New movies this week
Killing Them Softly
The gist: Three idiots rob a mobster card game, destroying the underworld economy. Except this time, it's not the Wall Street Journal that will be going after these guys. Plus, the rich guys who caused the 2008 meltdown were never punished. R
The cast: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini, Ray Liotta, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn and Vincent Curatola.
The buzz: It's funny, violent and gripping. A perfect holiday movie! "Jolting, suspenseful, full of twisted sympathy for its goons' row of characters, and wickedly amusing to boot, Killing Them Softly summons up the ghosts of Goodfellas and a whole nasty tradition of crime pics," the Philadelphia Inquirer says.
The gist: Another chance for Keira Knightley to sigh, grit her teeth and throw smoky glances at a handsome lead actor in a period drama, this time as Leo Tolstoy's poster girl for high-maintenance heroines. R
The cast: Knightley, Jude Law, Aaron Johnson, Matthew MacFayden, Domhnall Gleeson and Alicia Vikander.
The buzz: You have to really be into the source material to want to see this, and when you do, you may not like what director Joe Wright did with it. "In making the radical artistic choice to tell the story as if it were being enacted by players on a stage, Wright falls passionately in love with his own fanciful artifices," Entertainment Weekly says.
The gist: A serial killer kidnaps some rich girl so he can keep her in a cell in an abandoned hotel, so pops hires a gang of mercenaries to get her back. It's like Taken, if there had been a whole bunch of Liam Neesons. R
The cast: Emma Fitzpatrick, Josh Stewart, Christopher McDonald, Lee Tergesen, Navi Rawat and Johanna E. Braddy.
The buzz: Wait, this is a sequel? >starts searching Netflix< "This sequel to 2009's The Collector features enough gratuitous carnage to satisfy hardcore horror fans, if few others," The Hollywood Reporter reasons. We aren't looking for high art here.
— Joshua Gillin [email protected]