Do check out two brainy offerings this weekend: Charlize Theron's dark comedy character study, "Young Adult," from Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody, and Tomas Alfredson's complex "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy." (More at Indiewire's Critical Consensus: Scott Foundas and Stephanie Zacharek on "Tinker Tailor" And "Young Adult.") If you live in NY or LA, catch Tilda Swinton's brilliant performance in another dark and complex drama, "We Need To Talk About Kevin," which is having its one-week qualifying run, as is Madonna's less well-reviewed "W.E." (both will be released early 2012). Both celeb-packed ensemble "New Year's Eve" and "The Sitter" (with Jonah Hill in slacker comedy mode; don't miss his dramatic turn in "Moneyball") are review proof. Indies "I Melt With You" and "London River" will struggle to find audiences in an increasingly crowded specialty box office. Reviews, details and trailers below:
"Young Adult," Paramount, US | Director: Jason Reitman; Cast: Charlize Theron, Patrick Wilson, J.K. Simmons, Elizabeth Reaser | 79% Tomatometer | TOH! Early Reviews and Theron's Deliciously Narcissistic Anti-Hero | Variety: "Young Adult revels in breaking the rules of safe Hollywood storytelling." | TOH! Interviews Reitman | 3 Clips.
"Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy," Focus Features, FR/UK/GER | Director: Tomas Alfredson; Cast: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Mark Strong, Stephen Graham, Ciarán Hinds | 94% Tomatometer | THR: "It is one of the few films so visually absorbing, felicitous shot after shot, that its emotional coldness is noticed only at the end, when all the plot twists are unraveled in a solid piece of thinking-man's entertainment for upmarket thriller audiences." | TOH! Review | Character profiles.
"The Sitter," Twentieth C. Fox, US | Director: David Gordon Green; Cast: Jonah Hill, Sam Rockwell, Ari Graynor, D.W. Moffett, Method Man, Erin Daniels, Jessica Hecht | 13% Tomatometer | Ebert: "I am so very, very tired of movies like this."
"New Year's Eve," Warner Bros., US | Director: Garry Marshall; Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Lea Michele, Michelle Pfeiffer, Zac Efron, Robert De Niro, Cary Elwes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Halle Berry, Jessica Biel, Katherine Heigl, Sarah Paulson, Carla Gugino, etc | 10% Tomatometer | Village Voice: "Mayans might have predicted the end of the world in 2012, but could they have known that the countdown to eternal hellfire would begin with Garry Marshall's New Year's Eve?"
"I Melt With You," Magnolia, US | Director: Mark Pellington; Cast: Thomas Jane, Jeremy Piven, Rob Lowe, Christian McKay, Carla Gugino, Sasha Grey | 16% Tomatometer | MSN Movies: "music video masquerading as movie, all whacked-out sound and fury, signifying nothing."
"London River," Cinema Libre Studio, UK/FR/ALG | Director: Rachid Bouchareb; Cast: Brenda Blethyn, Sotigui Kouyaté | 86% Tomatometer | NYTimes: "Demonstrates how great acting can infuse a banal, politically correct drama with dollops of emotional truth."