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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? '21 And Over,' 'Jack The Giant Slayer' & 'The Last Exorcism' Lead The Charge

The Playlist By Emma Bernstein | The Playlist March 1, 2013 at 4:58PM

Lots to look at this week! Unfortunately, the big studio pictures are a bit disappointing, featuring well-worn stories that aren't particularly innovative or entertaining. Popular critical opinion recommends ordering "The Hangover" or "Das Boot" from Netflix rather than paying for the direct descendants playing on the big screen. Lucky for multiplex owners, the institution of public film exhibition and us, a handful of international films, documentaries, and American independent pictures pick up the slack. So -- in the ongoing battle between the private DVD player and the theater projector -- what will it be: the couch or the cinema? Let us know in the comments below!
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In Theaters: Jack The Giant Killer, 21 And Over, The Last Exorcism Part II,

Lots to look at this week! Unfortunately, the big studio pictures are a bit disappointing, featuring well-worn stories that aren't particularly innovative or entertaining. Popular critical opinion recommends ordering "The Hangover" or "Das Boot" from Netflix rather than paying for the direct descendants playing on the big screen. Lucky for multiplex owners, the institution of public film exhibition and us, a handful of international films, documentaries, and American independent pictures pick up the slack. So -- in the ongoing battle between the private DVD player and the theater projector -- what will it be: the couch or the cinema? Let us know in the comments below!

21 And Over

"21 and Over." Directed by Jon Lucas and Scott Moore. Starring Miles Teller, Skylar Astin, Justin Chon, and Francois Chau. Our review: "The worst thing about '21 and Over' might be just how predictable it is – every gay slur, every bodily excretion – you can see it all coming a million miles away. For a movie that tries to create and sustain a sensation of wild unpredictability, it's a huge failure. It's not shocking if we've all seen it a thousand times before. With '21 and Over,' it's all been there, drank that." Metacritic: 37 Rotten Tomatoes: 32% The Playlist: D


"Jack the Giant Slayer." Directed by Bryan Singer. Starring Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ewan McGregor, Ewan Bremner, and Ian McShane. Our review: "Ultimately, it’s hard and a bit pointless to nitpick 'Jack The Giant Slayer' because it never sets out to be or presents itself as anything more than a slightly beefed up fairy tale. It’s not steroid-sized, it doesn’t dabble in dark undertones or make concessions to young kids (aside from a few grossout gags) -- it aims squarely for the middle, and hits it with a bullseye. Bryan Singer’s film is almost old fashioned in its simple furnishings, with sly humor and accomplished but never outsized action, and there is a certain charm to that in an era when bigger is equated with better." MC: 51 RT: 55% PL: B-

The Last Exorcism II, header
"The Last Exorcism Part II." Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. Starring Ashley Bell, Spencer Treat Clark, Andrew Sensenig, and Judd Derek Lormand. This horror flick won't continue the positive reception wave ridden by its predecessor. Our review: "...the kind of garbage that does a disservice to the fearless possibilities of the horror genre and its knack for sly social commentary. At least there’s no third act goblin in this one." MC: no reviews yet RT: 33%


"Phantom." Directed by Todd Robinson. Starring Ed Harris, David Duchovny, and William Fichtner. Though fast-paced and, at times, suspenseful, the woeful combination of dull dialogue and hokey plotting sink this submarine-set Cold War thriller. MC: 41 RT: 23%

"Welcome To Pine Hill." Directed by and starring Keith Miller. Also starring Shannon Harper, Jaiden Kaine and Mary Meyers. This naturalistic drama tells the tale of man trying to turn his life around, who is giving some life changing news. Our review: "...while an interesting, quiet and introspective meditation on mortality, the black experience and the prospect of shuffling off this mortal coil...[the film] never quite coalesces as deeply as it hopes to, but this spiritual tale of redemption resonates." MC: 78 RT: no score yet


Stoker Nicole Kidman Mia Wasikowska

"Stoker." Directed by Park Chan-wook. Starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode and Nicole Kidman. Our review: "The risible 'Stoker' is a brutally empty, deeply unfortunate movie, and Park Chan-wook's jackhammer of a tool he calls a brush is, on this evidence, something that should be locked away." MC: 58 RT: 67% PL: D-

"The Sweeney." Directed by Nick Love. Starring Ray Winstone, Ben Drew, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, and Damian Lewis. A callback to an older generation of British crime actioners, ripe with cliched characters and familiar plot points. Nice visuals, though. MC: 51 RT: 52%

"War Witch." Directed by Kim Nguyen. Starring Rachel Mwanza and Serge Kanyinda. Our review: "For all of its necessary cruelty...'War Witch' presents at times an almost guarded depiction of child soldier life, leaving signals to the untapped brutalities that normally befall children...and that hesitant suggestion remains perhaps the most vital yet tragic aspect to this stunning film." MC: 82 RT: 90% PL: A-


The End Of Love, Mark Webber
"The End of Love." Directed by and starring Mark Webber. Also starring Shannyn Sossamon, Michael Cera and Isaac Love. Our review: "Written, directed by and starring Mark Webber -- whose acting filmography runs from 'Kids' to 'Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World' -- 'The End of Love' is hardly a work of revelation. At the same time, it's surprisingly well-executed, nicely performed and manages to combine a warm and gentle sense of the rhythms of life with a cold and bright-eyed look at the world and its lead's flaws and character." MC: 56 RT: 54% PL: B


"A Place at the Table." Directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush. This exploration of the millions of Americans who go hungry every day delves deeper than horrifying statistics, illuminating the political and ethical issues of the crisis. MC: 66 RT: 86%

"Leviathan."
"Leviathan."

"Leviathan." Directed by Lucien Castaing-Taylor. Our review: "The experience of 'Leviathan' is wholly singular, without context, enveloping and immersive. In some ways, it might very well be the most terrifying picture of the year." MC: 87 RT: 73% PL: A-

"Hava Nagila: The Movie." Directed by Roberta Grossman. The historical footage may be engaging, but the subject -- the origin story of the titular Hebrew hymn -- probably stretches the limits of a full-length film. One certainty: you'll leave the theater humming. MC: 48 RT: 82%

"The Unspeakable Act." Directed by Dan Sallitt. Starring Tallie Medel, Sky Hirshkron, Aundrea Fares and Kati Schwartz. Daring, penetrating, and even a little bit funny, this potentially ribald account of a girl desperately in love with her older brother reveals itself to be lucid and sympathetic. MC: 76 RT: no score yet

This article is related to: 21 & Over, Jack the Giant Slayer, The Last Exorcism Part II, Welcome To Pine Hill, War Witch, Ginger & Rosa, The Sweeney, Stoker, The End Of Love


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