okay flick. "This tale smacks viewers with a reality that's hard to imagine paying money to see in a theater. And yet, here we are," the Washington Post says.
The gist: A young seminary student who — gasp! — wants his superiors to believe exorcisms are so much hokum, changes his tune once he starts hanging around a veteran exorcist on a case even stranger than normal. How's your psych book gonna help you when people's heads start spinning, huh? PG-13
The cast: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donaghue, Alice Brage, Ciaran Hinds, Toby Jones and Rutger Hauer.
The buzz: Wow, who woulda thought this one was bad? Besides everyone, we mean. "The Rite commits the supreme sin of making the devil dull," Entertainment Weekly laments.
The gist: An Oscar-nominated film (for picture and actor) about a Barcelona thief dying of cancer who can talk to dead people and wants to make up for ignoring his children. You know, a feel-good movie.
The cast: Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez, Eduard Fernandez; Diarytou Daff, Cheng Taishen and Cheikh Ndiaye.
The buzz: The movie is pretty dour, but Bardem is a bright point. "Rarely has an actor anchored a wobbly movie so confidently as Bardem does here. He displays an astonishing range of emotions, from love to anger to shock and horror, with a conviction that is something close to awesome," the Miami Herald lauds.
The gist: Jason Statham x hit man + personal vendetta = bullet-riddled revenge tale remake. Expect it to win the weekend box office.
The cast: Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase and Mini Anden.
The buzz: It knows what it is. "Credit this action flick with self-awareness: It doesn't try to dazzle with deep meditations on aging assassins filled with regret. This is a movie devoted to celebrating mayhem, which it does with straightforward flair," the Sarasota Herald-Tribune notes. Good enough for us.
From Prada to Nada
The gist: Two spoiled rich girls have to go live with a poor Latina aunt after their rich father dies and leaves them with nothing. Say, have you seen The Company Men? PG-13
The cast: Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Nicholas D'Agosto, April Bowlby and Kuno Becker.
The buzz: Nobody's reviewed this one yet, which isn't surprising. It may allegedly be based on Sense & Sensibility, but it has to compete with The Mechanic. — Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org