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Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, December 5. What Will You See?

Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, December 5. What Will You See?

Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, December 5. (Synopses provided by distributor unless noted otherwise.)

Archaeology of a Woman
Director: Sharon Greytak
Cast: Sally Kirkland, James Murtaugh, Karl Geary, Victoria Clark
Synopsis: “Margaret, a feisty, tormented former newspaper columnist, fights to protect her freedom in spite of the dementia she cannot fend off. After an episode in a shopping plaza parking lot where she is unable to find her car and is driven home by the police, her daughter Kate, an aspiring New York City chef, is beckoned upstate to her mother’s side. While there, Kate has a tryst with a rookie police officer as she deals with her mother’s demands. Kate attempts to get Margaret involved with activities at the senior center, but Margaret is apprehensive and resentful. Soon a man from Margaret’s past, Sergeant Calder, re-enters her life, causing Margaret to fear she will no longer be able to protect herself. Before returning to New York, Kate installs a small surveillance camera to monitor her mom at home, revealing a far more private life of fear, lust and longing and her connection to a 30-year-old crime.”
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

The Barefoot Artist
Directors: Glenn Holsten & Daniel Traub
Synopsis: “Lily Yeh is a global artist who is fueled by a belief that art is a human right, and that artists can create a foundation for profound social change. Slight of frame, but large in spirit and vision, the 70-year-old artist was born in China, lives in Philadelphia, and now, as constant traveler, the world is her canvas. Our film explores two sides of Lily’s life that are connected parts of the same journey: her international ventures helping to heal weakened spirits in communities around the world and a personal journey within, to repair her own fractured family.”
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on December 18th)

By the Gun
Director: James Mottern
Cast: Leighton Meester, Ben Barnes, Toby Jones, Harvey Keitel, Kenny Wormald, Paul Ben-Victor, Ritchie Coster, Jay Giannone, Armen Garo, Michael Yebba
Synopsis: “Nick Tortano is a smooth-talking, ambitious criminal from the streets of Boston. After years spent working for and idolizing the Italian gangsters he finally proves himself to the boss and becomes a made man. However, once inside, Nick conflicts with a moneymaker for the Mafia and begins to drive a wedge between him and Boss.”
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

Comet
Director: Sam Esmail
Cast: Emmy Rossum, Justin Long
Synopsis: “Hurtling back and forth in time over six years of a passionate, complicated relationship, this high-style love story crackles with brilliant repartee and simmers with true feeling. Emmy Rossum is the bright, skeptical Kimberly, and Justin Long is the tightly wound Dell. They first meet at a random encounter at Hollywood Forever, where they’ve come to watch a meteor shower. It’s the start of a romantic roller coaster ride that leaps from a Paris tryst to a squabble in New York to the Hollywood Hills, taking risky and unexpected emotional turns with daredevil aplomb.” [LA Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: Limited

Concerning Violence
Director: Göran Hugo Olsson
Synopsis: “A bold and fresh visual narrative on Africa, based on newly discovered archive material covering the struggle for liberation from colonial rule in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, accompanied by text from Frantz Fanon’s ‘The Wretched of the Earth.'”
Criticwire Grade AverageA- (12 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York

Dying of the Light
Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Anton Yelchin, Alexander Karim, Irène Jacob, Claudius Peters, Adetomiwa Edun, Aymen Hamdouchi
Synopsis: “Evan Lake, a veteran CIA agent, has been ordered to retire. But when his protégé uncovers evidence that Lake’s nemesis, the terrorist Banir, has resurfaced, Lake goes rogue, embarking on a perilous, intercontinental mission to eliminate his sworn enemy.”
Theatrical Release: Limited

The Foxy Merkins
Director: Madeleine Olnek
Cast: Jackie Monahan, Lisa Haas, Alex Karpovsky, Susan Ziegler, Sally Sockwell, Deb Margolin
Synopsis: “Two lesbian hookers wind their way through a world of bargain-hunting housewives and double-dealing conservative women in this buddy comedy, an homage to and riff on iconic male hustler films. Margaret is a down-on-her-luck hooker in training, who meets up with Jo, a beautiful and self-assured grifter from a wealthy family and an expert on servicing women, even as she considers herself proudly heterosexual. The film follows their adventures together on the street, through encounters with husky-voiced seductresses, mumbling erotic accessory salesmen and shopaholic swingers. Navigating the bizarre fetishes and sexual needs of their ‘dates’ brings into focus the hilarious and pathetic disparity between the two hookers, fellow travelers who will share the road together but only for a while.”
Criticwire Grade AverageC- (5 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York

Life Partners
Director: Susanna Fogel
Cast: Leighton Meester, Gillian Jacobs, Gabourey Sidibe, Adam Brody, Mark Feuerstein, Abby Elliott
Synopsis: “Nearing 30, Sasha and Paige realize their codependent friendship is preventing either of them from settling down. But when Paige meets the dorky yet lovable Tim, Sasha fears that she’s being replaced.” [Tribeca Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B (8 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York, Los Angeles and Fort Lauderdale (expands to four more states and Vancouver through the beginning of January)

Miss Julie
Director: Liv Ullman
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Synopsis: “A country estate in Ireland in 1880s. Over the course of one midsummer night, in an atmosphere of wild revelry and loosened social constraints, Miss Julie and John, her father’s valet, dance and drink, charm and manipulate each other. She, all hauteur longing for abasement; he, polished but coarse – both united in mutual loathing and attraction. By turns seductive and bullying, savage and tender, their intimacy leads to desperate plans and vision of a life together.”
Criticwire Grade AverageB- (6 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Limited

Murder of a Cat
Director: Gillian Greene
Cast: Greg Kinnear, J.K. Simmons, Blythe Danner, Nikki Reed, Fran Kranz
Synopsis: “When someone murders his beloved cat, Clinton (Kranz), an adult child, demands justice. Taking it upon himself to solve the case, he teams up with an unlikely ally, Greta (Reed), and the two set out to find the culprit lurking in their small suburban town. But as Clinton searches for the truth, he begins to uncover a conspiracy that goes far deeper than he anticipated.”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Cleveland, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Orlando, Phoenix, San Francisco and Toronto)

The One I Wrote for You
Director: Andrew Lauer
Cast: Avi Lake, Cheyenne Jackson, Christine Woods, Christopher Lloyd, Kevin Pollak
Synopsis: “A songwriter defers his dreams to support his family. He gets a second chance when his 10-year-old daughter, Gracie, secretly enters his name into a song writing contest/reality show. Fourteen original songs help tell the story of Ben Cantor, who follows his dream, but loses himself along the way.”
Theatrical Release: Texas

Panic 5 Bravo
Director: Kuno Beckers
Cast: Aurora Papile, Raúl Méndez, Genaro Hernandez, Sofía Sisniega, Shalim Ortiz, Dan Rovzar
Synopsis: A group of paramedics receives an emergency call from Arizona, but when they get there, they realize that the victim is on the Mexican side. Training kicks in as they illegally cross the border to help.
Theatrical Release: Various (including Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix and San Francisco)


Pioneer

Director: Erik Skjoldbjærg
Cast: Aksel Hennie, Wes Bentley, Stephanie Sigman, Stephen Lang, Jonathan LaPaglia, André Eriksen, Ane Dahl Torp
Synopsis: “Set in the early 80’s, at the beginning of the Norwegian Oil Boom. Enormous oil and gas deposits are discovered in the North Sea and the authorities aim to bring the oil ashore through a pipeline from depths of 500 meters. A professional diver, Petter, obsessed with reaching the bottom of the Norwegian Sea has the discipline, strength and courage to take on the world’s most dangerous mission. But a sudden, tragic accident changes everything. Petter is sent on a perilous journey where he loses sight of who’s pulling the strings. Gradually he realizes that he is in way over his head and that his life is at stake.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Poverty, Inc.
Director: Michael Matheson Miller
Synopsis: “‘Poverty, Inc.’ explores the hidden side of doing good. From disaster relief to TOMs Shoes, from adoptions to agricultural subsidies, ‘Poverty, Inc.’ follows the butterfly effect of our most well-intentioned efforts and pulls back the curtain on the poverty industrial complex – the multi-billion dollar market of NGOs, multilateral agencies, and for-profit aid contractors. Are we catalyzing development or are we propagating a system in which the poor stay poor while the rich get hipper?”
Theatrical Release: Limited

The Pyramid
Director: Grégory Levasseur
Cast: Ashley Hinshaw, James Buckley, Denis O’Hare, Amir K, Christa Nicola, Prince Shah, Joseph Beddelem, Garsha Arristos, Omar Benbrahim
Synopsis: “A team of U.S. archaeologists unearths an ancient pyramid buried deep beneath the Egyptian desert. As they search the pyramid’s depths, they become hopelessly lost in its dark and endless catacombs. Searching for a way out, they become desperate to seek daylight again. They come to realize they aren’t just trapped, they are being hunted.”
Theatrical Release: Wide

Red Knot
Director: Scott Cohen
Cast: Olivia Thirlby, Vincent Kartheiser, Billy Campbell, Lisa Harrow, Roger Payne, Larry Pine, Luis Carlos de la Lombana
Synopsis: “Set on a research vessel en route to the icy wastes of Antarctica, Peter Harrison is a writer sharing his dream of going to the ends of the earth with his wife. The confines of the ship and the wide open spaces of the southern ocean set the stage for an unraveling marriage encountering their first rite of passage as a couple. Red Knot is a narrative feature film that invites a broader converstaion around themes that are at once universal and personal: our closest relationships and the wilderness that lies between us.”
Theatrical Release: New York

She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry
Director: Mary Dore
Synopsis: “‘She’s Beautiful When She’s Angry’ tells the story of the brilliant, often outrageous women who founded the feminist movement of the 1960s. They said ‘the personal is political’ and made a revolution: in the bedroom, in the workplace, in all spheres of life. Called ‘threatening by the FBI, yet ignored in many histories, these women changed the world.”
Theatrical Release: New York (expands throughout the country throughout the end of March 2015)

A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Directors: Ben Rivers & Ben Russell
Cast: Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe
Synopsis: A man at three disparate moments in his life: as a member of a fifteen-person collective on a small Estonian island, alone in the wilderness of Northern Finland and as the singer of a neo-pagan black metal band in Norway. Three moments for a radical proposition for the creation of utopia in the present.
Criticwire Grade AverageB+ (13 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York

Take Care
Director: Liz Tuccillo
Cast: Leslie Bibb, Marin Ireland, Michael Stahl-David, Nadia Dajani
Synopsis: “A comedy about a woman (Leslie Bibb), who returns home from the hospital after getting hit by a car, only to realize no one wants to take care of her. After being brushed off by her sister, best friend, and neighbor, she reluctantly asks an ex-boyfriend, to help her.” [SXSW Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: Limited

Uzumasa Limelight
Director: Ken Ochiai
Cast: Seizô Fukumoto, Chihiro Yamamoto, Masashi Goda, Hirotaro Honda, Hisako Manda, Hiroki Matsukata
Synopsis: “A moving, nostalgic portrait of the men behind the golden age of chanbara (sword-fighting dramas and films) that goes behind the scenes of the distinctive film genre for which Japan is most famous, with dominant performance by real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto.”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Austin, Honolulu, Seattle, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver)

Wild
Director: Jean-Marc Vallée
Cast: Reese Witherspoon, Mo McRae, Michiel Huisman, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern, W. Earl Brown, Charles Baker, Kevin Rankin, Brian Van Holt, J.D. Evermore, Thomas Sadoski
Synopsis: “A self-destructive woman attempts to leave behind her years of drug abuse and reckless sex with a solo, 1,000-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B (22 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles (expands nationwide throughout the end of the month)

Zero Motivation
Director: Talya Lavie
Cast: Dana Ivgy, Nelly Tagar, Shani Klein, Heli Twito, Meytal Gal, Tamara Klingon, Yonit Tobi, Yuval Segal, Elad Scemama
Synopsis: “A dark comedy about everyday life for a unit of young female Israeli soldiers. The human resources office at a remote desert base serves as the setting for this cast of characters, who bide their time pushing paper, battling for the top score in Minesweeper, and counting down the minutes until they can return to civilian life. Amidst their boredom and clashing personalities, issues of commitment—from friendship to love and country—are handled with humor and sharp-edged wit.” [Tribeca Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B+ (13 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York (expands across the country through the beginning of March)

READ MORE: Locarno Film Festival Review: Free Love Commune Chatter and Heavy Metal Define Ben Rivers and Ben Russell’s Lyrically High-Minded ‘A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness’

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