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Film Guide: What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend? (May 20, 2016)

Film Guide: What Movie Should I Watch This Weekend? (May 20, 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 20. All synopses provided by distributor unless listed otherwise.


The Angry Birds Movie

Directors: Clay Kaytis & Fergal Reilly
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Jason Sudeikis, Maya Rudolph, Josh Gad, Danny McBride, Kate McKinnon, Bill Hader, Jillian Bell, Ike Barinholtz, Keegan-Michael Key, Danielle Brooks, Tony Hale
Synopsis: “In an island populated entirely by happy, flightless birds – or almost entirely, Red, a bird with a temper problem, speedy Chuck, and the volatile Bomb have always been outsiders. But when the island is visited by mysterious green piggies, it’s up to these unlikely outcasts to figure out what the pigs are up to.”

Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

Director: Nicholas Stoller
Cast: Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, Zac Efron, Chloe Grace Moretz, Kiersey Clemons, Beanie Feldstein, Dave Franco, Ike Barinholtz, Lisa Kudrow, Carla Gallo, Billy Eichner, Selena Gomez
Synopsis: “A sorority moves in next door to the home of Mac & Kelly Radner who have a young child. The Radners enlist their former nemeses from the fraternity to help battle the raucous sisters.”

The Nice Guys

Director: Shane Black
Cast: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Matt Bomer, Kim Basinger, Yvonne Zima, Keith David, Yaya DaCosta, Jack Kilmer
Synopsis: “A private eye investigates the apparent suicide of a fading porn star in 1970s Los Angeles and uncovers a conspiracy.”
Criticwire Grade Average: B (4 reviews)


Almost Holy

Director: Steve Hoover
Synopsis: “After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Ukraine’s social and political institutions faced massive change, including an increasingly corrupt government and crippled infrastructure. A number of the nation’s youth wound up homeless and addicted to a lethal cocktail of injected cold medicine and alcohol. In the early 2000s a pastor from Mariupol named Gennadiy Mokhnenko took up the fight against child homelessness by forcibly abducting street kids and bringing them to his Pilgrim Republic rehabilitation center—the largest organization of its kind in the former Soviet Union. Gennadiy’s ongoing efforts and unabashedly tough love approach to his city’s problems has made him a folk hero for some, and a lawless vigilante to others. Despite criticism, Gennadiy is determined to continue his work.” [Tribeca Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Hard Sell

Director: Sean Nalaboff
Cast: Katrina Bowden, Skyler Gisondo, Kristin Chenoweth
Synopsis: “Set on the Gold Coast of Long Island, ‘Hard Sell’ centers on Hardy Buchanan, a senior at an elite private school who struggles to support his unstable mom. Desperate to make some quick cash, he enlists the help of Bo, a beautiful runaway, and together they devise an unconventional plan of profiting off of the wayward teens at Hardy’s school. When the students learn that Bo has more to offer than what meets the eye, the unlikely duo’s new business takes a unique turn, tossing them headfirst into the lifestyles of the rich and dysfunctional.”
Theatrical Release: Select Markets

Kaili Blues

Director: Gan Bi
Cast: Yongzhong Chen, Yue Guo, Linyan Liu, Feiyang Luo, Lixun Xie, Zhuohua Yang, Shixue Yu
Synopsis: “In a small clinic in the rain-drenched city of Kaili, two preoccupied doctors live ghost-like lives. One of them, Chen Sheng, decides to fulfill his dead mother’s wish and sets off on a train journey to look for his brother’s abandoned child. His partner in the clinic, a lonely old lady, asks Chen to find her old lover, and pass along to him a few mementos: an old photograph, a shirt and a music cassette. On the way, however, Chen passes through a mysterious town called Dangmai, where time is not linear and people’s lives complement each other. Here, Chen experiences the past, present and future. It’s unclear whether this place and its inhabitants are the doctor’s dream, or the other way around.”
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Seattle on June 23rd)

Ma ma

Director: Julio Medem
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia, Jon Kortajarena, Ciro Miró, Samuel Viyuela
Synopsis: “A woman recently diagnosed with cancer forms an unexpected bond with a soccer scout whose wife has been gravely injured in a car accident.”
Theatrical Release: New York (opens in Los Angeles and Miami on May 27th)

Maggie’s Plan

Director: Rebecca Miller
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Travis Fimmel, Bill Hader, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore, Ida Rohatyn, Maya Rudolph, Wallace Shawn
Synopsis: “Maggie Hardin is a vibrant and practical thirty-something New Yorker working at the New School who, without success in finding love, decides now is the time to have a child on her own. But when she meets John Harding, a ‘ficto-critical anthropologist’ and struggling novelist, Maggie falls in love for the first time, and adjusts her plans for motherhood. Complicating matters, John is in a strained marriage with Georgette Nørgaard, a brilliant Danish academic. With a Greek chorus of Maggie’s eccentric and hilarious best friends Tony and Felicia observing wryly from the sidelines, Maggie sets into motion a new plan that catapults her into a nervy love triangle with John and Georgette; intertwining their lives and connecting them in surprising and the humorous new ways. Maggie learns that sometimes destiny should be left to its own devices.”
Criticwire Grade AverageB (9 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Margarita, With a Straw

Director: Shonali Bose
Cast: Kalki Koechlin, Revathy, Sayani Gupta, William Moseley, Hussain Dalal
Synopsis: “Laila is a young romantic, a secret rebel in a wheelchair. Undeterred by cerebral palsy, she embarks on exhilarating adventures of self discovery, which cause a rift both within and with those she is closest to. Ultimately, it is in the intensity of these bonds where she must find the strength to truly be herself.” [Toronto International Film Festival]
Theatrical Release: Los Angeles, Fremont and San Jose

Manhattan Night

Director: Brian DeCubellis
Cast: Yvonne Strahovski, Adrien Brody, Jennifer Beals, Campbell Scott, Steven Berkoff, Linda Lavin
Synopsis: “Porter Wren is a Manhattan tabloid writer with an appetite for scandal. On the beat he sells murder, tragedy, and anything that passes for the truth. At home, he is a dedicated husband and father. But when Caroline, a seductive stranger asks him to dig into the unsolved murder of her filmmaker husband Simon, he is drawn into a very nasty case of sexual obsession and blackmail–one that threatens his job, his marriage, and his life.”
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Boston, Cleveland, Minneapolis, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Providence, Seattle and Washington, DC

Pervert Park

Directors: Frida and Lasse Barkfors
Synopsis: “Florida Justice Transitions, aka ‘Pervert Park,’ is home to 120 convicted sex offenders. (Like in many other U.S. states, sex offenders are not allowed to live within 1000 feet of places frequented by children). The crimes committed by the residents range from simple misdemeanors to horrendous acts too unbearable to contemplate. Blending shockingly candid interviews with observational footage, filmmakers Frida and Lasse Barkfors gradually reveal the personal stories behind each of their subjects–their offenses as well as their demons–often bearing witness to stories no one has ever heard before.”
Criticwire Grade Average: A- (4 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York


Directors: Josh Kriegman & Elyse Steinberg
Synopsis: “Many politicians have seen their careers careen off the tracks, but few instances have been captured so completely on film as the incisive and painfully funny Weiner. With unprecedented access to Anthony Weiner, his family, and his campaign team as they mount his New York City mayoral campaign, the film documents the impending political meltdown of epic proportions. What begins as an unexpected comeback from a disgraced ex-congressman takes a sharp turn once Weiner is forced to admit to new sexting allegations. As the media descends and rips apart his every move, Weiner tries desperately to forge ahead, but the increasing pressure and crippling 24-hour news coverage halts his political aspirations dead in their tracks.” [Sundance Film Festival]
Criticwire Grade AverageA- (11 reviews)
Theatrical Release: New York and Los Angeles

Welcome to Happiness

Director: Oliver Thompson
Cast: Kyle Gallner, Molly C. Quinn, Nick Offerman, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Thirlby, Brendan Sexton III, Josh Brener, Paget Brewster, Frances Conroy
Synopsis: “A mystical drama about a children’s book author, Woody, who is secretly the gatekeeper to a magical door in his closet. Strangers show up at his apartment and go through a series of questions and tests, provided to Woody by an old dot matrix printer that seems to work autonomously, letting him determine whether or not they are worthy to pass through the door. Where they are headed and what they will encounter on the other side, however, is a mystery…”
Theatrical Release: Various (including New York and Los Angeles, Atlanta, Dallas, Denver, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, San Francisco and Seattle)

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

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