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Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for May 2016

Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for May 2016

It’s never too early to start planning a trip to the movies. Now that May is underway, we wanted to have a place for movie fans to see every film opening in theaters for the entire month. For each week, we’ve separated the wide releases from the arthouse/specialty offerings, giving you the best of both worlds. (Where we can, we’ve also included Criticwire grade averages for films that have already screened for critics at festivals.)

For more of what’s on the horizon, you can also bookmark our calendar page, where we’ll update releases for May and beyond. In the meantime, happy planning!

Week of May 6th

Wide


Captain America: Civil War

Directors: Joe & Anthony Russo
Cast: Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Jeremy Renner, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Chadwick Boseman, Tom Holland, Daniel Brühl, Frank Grillo, William Hurt,
Synopsis: “Following the events of Age of Ultron, the collective governments of the world pass an act designed to regulate all superhuman activity. This polarizes opinion amongst the Avengers, causing two factions to side with Iron Man or Captain America, which causes an epic battle between former allies.”

Limited


Being Charlie

Director: Rob Reiner
Cast: Nick Robinson, Morgan Saylor, Devon Bostick, Cary Elwes, Susan Misner, Common, Ricardo Chavira
Synopsis: “Charlie Mills has just turned 18 and is running away from rehab – again. Returning home, he is shocked to learn that his father, a former film star currently running for Governor of California, has staged an intervention, with the goal of making Charlie address–and, hopefully, conquer–his substance abuse issues far from the harsh glare of the media. Reluctantly, Charlie enters a new adult facility where he meets a kindred spirit, Eva, and their budding romance looks like it might be an antidote to his strained relationship with a highly preoccupied father and overly indulgent mother. The question is, will these two kids help each other or lead one another down yet another rabbit hole? Facing more obstacles, restrictions, disappointments, and even tragedies than any 18 year-old should have to, Charlie is forced to begin the difficult but necessary journey to self-discovery and acceptance.”


A Bigger Splash

Director: Luca Guadagnino
Cast: Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tilda Swinton, Aurore Clément, Corrado Guzzanti, Lily McMenamy, Elena Bucci
Synopsis: “An American couple, Paul and Marianne, spend their vacation in Italy and and experiences trouble when the wife invites a former lover and his teenage daughter to visit, which leads to jealousy and dangerous sexual scenarios.”


Bite

Director: Chad Archibald
Cast: Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak, Jordan Gray, Lawrene Denkers, Denise Yuen, Tianna Nori
Synopsis: “While on her bachelorette party getaway, Casey, the bride to be, gets a seemingly harmless bite from an unknown insect. After returning home with cold feet, Casey tries to call off her wedding but before she’s able to, she starts exhibiting insect like traits. Between her physical transformation and her wedding anxiety, Casey succumbs to her new instincts and begins creating a hive that not only houses her translucent eggs, but feeds on the flesh of others. As her transformation becomes complete, Casey discovers that everything can change with a single bite.”


Brigend

Director: Jeppe Rønde
Cast: Hannah Murray, Josh O’Connor
Synopsis: “Sara and her dad arrive in a town haunted by a spate of teenage suicides. When she falls in love with Jamie, she becomes prey to the depression that threatens to engulf them all. Jeppe Ronde’s debut is based on the real-life Welsh county borough of Bridgend, which has recorded at least 79 suicides since 2007.” [Tribeca Film Festival]


Dark Horse

Director: Louise Osmond
Synopsis: “In early 2000, in a tiny village in one of the poorest mining valleys in Wales, Jan Vokes, the barmaid at the local men’s club, hatches a crazy plan to take on the “sport of kings” and breed a racehorse. She gathers together a group of locals who each agree to pitch in 10 pounds a week. They raise their foal on a hillside made of slag from the coal mine and nurture it to maturity. Reflecting their pride and flights of fancy, they name their horse Dream Alliance. To the astonishment of the racing elite, Dream becomes an unlikely champion, beating the finest thoroughbreds in the land. Then, in one fateful race, the horse—which embodies the plucky band of misfits’ hopes and dreams—has a near-fatal accident. Nursed back to health through the love of his owners, Dream makes a remarkable recovery, returning to the track for a heart-pounding comeback.” [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (4 reviews)


Dheepan

Director: Jacques Audiard
Cast: Jesuthasan Antonythasan, Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby, Vincent Rottiers, Marc Zinga
Synopsis: “A former soldier who assumes the name Dheepan, a young woman, Yalini and a nine year old orphan, Illayaal pose as a family to gain political asylum in France after the Sri Lankan civil war has ended. Upon arrival in Paris, Dheepan gets a job as a resident caretaker at an apartment complex in a rough and violent northeast Parisian suburb. Not only must he, Yalini and Illayaal learn a new language and way of life, they must learn to live as a family and adjust to an equally violent environment run by gangs. When Yalini gets a job tending to an older man, she is introduced to his newly returned son Brahim who unsettles the entire housing estate and sets off a spate of gang violence. Dheepan is ultimately unable to entirely escape his violent past as he tries to protect the community and the family he’s created.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B (18 reviews)


Elstree 1976

Director: Jon Spira
Synopsis: “From the man behind film’s most iconic villain, to the actor whose character was completely cut from the final film, this documentary delves into the eccentric community these individuals have formed and how the Star Wars franchise continues to impact their lives decades later.”


The Faith of Anna Waters

Director: Kelvin Tong
Cast: Elizabeth Rice, Matthew Settle
Synopsis: “When young and successful reporter Jamie finds out that her sister has died in mysterious circumstances, she travels to Singapore to uncover the truth. There, she discovers multiple deaths linked to her sister’s and must join forces with her sister’s husband in order to defeat a demonic entity that is using new technology to complete an ancient mission.”


The Idol

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Cast: Qais Atallah, Hiba Atallah, Ahmad Qassim, Abdelkarim Abu Baraka, Tawfeek Barhom, Saber Shreim, Ahmed Al Rokh, Nadine Labaki
Synopsis: “Inspired by the true story of Mohammed Assaf, ‘The Idol’ follows the hopes and dreams of the 22-year-old young refugee from Gaza who dreams of the world hearing his voice and singing in the Cairo Opera House. Somehow he manages to escape out of Gaza and make it to the Cairo auditions of Arab Idol, the most popular talent show in the region. He gets to the latter stages of the competition, where he must confront his own fears to take control of his destiny and bring hope and happiness to an entire region.”


A Light Beneath Their Feet

Director: Valerie Weiss
Cast: Taryn Manning, Madison Davenport, Maddie Hasson, Kali Hawk, Kurt Fuller, Carter Jenkins, Nora Dunn
Synopsis: “A high school senior must choose between enrolling at the college of her dreams and remaining at home to take care of her bipolar mother.”


Mothers and Daughters

Director: Paul Duddridge
Cast: Susan Sarandon, Sharon Stone, Courteney Cox, Christina Ricci, Mira Sorvino, Eva Amurri Martino, Paul Wesley, Selma Blair, Ashanti
Synopsis: “Interwoven stories about what it means to be a mom, which are tied together via single gal Rigby Gray, a rock photographer who’s riding a career high when an unlikely and unexpected pregnancy forces her to turn her lens inward. As Rigby slowly comes to terms with what it might mean to change her life forever, she discovers with fresh eyes her own relationship with her estranged mother. Through a series of photographs documenting motherhood in all its varieties, she considers what it means to be maternal at all.”


Opening Night

Director: Jack Henry Robbins
Cast: Cheyenne Jackson, Anthony Rapp
Synopsis: “Taking place entirely during the opening night of a high school’s production of Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Opening Night’ chronicles the on stage disasters and off-stage drama of a group of students, their drama teacher and a visiting B-list TV star.”


Phantom of the Theatre

Director: Yip Wai Man
Cast: Ruby Lin, Simon Yam, Tony Yang
Synopsis: “A haunted theatre, filled with the vengeful spirits of a tragically-trapped performance troupe murdered in a fire 13 years ago, waits for the once-grand palatial playhouse to re-open with a new show…and bring in new victims.”


The Professor: Tai Chi’s Journey West

Director: Barry Strugatz
Synopsis: “The first major feature documentary about the martial art of Tai Chi and one of its greatest masters, Cheng Man-Ching, the man who brought the Chinese practice to the U.S. during the turbulent 1960s. Professor Cheng Man-Ching (1901-1975) is considered one of the greatest Tai Chi masters of modern times. Strugatz’s documentary tells the story of the man who overcame cultural divides to bring ancient traditions to the Western world, in the process teaching Westerners how to seek an ethical, open-minded and joyful way of life with Tai Chi – not only as a martial art, but also as a spiritual practice and form of mindful exercise.”


Rabin in His Own Words

Director: Erez Laufer
Synopsis: “Through a combination of rare archival footage, home movies and private letters, his personal and professional dramas unfold before the viewer’s eyes – from his childhood as the son of a labor leader before the founding of the State of Israel, through a change of viewpoint that turned him from a farmer into an army man who stood at some of the most critical junctures in Israeli history. Through a brilliant diplomatic career as Israeli Ambassador to the United States and his entry into the Israeli political arena, and through his later years during which he served as Prime Minister, opposition leader, Minister of Defense and Prime Minister once more, in which he made moves that enraged a large portion of the public, his fight with the settlers whom he denounced as ‘cancerous,’ until the horrific moment when his political career and life were suddenly brought to an end.”


Sin Alas (Without Wings)

Director: Ben Chace
Cast: Carlos Padrón, Mario Limonta, Yusleivís Rodrígues, Lieter Ledesma, Adael Rosales, Camila Artecher, Veronica Lynn
Synopsis: “The ghost of a famous ballerina dances into Luis’ life the day before he reads about her death. Her mysterious appearance haunts him, stirring memories of their clandestine love affair from another time, when he was a young idealistic writer and she, a fledgling dancer. Luis struggles to remember a melody from one of her performances, his reverie intricately intertwined with the present day as he witnesses a young neighborhood couple on the brink of separating.” [LA Film Festival] 


Those People

Director: Joey Kuhn
Cast: Jonathan Gordon, Jason Ralph, Haaz Sleiman, Britt Lower
Synopsis: “On Manhattan’s gilded Upper East Side, an impressionable young painter, Charlie, finds the man of his dreams in an older pianist from across the globe, Tim. Unfortunately, Charlie is also consumed with desire and love for his manipulative best friend, Sebastian, who is embroiled in a Bernie Madoff-esque family financial scandal. Sebastian’s coping mechanism is non-stop moneyed hedonism, and he insists Charlie join him on his self-destructive streak of sex, drinking and partying at his father’s massive penthouse.”


To Life (A la vie)

Director: Jean-Jacques Zilbermann
Cast: Julie Depardieu, Johanna ter Steege, Suzanne Clément, Hippolyte Girardot, Benjamin Wangermee, Mathias Mlekuz
Synopsis: “Helen, Lili and Rose met in Auschwitz, where the three twenty-year-old Jewish girls were deported. Thanks to German-speaking Dutch Lili, who was working in the camp kitchen, the two French girls survived. However, after the liberation of the camp, they lost touch. Lili went back to the Netherlands. Rose married a former deportee and settled down in Canada. Helen returned alone to France where she met an old childhood sweetheart and married him, aware of his impotency caused by sinister doctors carrying out experiments on him in the concentration camp. Determined to find her old companions, Helen puts an ad in a deportees’ newspaper. Against all odds the ad is answered and the women are reunited. The reunion takes place in Berck Plage in the north of France. The women rediscover each other, as well as help each other to overcome their Auschwitz demons.”

For all the films opening the week of May 13th, see the next page.

Week of May 13th

Wide


Money Monster

Director: Jodie Foster
Cast: George Clooney, Caitriona Balfe, Jack O’Connell, Julia Roberts, Olivia Luccardi, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Meade, Chris Bauer, Dennis Boutsikaris
Synopsis: “Lee Gates is a TV personality whose insider tips have made him the money guru of Wall Street. When Kyle loses all of his family’s money on a bad tip, he holds Lee and his entire show hostage on air threatening to kill Lee if he does not get the stock up 24 and a half points before the bell.”

Limited

Crush the Skull

Director: Viet Nguyen
Cast: Christopher Dinh, Katie Savoy, Chris Riedell, Tim Chiou, Lauren Reeder, Walter Michael Bost
Synopsis: “Ollie and Blair earn a dishonest living by robbing upper class homes. They decide to pull one last job but it takes a turn for the worse when they find themselves trapped inside the house. As they explore, they discover that this seemingly innocuous home is actually a sadistic torture den: a mind-screwing maze with an unseen killer separating them from one another and stalking them from the shadows.” [LA Film Festival]


The Curse of Sleeping Beauty

Director: Pearry Teo
Cast: Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, India Eisley, Bruce Davison
Synopsis: “Thomas Kaiser inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations — only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as “protector” — the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay — Thomas teams with an ambitious local realtor and paranormal cleric to unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose, held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams.”


The Darkness

Director: Greg McLean
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh, Jennifer Morrison
Synopsis: “As a family returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon, they innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences.”


Divine Access

Director: Steven Chester Prince
Cast: Billy Burke, Patrick Warburton, Joel David Moore, Sarah Shahi, Dora Madison, Barak Hardley, Adrienne Barbeau, Gary Cole
Synopsis: “Jack Harriman lives a simple life and uses the religious expertise he learned from his mother to attract women. He becomes an instant spiritual celebrity after humiliating Reverend Guy Roy Davis on his friend’s public-access TV show. Jack’s popularity takes him on the road on a multi-city speaking tour accompanied by Nigel, a self-proclaimed ‘catcher’ of overwhelmed believers. Along the way Jack and Nigel are joined by Amber, a down on her luck call-girl, and Marian, an enigmatic beauty who challenges Jack’s beliefs and questions whether he has some deeper calling.”


High Rise

Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Ferdinando, Daniel Renton Skinner, James Purefoy
Synopsis: “In the midst of a vast ocean stands the Elysium Tower – a glistening vertical city – a sanctuary for challenging times. Powered by sun and earth, designed by the greatest architectural visionary of the new millennium, Elysium is a self contained world. A world of commerce, cuisine and entertainment, featuring restaurants, swimming pools, libraries, cinemas, even a research hospital. It is not just the tallest and most technologically advanced work of modern architecture, but one that embodies the world’s highest aspirations. Dr. Robert Laing, a new arrival, settles in and adjusts to this hermetic life. But before long he becomes aware of something unsettling in the building. In an escalating atmosphere of unrest the residents break into tribal factions. Laing watches in horror as the myth of a utopian society is shattered.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B (11 reviews)


How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town

Director: Jeremy LaLonde
Cast: Jewel Staite, Lauren Holly, Katharine Isabelle, Lauren Lee Smith, Natalie Brown, Ennis Esmer, Tommie-Amber Pirie
Synopsis: “Wholesome Beaver’s Ridge is a tight-knit community known for its fervent emphasis on family values… until ‘town slut’ turned sex columnist Cassie Cranston returns for her mother’s funeral. When Cassie was shunned from the community years before due to a sex scandal at a house party, she ran away to the big city and became a sex columnist, publicly labeling the town prudish and thus widening the gap between her and her former life there. But when she’s forced to return home, a group of eclectic town folk are inspired try to plan an orgy and beg Cassie to serve as their mentor. Things spice up in Beaver’s Ridge when each person’s ulterior motive is revealed and the orgy – which is awkward all on its own – takes on a surprise new meaning.”


I Am Wrath

Director: Chuck Russell
Cast: John Travolta, Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull, Sam Trammell, Patrick St. Esprit, Rebecca De Mornay
Synopsis: “Stanley Hill is a former Black Ops agent who witnessed his wife’s death at the hands of a street gang. When corrupt cops let the prime suspect walk, Stanley takes the law into his own hands. Joined by a former comrade-in-arms, Stanley uncovers a conspiracy that leads to the upper ranks of government, as he heads toward a guns-blazing, take-no-prisoners showdown for justice.”


Kill Zone 2

Director: Soi Cheang
Cast: Tony Jaa, Wu Jing, Simon Yam, John Zhang Jin, Louis Koo, Jun Kung, Ken Lo, Dominic Lam Ka-Wah, Babyjohn Choi, Wai Ai, Candy Yuen, Philip Keung
Synopsis: “A Hong Kong cop named Kit busts a major gangster only to find his cover blown and his main witness gone. The gangster, in retaliation, has him kidnapped and put in a Thai jail with a false criminal identity. A lowly prison guard Chai with extraordinary fighting skills guards kit and prevents his escape from prison. The prison guard’s daughter suffers from a rare form of leukemia and Kit is the only donor who can save her. The prison guard discovers Kit’s real identity and helps him to escape in return for his agreeing to save his daughter. Together, Kit and Chai must face the gangster and his minions and take them down.”

Last Days in the Desert
Director: Rodrigo García
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ciarán Hinds, Tye Sheridan, Ayelet Zurer
Synopsis: “On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B+ (9 reviews)

The Lobster
Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Barden, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Ben Whishaw, Rosanna Hoult
Synopsis: “David is a man who has just been dumped by his wife.  To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods.  David is kept at the mysterious Hotel while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance. But once there David meets an enigmatic stranger who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him…”
Criticwire Grade Average: B+ (35 reviews)

Love and Friendship
Director: Whit Stillman
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry
Synopsis: “Set in the opulent drawing rooms of eighteenth-century English society, Love & Friendship focuses on the machinations of a beautiful widow, Lady Susan Vernon, who, while waiting for social chatter about a personal indiscretion to pass, takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate. While there, the intelligent, flirtatious, and amusingly egotistical Lady Vernon is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica—and herself too, naturally. She enlists the assistance of her old friend Alicia, but two particularly handsome suitors complicate her orchestrations.” [Sundance Film Festival] 
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (8 reviews)

A Monster with a Thousand Heads
Director: Rodrigo Plá
Cast: Jana Raluy, Sebastián Aguirre, Emilio Echevarría, Hugo Albores
Synopsis: “Forced into a corner by her corrupt and negligent insurance company, Sonia Bonet will do whatever it takes to get the treatment her husband needs to survive.”

Paths of the Soul
Director: Zhang Yang
Cast: Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron, Seba Jiangcuo
Synopsis: “A group of Tibetans of all ages and from different families join together to make a pilgrimage from their home village to Lhasa, a treacherous 2,000-kilometer trek at high elevations. Each makes the spiritual journey for their own reasons—one man, now elderly, may never have another opportunity, and a younger man seeks to change his fate. Over the course of an arduous journey that requires prostration after every few steps, they encounter many obstacles—a broken tractor, snow, exhaustion, sickness, a birth—but the ordeal never breaks their communal resolve.” [MoMA]

Search Party
Director: Scot Armstrong
Cast: Krysten Ritter, Alison Brie, Shannon Woodward, Steffie Grote, Adam Pally, T.J. Miller, Lance Reddick, JB Smoove, Jason Mantzoukas, Taryn Terrell, Rosa Salazar, Brian Huskey, Thomas Middleditch, Carla Greene, Jon Glaser
Synopsis: “A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.”

Sundown
Director: Fernando Lebrija
Cast: Devon Werkheiser, Sean Marquette, Camilla Belle, Silverio Palacios, Jordi Mollà, Sara Paxton, Teri Hatcher, John Michael Higgins, Reid Ewing, Karla Souza, Alejandro Edda, Héctor Jiménez
Synopsis: “High school seniors Logan and Blake prepare for an EPIC Spring Break as they travel to the beautiful and exotic Mexican beach resort of Puerto Vallarta hoping to hook up with their high school crushes. Surrounded by hot girls in teeny bikinis, the guys are truly in heaven. After meeting at a club, Logan falls for a mysterious local beauty named Gaby but then realizes the next morning, when his grandfather’s Rolex watch is missing, that she was after more than just his heart. Things go from bad to worse when the guys discover that the valuable family heirloom is now in the hands of a gangster who demands to be paid triple the watch’s value before returning it. And that’s just the beginning…”

Sunset Song
Director: Terence Davies
Cast: Peter Mullan, Agyness Deyn, Kevin Guthrie, Hugh Ross, Douglas Rankine, Ian Pirie, Niall Greig Fulton, Jim Sweeney, Jack Greenless, Julian Nest, Trish Mullin
Synopsis: “A spirited young woman struggles between tradition and change on her family farm in Northern Scotland on the cusp of World War I. Excelling at school and possessing a burgeoning independent streak, Chris seems destined to become a teacher. But family life has its own pull and her tyrannical father exerts a formidable force on his brood, as well as on her mother whose body he treats as both refuge and battleground. As the constellation of her family shifts around her and romance comes calling, Chris grows into womanhood just as the war begins to devastate a generation.”
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (5 reviews)

The Trust
Directors: Ben & Alex Brewer
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Jerry Lewis, Sky Ferreira
Synopsis: “Waters and Stone are two nobody police officers working dull administrative jobs and making extra money selling stolen Civil Service Exams to other officers. When Stone hears a story about a heroin dealer quickly beating his extremely high bail, the two friends set into motion a plan to find the origin of such a large amount of cash. Through diligent police work they follow a trail that leads directly to a custom bank-style vault built into the back room freezer of a small grocery store. They put a plan into motion to rob the vault and split whatever they find inside. But by the time they figure out what the vault contains, it’s already too late to turn back.”

What We Become
Director: Bo Mikkelsen
Cast: Mille Dinesen, Troels Lyby, Benjamin Engell, Marie Hammer Boda
Synopsis: “The Johansson family’s idyllic summer is brought to an abrupt halt as deaths stack up from a virulent strand of the flu. The authorities start off by cordoning-­‐off the neighborhood, but soon panic and force the inhabitants into quarantine in their hermetically­‐sealed houses. Isolated from the rest of the world, teen Gustav spies out and realizes that the situation is getting out of control. He breaks out, but soon the family of four comes under attack from the riotous, blood-­‐thirsty mob who forces them to the extreme to escape alive.”

For all the films opening the week of May 20th, see the next page.

Week of May 20th

Wide

The Angry Birds Movie
Directors: Clay Kaytis & Fergal Reilly
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Jillian Bell, Ike Barinholtz, Keegan-Michael Key, Danielle Brooks, Tony Hale
Synopsis: “In an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely, Red, a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck, and the volatile Bomb have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.”

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow, Carla Gallo, Billy Eichner, Selena Gomez
Synopsis: “A sorority moves in next door to the home of Mac & Kelly Radner who have a young child. The Radners enlist their former nemeses from the fraternity to help battle the raucous sisters.”

The Nice Guys
Director: Shane Black
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Yvonne Zima, Keith David, Yaya DaCosta, Jack Kilmer
Synopsis: “A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.”

Limited

Almost Holy
Director: Steve Hoover
Synopsis: “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s social and political institutions faced massive change, including an increasingly corrupt government and crippled infrastructure. A number of the nation’s youth wound up homeless and addicted to a lethal cocktail of injected cold medicine and alcohol. In the early 2000s a pastor from Mariupol named Gennadiy Mokhnenko took up the fight against child homelessness by forcibly abducting street kids and bringing them to his Pilgrim Republic rehabilitation center—the largest organization of its kind in the former Soviet Union. Gennadiy’s ongoing efforts and unabashedly tough love approach to his city’s problems has made him a folk hero for some, and a lawless vigilante to others. Despite criticism, Gennadiy is determined to continue his work.” [Tribeca Film Festival]

Hard Sell
Director: Sean Nalaboff
Cast: Katrina Bowden, Skyler Gisondo, Kristin Chenoweth
Synopsis: “Set on the Gold Coast of Long Island, ‘Hard Sell’ centers on Hardy Buchanan, a senior at an elite private school who struggles to support his unstable mom. Desperate to make some quick cash, he enlists the help of Bo, a beautiful runaway, and together they devise an unconventional plan of profiting off of the wayward teens at Hardy’s school. When the students learn that Bo has more to offer than what meets the eye, the unlikely duo’s new business takes a unique turn, tossing them headfirst into the lifestyles of the rich and dysfunctional.”

Holy Hell
Director: Will Allen
Synopsis: “Just out of college, Will Allen, a young idealist filmmaker, joined a secretive spiritualist community led by a charismatic guru. With his camera in hand, he documented 20 years of living inside a cult that changed how he would see the world forever. Allen recorded everything, offering us a juicy and unparalleled look into the extreme ideals and expectations that make up this community, born out of Los Angeles, the city of cults. From total devotion turned to paranoia, the cracks began to unfold as unexpected truths were revealed about the enlightened leader they built every fiber of their lives around.” [Sundance Film Festival]

Kaili Blues
Director: Gan Bi
Cast: Yongzhong Chen, Yue Guo, Linyan Liu, Feiyang Luo, Lixun Xie, Zhuohua Yang, Shixue Yu
Synopsis: “In a small clinic in the rain-drenched city of Kaili, two preoccupied doctors live ghost-like lives. One of them, Chen Sheng, decides to fulfill his dead mother’s wish and sets off on a train journey to look for his brother’s abandoned child. His partner in the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks Chen to find her old lover, and pass along to him a few mementos: an old photograph, a shirt and a music cassette. On the way, however, Chen passes through a mysterious town called Dangmai, where time is not linear and people’s lives complement each other. Here, Chen experiences the past, present and future. It’s unclear whether this place and its inhabitants are the doctor’s dream, or the other way around.”

Ma ma
Director: Julio Medem
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia, Jon Kortajarena, Ciro Miró, Samuel Viyuela
Synopsis: “A woman recently diagnosed with cancer forms an unexpected bond with a soccer scout whose wife has been gravely injured in a car accident.”

Maggie’s Plan
Director: Rebecca Miller
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Ida Rohatyn, Maya Rudolph, Wallace Shawn
Synopsis: “Maggie Hardin is a vibrant and practical thirty-something New Yorker working at the New School who, without success in finding love, decides now is the time to have a child on her own. But when she meets John Harding, a ‘ficto-critical anthropologist’ and struggling novelist, Maggie falls in love for the first time, and adjusts her plans for motherhood. Complicating matters, John is in a strained marriage with Georgette Nørgaard, a brilliant Danish academic. With a Greek chorus of Maggie’s eccentric and hilarious best friends Tony and Felicia observing wryly from the sidelines, Maggie sets into motion a new plan that catapults her into a nervy love triangle with John and Georgette; intertwining their lives and connecting them in surprising and the humorous new ways. Maggie learns that sometimes destiny should be left to its own devices.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B (5 reviews)

Manhattan Night
Director: Brian DeCubellis
Cast: Yvonne Strahovski, Adrien Brody, Jennifer Beals, Campbell Scott, Steven Berkoff, Linda Lavin
Synopsis: “Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for the truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when Caroline, a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail–one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.”

Pervert Park
Directors: Frida and Lasse Barkfors
Synopsis: “Florida Justice Transitions, aka ‘Pervert Park,’ is home to 120 convicted sex offenders. (Like in many other U.S. states, sex offenders are not allowed to live within 1000 feet of places frequented by children). The crimes committed by the residents range from simple misdemeanors to horrendous acts too unbearable to contemplate. Blending shockingly candid interviews with observational footage, filmmakers Frida and Lasse Barkfors gradually reveal the personal stories behind each of their subjects–their offenses as well as their demons–often bearing witness to stories no one has ever heard before.”

Weiner
Directors: Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg
Synopsis: “Many politicians have seen their careers careen off the tracks, but few instances have been captured so completely on film as the incisive and painfully funny Weiner. With unprecedented access to Anthony Weiner, his family, and his campaign team as they mount his New York City mayoral campaign, the film documents the impending political meltdown of epic proportions. What begins as an unexpected comeback from a disgraced ex-congressman takes a sharp turn once Weiner is forced to admit to new sexting allegations. As the media descends and rips apart his every move, Weiner tries desperately to forge ahead, but the increasing pressure and crippling 24-hour news coverage halts his political aspirations dead in their tracks.” [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A (5 reviews)

Welcome to Happiness
Director: Oliver Thompson
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Molly C. Quinn, Nick Offerman, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Thirlby, Brendan Sexton III, Josh Brener, Paget Brewster, Frances Conroy
Synopsis: “A mystical drama about a children’s book author, Woody, who is secretly the gatekeeper to a magical door in his closet. Strangers show up at his apartment and go through a series of questions and tests, provided to Woody by an old dot matrix printer that seems to work autonomously, letting him determine whether or not they are worthy to pass through the door. Where they are headed and what they will encounter on the other side, however, is a mystery…”

For all the films opening the week of May 27th, see the next page.

Week of May 27th

Wide

Alice Through the Looking Glass
Director: James Bobin
Cast: Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Michael Sheen, Sacha Baron Cohen, Andrew Scott, Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, Timothy Spall, Ed Speleers, Stephen Fry
Synopsis: “Alice returns to the whimsical world of Underland and travels back in time to save the Mad Hatter.”

X-Men: Apocalypse
Director: Bryan Singer
Cast: James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Oscar Isaac, Nicholas Hoult, Evan Peters, Sophie Turner, Alexandra Shipp, Tye Sheridan, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Rose Byrne, Ben Hardy, Lana Condor, Olivia Munn, Ian McKellen, Lucas Till
Synopsis: “Since the dawn of civilization, he was worshipped as a god. Apocalypse, the first and most powerful mutant from Marvel’s X-Men universe, amassed the powers of many other mutants, becoming immortal and invincible. Upon awakening after thousands of years, he is disillusioned with the world as he finds it and recruits a team of powerful mutants, including a disheartened Magneto, to cleanse mankind and create a new world order, over which he will reign. As the fate of the Earth hangs in the balance, Raven with the help of Professor X must lead a team of young X-Men to stop their greatest nemesis and save mankind from complete destruction.”

Limited

As I AM: The Life and Times of DJ AM
Director: Kevin Kerslake
Synopsis: “Adam Goldstein made a name for himself, most notably as DJ AM but not least for his celebrity connections. ‘As I Am’ is an insider’s look into the life of the late, famed mash-up pioneer: his professional successes that made him the first million-dollar deejay in the United States and his incredibly complex personal life that featured a long battle with drug addiction.” [Tribeca Film Festival]

Chevalier
Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Cast: Yorgos Kentros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis, Makis Papadimitriou, Yorgos Pirpassopoulos, Sakis Rouvas, Yiannis Drakopoulos, Nikos Orfanos, Kostas Philippoglou
Synopsis: “In the middle of the Aegean Sea, on a luxury yacht, six men on a fishing trip decide to play a game. During this game, things will be compared. Things will be measured. Songs will be butchered, and blood will be tested. Friends will become rivals and rivals will become hungry. But at the end of the voyage, when the game is over, the man who wins will be the best man. And he will wear upon his little finger the victorious signet ring: the ‘Chevalier.'” [SXSW Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (7 reviews)

Jia Zhangke, A Guy from Fenyang
Director: Walter Salles
Synopsis: “Salles accompanies Jia as he returns to his birthplace, the Shanxi province in Northern China, and to the locations of his films. Documenting encounters between Jia and his actors, friends, and collaborators, Salles gradually constructs a multi-layered portrait of the artist. By filming Jia against the backdrop of the streets and locations that he has known so intimately throughout his life, Salles succeeds not only in creating something far more cinematic than most talking-head documentaries, but in illuminating dimensions of Jia’s personality that would otherwise remain hidden and capturing something of the complex relation between the director and his environment.” [Anthology Film Archives]

The Ones Below
Director: David Farr
Cast: Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore, Laura Birn
Synopsis: “Kate and Justin are an affluent couple in a tony London suburb awaiting not just the arrival of their first-born, but also the new tenants who will rent the apartment downstairs following the death of its previous inhabitant. When Jon and Teresa move in — he a self-assured businessman, she a self-possessed professional — Kate and Justin set out to befriend their neighbours. Things get off to a good start: the overgrown back garden is restored to its immaculate former glory, and, lo and behold, the new couple is also expecting a child. They seem to have lots in common, but things take a strange turn at their first dinner party, and yet another with the birth of Kate and Justin’s baby boy.” [Toronto International Film Festival] 

Presenting Princess Shaw
Director: Ido Haar
Synopsis: “Documentarian Ido Haar traces the internet-assisted, cross-continental collaboration between two very different musicians: Princess Shaw, a young black woman in the American South who posts her performances of her own songs on the web; and Israeli viral-video artist Kutiman, whose YouTube-sampling compositions have earned millions of online hits.” [Toronto International Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (4 reviews)

Princess
Director: Tali Shalom Ezer
Cast: Keren Mor, Shira Haas, Ori Pfeffer, Adar Zohar Hanetz
Synopsis: “Adar, an androgynous 12-year-old girl, lives in a small apartment with her mother, Alma, and her young stepfather, Michael. The three co-exist in an unconventional and intimate way, with Adar often slipping into bed to sleep with Alma and Michael. While Alma is at work, Adar’s close relationship with the unemployed Michael has taken a dark turn, involving gender-bending role-playing games that turn fantasy into violation. As Adar’s home life turns increasingly intrusive, she begins to search for help outside, but discovers she must retreat into a new friendship with Alan, a waifish boy who looks startlingly like her, in order to cope.” [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B (4 reviews)

Unlocking the Cage
Directors: D.A. Pennebaker & Chris Hegedus
Synopsis: “Renowned filmmakers D A Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus follow determined animal rights activist Steven Wise into the courtroom for an unprecedented battle that seeks to utilize the writ of habeas corpus to expand legal ‘personhood’ to include certain animals. Wise’s unusual plaintiffs—chimpanzees Tommy and Kiko, once famed showbiz stars—are now living in filth, struggling to survive. Wise and his impassioned legal team take us into the field, revealing gripping evidence of such abuse and plunging us into the intricacies of their case as they probe preconceived notions of what it means to be a non-human animal.” [Sundance Film Festival]

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