New movies this week
The gist: A small-town beauty queen joins a roller derby team in an ode to girl power. PG-13
Starring: Ellen Page, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristen Wiig, Juliette Lewis, Eve, Jimmy Fallon, Daniel Stern and Drew Barrymore.
The buzz: Not bad for Drew's first turn as a director. "What Barrymore brings is good-natured, girl-powered subversion, a sense of when to flaunt clichés and when to flip them over the rails," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says.
Capitalism: A Love Story
The gist: Michael Moore pontificates about how the government and corporations collude to keep your life a living hell, without many solutions as to how it can be fixed. R
Starring: Lots of talking heads you already see on the news.
The buzz: "A freewheeling denunciation of the capitalist system that is often mordantly funny and, by lurching turns, scornful, rambling, repetitive, impassioned, mock-lofty, pseudo-lowbrow, faux-naïve, persuasive, tabloid-shameless and agit-prop-powerful," the Wall Street Journal says. So, the usual from Moore.
The Invention of Lying
The gist: In an alternate reality without dishonesty, a hopeless schlub learns to get ahead by lying to everyone. We assume the conclusion is running for public office. PG-13
Starring: Ricky Gervais, Jennifer Garner, Jonah Hill, Louis C.K., Jeffrey Tambor, Fionnula Flanagan, Rob Lowe and Tina Fey.
The buzz: We couldn't help but think it feels more like an SNL skit, and so did Time Out New York: "Once the sharp, clever satire gives way to what feels like a special must-see-TV episode, the movie's promise slowly deflates."
The gist: Four survivors of the zombie apocalypse rip, snort and gag their way across the wasteland. Can't wait until the part with the hedge clippers. R
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin and lots of zombies.
The buzz: Zombies + comedy = winner. "At the bone, Zombieland is a polished, very funny road picture shaped by wisenheimer cable-TV sensibilities and starring four likable actors, each with an influential following," Entertainment Weekly says.
Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone
The gist: More anime stuff about giant robots, in which animation from Neon Genesis Evangelion gets reused and the storyline gets shuffled a bit. If you're planning on going, you don't need us to explain it. No MPAA rating
Starring: The voices of Japanese people you won't know.
The buzz: You don't need us to review it, either, but the New York Times says, "When the material is condensed, nearly everything that made the first two-thirds of the television series distinctive — the deliberate pace, the wry humor, the subtle (for anime) characterizations — is lost."
The gist: A well-made retelling of the doomed romance between poet John Keats and unobtainable fashionista Fanny Brawne. PG
Starring: Ben Whishaw, Abbie Cornish, Paul Schneider and Kerry Fox.
The buzz: Pretty hot for a PG-rated period piece. "That rare, genuinely transporting movie that creates an alternate universe, invites the audience in and lets them sink ever deeper into its particular, sublime reverie," the Washington Post says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org