It seems everyone in Hollywood missed the boat this weekend as strangely, the only film opening in wide release is "The Warrior's Way." We figured with a prime weekend three weeks out from Christmas something much bigger could have slotted here. Anyway, the film has been sitting on a shelf for a while and looks absolutely atrocious so no surprise that it's been kept far, far away from critics. And with a cast like Danny Huston, Kate Bosworth and Geoffrey Rush (all fine actors, but not exactly box office bait) trying to sell some kind of ninja-cowboy-something-or-other, expect this to tank very hard at the box office. So a visit to your local arthouse is strongly suggested this weekend as Darren Aronofsky's outstanding ballet world thriller "Black Swan" begins its limited rollout. And in case you need any more convincing, a trailer for Terrence Malick's "The Tree Of Life" will be attached to prints. Other titles playing the indie circuit of note include the long delayed true crime tale "All Good Things" with Ryan Gosling and Kirsten Dunst, the long delayed true crime tale/gay rom-com "I Love You Phillip Morris," and the Black Panther drama "Night Catches Us."
In Wide Release: If you want to have a movie theatre to yourself so you can make out with your paramour, consider buying a ticket to this dead-in-the-water film. Directed by Sngmoo (gesundheit) Lee, "The Warrior's Way" follows an assassin who hides out in a small badlands town after refusing to take on a new gig. Wire stunts and scenery chewing ensue. Like we said, no critics have weighed in though reviews should start coming in over the weekend. RT: n/a MC: n/a
In Limited Release: Leading the pack in smaller run cinemas is "Black Swan," Darren Aronofsky's thrilling, cerebral and sexual exploration of the mental deterioration of a ballet dancer. We think the film is one of the finest of Aronofsky's career thus far, and it should be on any cinephile's must-see list before the year is out. And you should expect Oscar to come calling as well with Natalie Portman a near lock for a Best Actress nod. RT: 85% MC: 76
On VOD for a month already, if you've been waiting to catch Andrew Jarecki's "All Good Things" on the big screen, you might want to save your money. The film, based on the strange true life story Robert Durst (no relation to Fred Durst), never gets beyond its cheap made-for-TV like structure and for such a strange tale, the film is disappointingly dull. RT: 38% MC: 57
After battling some distribution and legal woes, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa's ambitious crime tale/gay comedy "I Love You Phillip Morris" finally hits U.S. screens. The film chronicles the absurd, wildly illegal lengths Steven (Jim Carrey) will go to be with the love of his life, Phillip (Ewan McGregor). The actors are in fine form, and the film starts off very strong, but unfortunately it can't sustain the momentum and by the end, the tonal shifts don't quite add up. But it's still a mostly breezy ride that is worth a half price matinee. RT: 75% MC: 69
Set in 1976 Philadelphia, "Night Catches Us" follows an ex-Black Panther who returns to his old neighborhood where tensions are still simmering beneath the surface. The film boasts a strong cast including Kerry Washington, Anthony Mackie and Wendell Pierce and it's one we're definitely eager to see, but haven't had a chance to catch up with yet, but critics are weighing in favorably. RT: 87% MC: 70
Finally, the wacky, Finnish, not-for-kids holiday movie, "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" hits. The film is a retelling of the Santa Claus story with an evil twist. We didn't think the film made good on its promise to be irreverent and offbeat, instead, settling into some standard thriller clichés, but it seems we're in the minority on that view. RT: 91% MC: 75