New movies this week
The gist: A movie from Paul Thomas Anderson that is totally not about L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology, but it is about a mercurial, charismatic guy who has a penchant for getting people to follow his religion and give him money. R
The cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons and David Warshofsky.
The buzz: Anderson seems to be one of the only directors making excellent and almost utterably impenetrable movies these days. "A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations," Variety says.
Trouble With the Curve
The gist: Clint Eastwood is a baseball scout who enlists the help of his lawyer daughter to help him continue working just before the draft. It seems his team isn't too happy about him constantly talking to empty chairs. PG-13
The cast: Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman, Robert Patrick and Matthew Lillard.
The buzz: Corny and predictable, but hey, Clint Eastwood, y'all. "If the modest and moving Trouble With the Curve won't overwhelm anybody, it's still an engaging winner, like a junk-ball pitcher who stays in the bigs on grit and heart," Time magazine says.
House at the End of the Street
The gist: A woman and her daughter move into a house next to the scene of a family mass murder, so of course it shouldn't be a problem when the daughter starts a relationship with the only survivor of the massacre, right? PG-13
The cast: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot, Gil Bellows, Eva Link and Nolan Gerard Funk.
The buzz: There are zero reviews available for this winner, which obviously was made before Lawrence blew up after The Hunger Games. Don't they know big names can't be in movies like this? That's what Elisabeth Shue used to think, anyway. Before Piranha 3D.
The gist: A retelling of the comic saga about an apocalyptic America rife with violence, dependent on gun-toting "judges" who dish out justice with hollowpoints. This one is in case you didn't want your story to include Sylvester Stallone or Armand Assante, like it did in 1995. R
The cast: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey, Wood Harris, Langley Kirkwood and Junior Singo.
The buzz: Not a bad retelling, fathfully dark and violent in homage to its British roots. "Essentially a futuristic take on Die Hard or The Raid: Redemption, this is a violent, gory and faithful execution of the character that fans should rejoice at," the Toronto Star says.
— Joshua Gillin firstname.lastname@example.org