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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? ‘Killing Them Softly’ Looking To Take A ‘Collection,’ Hopefully It Won’t Be A ‘Silent Night’

What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Killing Them Softly' Looking To Take A 'Collection,' Hopefully It Won't Be A 'Silent Night'

Even the heartwarming and familial atmosphere of Thanksgiving can’t last forever. Or longer than a few days, it seems. Last weekend’s prevalent buoyancy — marked by an animated fairy world, a triumphant teenage army, and CG zoo animals — is eschewed this week in favor of violent real world problems. Enter hitmen, war criminals, mass murderers, vengeful robots, inescapable vanity, failed careers, and a sadistic Santa Claus (just to keep things seasonal). What blood-spattered rage-fest will you be attending? Tell us in the comments below!
Killing Them Softly.” Directed by Andrew Dominik. Starring Brad PittRay Liotta, Richard Jenkins, and James Gandolfini. Our review: ” ‘Killing Them Softly’ is more brains than brawn. But it’s also breathtakingly brilliant and admirably ambitious.” Metacritic: 64 Rotten Tomatoes: 80% The Playlist: A

The Collection.” Directed by Marcus Dunstan. Starring Christopher McDonald, Emma Fitzpatrick, Josh Stewart, and Randall Archer. This sequel to 2009’s “The Collector” is bigger and bloodier than its predecessor and is likely to thrill the gore-lovers among us, but brings little that’s new to the horror genre. MC: 42 RT: 46%

Addicted to Fame.” Directed by David Giancola. Giancola’s exploration of his own filmmaking process, which, in turn, mocks B-movie filmmaking, is an unfortunate, oblique entry at amateur hour. MC: no score yet RT: 14%
Back to 1942.” Directed by Feng Xiaogang. Starring Zhang Guoli, Adrien Brody, and Tim Robbins. Our review: ” ‘1942’ while perhaps never packing the emotive gut punch of ‘Schindler’s List‘ or ‘Bridge on the River Kwai‘ nonetheless kept us engaged in an old-fashioned epic style.” MC: 39 RT: 25% PL: B

California Solo.” Directed by Marshall Lewy. Starring Robert Carlyle, Alexia Rasmussen, Kathleen Wilhoite, and A. Martinez. Our review: ” ‘California Solo’ rolls when it’s at its best, but in an attempt to rock, it only creates background noise, and you wonder where the nuance goes.” MC: 65 RT: 81% PL: B-

Dragon.” Directed by Peter Chan. Starring Donnie Yen and Takeshi Kaneshiro. This Chinese martial arts genre flick sports exhilarating action sequences but lags when it reaches for drama or emotional resonance. MC: 59 RT: 83%
Love, Marilyn.” Directed by Liz Garbus. The lifelong documentation of the ill-fated starlet, particularly the incorporation of her recently discovered letters, will score big with Monroe enthusiasts; overall, the film may prove too clumsy and obtuse for more casual viewers. MC: 48 RT: 33%
Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning.” Directed by John Hyams. Starring Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dolph Lundgren, and Scott Adkins. Our review: “The action is thrilling beyond belief, not only because the peerless skills of those involved, but of the weight and consequences of said fisticuffs. It may very well be the best action movie of the year.” MC: 58 RT: 58% PL: A-

Silent Night.” Directed by Steven C. Miller. Starring Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Lisa Marie, Ellen Wong, and Donal Logue. Our review: ” ‘Silent Night’ is unrelentingly ugly and stupid, the kind of movie that you’ll find underneath the Christmas tree only if you’ve been really, really, voted-for-Romney naughty. A giant lump of coal would be better.” MC: no score yet RT: no score yet PL: D

Parked.” Directed by Darragh Byrne. Starring Colm Meany, Colin Morgan, Milka Ahlroth and Stuart Graham. This mostly engaging and sympathetic character study of middle age manhood verges, at times, toward the overly sentimental. MC: 47 RT: 67%

Ex-Girlfriends.” Directed by and starring Alexander Poe. Also starring Jennifer Carpenter, Kristen Connolly, and Liz Holtan. The relatable cynicism of twentysomething romance and a few strong performances may not be enough to save this film from its amateur construction. MC: 37 RT: 29%

What a Man.” Directed by and starring Matthais Schweighofer. Also starring Thomas Kretschmann, Mavie Horbiger, and Sibel Kekilli. Our review: ” ‘What A Man’ is as broad as they come, highlighted by a score that offers repeated riffs of the melody of the ’90s pop hit ‘What A Man.'” MC: 38 RT: 50% PL: D

King Kelly.” Directed by Andrew Neel. Starring Louisa Krause, Libby Woodbridge, Roderick Hill, and Will Brill. Our review lauds Hill’s performance and finds truth in Neel’s use of the self-obsessed, self-aggrandizing protagonist as “the voice of this generation.” MC: 66 RT: 71% PL: B+

Walk Away Renee.” Directed by Jonathan Caouette. Our review: ” ‘Walk Away Renee’ is a wild, brutal ride through a family’s psyche; a movie that contemplates big questions while never forgetting the people in the center.” MC: 51 RT: 71% PL: B+

Beware of Mr. Baker” opened Wednesday. Directed by Jay Bulger. Our review: “The combination of compelling subject with an exciting and expert approach to documentary form achieves that transcendence you hope for in this genre: a melding of subject and text that is its own beast but also perfectly reflect each other. ‘Beware of Mr. Baker,’ indeed, but don’t stay away.” MC: 78 RT: 100% PL: A

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