Wondering which movie to go see at your local cinema? Take my advice. Here are my attention-span-sensitive movie reviews of the top ten best films in theaters this week:
- Drive – See-it – It’s like pulling a 90-mph, 270-degree spinout in a black Ford Mustang with a nameless stranger at the wheel – but this namesless guy isn’t nameless, he’s Ryan Gosling and he’s the Driver, and it’s a loud, violent, completely awesome action film about a movie stunt driver by day and getaway wheelman for by night. And, it might be the best film of the year.
- Moneyball – See-it – Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, in not only one of the best sports movies ever made, but also one of the best films of the year. Don’t miss this smart, funny, well-written and well-acted film just because it’s about baseball — because the Academy sure won’t.
- Contagion – See-it – This suspenseful film about a lethal airborne virus is terrifying – not like The Ring or Texas Chainsaw terrifying, terrifying like it could really happen to you terrifying – and believeable plot and A-list acting only makes it more powerful.
- The Lion King (In 3D) – See-it – If you never saw this film about a lion cub prince in theaters (so people under the age of 25), go see this special 3-D edition of one of the best animated films of all time. But try not to cry on those 3-D glasses.
- 50/50 – See-it – New This Week – It’s inspired by a true cancer diagnosis story, but it’s not a Lifetime movie or Hallmark film — it’s a clever dram-com starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen that will make you laugh AND cry.
- Our Idiot Brother – See-it – Paul Rudd is the nicest moron on the planet, and quite possibly the funniest. Don’t miss the second best comedy of the summer (Bridesmaids is #1) about that one sibling that everyone can relate to (only took my sister an hour to further investigate this statement).
- Attack the Block – See-it – If you liked Hot Fuzz or Shaun of the Dead you will love this British sci-fi spoof about a group of inner-city kids who go to war with aliens.
- Tucker & Dale vs Evil – See-it if you can – New This Week – If you enjoy hor-coms like Shaun of the Dead and Hobo with a Shotgun you’ll love this funny, scary, and smart — yes smart — film about killer rednecks. And the best part (unlike Shark Night) is that it’s rated R!
- Warrior – See-it – Even if you’re not a UFC fan, you need to see Tom Hardy in this gripping MMA film before he gets even bigger as Bane in the 3rd Dark Knight film. He will win an Oscar very soon.
- The Guard – See-it if you can – Brendan Gleeson (the recognizable beefy Irish actor from countless great films) stars in this hilarious dark comedy about sex, drugs and blackmail.
And here are ten other movies in theaters that just missed the best-in-theaters rankings…
- Shaolin – Rent-it – This film about feuding warlords and Shaolin monks is more of an epic drama than an kung-fu action-adventure, but the handful of hand-to-hand fight scenes are spectacular and the big-budget cinematography is beautiful. It’s no 13 Assassins though.
- The Debt – Rent-it – Three retired Mossad secret agents find that an anti-Nazi mission accomplished in 1966 might not have been. Secrets and suspense ensue.
- The Help – See-it – This racially hyper film about some extraordinary women in Mississippi during the 1960s is carried by its talented cast who make it a touching and satisfactory drama.
- Dolphin Tale – Rent-it – This touching tale about a dolphin tail is as heart-warming as it is true.
- Crazy, Stupid, Love – Rent-it – This typical romcom hodgepodge of a guy losing his perfect life but then bumping into her high school sweetheart is anything but typical and truly a hodgepodge of talented actors.
- Killer Elite – Rent-it – Clive Owen and Robert De Niro’s names are on the poster, but this is a Jason Statham film through-and-through — if care for that you’ll care for this solid action movie about a secret military society.
- The Devil’s Double – Wait-for-it – This interesting story about Saddam Hussein’s party-boy son and his body double is ruined by the movie’s clashing of glossy direction and offensive violence.
- What’s Your Number? – Skip-it – New This Week – Anna Faris and Chris Evans are typically talented actors, but this rom-com is as terrible as the concept — who tries to find the love of their life from a list of their exes?!
- Straw Dogs – Skip-it – If you want to see a gruesomely violent analogy for our bipartisan beliefs go rent Dustin Hoffman’s 1971 version of this film about a screenwriter’s bloody conflict with his new neighbors.
- Dream House – Skip-it – New This Week – Daniel Craig, Rachel Weisz, and Naomi Watts “star” in the same ole horror story — a family leaves the busy city only to find their new small-town home isn’t what they thought it would be.
…and five more than never had a chance. These are the five worst films in theaters:
- Abduction – Skip-it – Taylor Lautner is not only a bad actor, he’s also a crummy action star, and this awful film just proves that Team Edward will always win.
- Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star – Skip-it – Christina Ricci and Stephen Dorff’s careers are officially over. They are no longer stars. And neither is Bucky Larson.
- I Don’t Know How She Does It – Skip-it – If you want to see Sarah Jessica Parker as a wealthy woman with relationship issues in a painfully predictable romcom go rent Sex & the City.
- Main Street – Skip-it – If you think Ohio is boring wait ’til you see this “drama” with an ensemble cast of forgetably bland faces in an even blander North Carolina town.
- Pearl Jam Twenty – Skip-it – Unless you are die-hard P-jammer you will be annoyed with the band’s insistence on resisting fame.
Looking attention-span-sensitive advice for another movie? Search for a review of any film in The Cinefile.
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