Free Fire: Ben Wheatley (Kill List, High Rise) comedy about a weapons deal gone bad. Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, Cillian Murphy and terrible movie sign Sharlto Copley star. A24 is bizarrely going wide with this…good luck with that, folks. (A24, theatrical)
Unforgettable: Call me nuts, but this throwback erotic thriller (it looks like a Lifetime movie on steroids) starring Rosario Dawson and Katherine Heigl looks kind of fun. That 30% RT score is not a deterrent. Directorial debut of Denise Di Novi, who produced most of Tim Burton’s good films. (Warner Brothers, theatrical)
Made in China: Another DisneyNature animal documentary. This one is about Giant Pandas. Do they get a tax write-off for these? (Disney, theatrical)
Phoenix Forgotten: Ridley Scott-produced extraterrestrial horror picture. It’s found footage, like it’s 2011 or something! No name cast and behind-the-camera talent from a Z-grade distributor. Why is this theatrical? (Freestyle Releasing, theatrical)
Tramps: I was excited when Netflix acquired Adam Leon’s (2012’s excellent Gimme the Loot) sophomore effort at TIFF last Fall. Unfortunately, they’ve completely buried their own release with zero on-site or in-app promotion. Heck, the trailer only dropped a week ago. Netflix still seems to struggle in some key areas, the marketing of their lower budget acquisitions being a big one.
Anyway, it’s at 100% on RT right now with 8 reviews in. I’m going to say this is your best bet this weekend. (Netflix, streaming)
Sand Castle: Generic-looking Iraq war drama with Henry Cavill, Nicholas Hoult and Glen Powell. Reviews are harsh. (Netflix, streaming)
The Lost City of Z: James Gray’s Amazon adventure film is scoring rave reviews, despite the cast of warning signs (Charlie Hunnam, Robert Pattinson) and how long it’s been sitting on the shelf. Good luck finding this in a theater near you, fortunately it will be available free for Amazon Prime subscribers in the coming months. (Amazon, theatrical)