New movies this week
The gist: A small, underproduced arthouse movie about a band of unlikely friends who forge emotional bonds through the efforts of a single man calling them together to triumph over adversity. There's been hardly any advertising budget, so you may not have heard of it. PG-13
The cast: Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Mark Ruffalo, Gwyneth Paltrow, Stellan Skarsgaard and Jeremy Renner.
The buzz: Are you kidding? Joss Whedon writing and directing the biggest superhero movie of all time? It's gonna suck! Wait, no, it's actually pretty damn good. "This is a movie that knows and deeply loves its audience, but it's funny, smart and good-natured enough to please the rest of us, too," Newsday says. Sounds like the recipe for a winner.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
The gist: A group of all-star Brit expats outsource retirement to a hotel in India, only to realize, wait, we retired in India?!? But hey, they're not dead yet, so carry on. PG-13
The cast: Judi Dench, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy, Dev Patel, Penelope Wilton and Celia Imrie.
The buzz: A pretty good ride, if you're looking for the polar opposite of The Avengers (our description notwithstanding). "A sterling cast and a fine balance of comedy and poignancy make this story of unfulfilled Brit retirees discovering new life in India a pleasure-filled journey," The Hollywood Reporter says.
The gist: An Algerian immigrant becomes a substitute teacher in Montreal after an elementary school teacher suddenly dies. There's probably going to be some life lessons involved here. PG-13
The cast: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nelisse, Emilien Neron, Brigitte Poupart, Danielle Proulx and Louis Champagne.
The buzz: A yarn about how grief unites people through their differences. "A sad, reflective study of the possibilities, and the impossibilities, inherent in the teacher-student relationship," the Philadelphia Inquirer notes.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]