Brett Ratner’s timely Tower Heist taps into anti-Wall Street sentiment and is just what you’d expect: competent, breezy, escapist entertainment. The well-cast Madoff-inspired comedy–which stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy in a supporting comeback bid– is expected to take in $29 million this weekend, while A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D could score $15.5 million.
In the mood for something smaller or more serious? There are several indie documentaries (SXSW winner Dragonslayer, Charlotte Rampling: The Look and The Other F Word), dramas (Another Happy Day, Son of No One) and even a decadent-looking German period piece about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe–Young Goethe in Love.
Reviews, details and trailers below:
Dragonslayer, Drag City, US | Director: Tristan Patterson | A- criticWIRE | Tomatometer | Lisa Schwarzbaum: “With its propulsive punk-rock soundtrack and beautifully rough cinematography, Dragonslayer makes you care about this scrawny young man, skating to nowhere.”
The Other F Word, Oscilloscope, US | Director: Andrea Blaugrund; Cast: Tony Adolescent, Art Alexakis, Rob Chaos, Chris De Wolfe, Joe Escalant | B+ criticWIRE | 50% Tomatometer | Rob Harvilla: “a half-poignant, half-absurd documentary on punk-rocker dads.”
Charlotte Rampling: The Look, Kino Lorber, FR | Director: Angelina Maccarone; Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Peter Lindbergh, Paul Auster | iW | Mark Adams: “Fascinating…part biographical documentary and part a series of musings on life and art.”
Killing Bono, Arc Entertainment, UK/IRELAND | Director: Nick Hamm; Cast: Pete Postlethwaite, Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter, Justine Waddell | iW | 54% Tomatometer | Rob Harvilla: Christine Champ: “Funny, irreverent, slightly bitter, and brimming with self-importance and self-loathing.”
Tower Heist, Universal, US | Dir: Brett Ratner; Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe | 65% Tomatometer | Michael Phillips: “For what it is – recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast – it’s fun.”
Another Happy Day, Phase 4, US | Director: Sam Levinson; Cast: Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller, Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church | Tomatometer | Chris Bumbray: “A searing look at the modern family dynamic, and the way love and hate can be inter-changable at times.”
Young Goethe in Love, Music Box, GER | Director: Philipp Stölzl; Cast: Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaußner | 56% Tomatometer | John DeFore: “Highbrow pedigree is mostly window dressing for a commercial period romance about Germany’s literary giant.”
The Son of No One, Anchor Bay, US | Director: Dito Montiel; Cast: Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche | C- criticWIRE | 27% Tomatometer | Roger Ebert: “Here’s a bad movie with hardly a bad scene. How can that be? The construction doesn’t flow. The story doesn’t engage.”