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

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

Nicholas Sparks seems to have an endless supply of romance novels which are apparently ripe for big screen adaptations and which women can drag their boyfriends to.  This week sees the release of the latest of those adaptations: the Zac Efron starring “The Lucky One.”  If that doesn’t appeal to you, fear not, there’s plenty more to choose from this week. There’s the Bob Marley documentary “Marley,” which claims to be the definitive document of the reggae legend; Disney’s latest nature doc “Chimpanzee” (complete with Tim Allen narration!); director Lawrence Kasdan reunites with Kevin Kline in “Darling Companion”; and director Mary Harron returns from a long hiatus with her latest film “The Moth Diaries.”

Click through below for all the reviews for this week’s new releases from the Indiewire network.


Leonard Maltin
Chimpanzee once again takes a low-key, family-friendly approach to its subject and applies what can only be described as “the Disney touch” to already-compelling real-life footage.

The Playlist: B-
No matter how much you enjoy this movie – and it’s not lacking in pleasures – you’ll still have to hear Tim Allen mutter through the whole thing.

“Darling Companion”

Indiewire: D+
The movie stumbles about with blatant amateurism and an annoyingly Disneyfied plot.

Leonard Maltin
It may not be edgy, or hugely profound, but I found the movie disarming and quite likable.


Indiewire: B-
The technical polish never develops beyond its baseline appeal, despite transparent attempts to read into the sport as a primal expression of barbaric rage, a conclusion obvious to anyone with a brain.

“Goodbye, First Love”

The Playlist: C
Mia Hansen-Løve’sGoodbye First Love” attempts a critical look at a teenager’s first relationship without wooing us first with their blithe beginnings, but has very little to say about the topic.

“The Day He Arrives”

Indiewire: B+
“The Day He Arrives” garners impact from its mirroring of the difficulty involved in being oneself around various different people.

The Playlist: B
Black and white photography of Seoul’s winter provides a gorgeous backdrop for Hong’s subtle, entertaining work which will be reveled more so by existing fans of the director.

“Jesus Henry Christ”

The Playlist: D-
This is about people who know how to tell a joke, and people who know how to tell a story. These things can go hand in hand. Neither are in play during Dennis Lee‘s directorial effort.

“The Lucky One”

Leonard Maltin
Like its two personable stars, The Lucky One is easy to watch, and just as easy to forget.


Indiewire: B-
Despite its breadth, “Marley” delivers little more than a well-crafted overview sure to please diehard fans while leaving others unmoved.

The Playlist: B-
It’s not that we were hoping for some salacious expose of the TMZ-style REAL Bob Marley (we are as convinced about him ultimately being a force for good as we ever were) but Kevin Macdonald’s instincts for drama seemed dulled here by reverence.

Shadow and Act
Marley is certainly a film worth watching to celebrate the beauty that such an island can produce, something so great as to become a world-wide phenomenon.

“The Moth Diaries”

The Playlist: D-
The picture can’t decide whether it’s a PG-13 “Twilight” type, or something gorier and sexier.

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