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

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

A number of high profile films hit theaters this weekend, including four that premiered in Toronto. Get a feel for what’s worth your money by checking out the reviews published this week on indieWIRE and our blog network.

“Dolphin Tale”

The Playlist: C
It’s a children’s movie with obligatory uplift, but any attempts at a greater environmental message fall flat when put up against the interesting elements drawn from the “unbelievable true story.”

“Killer Elite”

The Playlist: C+
Instead of offering a genuine, globe-hopping adventure with clear motivations and logical coherence, “Killer Elite” strips much of what makes the action-assassin genre entertaining, leaving leading man Jason Statham with little to do but be a pawn in some ridiculous murder scenes.

“Machine Gun Preacher”

indieWIRE: C
“African Rambo” are the two words that best summarize Marc Forster’s “Machine Gun Preacher,” but they would actually make a better title.

The Playlist: D
This bloody exploitation film is yet another example of director Marc Forster’s inability to capture recognizable human emotion. Gerard Butler takes center stage at the expense of the potential-filled source material.


indieWIRE: B+
Bennett Miller and Co. wisely forsake the statistical minutae of the popular book in favor of a well-made, speedy-paced depiction of the inner world of baseball.

Leonard Maltin
“Moneyball” is easy to admire, a bit more difficult to love.

Caryn James
Every now and then in “Moneyball,” two words would pop into my mind: “Stop spitting!” Brad Pitt spits into a paper cup, players spit on the field – less than in real baseball, but enough.

The Playlist: B
So, in short, “Moneyball” swings for the fences and hits a triple.

“Pearl Jam Twenty”

The Playlist: B+
Even if director Cameron Crowe doesn’t linger enough on certain areas of the grunge band’s career to create a comprehensive look at their career, he’s successful in capturing the general cohesion of the quintet, getting us to like them as much as he does.


The Playlist: C+
The solid foundation for a gripping legal drama gets slowly eroded by Chris Evan’s actor-y posturing, giving the film an all-too-noticeable “Oscar bait” sheen.

“Shit Year”

It appears that Archer had too many good ideas without a proper strategy for stitching them together.


indieWIRE: A-
Not only a thoughtful depiction of the aftermath of a one-night stand, this is also a film that gives a legitimate look at the creation of an identity, done through the eyes of a character struggling with how to come out.

The Playlist: B+
Without affected pretense, the low-key “Weekend” has an unexpected power that unquestionably lingers.

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