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NEW MOVIES!  APRIL 15 - APRIL 21, 2014
#PHILOMENA (UK, PG-13) - How do you take the edge off a depressing story about a woman trying to find her son 50 years after he was taken away from her by cruel nuns? You add Steve Coogan doing his Steve Coogan act. Nobody plays such a believably awful person as hilariously as he does.
DIRECTED BY: Stephen Frears
STARRING: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Mare Winningham, Michelle Fairley, Anna Maxwell Martin
METASCORE: 76, based on 41 Critics
THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (USA, PG) - This is not the Danny Kaye movie from 1947. It is, however, directed by and starring Ben Stiller. Kristen Wiig plays his lady friend and she's pretty great. This movie is gonna sell itself anyway so I'm not gonna bother.
DIRECTED BY: Ben Stiller
STARRING: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Shirley MacLaine, Adam Scott, Kathryn Hahn, Sean Penn
METASCORE: 54, based on 39 Critics
RIDE ALONG (USA, PG-13) - Kevin Hart plays a security guard who wants to propose to his girlfriend. Unfortunately for him, his GF's big bro is the big dog cop in town, played by Ice Cube. So, as the title implies, Kevin goes on a ride along with Ice Cube. Hilarity ensues. This actually got better reviews than you'd have thought. So, you know, maybe check it out.
DIRECTED BY: Tim Story
STARRING: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Laurence Fishburne
METASCORE: 41, based on 34 Critics
THE NUT JOB (USA, PG) - A selfish little squirrel ends up helping others by executing a grand theft nut heist for his furry former friends. At the same time that the squirrels are planning their shindig, there is a group of felonious humans plotting a bank robbery. Somehow this is a kids' film? From this plot description I'd say no, but it's animated, so have at it, kids!
DIRECTED BY: Peter Lepeniotis
VOICES BY: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl
METASCORE: 36, based on 26 Critics
^THE INVISIBLE WOMAN (UK, R) - Charles Dickens had a mistress that nobody but his most intimate relations, including his wife, knew about. Ralph Fiennes is great as the beloved (but not especially lovable) author, but the movie really belongs to Felicity Jones who manages to subtly convey all of the mixed emotions of an 18-year-old enamored of her literary hero but, by the rules of Victorian Society, not allowed to tell anybody about it.
DIRECTED BY: Ralph Fiennes
STARRING: Ralph Fiennes, Felicity Jones, Kristin Scott Thomas, Tom Hollander
METASCORE: 75, based on 41 Critics
GREAT EXPECTATIONS (UK, PG-13) - They perfectly timed the DVD release of this 2012 version of the Dickens classic, featuring Ralph Fiennes as Magwitch, to coincide with the release of the more acclaimed INVISIBLE WOMAN, featuring Fiennes as Dickens himself. It's likely that you'll watch this adaptation looking for the autobiographical material conjectured in THE INVISIBLE WOMAN.
DIRECTED BY: Mike Newell
STARRING: Jeremy Irvine, Robbie Coltrane, Holliday Grainger, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes
METASCORE: 60, based on 23 Critics
BLACK NATIVITY (USA, PG) - At one point, 1997 specifically, director Kasi Lemmons was hailed as one of the most exciting new voices in independent cinema. EVE'S BAYOU was acclaimed by everybody, but her follow-up, THE CAVEMAN'S VALENTINE, only by a few (including myself). 2007's TALK TO ME featured terrific performances by Don Cheadle and Chiwetel Ejiofor but got bogged down in Hollywood sentiment. But now this one, I'm afraid, sees the director venturing into Tyler Perry territory. Not even the music and the Langston Hughes source material can raise this one above the level of melodramatic schmaltz.
DIRECTED BY: Kasi Lemmons
STARRING: Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Tyrese Gibson, Jennifer Hudson, Mary J. Blige, Jacob Latimore, Vondie Curtis-Hall, Nas
METASCORE: 48, based on 29 Critics
COPPERHEAD (USA, PG-13) - From the director of GETTYSBURG and GODS AND GENERALS comes this movie about the American Civil War. One farmer, who is adamantly against the war, speaks up, despite it dividing his family. America, ladies and gentlemen: home of the stubborn.
DIRECTED BY: Ronald F. Maxwell
STARRING: Billy Campbell, Angus Macfadyen, Peter Fonda, Augustus Prew, Lucy Boynton
METASCORE: 34, based on 12 Critics
INTERIOR. LEATHER BAR (USA, Unrated) - Oh, James Franco. Even though you're terrible in most of your big Hollywood blockbusters, like SPIDER-MAN and OZ, and your low-budget independent projects are usually pretty pretentious and unwatchable, we'll still love you forever. Your work in FREAKS AND GEEKS, PINEAPPLE EXPRESS and SPRING BREAKERS will always earn you our forgiveness. In his latest cinematic experiment, he recreates the explicit lost 40 minutes of footage from the 1980 Al Pacino film CRUISING which was excised for being too "gay" for contemporary audiences.
DIRECTED BY: James Franco / Travis Mathews
STARRING: James Franco, Travis Mathews, Val Lauren, Christian Patrick
METASCORE: 47, based on 15 Critics
*ZERO CHARISMA (USA, Not Rated) - Remember when nerds did their role-playing face-to-face, deep in a dungeon filled with maybe a few dragons? Scott Weidemeyer certainly does. The over-weight, emotional role-player is put through a number of trials as a cool hipster enters his scene, the health of his ailing enabler of a grandmother worsens and his prickly mother returns with a new fiancé.
DIRECTED BY: Katie Graham / Andrew Matthews
STARRING: Sam Eidson, Anne Gee Byrd, Brock England, Garrett Graham, Cyndi Williams
METASCORE: 63, based on 11 Critics
DATE AND SWITCH (USA, R) - Kinda like in SUPERBAD, two bros make a pact to lose their virginity during their senior year of high school so they don't have to go to college un-loved. Plot twist! One of them comes out of the closet, making the losing of the "V" card a little more interesting.
DIRECTED BY: Chris Nelson
STARRING: Nicholas Braun, Hunter Cope, Dakota Johnson, Zach Cregger, Nick Offerman, Gary Cole, Megan Mullally, Sarah Hyland, Brian Geraghty, Quinn Lord, Adam DiMarco, Aziz Ansari
METASCORE: 56, based on 8 Critics
WRONG COPS (USA, Not Rated) - Quentin Dupieux's previous two films, RUBBER and WRONG, each featured roughly 30 minutes of brilliance within their 90 minute running times. This one takes the weakest jokes in WRONG (the blasé cops and Steve Little as an Indiana Jones-inspired private eye) and stretches THOSE out to feature length. Sounds less-than-promising, but I have trouble turning down self-reflexive absurdist comedy, so I'll probably watch it anyway.
DIRECTED BY: Quentin Dupieux
STARRING: Mark Burnham, Éric Judor, Marilyn Manson, Steve Little, Grace  Zabriskie, Arden Myrin, Eric Wareheim, Isabella Palmieri, Jennifer Blanc, Jack Plotnick, Daniel Quinn
METASCORE: 25, based on 8 Critics
CAVEMEN (USA, R) - This comedy is about a bunch of single and unemployed boys living in a warehouse that they converted into living quarters. They sound hot. Don't judge me.
DIRECTED BY: Herschel Faber
STARRING: Camilla Belle, Alexis Knapp, Chad Michael Murray, Skylar Astin, Chasty Ballesteros, Kenny Wormald, Fernanda Romero, Zuleyka Silver
METASCORE: 19, based on 8 Critics
AFTER THE DARK (USA, R) - AFTER THE DARK asks a group of young folks (target audience) to decide who amongst them should be chosen to repopulate the human race after a nuclear holocaust. As the debate heats up and tensions rise, the line between debate and reality starts to blur. AFTER THE DARK dares to offer a dose of TWILIGHT ZONE-like drama in a cool and hip package neatly designed for young people like me. Yo home dawg, ch-ch-check dis 1 OUT!
DIRECTED BY: John Huddles
STARRING: Sophie Lowe, Rhys Wakefield, Bonnie Wright, James D'Arcy, Daryl Sabara, Freddie Stroma, Cinta Laura, Katie Findlay
METASCORE: 37, based on 7 Critics
BOYS OF ABU GHRAIB (USA, R) - Deep down I feel like this one's "too soon," but then I think back to all the war movies that came out during their respective wars. Anyway, BOYS OF ABU GHRAIB attempts to depict the soldiers who would go on to carry out the biggest scandal of the Iraq War other than, oh, what's that other scandal? You know, the really big one? Oh yeah, you know when there weren't any nukes after all....
DIRECTED BY: Luke Moran
STARRING: Luke Moran, Sean Astin, Sara Paxton, Omid Abtahi, John Heard
METASCORE: 34, based on 6 Critics
TRAP FOR CINDERELLA (UK, Not Rated) - A fire engulfs two friends at the French villa in which they spent much of their privileged childhood, leaving one dead and the other "blighted" by amnesia. Wait, is this a soap opera? I mean, is IFC Midnight trying to sell us a soap opera?
DIRECTED BY: Iain Softley
STARRING: Tuppence Middleton, Alexandra Roach, Kerry Fox, Aneurin Barnard, Frances de la Tour, Emilia Fox
METASCORE: 39, based on 5 Critics
MOBIUS (France, R) - A Russian Secret Service operative tries to crack down on some big money laundering operation. It's tough work, but someone's got to do it. He didn't have to fall for the Secret Service lady, either, but he does. Whoops.
DIRECTED BY: Eric Rochant
STARRING: Jean Dujardin, Cécile de France, Tim Roth, Émilie Dequenne, John Lynch
FREEZER (USA, R) - A possible case of mistaken identity lands Robert Saunders in the walk-in freezer of a local diner to answer for The Mob's missing 8 million dollars. As the temperature drops, tension rises and odds are that Robert will end up a little chilled. Now, when you have a plot with such a limited scope, the script had better be something special. I'm not sure Tom Donanoglu and Shane Weisfeld have the chops to pull something like that off.
DIRECTED BY: Mikael Salomon
STARRING: Dylan McDermott, Peter Facinelli, Yuliya Snigir
CONFESSION OF MURDER (South Korea, Not Rated) - After failing to bring to justice a murderer 15 years ago, the haunted detective is thrust back onto the case after a novelist publishes a book confessing to the crimes. My perceptions of Korea are based almost entirely on the few Korean movies I've seen and, judging from those movies, I can only assume that Korea has some weird stuff it needs to work through.
DIRECTED BY: Byeong-gil Jeong
STARRING: Jung Jae-young, Park Si-hoo
LLOYD THE CONQUEROR (Canada, R) - In all honesty, what are the odds that we'd get in two LARP movies during the same week? I mean, didn't we get another just last week? Come on, Bart. If you have an unsatisfied need to LARP, just LARP, and don't take it out on the customers.
DIRECTED BY: Michael Peterson
STARRING: Evan Williams, Mike Smith, Brian Posehn, Jesse Reid, Scott Patey, Tegan Moss, Harland Williams
   
^ = BART'S PICK OF THE WEEK!          * = KYRA'S PICK OF THE WEEK!          # = COLIN'S PICK OF THE WEEK!
 
NEW SERIES THIS WEEK! NEW (BUT NOT NEW) MOVIES THIS WEEK! NEW FAMILY TIME THIS WEEK!
America: The Story of Us (2010) The Bletchley Circle: Season 2 (2014)
Murdoch Mysteries: Season 5 (2012) Ripper Street: Season 2 (2013)
Planet of the Vampires (1965)
Heartland: Season 1 (2007)
  NEW (BUT NOT NEW) DVDs LAST WEEK!