It’s November – a time for Thanksgiving, feasts, and the presence of relatives. If you have some time off (or are trying to grab some much-needed alone time), here is a list of films opening throughout the coming weeks, separated into categories of wide and limited runs. (Synopses are provided by festivals and distributors.)
Each week we will have more updates and information, so be sure to keep coming back. You can also check our calendar page, which has releases for the rest of the year. Eat well and keep watching!
Week of November 4
Director: Mike Mitchell, Walt Dohrn
Cast: Anna Kendrick, Christine Baranski, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Gwen Stefani, Icona Pop, James Corden, Jeffrey Tambor, John Cleese, Justin Timberlake, Kunal Nayyar, Quvenzhané Wallis, Ron Funches, Russell Brand, Zooey Deschanel
Synopsis: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the overly-cautious curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends. Together, this mismatched duo embarks on a rescue mission full of adventure and mishaps – trying to tolerate each other long enough to get the job done.
All Governments Lie: Truth, Deception, and the Spirit of I.F. Stone
Director: Fred Peabody
Synopsis: The life and legacy of the maverick American journalist I.F. Stone, whose long one-man crusade against government deception lives on in the work of such contemporary filmmakers and journalists as Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald, David Corn, and Matt Taibbi.
Director: Sean Bloomfield
Synopsis: Every year, thousands journey to a village in Bosnia-Herzegovina, the site of a recurring supernatural event with global implications. When a film crew chose seven strangers to investigate the claims, they captured what might be the best proof of the afterlife ever documented in the history of cinema. Join an atheist, an agnostic, a believer, a skeptic, an addict, a cancer victim, and a man suffering with ALS as they search for answers on Apparition Hill.
Army of One
Director: Larry Charles
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Paul Scheer, Rainn Wilson, Russell Brand, Wendi McLendon-Covey
Synopsis: Gary Faulkner is an ex-con, unemployed handyman, and modern day Don Quixote who receives a vision from God telling him to capture Osama Bin Laden. Armed with only a single sword purchased from a home-shopping network, Gary travels to Pakistan to complete his mission. While on his quest, Gary encounters old friends back home in Colorado, the new friends he makes in Pakistan, the enemies he makes at the CIA – and even God and Osama themselves.
Beauty Bites Beast
Director: Ellen Snortland
Synopsis: How often can you say with certainty that a movie will save lives? “Beauty Bites Beast” flips ideas about female helplessness, as women all over the world undertake the transformative experience of learning verbal, emotional and physical empowerment based self-defense.
A Beginner’s Guide to the Presidency
Director: Salim Nayar
Cast: Alec Von Bargen, Alejandra Ambrosi, Amaia Salamanca, Unax Ugalde
Synopsis: A story about the search for truth, the consequences of lying and youth influence in politics through social networks. What happens when an idealistic man and the vision of three very different women merge to improve the fate of a nation? Is there a chance for a better future? The characters in this story ask themselves this question, each finding their own answer.
The Best Thanksgiving Ever
Director: JD Shapiro
Cast: David Paulus, Eric Roberts, Heather Adair, Jason Whisman, Jay Seals, Jayden Lund, Jordan Feldman, McKinley Freeman, Tate Hanyok
Synopsis: Our journey begins with Kevin holding court to a band of local drunks, gushing over the huge step he’s about to take in his relationship. However, when things don’t unfold quite as planned, his best friend Brad comes to the rescue with the age-old advice passed down since man lived in caves; “Screw your way back to happiness!” With a heavy heart and no solace in sight, Kevin seems primed for a long slog of self loathing and suffering. But when he reluctantly accepts an invitation to Brad’s home for Thanksgiving with an eccentric group of family and friends, the alcohol begins to flow and a series of outlandish events flip into motion that prove to be a hilarious and unlikely salvation for both Kevin and Brad… get your slicker ready!
Director: Kranti Kanadé
Cast: Abhay Mahajan, Isha Keskar, Mrinmayee Godbole, Saurabh Saraswat, Vinay Sharma
Synopsis: A young dramatist rebels against his fascist tutor to form his troop of misfits – aiming to win a prestigious theatre competition and trying to find the hardest thing of all: his voice.
Dog Eat Dog
Director: Paul Schrader
Cast: Christopher Matthew Cook, Nicolas Cage, Willem Dafoe
Synopsis: When three desperate ex cons are offered a job by a Mexican mob boss, they know they should refuse, but the payoff’s too rich to turn down. All they have to do is kidnap the kid of a colleague who’s ripping the mob boss off. But the abduction goes awry when the kidnappers are forced to kill an unexpected intruder who turns out to be the child’s father – the very man the mob boss intended to extort. Now unwelcome in the underworld and on the run for murder, the ex cons find themselves as the most wanted fugitives in the City of Angels. And each vows that none of them will ever go back to prison. No matter what the cost. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
Don’t Call Me Son
Director: Anna Muylaert
Cast: Dani Nefussi, Naomi Nero
Synopsis: Tall, dark, androgynously handsome, Pierre wears eyeliner and a black lace g-string, while having sex with both boys and girls. The confusion only goes deeper when the teenager’s single, working-class mom is arrested for having stolen him (and his “sister”) at birth. Thanks to the wonders of DNA, he’s returned to his biological parents: bourgeois, straight-laced and thrilled to have him back — at least until he shows up in a zebra-print mini dress.
The Eagle Huntress
Director: Otto Bell
Cast: Aisholpan Nurgaiv, Alma Dalaykhan, Nurgaiv Rys
Synopsis: For 2,000 years, the Kazakh people of the Altai region in western Mongolia have practiced a tradition of hunting with golden eagles, whose wingspan can reach up to 7.5 feet wide. Though this practice has traditionally been the domain of men, Aisholpan decides that she wants to become an apprentice hunter after spending her childhood helping her father, a renowned eagle hunter, care for his birds. Under the tutelage and support of her father and her grandfather—and very few others—Aisholpan learns all aspects of falconry, from taming her very own eagle to training for an annual competition, where she will compete against 70 eagle hunters on her quest to gain acceptance. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]
Director: Mel Gibson
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Luke Bracey, Rachel Griffiths, Sam Worthington, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn
Synopsis: The true story of Desmond Doss who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Keep in Touch
Director: Sam Kretchmar
Cast: Gabbi McPhee, James Colby, Jill Eikenberry, Laura Steinel, Michael Covino, Peter Friedman, Reggie Watts, Ryan Patrick Bachand, Sarah Nealis
Synopsis: After a life crisis, Colin attempts to track down his long-lost childhood love, only to discover that she was killed in a car accident many years prior. His online search leads him to her younger sister Jessie, an aspiring musician who bears a striking resemblance to the girl he used to love. Quickly becoming obsessed, he arranges a not-so-chance meeting, and a relationship blossoms between the two before he has a chance to disclose his true identity.
Ivory. A Crime Story
Director: Sergey Yastrzhembsky
Synopsis: A condemnatory film about the ongoing massacre of African elephants. It attacks a complex web of culprits, from the Chinese government and Buddhist monks to corrupt African high-officials, toothless NGOs and secretive Chinese businessmen, building fortunes off of an ever-increasing demand for ivory which has brought one of the world’s most intelligent animals to the brink of extinction.
The Ivory Game
Director: Kief Davidson, Richard Ladkani
Synopsis: Wildlife activists and investigators put their lives on the line to battle the illegal African ivory trade.
Director: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Alano Miller, Joel Edgerton, Jon Bass, Marton Csokas, Michael Shannon, Nick Kroll, Ruth Negga, Terri Abney
Synopsis: “Loving” celebrates the real-life courage and commitment of an interracial couple, Richard and Mildred Loving, who married and then spent the next nine years fighting for the right to live as a family in their hometown. Their civil rights case, Loving v. Virginia, went all the way to the Supreme Court, which in 1967 reaffirmed the very foundation of the right to marry – making their love story an inspiration to couples everywhere. [Synopsis courtesy of Cannes Film Festival]
My Dead Boyfriend
Director: Anthony Edwards
Cast: Gina Gershon, Griffin Dunne, Heather Graham, John Corbett, Katherine Moennig, Scott Michael Foster
Synopsis: Mary’s life has been defined by a string of temp jobs and a half-hearted attempt to become a writer. But all that changes when she comes home to find her boyfriend dead in front of the TV set. During her misadventures in trying to get rid of his ashes – accidentally becoming the bassist in a rock band; bonding with the dog he left behind; awkward encounters with numerous ex-lovers; Mary discovers that there was much more to her couch potato boyfriend than she ever thought imaginable.
Off the Rails
Director: Adam Irving
Synopsis: Growing up in Queens, N.Y., Darius McCollum sought refuge in the subway, away from school bullies who harassed him because of his Asperger’s syndrome. In the transit system, he enjoyed the company of conductors who taught him how to operate the trains and made him feel like their equal. By age eight, he had memorized every facet of the system. As a teenager, Darius drove a full train independently, making all stops and announcements without incident. But his condition made his obsession uncontrollable, leading him to commandeer hundreds of buses and trains throughout adulthood. Spending more than half his life in maximum security prisons as a result of over 32 convictions, his repeated incarcerations highlight flaws in a justice system ill-equipped to handle individuals like Darius. His willing assistance to make transit more secure was rewarded with solitary confinement, and his eventual release forced him back to the only thing he knows. [Synopsis courtesy of Hot Docs Film Festival]
Peter and the Farm
Director: Tony Stone
Synopsis: Peter Dunning is the proud proprietor of Mile Hill Farm, which sits on 187 acres in Vermont. The land’s 38 harvests have seen the arrivals and departures of three wives and four children, leaving Peter with only animals and memories. The arrival of a film crew causes him to confront his history and his legacy, passing along hard-won agricultural wisdom even as he doubts the meaning of the work he is fated to perform until death. Haunted by alcoholism and regret, Peter veers between elation and despair, often suggesting to the filmmakers his own suicide as a narrative device. He is a tragedian on a stage it has taken him most of his life to build, and which now threatens to collapse from under him.
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes
Director: Brett Story
Synopsis: From Rikers Island to Alcatraz, Angola to Folsom, prisons have become some of the United States’ most iconic institutions. This is hardly surprising for a country with one of the highest incarceration rates in the world. But outside the prison gates and razor wires are entire communities and industries dependent on this massive system intended to rehabilitate and reintegrate. [Synopsis courtesy of Hot Docs Film Festival]
Director: Linas Phillips
Cast: Artemis Pebdani, Austin Fryberger, Jay Duplass, Lauren Weedman, Linas Phillips, Melanie Lynskey, Reagan Yates, Robert Longstreet, Timm Sharp, Tobin Bell
Synopsis: Todd grew up under the strange shadow of his older mentally challenged brother Shonzi. As kids, Shonzi forced Todd to make action movies. As adults he pressures him to share love life details, even showing Shonzi a sex tape he made with an old girlfriend to help him cope when family tragedy hits. When their dad suffers a heart attack, Shonzi (now 40, and still a virgin) moves in with Todd and his new girlfriend Lindsay. Shonzi wants desperately to be included in their relationship like old times. When Shonzi’s begging become threats to reveal secrets from their past, Todd must find the courage to be honest with Lindsay, even if it means the end of their relationship. [Synopsis courtesy of SXSW]
Stagecoach: The Texas Jack Story
Director: Terry Miles
Cast: Claude Duhamel, Garry Chalk, Judd Nelson, Kim Coates, Michelle Harrison, Trace Adkins
Summary: After retiring from his life as an infamous outlaw, livery owner Nathaniel Reed quietly leads an honest existence on the Texas frontier with his devoted wife, Laura Lee. But his gun-slinging past suddenly comes back to haunt him when he learns that Calhoun, the man he once maimed during a stagecoach robbery, is now an unhinged U.S. Marshal who’ll stop at nothing to exact vengeance. After a violent shootout brings tragic consequences, Nathaniel partners with his original gang, returns to his lawless ways and becomes Texas Jack: the most wanted outlaw in the West.
For all the films opening the week of November 11th, see the next page.