Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Birth of a Nation (R for brief nudity and disturbing violence) Nate Parker directed, co-wrote and stars in this reverential biopic about Nat Turner, a literate slave inspired by the Bible to lead a rebellion in Southampton County, Virginia in 1831. Ensemble cast includes Aja Naomi King, Armie Hammer, Aunjanue Ellis, Gabrielle Union, Roger Guenveur Smith and Jackie Earle Haley.
The Girl on the Train (R for sexuality, nudity, profanity and violence) Emily Blunt plays the title character in this adaptation of Paula Hawkins' best-selling psychological thriller revolving around a recent divorcee who becomes embroiled in the mysterious disappearance of a former neighbor (Haley Bennett). With Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Lisa Kudrow, Luke Evans and Allison Janney.
Middle School: The Worst Years of My Life (PG for mature themes, mild epithets and pervasive rude humor) Kitchen sink comedy based on the James Patterson novel of the same name revolving around a jaded teen (Griffin Gluck) who, with the help of his BFF (Thomas Barbusca), tries to break every rule in his new school's Code of Conduct. Support cast includes Rob Riggle, Lauren Graham and Isabela Moner.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Being 17 (Unrated) Homoerotic adventure, set in France, about a teased gay teenager (Kacey Mottet Klein) whose fortunes change dramatically when his mother (Sandrine Kiberlain) invites his bully (Corentin Fila) to move in with them. With Alexis Loret, Jean Fornerod and Jean Corso. (In French and Spanish with subtitles)
Blinky Bill: The Movie (Unrated) Ryan Kwanten handles the title role in this animated adventure about a cuddly koala bear that embarks on an eventful epic trek across the Outback in search of his long-lost father (Richard Roxburgh). Voice cast includes Toni Collette, Rufus Sewell, David Wenham and Tin Pang.
The Greasy Strangler (Unrated) Horror comedy, set in L.A., about a disco walking tour guide (Michael St. Michaels) who finds himself competing with his assistant son (Sky Elobar) for the affections of an attractive out-of-towner (Elizabeth De Razzo). With Gil Gex, Abdoulaye Ngom and Holland MacFallister.
The Great Gilly Hopkins (PG for mature themes and mild epithets) Coming-of-age dramedy revolving around a feisty foster kid's (Sophie Nelisse) frenetic search for the birth mother she's never known (Julia Stiles). Featuring Glenn Close, Kathy Bates, Bill Cobbs and Octavia Spencer.
Newtown (Unrated) Political gridlock expose' chronicling a grieving Connecticut community's futile lobbying effort for gun reform legislation in the wake of the mass murder of 6 teachers and 20 students at an elementary school.
Theo Who Lived (Unrated) Radical Islam documentary chronicling the harrowing ordeal of Theo Padnos, an American journalist who was kidnapped by terrorists in Syria and held for 22 months, but lived to tell the tale.
Torchbearer (Unrated) Faith-based documentary delineating the philosophy of Phil Robertson, patriarch of the family featured on the reality-TV series Duck Dynasty.
Voiceless (PG-13 for violence and mature themes) Pro-life drama about a Born Again war veteran (Rusty Joiner) who relocates with his wife (Jocelyn Cruz) to Philly where he puts his marriage and new job in jeopardy by taking a stand against an abortion clinic opening across the street from the church where he works. With Paul Rodriguez, James Russo and Victoria Gates.
Voyage of Time: The IMAX Experience (G) Terrence Malick directed this documentary, narrated by Brad Pitt, celebrating life as well as the history of the cosmos while transporting audiences into a vast and personal journey which spans the eons in an immersive fashion.