Opening in Chicago, 10/19

Standard

Alex Cross (trailer)
Director: Rob Cohen (The Fast and the Furious, xXx, Stealth, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)
Personal Interest Factor: 3
What a strange project this is, trying to reboot a franchise with limited appeal (Freeman’s Cross movies did all right but nothing to get excited about, it’s not like we’re rebooting Jack Ryan here) around a lead actor with equally limited but not at all overlapping appeal. It seems like a good way to make both fanbases really unhappy with it. Plus, it has the worst tagline I ever remember seeing in a wide theatrical release: “Don’t ever cross Alex Cross.” Derp.
Metacritic: 33

Easy Money (trailer)
Director: Daniel Espinosa (Safe House)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
One of two big Swedish releases today (?), this one was given a long review by Nick back in 2010. Now the Weinsteins are giving it a token theatrical release. Playing here at the Music Box. Might should I should see it.
Metacritic: 77

Middle of Nowhere (trailer)
Director: Ava DuVernay (I Will Follow)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Don’t know much about this, but it won the Best Director Award at Sundance earlier this year. It’s about a woman whose husband is sentenced to an 8-year prison term, throwing their lives into disarray.
Metacritic: 75

Simon and the Oaks (trailer)
Director: Lisa Ohlin
Personal Interest Factor: 5
Sewish film about two boys coming of age during World War II. Don’t know much about it, but it looks like it was a big player at the Swedish Oscars, called the ‘Guldbagge’ awards. Doesn’t look all that notable, but what says you, Nick?
Metacritic: not listed

Smashed (trailer)
Director: James Ponsoldt (Off the Black)
Personal Interest Factor: 6
Decent reviews for this, although they mostly seem to center around the performance by Mary Elizabeth Winstead as an alcoholic woman trying to stop drinking. I should probably see it in case Winstead gets an Oscar nomination down the road, which seems possible, although it doesn’t look like much of a movie to me.
Metacritic: 74

Also this week:
For Ellen (trailer) – Paul Dano as a musician in a nasty divorce
Paranormal Activity 4 (trailer) – whatever
Student of the Year – import from India
Tai Chi Zero (trailer) – import from China
War of the Buttons (trailer) – set during occupied France; very poor reviews
You’ve Been Trumped (trailer) – plucky Scots fight Trump’s plans to build a resort

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