We’re still a few weeks away from Oscar bait pictures, so this just looks like an extension of August. There are a few interesting limited release films, though.
In wide release is The Family (45), about a mob family in witness protection, with Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer. Stephen Holden: “The movie has holes galore. It has abrupt tonal shifts, an incoherent back story and abandoned subplots. It doesn’t even try for basic credibility. But buoyed by hot performances, it sustains a zapping electrical energy.”
Likely to win the week at the box office is the totally unnecessary Insidious 2 (40), a sequel to a not-very-good horror film. Jeannette Catsoulis: “A mess from start to finish — though, judging by the ending, this story won’t be over any time soon — “Insidious: Chapter 2” is the kind of lazy, halfhearted product that gives scary movies a bad name.”
In limited release seem to be a few standouts. Blue Caprice (80) is about the Beltway snipers. A. O. Scott: “[Alexandre] Moors films the main characters with detachment, allowing their inner lives to remain enigmatic. But in observing them — often following behind, the camera aimed at the backs of their heads — he allows some inklings of motive to appear.”
Mother of George (77) is about Nigerian immigrants in Brooklyn. Scott: [Andrew] Dosunmu, working from a sensitive script by Darci Picoult and immeasurably aided by Bradford Young’s vibrant and sensual cinematography, departs from the conventions of the immigrant’s tale in ways both subtle and emphatic. This is not a fable of assimilation or alienation, but rather the keenly observed story of two people seeking guidance in painful and complicated circumstances.”
Briefly, some other limited releases:
And While We Are Here, (48), a romance starring Kate Bosworth.
Jayne Mansfield’s Car (48), a family drama with Robert Duvall and John Hurt, directed by Billy Bob Thornton.
The Last Time I Saw Macao (69), a Portugese film set in the Vegas of Asia.
Good Ol’ Freda (57), a documentary about the secretary of the Beatles fan club.