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Here Are All the Movies Opening Today, May 2nd. What Will You See?

Photo of Steve Greene By Steve Greene | Indiewire May 2, 2014 at 9:59AM

Sure, one of the biggest movies of the spring opens today. But there are 17 other titles beginning their theatrical run, too. We're here to help you figure out which of them are worth seeking out.
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Ida

These days, the number of indies premiering on a weekly basis can be both thrilling and intimidating. To help sift through the number of new releases (independent or otherwise), we've created the Weekly Film Guide. Below you'll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for today's fresh offerings. 

Happy viewing!

Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. today, Friday, May 2nd. (Synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.)

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Director: Marc Webb
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Jamie Foxx, Emma Stone, Dane DeHaan, Sally Field, Paul Giamatti, Martin Sheen, Marton Csokas, Chris Cooper, Embeth Davidtz, Felicity Jones, Colm Feore, Frank Deal, Denis Leary, Chris Zylka, B.J. Novak
Synopsis: "For Peter Parker, life is busy. Between taking out the bad guys as Spider-Man and spending time with the person he loves, Gwen Stacy, high school graduation cannot come quickly enough. Peter has not forgotten about the promise he made to Gwen’s father to protect her by staying away, but that is a promise he cannot keep. Things will change for Peter when a new villain, Electro, emerges, an old friend, Harry Osborn, returns, and Peter uncovers new clues about his past."
Criticwire Grade Average: C+ (4 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Wide

Bad Johnson
Director: Huck Botko
Cast: Cam Gigandet, Jamie Chung, Nick Thune, George Lako, Vince Tolentino, Kevin Miller, Casey Tutton, Cory Kahane, Holly Houk, Jessica Joy
Synopsis: "In 'Bad Johnson,' women are practically throwing themselves at Rich (Cam Gigandet) and he can’t seem to control himself. But he continually blames his penis, which seems to have a mind of its own. After ruining yet another promising relationship with Jamie (Jamie Chung), Rich has finally had enough and wishes his penis would just leave him alone. The next morning, Rich wakes up to find his wish has come true and his johnson is no longer on his body. Even worse, Rich is shocked to discover that his penis has taken human form (Nick Thune). Selfish, oversexed and irresponsible, his penis is now on the loose with no desire to return. Pitted against his alter ego, Rich must figure out how to reign in his penis, both literally and figuratively, in order to finally learn what separates the men from their boys."
Theatrical Release: Wide

Belle
Director: Amma Asante
Cast: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Tom Wilkinson, Tom Felton, Sam Reid, Sarah Gadon, Miranda Richardson, Penelope Wilton, James Norton, Matthew Goode, Emily Watson
Synopsis: "Returning to active duty in the Royal Navy, Captain Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode) requests that his great uncle and aunt, Lord and Lady Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson) take care of his illegitimate daughter, Dido. They accept, although they are more than a little surprised to learn that the girl is black." [Palm Springs International Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: B (5 reviews)
Theatrical Release
: New York and Los Angeles (opens throughout the country during May)

Beneath the Harvest Sky
Director: Aron Gaudet and Gita Pullapilly
Cast: Emory Cohen, Callan McAuliffe, Carrie Preston, Aidan Gillen, Carla Gallo, Sarah Sutherland, Zoe Levin
Synopsis: "Bored and restless, best friends Dominic and Casper are making plans to escape their small town in Northern Maine to start new lives in Boston. In order to earn the money, Dominic spends the summer harvesting potatoes, while Casper becomes involved in the family business—smuggling drugs over the Canadian border. The divergent paths of the two boys, both trapped in their circumstances in different ways, will change their friendship forever." [Tribeca Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: New York (now playing in Maine; opens in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Chicago and New Mexico throughout May)

Decoding Annie Parker
Director: Steven Bernstein
Cast: Samantha Morton, Helen Hunt, Aaron Paul, Alice Eve, Maggie Grace, Rashida Jones, Corey Stoll, Richard Schiff, Bradley Whitford
Synopsis: "Based on a true story. Two women on remarkable journeys over 15 years. The brave, very funny and always irreverent Anne Parker watches her family stalked and devastated by a cruel illness, and as singular her spirit she is still deeply affected as she is left virtually alone in the world. Mary Claire King, a brilliant geneticist believes there is a genetic link to the type of cancer that afflicts people like Annie but few believe her and even fewer support her. As the years pass the illness reaches Annie and changes not only her body, but her relationship with her husband and her son, both little equipped to deal with the mayhem that descends upon them. Remarkably, Annie rises up and fights against the odds as she is dealt blow upon blow, learning as she goes something that she believes might save her."
Theatrical Release: Various (including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Washington DC)

Farmland
Director: James Moll
Synopsis: "Most Americans have never stepped foot on a farm or ranch or even talked to the people who grow and raise the food we eat. Farmland will take an intimate look at the lives of farmers and ranchers in their ‘20s, all of whom are now responsible for running their farming business."
Theatrical Release: Wide

For A Woman
Director: Diane Kurys
Cast: Benoit Magimel, Mélanie Thierry, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Sylvie Testud, Denis Podalydès, Julie Ferrier, Clotilde Hesme, Clément Sibony
Synopsis: "After the death of her mother, Anne makes a shocking discovery: an old photograph casts doubt on her origins and leads her to discover a mysterious uncle who lived with her parents after the war. As she lifts the lid on a long forgotten family secret, the young woman learns that her mother once succumbed to an amorous passion that was as intense as it was short-lived..."
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles, Miami, San Diego and elsewhere throughout May)

Friended to Death
Director: Sarah Smick
Cast: Ryan Hansen, James Immekus, Zach McGowan, Sarah Smick, Ian Michaels, Richard Riehle, Angela Bullock and Bobby Ray Shafer
Synopsis: "'Friended to Death' charts the extremes to which a desperate Facebook junkie will go in order to figure out who his true friends are. Laced with satire, this tongue-in-cheek bro-mantic comedy tells the story of obnoxious Los Angeles parking enforcement officer Michael Harris (Hansen). After being fired from his dream job and ditched by his best friend (McGowan), Michael begins to question whether anyone would care if he died. So with the help of his pushover ex-coworker Emile (Immekus), Michael does what any social media-obsessed loner would do: He fakes his death online to see who will show up at his funeral. In just hours, Michael's fake death post attracts a promising 22 'Likes.' Giddy and eager to milk the prank, Michael convinces Emile to help him stage a faux memorial service. But as plans start taking shape, Michael's reality gradually implodes, forcing him to reconsider what it means to be a "friend" in today’s hyper-connected world of social media."
Theatrical Release: Various (including Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Miami, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC)

Ida
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Cast: Agata Kulesza, Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik
Synopsis: "Anna, an orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to take her vows when she’s sent to visit Wanda, her aunt and only living relative. A cynical, hard-drinking Communist Party judge, Wanda reveals that Anna’s real name is Ida and that her parents were Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. So the two embark on an unusual journey through the wintry countryside to unearth their family’s dark history." [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (13 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles (opens in fourteen states and Vancouver throughout May and June)

More Than The Rainbow
Director: Dan Wechsler
Synopsis: "After three decades turning his lens on New York City, taxi driver turned street photographer Matt Weber has seen it all. 'More Than The Rainbow' not only chronicles the life and times of Weber, but becomes a vibrant conversation about the photographic medium, artistic expression, and New York City. There is no telling how many stories Weber has attempted to capture since he first started taking pictures out of the window of the cab he used to drive. But his quarter century-plus devotion to candidly depicting the lives of his fellow New Yorkers, many of them from the fringes of society, has yielded a remarkable document of a New York that most of us will never experience."
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles May 24th)

Mr. Jones
Director: Karl Mueller
Cast: Jon Foster, Sarah Jones, Mark Steger, Rachel O'Meara, Jessica Dowdeswell
Synopsis: "Scott is a filmmaker in need of inspiration. He and his girlfriend Penny move into a desolate house hoping to make a breakthrough. Then they discover their neighbor, the elusive Mr. Jones. Famous for his haunting sculptures, Mr. Jones has remained a mystery to the world. Scott and Penny, convinced that they have found the perfect film subject, sneak into his workshop and realize that their curiosity may have chilling consequences. Who is Mr. Jones?"
Criticwire Grade Average: B- (7 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage
Director: Jeremy Whelehan
Cast: Maureen Anderman, Stephen Lee Anderson, Jeremy Bobb, Nathan Darrow, Jack Ellis, Haydn Gwynne, Chuk Iwuji, Isaiah Johnson, Gemma Jones, Andrew Long, Katherine Manners, Howard Overshown, Simon Lee Phillips, Gary Powell, Michael Rudko, Annabel Scholey, Kevin Spacey, Gavin Stenhouse, Hannah Stokely, Chandler Williams
Synopsis: "Kevin Spacey, Sam Mendes and the Bridge Project Company go on the road in NOW: in the Wings on a World Stage. In over 200 performances, and across 3 continents, Kevin and the troupe reveal some of the most intimate moments behind the scenes of their staging of Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, “Richard III.” Their story and experiences weave around, and reflect on, excerpts from the play from their various locations, from Epidaurus to Doha, and provides a great opportunity for those who have never experienced Spacey on stage to witness his immersive and captivating interpretation of Richard III."
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on May 9th)

The Protector 2
Director: Prachya Pinkaew
Cast: Tony Jaa, Petchtai Wongkamlao, Marrese Crump, JeeJa Yanin, Yayaying Rhatha Phongam, RZA
Synopsis: "Kham is the last in long line of guards who once watched over the King of Thailand's war elephants. Traditionally, only the perfect elephants could successfully help defend the throne, after his harrowing quest to retrieve the elephants, Kham returns to his village to live in peace. But for someone as good in martial arts as him, peace is but a wishful thought..."
Theatrical Release: New York

Speak the Music: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music
Director: Allan Miller
Synopsis: "Robert Mann has been a vital force in the world of music for more than seventy years. As founder and first violinist of the Julliard String Quartet, and as a soloist, composer, teacher, and conductor, Mann has brought a refreshing sense of adventure and discovery to chamber music performance, master classes, and orchestral performances worldwide. In 'Speak the Music: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music,' the 93-year-old Mann shares personal anecdotes from his childhood and musical training. Director Allan Miller combines archival performance footage, candid interviews, and glimpses into Mann's private lessons with today's most promising violinists to honor one of classical music's greatest living artists. A living legend, Robert Mann is in turn, funny, angry, tactful, persistent, and always searching for the most human expression he finds inside the music. Speak the Music pulls no punches: Mann describes the dark side of quartet life, including often intense differences with colleagues."
Theatrical Release: New York

Tanzania: A Journey Within
Director: Sylvia Caminer
Subjects: Kristen Kenney and Venance Ndibalema
Synopsis: "He’s from a place so old it’s been called the cradle of mankind. She’s led a privileged life in America without hardship or pain. Together these two unlikely friends embark upon a journey from the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro to the depths of an AIDS ravaged village where even the smallest children become outcasts at the mere hint of the disease and malaria is an ever-present threat. As Venance and Kristen experience the ancient culture, heart-breaking poverty, and eternal spirituality of Venance’s motherland, the ability of the Tanzanian people to love, dream, and persevere in the face of overwhelming hardship triggers a life-changing transformation in Kristen—one that brings her face to face with her own mortality and will ultimately cause thousands of lives to be saved."
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

Walk of Shame
Director: Steven Brill
Cast: Elizabeth Banks, James Marsden, Gillian Jacobs, Ethan Suplee, Sarah Mason, Oliver Hudson, Willie Garson, Kevin Nealon, Vic Chao, Lawrence Gilliard Jr., Ken Davitian, Alphonso McAuley, Tig Notaro, Da'Vone McDonald, Bill Burr, P. J. Byrne
Synopsis: "'Walk of Shame' stars Elizabeth Banks as a resourceful reporter whose one-night stand with a handsome stranger (James Marsden) leaves her stranded the next morning in downtown Los Angeles without a phone, car, ID, or money – and only 8 hours before the most important job interview of her career."
Theatrical Release: Wide

Water & Power
Director: Richard Montoya
Cast: Enrique Murciano, Nicholas Gonzalez, Clancy Brown, Yvette Yates, Rafael Agustin, Tanya R. Barnes, Robert Beltran, Wanda De Jesus, Dan Donohue, Barry Shabaka Henley, Katrina Matusek
Synopsis: "Twin brothers nicknamed 'Water' and 'Power' from the hard scrabble Eastside streets of Los Angeles rise like princes through the city’s political and police ranks to become players in a complex and dangerous web of the powerful and corrupt of Los Angeles. One a decorated cop – the other a senator, find themselves in a seedy motel room on the eastern edge of Sunset Boulevard on a dark and rainy night. Something has gone very wrong. Can Power exist without Water? The Fixers and Powers of the city need answers. Everybody is looking for the Twins."
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles and San Diego

Where We Started
Director: Chris Hansen
Cast: Matthew Brumlow and Cora Vander Broek
Synopsis: "When Will and Nora, both married to other people, meet at a motel one night, their initial attraction moves quickly into a flirtation. Both struggling with increasingly difficult marriages, they quickly connect and enjoy a late night meal together. Their initial infatuation grows as they both consider what their lives have been and what they could be. As their flirtation becomes something more, they are forced to confront their reasons for crossing a line they know they shouldn't cross."
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

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Missed last week's? Here are all the releases from the weekend of April 25th.

This article is related to: Weekly Film Guide, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Bad Johnson, Belle, Beneath the Harvest Sky, Decoding Annie Parker, Farmland, For A Woman, Friended to Death, Ida, More Than the Rainbow, NOW: In the Wings on a World Stage, Mr. Jones, The Protector 2, Speak the Music: Robert Mann and the Mysteries of Chamber Music, Tanzania: A Journey Within, Walk of Shame, Water & Power, Where We Started





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