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What to See, What to Skip: New Reviews this Week

By Aaron Bogert | Indiewire March 9, 2012 at 11:29AM

This week's releases have a little something for everyone.  Among the films opening this week are "John Carter," the project that many are saying is a big-budget potential disaster for Disney; the supposedly shot-in-one-take horror flick "Silent House," starring Elizabeth Olsen; dramatic sushi documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"; Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends with Kids," which reunites a good chunk of the "Bridesmaids" cast; and "Attenberg," the Greek film that our critics are raving about. 
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Elizabeth Olsen in "Silent House"
Elizabeth Olsen in "Silent House"

This week's releases have a little something for everyone.  Among the films opening this week are "John Carter," the project that many are saying is a big-budget potential disaster for Disney; the supposedly shot-in-one-take horror flick "Silent House," starring Elizabeth Olsen; dramatic sushi documentary "Jiro Dreams of Sushi"; Jennifer Westfeldt's "Friends with Kids," which reunites a good chunk of the "Bridesmaids" cast; and "Attenberg," the Greek film that our critics are raving about. 

Click through below for reviews of this week's new releases from the Indiewire network:

"Silent House"

Indiewire: B-
In all, a gripping but altogether unmemorable haunted-house movie.

The Playlist: B
What could have simply been an exercise ends up being truly engaging.

"Jiro Dreams of Sushi"

The Playlist: B
While its director’s reverence and vision is apparent, "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" often feels overdone thanks to Gelb’s unusual mix of tones.

"John Carter"

Thompson On Hollywood
But as great a writer/director/animator as Stanton has been at Team Pixar, he's unproven in live action and he's no Spielberg, whose brand name pulls audiences to a movie.

The Playlist: D
Strangely uninvolving and needlessly convoluted, "John Carter" spends over two hours making the case for being a franchise, without ever really becoming a movie.

Leonard Maltin
I can only call the finished film a mixed bag, with exciting scenes followed by dull stretches.

"Attenberg"

Indiewire: A-
With its persistent inventiveness and a lack of unearned sentimentality, the movie provides an antidote to a lot of lazily produced dramas about death, American or otherwise.

The Playlist: A
You can call "Attenberg" a sibling of "Dogtooth," as they share a few similarities in look and tone, though the former is much more reserved and completely lacking in violence.

"Salmon Fishing in the Yemen"

The Playlist: C+
It's an affable, inoffensive British comedy that just wants you to like it so much that you can't help but snicker behind its back.

"Convento"

Indiewire: B+
Those seeking more insight into the evolution of Christiaan's work or its reception around the world should look elsewhere. Alterman keeps the focus so deeply rooted in the titular setting that it exists on another plane of reality.

The Playlist: B
Minor gripes aside, “Convento” is still a worthwhile experience, with Alterman taking an already intriguing story and telling it in an unorthodox, interesting way.

"Friends with Kids"

Indiewire: B
The film isn't particularly memorable or enlightening, and it lacks a consistent point of view about the family dynamic at its core, but it also manages to be reasonably satisfying precisely because Westfeldt never tries to overextend herself.

The Playlist: B-
While the cast does some great work, "Friends With Kids" never quite commits to the direction it promises to go in.

Leonard Maltin
Jennifer Westfeldt has assembled a powerhouse cast, and devised a comedy (with dramatic undertones) that manages to be on the cutting edge without sacrificing the qualities people look for in romantic movies.

Women and Hollywood
What's interesting about Friends with Kids is that Jennifer Westfeldt has the skills to make a film feel subversive and mainstream at the same time.

This article is related to: What to See, What to Skip







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