The star power of this weekend’s leading men — George Clooney and Ryan Gosling of political drama The Ides of March and Hugh Jackman of amped-up sci-fi actioner Real Steel — will make a dent in Dolphin Tale and Moneyball‘s current top spots. In the indiesphere, Mateo Gil’s Blackthorn takes a bite out of Butch Cassidy legend, while Emilio Estevez’s The Way aims to inspire and Abe Sylvia’s reedited Dirty Girl attempts to push indie girl Juno Temple into leading lady status. In the mood for something French? Phillippe Le Guay’s The Women on the 6th Floor is a charming trifle. Powerful war documentary Hell and Back Again is scoring the best reviews; it’s indieWIRE’s pick of the week.
Reviews, trailers and details below:
The Ides of March, Columbia, USA | Director: George Clooney; Cast: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Philip Seymour Hoffman | B criticWIRE | 76% Tomatometer | Venice Premiere | TOH! At the Premiere, Review | TOH! Oscar Talk: Clooney vs. Gosling | Early Contender on Gurus ‘O Gold.
Real Steel, Disney, US | Dir: Shawn Levy; Cast: Hugh Jackman, Evangeline Lilly, Dakota Goyo, Kevin Durand, Anthony Mackie | 64% Tomatometer | Todd McCarthy: “This punishingly predictable tale will test whether sci-fi action fanboys can stomach having their cherished genre infiltrated by sentimental hokum about a down-on-his-luck dad and his spunky long-lost son.”
Blackthorn, Magnolia, SP/US/BOL/FR | Director: Mateo Gil; Cast: Eduardo Noriega, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Sam Shepard, Stephen Rea, Padraic Delaney | iW | 71% Tomatometer | Ronnie Sheib: “Shepard delivers in spades, his character weary but just crackpot enough to survive.”
1911, Variance Films, CH/HK | Director: Jackie Chan, Li Zhang; Cast: Jackie Chan, Bingbing Li, Winston Chao, Joan Chen, Jaycee Chan | 13% Tomatometer | Maggie Lee: “Chan has not injected any of his playful charm or physical virtuosity into Wang Xingdong’s and Chen Baoguang’s insipid, poorly structured screenplay.”
Hell and Back Again, New Video, US/UK/AFG | Director: Danfung Dennis; Cast: Danfung Dennis, Nathan Harris, Ashley Harris | A- criticWIRE | 100% Tomatometer | V.A. Musetto: “Dennis refuses to push a political agenda down viewers’ throats. But the message of his film — a breathlessly paced look at the realities of war — is clear: War and its aftermath are indeed hell.”
The Way, Icon Entertainment, US/SP | Director: Emilio Estevez; Cast: Martin Sheen, Deborah Kara Unger, James Nesbitt, Joaquim de Almeida, Emilio Estevez | B- criticWIRE | 77% Tomatometer | Philip French: “It looks good, is occasionally touching, always over-explicit, and usually predictable.”
The Women on the 6th Floor, Strand Releasing, FR | Dir: Phillippe Le Guay; Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Kinerlain, Natalia Verbeke, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas | C criticWIRE | 36% Tomatometer | Kalvin Henely: “There’s nothing remarkable going on in Jean-Philippe Le Guay’s pillowy, Vicodin pill of a film.”
Dirty Girl, The Weinstein Co., US | Director: Abe Sylvia; Cast: Milla Jovovich, Mary Steenburgen, Juno Temple, Tim McGraw, William H. Macy | C criticWIRE | 10% Tomatometer | Allison Willmore: “Temple does turn what’s essentially a magical-hussy role into something more grounded and human. The rest of the cast isn’t quite so lucky.”
The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence, IFC Midnight, NETH/UK/US | Director: Tom Six; Cast: Laurence Harvey, Ashlynn Yennie | B criticWIRE | 20% Tomatometer | Christy Lemire: “It’s hard to tell whether [Six] made “The Human Centipede 2″ to titillate his audience or to mock it. And after a while, it is hard to care.”