It’s a very slow week for new releases, perhaps because we’re about to hit the fourth of July, but one of the spring’s biggest surprise hits and one of its bigger bombs are coming out this week, along with one of the most respected documentaries ever made.


  • The Call: This Halle Berry thriller surprised at the box office, as it looked like a throwback to the Ashley Judd era of movies about starlets dealing with serial killers, but ended up making a tidy $51 Million at the box office. Berry plays a 911 operator who tries to save a kidnapped girl, and I’m sure that the film delivers everything you’d expect from that premise.
  • The Incredible Burt Wonderstone: Warner Brothers seemingly didn’t know what to do with this movie as it tanked hard when it came out in March. Steve Carell and Jim Carrey star in this movie about dueling magicians, though now it’s probably going to be known as one of James Gandolfini’s last roles. He will be missed. This movie, not so much.


  • Fernando Di Leo: The Italian Crime Collection Volume 2: Though he’ll never be a household name, Fernando Di Leo was one of the better Italian crime thriller directors, and the first box set offered some great underseen vintage mob movies. This is definitely worth a look.
  • Help!: The Beatles made two feature films, and though this may be the lesser of the two, it’s still a fascinating film that goofs on the fab four. And — of course — the soundtrack is amazing.
  • Shoah: For some, Shoah is known as a painstaking tribute to those who died in the holocaust. For others it’s the movie that Pauline Kael dared to call a little boring (the movie is over nine hours long). Criterion has released it, preserved it, and whether it is great art can now be wrestled with in high definition.

What are you picking up this week?