If you reside in New York or Los Angeles, “The Master” is the must-see film of the week. The Paul Thomas Anderson film, starring the exceptional Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, will expand September 21. The film, which has gained momentum from the Weinstein Co.’s series of sneak screenings in 70mm as well as its debut at the Venice and Toronto fests, is satisfying on many levels and frustrating on a few more — repeat viewings will likely pay off. We’ll be talking about “The Master” deep into awards season; both actors are contenders.
Also arriving this weekend is Nicholas Jarecki’s impressive directorial debut, “Arbitrage.” While his script may not rise far above soap operatics, the thriller is sharp and involving with a stand-out performance from Nate Parker. TV-star turned writer-director-actor Josh Radnor’s “Liberal Arts” is less successful; not even the charming Elizabeth Olsen can save the pointless, boring story which belongs on a much smaller screen. Channing Tatum, meanwhile, returns to the big screen (clothed, sorry) with “10 Year,” a familiar reunion flick dotted with pretty and familiar faces.
On the escapist side, there’s plenty of hardcore 3-D mayhem in “Resident Evil: Retribution.”
Trailers, reviews and more details below:
“The Master” TWC, US | DIR: Paul Thomas Anderson CAST: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Laura Dern | 86% Fresh | AV Club: “It’s a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it’s over doesn’t mean it’s settled.”
“Arbitrage” Roadside, US | DIR: Nicholas Jarecki CAST: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Tim Roth, Brit Marling, Laetitia Casta | 77% Fresh | Variety: “Between this cast and the conviction Jarecki brings to the table, the film feels incredibly accomplished for a first feature.”
“Liberal Arts” IFC, US | DIR: Josh Radnor CAST: Josh Radnor, Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Allison Janney, Elizabeth Reaser | 65% Fresh | TheWrap: “Full of quippy dialogue, banal observations, paper-thin characters and pat resolutions, Liberal Arts is two deodorant commercials away from being a forgettable new TV sitcom.”
“10 Years” Anchor Bay, US | DIR: Jamie Linden CAST: Channing Tatum, Chris Pratt, Lynn Collins, Kate Mara, Rosario Dawson, Justin Long, Anthony Mackie | 80% Fresh | Village Voice: “An amiable, seriocomic high-school-reunion movie, 10 Years succeeds in pulling off a fine varsity talent show.”
“Resident Evil: Retribution” Screen Gems, GER/CAN | DIR: Paul W. S. Anderson CAST: Milla Jovovich, Michelle Rodriguez, Sienna Guillory, Bingbing Li | Toronto Star: “It’s all the same blah-blah carnage as the first four flicks, with 3D effects hurling blood, blades and body parts into the audience amid a non-stop barrage of gunfire and explosions.”