Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far The 20 Worst Films Of 2015 So Far New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet New Images Of Bruce Wayne, Lex Luthor, More In 'Batman v. Superman,' Ben Affleck Compares Batman To Hamlet Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Paul Thomas Anderson To Write And Possibly Direct Warner Bros' ‘Pinocchio’ For Robert Downey Jr. Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Watch: First Trailer For Oliver Stone’s ‘Snowden’ Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Shailene Woodley & Nicolas Cage Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke Review: ‘Terminator: Genisys’ Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Emilia Clarke, Jai Courtney & Jason Clarke 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" 'Thor: The Dark World' Director Alan Taylor Says His Marvel Experience Was "Particularly Wrenching" Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Watch: Anna Paquin Is Rescued In Clip From 'X-Men: Days of Future Past - The Rogue Cut' Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Kevin Feige Says 'Spider-Man 2' Is "One Of The Best Superhero Movies Ever," Talks John Hughes Influence On New Spidey Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Watch: Live Your Ultimate Fantasy With The First NSFW Trailer For Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Review & Recap: ‘True Detective’ Season 2, Episode 2, ‘Night Finds You’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ Terrence Malick’s ‘Knight Of Cups’ Won’t Arrive Until 2016, Austin Music Scene Drama Not Titled ‘Weightless’ The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 The Punisher Will Reportedly Appear As The Villain In ‘Daredevil’ Season 2 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development 'Lucy 2' And 'Colombiana 2' Are In Development Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics Mixed Reactions For Marvel's 'Ant-Man' After First Press Screening Plus New Promos And Pics The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The Essentials: The 5 Best Rachel McAdams Performances The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best TV Shows Of The 2014/2015 Season The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season The 20 Best TV Shows Of The 2013/2014 Season

In Theaters: 'Don't Be Afraid of the Dark,' 'Our Idiot Brother,' or 'Colombiana'

Photo of Katie Walsh By Katie Walsh | The Playlist August 26, 2011 at 7:29AM

Ah, the dog days of August. Used to be that this month was just another typical dumping ground for films that withered on the vine, but it in recent years, it's expanded a bit to swallow up some of the summer blockbuster fare crowded out of May-June-July. But the last weekend in August? Yeesh. Kids are going back to school, college students are back on campus, and everyone's depressed because summer's ending. That psychological breakdown attempts to explain the box office offerings for this weekend. Katie Holmes gets scared in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," Sundance comedy "Our Idiot Brother" takes advantage of the roomy playing field, and B-action flick "Colombiana" does the same. If you're not soaking up the last dregs of summer out of doors this weekend, or battening down the hatches on the East Coast with the arrival of Hurricane Irene, here are the releases available at your multiplex or art house.
1


Ah, the dog days of August. Used to be that this month was just another typical dumping ground for films that withered on the vine, but it in recent years, it's expanded a bit to swallow up some of the summer blockbuster fare crowded out of May-June-July. But the last weekend in August? Yeesh. Kids are going back to school, college students are back on campus, and everyone's depressed because summer's ending. That psychological breakdown attempts to explain the box office offerings for this weekend. Katie Holmes gets scared in "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark," Sundance comedy "Our Idiot Brother" takes advantage of the roomy playing field, and B-action flick "Colombiana" does the same. If you're not soaking up the last dregs of summer out of doors this weekend, or battening down the hatches on the East Coast with the arrival of Hurricane Irene, here are the releases available at your multiplex or art house.

The long gestation period of Guillermo Del Toro's remake of 70s TV horror flick "Don't Be Afraid of the Dark" finally hits theaters this weekend starring Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce and Bailee Madison as a family contending with some creepy creatures in the basement, with Del Toro's original script and the helmer on board as producer. Our review says comic book artist and first-time director Troy Nixey does an okay job with the material he's given, but "it feels a little past its expiration" and "it’s hard to imagine general audiences or even horror fans finding anything in there that they haven’t seen before." Rotten Tomatoes: 56% MC: 56

The cast of the year stars in "Our Idiot Brother," including (deep breath) Paul Rudd, Rashida Jones, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer, Steve Coogan, T.J. Miller, Adam Scott and Kathryn Hahn. Rudd plays a hippie fuck up who goes to crash with his three sisters and gets tangled up in their lives. Our review says the plot is overly stuffed with characters and storylines, and "it never takes the risks the you want it to and in playing it safe, it locks up its true potential." RT: 68% MC: 61

Pretty girl blows shit up. A winning combo if you ask me! Zoe Saldana stars in "Colombiana" as a hot chick badass gun for hire seeking to enact revenge on the a-holes who killed her parents. Our review says Olivier Megaton's film is pure exploitation flick fun, but lacks the depth and humor to make it either truly remarkable or truly fun, that "with its rapid-fire editing, humdrum supporting cast, and choked knot of superfluous subplots, doesn’t have the thematic incisiveness of an exploitation movie, or the playfully go-for-broke, hands-in-the-air sense of naughty impishness." RT: 46% MC: 48

Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough and Helen Mirren star in "Brighton Rock," the 60s set adaptation of Graham Greene's novel. Set against the conflict of Mods and Rockers in Brighton, Riley stars as a gangster in a relationship with a murder witness. Our review says the film "is frequently torn between what it wants to be, a romance, a thriller or a tragedy—so it tries them all on, one by one, until it settles down somewhere in the middle. It’s certainly no less interesting or engaging for it, but a little scattered." RT: 49% MC: 55

Actress Vera Farmiga stars in her directorial debut "Higher Ground," focusing on a couple's crisis and questioning of Catholic faith. Our reviewer didn't have much to say for her inaugural effort, and concludes that the film is "a flimsily directed, bullying strike against Catholicism that is more immature than profound." RT: 84% MC: 74

Ridiculous family sex comedy (ew, ew, EW) "The Family Tree" gets a generous theatrical bow this weekend, starring Dermot Mulroney in old man drag, Hope Davis, Chi McBride, Christina Hendricks and some teens. I gosh, just don't know how to describe it. Mom gets amnesia from sex head injury, weird shit ensues. Our review says this bizarre film is "styled for on-the-nose weirdness, but evocative of nothing." RT: 8% MC: 24

Dear sweet Jesus, I implore you not to watch the "Swinging with the Finkels" trailer. It may ruin Martin Freeman for you, and "The Hobbit" isn't even out yet! The only antidote is an injection of "Sherlock" on Netflix instant, STAT. Mandy Moore plays his wife with whom he attempts to get his sex life back on track with the use of various hackneyed conceits (women masturbating?!?! WHAT?!). Anyway, our review says it "is one of the worst, cheapest, dumbest and most dishonest films of the year." So there you go. RT: 0%

"Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure" is a doc documenting the viral audio sensation "Shut Up Little Man" recordings of two old dudes yelling at each other. Our review says what keeps the film from ever being boring is, "the love is apparent and any sort of mean-spirit is absent." RT: 88%

Also in theaters: Iranian drama "Circumstance" from writer director Maryam Keshavarz RT: 72% MC: 64; Romanian comedy "Tales from the Golden Age" RT: 93% MC: 68; Michael Clarke Duncan and Tom Skerrit in Mario Van Peebles' music-soaked journey through the American South in "Redemption Road" MC: 44; documentary "Chasing Madoff" about the team who investigated the Ponzi scheme peddler RT: 40% MC: 50; Ian Ziering as an IRS agent in the strip club dramedy "Stripped Down" MC: 18; Isabelle Huppert as a high class call girl in Jeanne Labrune's "Special Treatment" RT: 27% MC: 42; dark serial killer comedy "Buzzkill"; Jesus, Randy Travis in Middle East conflict drama "Jerusalem Countdown"; South Korean doc "Iron Crows" about children working in a ship demolition yard RT: 88% MC: 72; and last but certainly not least... the political rom com "Politics of Love" about a Democrat and a Republican falling in love against the backdrop of the 2008 Presidential campaign. I am not kidding.

This article is related to: Films, Modern Horror, Our Idiot Brother, Colombiana, Don't Be Afraid Of The Dark


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates