2 Jacks – A modern and comic spin on a classic Leo Tolstoy story, “Two Hussars” set in Los Angeles. The Jacks are both movie directors, with the son following in the father’s footsteps whether he likes it or not. It’s a cutthroat business, this movie business, and it takes a cutthroat individual to make it happen. Danny Huston plays Jack Sr., Jack Huston is Jack Jr., Sienna Miller and Jacqueline Bisset play the girl, and Billy Zane and Rosie Fellner add to the cast. Bernard Rose directed and Breaking Glass Pictures gives this one a limited release.
12 Years A Slave – It’s Steve McQueen’s third feature, it won the Grand Jury Prize at the Toronto International Film Festival, and it looks to pack a wallop. Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor) was born a free man in New York City. In 1841, he was deceived and shipped to a New Orleans Plantation where he spent the next twelve years in bondage. What it takes to survive is not enough, Solomon had what it takes to live. Co-starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Paul Dano, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, and Alfre Woodard. Out in limited release from Fox Searchlight Pictures.
All Is Lost – Jean-Luc Godard once said that all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun. Writer and director J.C. Chandor has neither, but I don’t think that is going to hold him back any. Robert Redford is a man out on his yacht. The yacht drifts into gangplank, puncturing the hull, and making his return trip very difficult. If you had to watch one actor drift aimlessly and helplessly into oblivion, it would probably be Robert Redford. Unlike anything you have ever seen. Out in limited release from Roadside Attractions.
American Promise – Spanning thirteen years, Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson are two filmmaking parents who enrolled their child, Idris, in Dalton School in Manhattan’s Upper East Side. They decided to film themselves, their son, and his closets friend, Seun. What started out as a simple project, ended up becoming a twelve-year documentary. A unique look at lower-income black families trying to give their kids a better life. A very personal look at the education system and the wants and desires for one’s child to succeed. Out in limited release from Rada Film Group.
Big Ass Spider! – Los Angeles is under attack from a-you guessed it-BIG ASS SPIDER! Who you gonna call? The Western Man? Greg Grunberg and his newly acquired partner, Lombardo Boyar, have to combat this weird, insane, big-ass spider. Hopefully they’ll get the girl(s) in the process. Lin Shaye, Patrick Bauchau, Ray Wise, and Clare Kramer join in on the fun, Gregory Gieras writes, and Mike Mendez directs. Out in limited release from Epic Pictures Releasing.
Camille Claudel, 1915 – Camille (Juliette Binoche) is the protégé and mistress of Rodin, the sister of the poet Paul Claudel, and has been institutionalized. Not because she is bonkers, but because she just doesn’t fit into an early 20th Century schematic of what role a woman has in society. Written and directed by Bruno Dumont, the movie is set in an asylum that is populated with real patients of mental illness. Robert Leroy, Marion Keller, Jean-Luc Vincent, Emmanuel Kauffman, and Armelle Leroy-Rolland co-star, Kino Lorber gives this a limited release, and anything with Binoche is not to be missed.
Carrie – Adapted from the same Stephen King novel that Brian De Palma drew from, Carrie (Chloe Grace Moretz) is a teenage girl with telekinetic powers. She has a fundamentalist mother (Julianne Moore) who just doesn’t understand, a school that constantly mocks and laughs at her, and is starting to develop sexually. Things are not going to go well. Gabriella Wilde, Alex Russell, Ansel Elgort, and Portia Doubleday co-star, Kimberly Peirce directs, and Sony Pictures gives it a wide release.
Escape Plan – Ray (Sylvester Stallone) has a very unusual job. He voluntarily gets locked up in prisons just to see if he can escape. He is pretty good at what he does, but this job is going to be a little more difficult. Especially since he didn’t go voluntarily. To get out of this prison and away from the maniac running to show (Jim Caviezel) he is going to have to team up with Emil (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and find out who put him here and why. Co-starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Vinnie Jones, and Curtis Jackson. Written by Jason Keller and Miles Chapman with Mikael Håfstrom directing. Out in wide release from Summit Entertainment.
The Fifth Estate – Who is Julian Assange? Is he a journalist? A terrorist? A conspirator? A liberator? A capitalist? Selfish? Will this movie ask any of these questions? Probably. Will it answer any of them? Maybe not, but it’s sure to have some suspenseful moments. Assange is played by Benedict Cumberbatch, his colleague Daniel Domscheit-Berg by Daniel Brühl, and his opposition by Laura Linney, Stanley Tucci, and Anthony Mackie. If we were going on casting alone, then this would be something, but this is the drama. After you see this, watch the documentary, We Steal Secrets. Written by R.J. Cutler, Josh Singer, Daniel Domscheit-Berg, David Leigh, and Luke Harding. Directed by Bill Condon. Out in wide release from Walt Disney Pictures.
Kill Your Darlings – Few artistic movements disrupted the norm quite like the Beats. He may not have been their patron saint, but few motivated the movement like Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe). Set before the Beats were the Beats, 1944 at Columbia University, Ginsberg falls in with the maddening crowd that would make him famous. William S. Burroughs (Ben Foster), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), and Lucian Carr (Dane DeHaan) and his Svengali professor, David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall). Murder, intrigue, jazz, poetry, booze, sex, life, love, and lovers. Written by John Krokidas and Austin Bunn with Krokidas directing.