Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
For movies opening April 11, 2014
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Draft Day (PG-13 for brief profanity and sexual references) Kevin Costner stars in this gridiron saga as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager determined to turn the franchise around after 13 years of bad luck with the help of this year’s #1 draft pick. Ensemble includes Jennifer Garner, Terry Crews, Frank Langella, Sam Elliott, Chadwick Boseman, Denis Leary, Ellen Burstyn, Rosanna Arquette and Sean “Puffy” Combs.
Oculus (R for terror, violence, disturbing images and brief profanity) Supernatural thriller about a woman’s (Karen Gillan) effort to exonerate her brother (Brenton Thwaites) of their father’s (Rory Cochrane) killing by proving that the perpetrator was actually an evil spirit that had inhabited their home. With Katee Sackhoff, James Lafferty and Garrett Ryan.
The Railway Man (R for disturbing violence) Fact-based tale recounting the attempt by a former POW (Colin Firth), with the help of his wife (Nicole Kidman), to track down the Japanese officer who had tortured him during World War II. Co-starring Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine and Tanroh Ishida.
Rio 2 (G) Animated adventure finds Blu the macaw (Jesse Eisenberg) and his brood on an expedition to the rainforest where he’s confronted by his revenge-minded nemesis, Nigel the cockatoo (Jemaine Clement), and company. Voice cast includes Anne Hathaway, Bruno Mars, Jamie Foxx, Leslie Mann, Tracy Morgan, George Lopez, Leslie Mann and will.i.am.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
A Fragile Trust (Unrated) Ethics expose about Jayson Blair, the disgraced New York Times reporter who was dismissed after being caught plagiarizing many of his stories.
Cuban Fury (R for profanity and sexual references) Romantic comedy about a once-promising dance prodigy (Nick Frost) who makes the most of a second chance at glory when he enters a salsa competition with his new boss (Rashida Jones) as his partner. With Chris O’Dowd, Rory Kinnear and Olivia Colman.
Dancing in Jaffa (Unrated) Peace outreach documentary about legendary Pierre Dulaine’s attempt to transcend Middle East tensions by teaching ballroom dancing to a mixed group of Israeli and Palestinian 11 year-olds. (In Hebrew, Arabic and English with subtitles)
Hank and Asha (Unrated) Long-distance romantic romp about a student from India (Mahira Kakkar) living in Europe and a lonely guy in the U.S. (Andrew Pastides) whose love blossoms via video exchanges over the internet. With Emmanuel Baptiste, Robyn Kerr and Brian Patrick Murphy.
Hateship Loveship (R for profanity, sexuality and drug use) Dysfunctional family drama about a conniving teen (Hailee Steinfeld) who manipulates her grandfather’s (Nick Nolte) nurse (Kristen Wiig) into a romantic relationship with her estranged father (Guy Pearce). Cast includes Jennifer Jason Leigh, Christine Lahti and Sami Gayle.
Jesus People (Unrated) Faith-based mockumentary about a terminally-ill minister (Joel McCrary) who decides to start a Christian rock band in order to wean his wayward teenage son (Chris Fennessey) off gangsta rap music. With Octavia Spencer, Wendi McLendon-Covey and Catherine Reitman.
Joe (R for violence, profanity, disturbing themes and graphic sexuality) Nicolas Cage plays the title character in this tale of redemption as an ex-con who serves as an unlikely role model for a troubled 15 year-old (Tye Sheridan) with an abusive, alcoholic father (Gary Poulter). Featuring Ronnie Gene Blevins, Adriene Mishler and Heather Kafka.
Only Lovers Left Alive (R for profanity and brief nudity) Romantic fantasy revolving around the undying love between a couple of vampires (Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton) who have been married for centuries. Support cast includes Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt and Jeffrey Wright. (In English, French and Arabic with subtitles)
Perfect Sisters (Unrated) Matricide mystery revolving around a couple of teenagers (Abigail Breslin and Georgie Henley) who hatch a plan to murder their alcoholic mother (Mira Sorvino) after getting fed up with years of abuse. With Spencer Breslin, Jeffrey Ballard and Zoe Belkin.
Thomas Keating: A Rising Tide of Silence (Unrated) Poignant portrait paying tribute to a Trappist monk turned influential author of 30+ books sharing a unique brand of Eastern-influenced Catholicism.
Unthinkable: An Airline Captain’s Story (Unrated) Murder mystery about a commercial jet pilot (Randall Paul) found dead with a single bullet in his head the day after his political conspiracy theory was called crazy by the government. With Dennis Fitzpatrick, Michael Biesanz, Drew Barrios and Jerry Bell, Jr.