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Film Guide: What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend? (May 13, 2016)

Film Guide: What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend? (May 13, 2016)

To help sift through the increasing number of new releases (independent or otherwise), the Weekly Film Guide is back! Below you’ll find basic plot, personnel and cinema information for all of this week’s fresh offerings. 

Starting this month, we’ve also put together a list for the entire month. We’ve included this week’s list here, complete with information on screening locations for films in limited release. 

SEE MORE: Here Are All the Upcoming Movies in Theaters for May 2016

Here are the films opening theatrically in the U.S. the week of Friday, May 13. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.


Money Monster

Director: Jodie Foster
Cast: George Clooney, Caitriona Balfe, Jack O’Connell, Julia Roberts, Olivia Luccardi, Dominic West, Giancarlo Esposito, Emily Meade, Chris Bauer, Dennis Boutsikaris
Synopsis: “Lee Gates is a TV personality whose insider tips have made him the money guru of Wall Street. When Kyle loses all of his family’s money on a bad tip, he holds Lee and his entire show hostage on air threatening to kill Lee if he does not get the stock up 24 and a half points before the bell.”


Crush the Skull

Director: Viet Nguyen
Cast: Christopher Dinh, Katie Savoy, Chris Riedell, Tim Chiou, Lauren Reeder, Walter Michael Bost
Synopsis: “Ollie and Blair earn a dishonest living by robbing upper class homes. They decide to pull one last job but it takes a turn for the worse when they find themselves trapped inside the house. As they explore, they discover that this seemingly innocuous home is actually a sadistic torture den: a mind-screwing maze with an unseen killer separating them from one another and stalking them from the shadows.” [LA Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle

The Curse of Sleeping Beauty

Director: Pearry Teo
Cast: Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, India Eisley, Bruce Davison
Synopsis: “Thomas Kaiser inherits an ancestral mansion that has been in his family for generations — only to learn that he has also inherited an ancient curse stemming back to the Crusades. Forced into his new role as “protector” — the guardian appointed to keep the evil demons in the house at bay — Thomas teams with an ambitious local realtor and paranormal cleric to unravel the mystery of the house, while struggling to awaken the beautiful Briar Rose, held captive in a terrifying netherworld seen previously in his dreams.”
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles (available on VOD May 17th)

The Darkness

Director: Greg McLean
Cast: Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh, Jennifer Morrison
Synopsis: “As a family returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon, they innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences.”
Theatrical Release:

Divine Access

Director: Steven Chester Prince
Cast: Billy Burke, Patrick Warburton, Joel David Moore, Sarah Shahi, Dora Madison, Barak Hardley, Adrienne Barbeau, Gary Cole
Synopsis: “Jack Harriman lives a simple life and uses the religious expertise he learned from his mother to attract women. He becomes an instant spiritual celebrity after humiliating Reverend Guy Roy Davis on his friend’s public-access TV show. Jack’s popularity takes him on the road on a multi-city speaking tour accompanied by Nigel, a self-proclaimed ‘catcher’ of overwhelmed believers. Along the way Jack and Nigel are joined by Amber, a down on her luck call-girl, and Marian, an enigmatic beauty who challenges Jack’s beliefs and questions whether he has some deeper calling.”
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles and Dallas


Director: Ben Wheatley
Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, Reece Shearsmith, Peter Ferdinando, Daniel Renton Skinner, James Purefoy
Synopsis: “In the midst of a vast ocean stands the Elysium Tower – a glistening vertical city – a sanctuary for challenging times. Powered by sun and earth, designed by the greatest architectural visionary of the new millennium, Elysium is a self contained world. A world of commerce, cuisine and entertainment, featuring restaurants, swimming pools, libraries, cinemas, even a research hospital. It is not just the tallest and most technologically advanced work of modern architecture, but one that embodies the world’s highest aspirations. Dr. Robert Laing, a new arrival, settles in and adjusts to this hermetic life. But before long he becomes aware of something unsettling in the building. In an escalating atmosphere of unrest the residents break into tribal factions. Laing watches in horror as the myth of a utopian society is shattered.”
Criticwire Grade AverageB (21 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Charlotte, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle)

How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town

Director: Jeremy LaLonde
Cast: Jewel Staite, Lauren Holly, Katharine Isabelle, Lauren Lee Smith, Natalie Brown, Ennis Esmer, Tommie-Amber Pirie
Synopsis: “Wholesome Beaver’s Ridge is a tight-knit community known for its fervent emphasis on family values… until ‘town slut’ turned sex columnist Cassie Cranston returns for her mother’s funeral. When Cassie was shunned from the community years before due to a sex scandal at a house party, she ran away to the big city and became a sex columnist, publicly labeling the town prudish and thus widening the gap between her and her former life there. But when she’s forced to return home, a group of eclectic town folk are inspired try to plan an orgy and beg Cassie to serve as their mentor. Things spice up in Beaver’s Ridge when each person’s ulterior motive is revealed and the orgy – which is awkward all on its own – takes on a surprise new meaning.”
Theatrical Release: Various (including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Kansas City, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Seattle and Tampa)

I Am Wrath

Director: Chuck Russell
Cast: John Travolta, Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull, Sam Trammell, Patrick St. Esprit, Rebecca De Mornay
Synopsis: “Stanley Hill is a former Black Ops agent who witnessed his wife’s death at the hands of a street gang. When corrupt cops let the prime suspect walk, Stanley takes the law into his own hands. Joined by a former comrade-in-arms, Stanley uncovers a conspiracy that leads to the upper ranks of government, as he heads toward a guns-blazing, take-no-prisoners showdown for justice.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Kill Zone 2

Director: Soi Cheang
Cast: Tony Jaa, Wu Jing, Simon Yam, John Zhang Jin, Louis Koo, Jun Kung, Ken Lo, Dominic Lam Ka-Wah, Babyjohn Choi, Wai Ai, Candy Yuen, Philip Keung
Synopsis: “A Hong Kong cop named Kit busts a major gangster only to find his cover blown and his main witness gone. The gangster, in retaliation, has him kidnapped and put in a Thai jail with a false criminal identity. A lowly prison guard Chai with extraordinary fighting skills guards kit and prevents his escape from prison. The prison guard’s daughter suffers from a rare form of leukemia and Kit is the only donor who can save her. The prison guard discovers Kit’s real identity and helps him to escape in return for his agreeing to save his daughter. Together, Kit and Chai must face the gangster and his minions and take them down.”
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (4 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Minneapolis, Phoenix, San Francisco and Seattle

Last Days in the Desert

Director: Rodrigo García
Cast: Ewan McGregor, Ciarán Hinds, Tye Sheridan, Ayelet Zurer
Synopsis: “On his way out of the wilderness, Jesus struggles with the Devil over the fate of a family in crisis, setting himself up for a dramatic test.”
Criticwire Grade AverageB+ (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Portland and San Francisco)

The Lobster

Director: Yorgos Lanthimos
Cast: Colin Farrell, Jessica Barden, Rachel Weisz, Olivia Colman, Ashley Jensen, Ariane Labed, Aggeliki Papoulia, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Michael Smiley, Ben Whishaw, Rosanna Hoult
Synopsis: “David is a man who has just been dumped by his wife.  To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods.  David is kept at the mysterious Hotel while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance. But once there David meets an enigmatic stranger who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him…”
Criticwire Grade AverageA- (37 reviews)
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Akron, Ann Arbor and Austin)

Love and Friendship

Director: Whit Stillman
Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel, Emma Greenwell, Tom Bennett, Stephen Fry
Synopsis: “Set in the opulent drawing rooms of eighteenth-century English society, Love & Friendship focuses on the machinations of a beautiful widow, Lady Susan Vernon, who, while waiting for social chatter about a personal indiscretion to pass, takes up temporary residence at her in-laws’ estate. While there, the intelligent, flirtatious, and amusingly egotistical Lady Vernon is determined to be a matchmaker for her daughter Frederica—and herself too, naturally. She enlists the assistance of her old friend Alicia, but two particularly handsome suitors complicate her orchestrations.” [Sundance Film Festival] 
Criticwire Grade AverageA- (12 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles (expands to various cities nationwide through the end of May)

A Monster with a Thousand Heads

Director: Rodrigo Plá
Cast: Jana Raluy, Sebastián Aguirre, Emilio Echevarría, Hugo Albores
Synopsis: “Forced into a corner by her corrupt and negligent insurance company, Sonia Bonet will do whatever it takes to get the treatment her husband needs to survive.”
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles on May 20th; expands to additional cities through the middle of July)

Paths of the Soul

Director: Zhang Yang
Cast: Yang Pei, Nyima Zadui, Tsewang Dolkar, Tsring Chodron, Seba Jiangcuo
Synopsis: “A group of Tibetans of all ages and from different families join together to make a pilgrimage from their home village to Lhasa, a treacherous 2,000-kilometer trek at high elevations. Each makes the spiritual journey for their own reasons—one man, now elderly, may never have another opportunity, and a younger man seeks to change his fate. Over the course of an arduous journey that requires prostration after every few steps, they encounter many obstacles—a broken tractor, snow, exhaustion, sickness, a birth—but the ordeal never breaks their communal resolve.” [MoMA]
Theatrical Release: New York

Pele: Birth of a Legend

Directors: Jeff and Michael Zimbalist
Cast: Vincent D’Onofrio, Rodrigo Santoro, Diego Boneta, Seu Jorge, Colm Meaney, Kevin de Paula, Seth Michaels, Leonardo Lima Carvalho
Synopsis: “From the slums of Brazil to center stage at the world’s biggest sporting event, Pelé’s rise to become the youngest-ever World Cup winner, at the age of 17, was nothing short of a miracle. Full of laughs, life lessons, and heart, this inspiring biopic is perfect for introducing a new generation to the greatest soccer player of all time.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Queen Mimi
Director: Yaniv Rokah
Synopsis: “When you feel like a queen, even a laundromat can be a palace. Marie “Mimi” Haist defied her adulterous husband and moved onto the streets in her 50s, living in parking lots and doorways until finding her “home” one stormy night between rows of washers in a Californian laundromat. Encouraged to stay by a more than generous laundry owner, Mimi’s ‘the past is the past’ philosophy endeared her to regular fluff and fold clients and, after more than 20 years, Mimi has made some unlikely friends, ranging from local loves to Hollywood A-listers Zach Galifianakis and Renee Zellweger.”
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles

Search Party
Director: Scot Armstrong
Cast: Krysten Ritter, Alison Brie, Shannon Woodward, Steffie Grote, Adam Pally, T.J. Miller, Lance Reddick, JB Smoove, Jason Mantzoukas, Taryn Terrell, Rosa Salazar, Brian Huskey, Thomas Middleditch, Carla Greene, Jon Glaser
Synopsis: “A pair of friends embark on a mission to reunite their pal with the woman he was going to marry.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington, DC


Director: Fernando Lebrija
Cast: Devon Werkheiser, Sean Marquette, Camilla Belle, Silverio Palacios, Jordi Mollà, Sara Paxton, Teri Hatcher, John Michael Higgins, Reid Ewing, Karla Souza, Alejandro Edda, Héctor Jiménez
Synopsis: “High school seniors Logan and Blake prepare for an EPIC Spring Break as they travel to the beautiful and exotic Mexican beach resort of Puerto Vallarta hoping to hook up with their high school crushes. Surrounded by hot girls in teeny bikinis, the guys are truly in heaven. After meeting at a club, Logan falls for a mysterious local beauty named Gaby but then realizes the next morning, when his grandfather’s Rolex watch is missing, that she was after more than just his heart. Things go from bad to worse when the guys discover that the valuable family heirloom is now in the hands of a gangster who demands to be paid triple the watch’s value before returning it. And that’s just the beginning…”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago) 

Sunset Song

Director: Terence Davies
Cast: Peter Mullan, Agyness Deyn, Kevin Guthrie, Hugh Ross, Douglas Rankine, Ian Pirie, Niall Greig Fulton, Jim Sweeney, Jack Greenless, Julian Nest, Trish Mullin
Synopsis: “A spirited young woman struggles between tradition and change on her family farm in Northern Scotland on the cusp of World War I. Excelling at school and possessing a burgeoning independent streak, Chris seems destined to become a teacher. But family life has its own pull and her tyrannical father exerts a formidable force on his brood, as well as on her mother whose body he treats as both refuge and battleground. As the constellation of her family shifts around her and romance comes calling, Chris grows into womanhood just as the war begins to devastate a generation.”
Criticwire Grade AverageA- (11 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York, Los Angeles and Toronto (expands to various cities through July)

The Trust

Directors: Ben & Alex Brewer
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Jerry Lewis, Sky Ferreira
Synopsis: “Waters and Stone are two nobody police officers working dull administrative jobs and making extra money selling stolen Civil Service Exams to other officers. When Stone hears a story about a heroin dealer quickly beating his extremely high bail, the two friends set into motion a plan to find the origin of such a large amount of cash. Through diligent police work they follow a trail that leads directly to a custom bank-style vault built into the back room freezer of a small grocery store. They put a plan into motion to rob the vault and split whatever they find inside. But by the time they figure out what the vault contains, it’s already too late to turn back.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

What We Become

Director: Bo Mikkelsen
Cast: Mille Dinesen, Troels Lyby, Benjamin Engell, Marie Hammer Boda
Synopsis: “The Johansson family’s idyllic summer is brought to an abrupt halt as deaths stack up from a virulent strand of the flu. The authorities start off by cordoning-­‐off the neighborhood, but soon panic and force the inhabitants into quarantine in their hermetically­‐sealed houses. Isolated from the rest of the world, teen Gustav spies out and realizes that the situation is getting out of control. He breaks out, but soon the family of four comes under attack from the riotous, blood-­‐thirsty mob who forces them to the extreme to escape alive.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

For more upcoming films from this month, check out our May theatrical release guide.

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