By Aaron Bogert | Indiewire March 16, 2012 at 11:40AM
This weekend is absolutely packed! The biggest release is definitely the Jonah Hill & Channing Tatum starring "21 Jump Street," a reboot of 80s TV series that gave Johnny Depp his start. Another comedy opening is the Will Ferrell starring "Casa De Mi Padre." The film is entirely in Spanish and Ferrell is apparently able to handle the language barrier.
If both of those films sound too wacky for you, there's plenty more to choose from such as the new Duplass brothers film "Jeff, Who Lives at Home"; Criticwire's pick of the week "The Kid with the Bike"; "Natural Selection," which swept last year's SXSW; and there's "Seeking Justice," because what would any weekend be without a new Nicolas Cage movie.
Click through below for reviews for all these and more from the Indiewire network:
The Playlist: A
More than merely hilarious, thrilling, intelligent, or involving – any one or two of which alone would be a significant achievement – it’s well-rounded, wonderful, and truly special.
Shadow and Act
Sure, I did laugh a few times, genuinely; a grin or smile here and there as well; but for much of the film’s running time, I was bored, and just wanted it to end.
21 Jump Street goes for easy laughs wherever possible, raunchy or otherwise, in Michael Bacall’s screenplay (with a story co-credited to Hill) but the likability of its stars carries it a long way.
The Playlist: C+
At 84 minutes, the film comes close to overstaying its welcome, but is moderately amusing for much of that duration.
Casa de Mi Padre is like a looser, goofier version of a Christopher Guest film.
The most remarkable aspect of "Detachment" is that it contains so many first-rate actors in an utterly mediocre product
The Playlsit: D+
A bizarre, well intentioned mess, at the very least, "Detachment" is never dull.
The Playlist: B-
A fun and ambitious if over-the-top and overlong comedy about a world where gangs work out their differences via dance fights to the death, “The FP” is one of the most unique films made in years, but that novelty value also often makes it more of an admirable effort than a truly enjoyable one.
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" is another fascinating, occasionally transcendent example of the Duplass' unique ability to infiltrate Hollywood cinema with their brand of filmmaking techniques.
The Playlist: B+
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" brings big-studio moviemaking and big-name stars to the Duplass brothers, embracing their sensibilities and style without smothering them, and we in the audience benefit.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home is so delicate—like a well-constructed house of cards—that even a breeze could blow it over. In other words, I think you should discover it for yourself and allow it to win you over, as it did me.
By never turning into a legitimate horror movie, "Juan of the Dead" makes for the rare case where the zombies exclusively function as a metaphor rather than an unstoppable menace with bonus value as social commentary. This is a movie about Cuba, not the Cuban undead.
Something that, on the surface, looks startlingly new, slowly reveals itself to be something surprisingly familiar and not all that effective in the latest film from the Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne.
The Playlist: B+
For the most part it's another strong character study, and yes, it's at times absolutely wrenching.
It isn’t programmed like a Hollywood movie, and even at moments of high drama everything seems absolutely real.
Although littered with narrative gaps and occasionally clumsy pacing, "Natural Selection" sustains an intimate feel by keeping the focus on Linda's desperate need to find her own happy equilibrium.
This is an incredibly accomplished first feature, full of as much heart as hilarity.
The Playlist: C-
Nicolas Cage is far less manic than he has been in recent memory. The world-weary exhaustion he's sported in more emotionally taxing material is in full bloom, as the vaguely unhinged, frequently cackling star of "Con Air" and "Adaptation" is stuck playing an underwritten Average Joe.