What’s going to lure you into the theater in the middle of summer? We’ve got two Sundance documentaries, an Indiewire blogger made good and a drama that should be on Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s must-see list (but probably won’t be).
“Beats, Rhymes & Life: The Travels of A Tribe Called Quest” (Sony Pictures Classics)
This Sundance documentary was directed by actor Michael Rapaport and traces the rise, fall and maybe-rise of Tribe Called Quest. Not exactly feel-good, but the music’s good enough to make up the difference.
• criticWIRE: B+
• Eric Kohn reviews: “Why Q-Tip Should Chill Out About “Beats, Rhymes & Life”
• ThePlaylist interviews director Michael Rapaport
“Project Nim” (Roadside Attractions)
Another Sundance doc and this one’s a justifiable heartbreaker. Expect to see an Oscar campaign later this year.
• criticWIRE: A-
• “Nim” Tops Critical Consensus
• Eric Kohn reviews: Planet of the Ape: James Marsh’s “Project Nim”
“Septien” (Sundance Selects)
From our own Indiewire contributor (and morning weatherman!) Michael Tully.
• criticWIRE: B-
• In His Own Words: Director Michael Tully Shares a Scene
“The Ledge” (IFC)
A Sundance premiere that received some “eh” reviews, but they have a cast that includes Terrence Howard and Liv Tyler.
• criticWIRE: D-
• Video: “The Ledge” After Party at Sundance
ThePlaylist: Trailer For “The Ledge” Says Sleeping With • A Crazy Christian’s Wife Will Make You Want To Die.
“The Sleeping Beauty” (Strand Releasing)
Not to be confused with the “Sleeping Beauty” that premiered at Cannes this spring or the pitch that Hailee “True Grit” Steinfeld’s attached to. A contender for the most twisted revisionist fairy tale.
• criticWIRE: B-
• indieWIRE interviews director Catherine Breillat: “To Be An Artist is To Be Alone.”
“The Ward” (ARC Entertainment)
John Carpenter returns with haunted loony-bin creepiness.
• criticWIRE: C-
• John Carpenter says “The Ward” is “The way I see life: Kind of isolated in a confined space.”
• Eric Kohn reviews: “The Ward” Shows John Carpenter Still Has Potential. He Just Fails to Use It.
“Rapt” (Lorber Films)
The plot is so on-the-nose to current events it sounds like a Lifetime movie; instead, it’s a skillfully made drama that was released in France last year.
• Eric Kohn on Why Dominique Strauss-Kahn Needs to Watch “Rapt”
• ThePlaylist: Susanne Bier Doing A Remake.
“The Chameleon” (Lightning Entertainment)
Famke Janssen and Ellen Barkin star in this thriller about a man who convinces everyone, including the police, that he is a woman’s long-lost son.
• Lightning Thrills to French “Chameleon” after Tribeca premiere.
“Ironclad” (ARC Entertainment)
This was released by Warner Bros. overseas; looks very “Game of Thrones,” only with Paul Giamatti.
• ThePlaylist reviews: “Ironclad” Is Made Of Flimsy Fabric.
Also In Theaters
“Sholem Aleichem: Laughing In The Darkness” (IFC)
“Fading Of The Cries” (Underhill Films)