There are a lot of new movies in theaters today, from a cancer dramady to a psychological thriller. Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen star in the critically acclaimed 50/50. There’s a romantic comedy starring the queen of spoof comedy Anna Farris and Captain America, Chris Evans. There’s also a suspenseful thriller, a Christian drama, and a martial-arts movie starring an ensemble of popular Hollywood actors. What will it be? Sort through our list.
Dream House is advertised as the first suspense thriller of the fall season, starring Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts and Rachel Weisz. At the center of this story is a New England house with a haunting past. Unfortunately, the new family that moves in has no knowledge of its history and for that, they pay a price. There is a twist in the story, but sadly, it is revealed in the trailer, which defeats the whole purpose of a suspenseful movie. Critics didn’t get a chance to see advance screenings of Dream House and that’s usually not a good sign. According to Cinema Blend, Craig, Weisz and director Jim Sheridan were so unhappy with the final cut of the film that they refused to do press for it. The thing is, the trailer is pretty good, until the twist is revealed. If you haven’t seen the trailer, don’t! Watch the film. It’s got a great cast and hey, like the promos say, it’s the first suspenseful thriller of the fall.
From the director of Fireproof comes Courageous, a Christian film about four police officers who struggle to be good role models to their children and strong spiritual heads of their household. The film was produced by Sherwood Pictures which is also a Christian production company. The film stars a group of first-time and unknown actors, with the exception of Ken Bevel and Kevin Downes. Is this Christian drama worth a shot?
- “Courageous is often a soapy melodrama, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t moving moments — a eulogy, a father’s desperate efforts to stop a carjacking. And there’s more humor, toying with stereotypes, playing around with miscommunication.” — NewsOK
- “A moving, modern parable not to be missed by anyone who’s always wondering why they don’t make wholesome movies with uplifting messages anymore.” – NewsBlaze
There’s no rating from the Tomatometer yet!
Sarah Palin: You Betcha!
Nick Broomfield, the guy that brought you Kurt & Courney, has made another documentary. This time, his controversial subject is none other that Sarah Palin. In Sarah Palin: You Betcha! Broomfield goes in search of 2008′s Vice President nominee. He interviews family and friends, and even comes face-to-face with Ms. Palin. Are the critics liking this documentary?
- “Thankfully, the movie isn’t simply some damning collection of scare tactics. Broomfield may approach his work with a serious agenda, but he’s a very playful filmmaker…if you feel like watching movies that will make you giggle until you become enraged, I can’t think of a better choice than [this movie].” – Collider
- “You keep waiting for the scope to expand…but instead whole chunks of the movie are devoted to watching Broomfield slip around on slick Alaskan ice. Incisive!” — indieWire
Sarah Palin: You Betcha! has a rotten 35% on the Tomatometer.
American Teacher is helmed by Academy Award-winning director Vanessa Roth. Maybe you recall last September’s Waiting for Superman? Well, here’s another documentary that spotlights the failing American public education system. Matt Damon serves as the film’s narrator. He’s a supporter of causes like Save our Schools. Check out the Youtube video of him arguing with a reporter over the subject (he gets pretty fired up). So does American Teacher do a good job at tackling this topic?
- “Sadly, “American Teacher” comes off as more of a staid, herky-jerky stump speech than a fiery and clarifying call to action.” — Sockya
- “While certainly timely considering the current political debate about the compensation of teachers and other public sector employees, the film is yet one more example of the increasing trend in documentaries of preaching to the choir. Its pedantic tone is only accentuated by Thao Nguyen’s oppressive musical score and the portentous narration by Matt Damon.” — Hollywood Reporter
And the Tomatometer rating for American Teacher is 56%.
Bunraku isn’t your typical martial-arts melodrama. The film, which stars an impressive list of Hollywood actors including Josh Hartnett, Woody Harrelson, Demi Moore, and Ron Perlman, looks a lot like Sin City. From the trailer, you get that this is a movie with a lot of fighting sequences and perhaps a cheesy plot. What are the critics saying?
- “Demi Moore does what she can with a self-consciously stock femme fatale role, while Woody Harrelson suppresses the temptation to camp it up as a bartender who dispenses dubious wisdom at the Horseless Horseman Saloon.” – Seattle Times
- “Bunrakuis an incredibly noble effort. From the puppet-driven opening credits honoring the connection between the film’s title and that of a 400-year-old Japanese theater piece, to the highly stylized set design and fight choreography, it’s quite clear that almost every element of this production was planned to the tee.” — Shockya
The film has a 16% in the Tomatometer.
And in case you missed it, here’s a list of the new releases that our critics reviewed:
- 50/50 (review) – A cancer dramady starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen.
- Margaret (review) – This is an old film (it was made in 2005) that is just now being released. It stars a younger Matt Damon and Anna Paquin.
- What’s Your Number? (review) – The new romantic comedy starring Anna Farris and Chris Evans.
- Take Shelter (Sundance review) – Michael Shannon stars as an afflicted husband father. Take Shelter premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.
- Tucker and Dale vs. Evil (Sundance review) – Hailed by our critic Mali Elfman as a comedic master piece,” Tucker and Dale vs. Evil tells the story two vacationing hillbillies.
- Finding Joe (review) – This film explores the effect of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s studies.
Whoa! That’s a lot of releases for one weekend. Hopefully there’s something you’ll enjoy.
What will you watch this weekend?