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What Are You Seeing This Weekend? 'Kings of Summer,' 'The East,' 'After Earth' & 'Now You See Me' All Coming

The Playlist By Emma Bernstein | The Playlist May 31, 2013 at 1:48PM

The summer season is upon us and, despite the lack of J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations, it's all magic and monsters moving forward. For this weekend, at least. Between the magician cons, straight up cons, Euro spies, underground terrorist cells, underground plastic surgeons, lethal mutant creatures, and potentially nonlethal aliens, there's no shortage of horror or illusion -- as well as a few horrifically illusioned characters and plots -- filling the theaters. (Curiously enough, despite all the trickery, there's nothing opening in 3D, go figure.) Which tales of deception and mysterious beasts will be catching your eye? Let us know in the comments below!
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Kings Of Summer The East After Earth Now You See Me

The summer season is upon us and, despite the lack of J.R.R. Tolkien adaptations, it's all magic and monsters moving forward. For this weekend, at least. Between the magician cons, straight up cons, Euro spies, underground terrorist cells, underground plastic surgeons, lethal mutant creatures, and potentially nonlethal aliens, there's no shortage of horror or illusion -- as well as a few horrifically illusioned characters and plots -- filling the theaters. (Curiously enough, despite all the trickery, there's nothing opening in 3D, go figure.) Which tales of deception and mysterious beasts will be catching your eye? Let us know in the comments below!

"After Earth." Directed by M. Night Shyamalan. Starring Will Smith and Jaden Smith. Our review: "Without much dialogue, Shyamalan captures not necessarily an adventurous spirit ('After Earth' tends towards the boring end of the spectrum more often than not), but the idea of restless exploration...It would be an intoxicating idea had Shyamalan either committed towards [Jaden Smith's character] Kitai finding a passionate enjoyment of these exploits (poor Jaden doesn't once smile during this film) or found a way to embrace the plot elements that drag this sedentary film from act to act." Metacritic: 32 Rotten Tomatoes: 13% The Playlist: C

"Now You See Me." Directed by Louis Leterrier. Starring Jesse Eisenberg, Woody HarrelsonIsla Fisher, Mark Ruffalo, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, Michael Caine, and Morgan Freeman. Our review: "It's interesting to note that unlike many summer movies this year, this is one that doesn't lean on heavy CGI, superheroes or explosions (indeed, the only 'action sequence' here is a car chase). And Leterrier's film is a reminder that sometimes a good yarn can do enough heavy lifting on its own to provide thrills. Whether or not the illusion pays off will be up to you, but the trick itself may be intriguing enough." MC: 51 RT: 42% PL: B-


"The Kings Of Summer." Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts. Starring Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Megan Mullally, Marc Evan Jackson, Erin Moriarty, Alison Brie, and Nick Offerman. Our review: "Vogt-Roberts and screenwriter Chris Galletta are in perfect unison on this film, harmonizing to create what feels like a fresh comic voice. Often indies fall into a pattern of deadpan post-Wes Anderson quirk, but this film firmly carves out its own identity. The duo have created a world that's fantastic but grounded in authentic emotions (aided in no small part by gorgeous cinematography by Ross Riege). Vogt-Roberts said he wanted to make a comedy that was beautiful and dark and also funny; we’d say he succeeded wildly." MC: 57 RT: 78% PL: B+

"The East." Directed by Zal Batmanglij. Starring Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen PageShiloh Fernandez, Toby Kebbell, Jason Ritter, and Patricia Clarkson. Our review: "Though the script (by Batmanglij and Marling) could've used another polish, as a filmmaker, Batmanglij is still at the head of the class of up-and-coming directors. It's great seeing him able to paint on a larger canvas here and provide Marling an opportunity to turn in another beguiling performance. 'The East' is definitely a movie that's going to divide people but it'll be a conversation worth having." MC: 71 RT: 76% PL: B-


"Shadow Dancer." Directed by James Marsh. Starring Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen, Aidan Gillen, Michael McElhatton, and Gillian Anderson. Our review: "With 'Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy' marking a return to the genre that is in need of more films that don't just involve James Bond, 'Shadow Dancer' is another efficient, intelligent entry. With a conclusion that arrives as an open-ended gut punch, you're not just left lingering with unanswered questions, but the sensation that James Marsh has delivered something truly special." MC: 72 RT: 85% PL: B

"American Mary." Directed by Jen and Sylvia Soska. Starring Katharine Isabelle, Antonio Cupo, Tristan Risk, and David Lovgren. Our review: "Ultimately, 'American Mary' simply reveals itself as a film with little on its mind, content to scare rubberneckers into contemplating the backstory of the more outlandish body manipulation jobs they've seen in public. A documentary would have sufficed." MC: 45 RT: 60% PL: C-


"The History Of Future Folk." Directed by John Anderson Mitchell and Jeremy Kipp Walker. Starring Nils d'Aulaire, Jay Klaitz, Julie Ann Emery, April L. Hernandez, Onata Aprile, and Dee Snider. This sci-fi/musical/slapstick comedy mashup about aliens who form a rock band is endearingly quirky. MC: 64 RT: 91%

"The Wall." Directed by Julian Polsler. Starring Martina Gedeck, Karlheinz Hackl, Ulrike Beimpold, and Wolfgang Maria Bauer. Our review: "An elegiac new film that can't seem to get out of its own way in an attempt to tell its own story, to the point where it feels like two distinctly different warring sensibilities at play." MC: 59 RT: 67% PL: B-

"Triumph Of The Wall." Directed by Bill Stone. Constructing a wall is a slow and monotonous endeavor; making it the center of a documentary doesn't change this fact. MC: no score yet RT: no score yet

"I Do." Directed by Glenn Gaylord. Starring Jamie-Lynn Sigler, Alicia Witt, Maurice Compte, and David W. Ross. A relationship dramedy with sluggish pacing, ill-defined characters, and a highly contrived storyline. MC: 23 RT: no score yet

"La Camioneta." Directed by Mark Kendall. Our review: " 'La Camioneta' is at once an insightful documentary and a poignant allegory. A novel and topical story draws viewers in; the illumination of very honest, human issues residing within will keep them in their seats." MC: 70 RT: no score yet PL: B+

"Hannah Arendt" opened Wednesday. Directed by Margarethe von Trotta. Starring Barbara Sukowa, Axel Milberg, Janet McTeer, and Julia Jentsch. An engaging, well-acted period drama that centers on the titular writer-professor-philosopher's controversial coverage of the 1961 trial of Adolf Eichmann. MC: 66 RT: 100%


This article is related to: After Earth, Now You See Me, The Kings Of Summer, The East, Shadow Dancer, The Wall


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