Happy New Year! Mirroring the lull that follows the high energy end-of-the-year countdown, this first week out of the gate is a pretty quiet one in theaters. (Minus the two extremely violent films that top the docket. Blood and gore: yay!) This phenomenon isn't particularly surprising, but it does leave something to be desired, particularly for anyone who used their vacation time to catch up on every flick that arrived with the holiday release flurry. Accordingly, we'd suggest taking in some smaller fare or using the bye week to catch up with your Netflix queue. On the other hand, there's "Promised Land" (review) and "The Impossible" (review) which both go wide today after their Oscar qualifying limited openings. Let us know what you'll choose in the comments below.
"Texas Chainsaw 3D." Directed by John Luessenhop. Starring Alexandra Daddario, Tania Raymonde, Trey Songz, and Dan Yeager. Our review: "The tagline for the original was: 'Who will survive and what will be left of them?' The tagline for this one should be: 'Who will survive and will you even care?' The answer, of course, is no." Metacritic: no score yet Rotten Tomatoes: 57% The Playlist: D-
"A Dark Truth." Directed by Damian Lee. Starring Andy Garcia, Eva Longoria, Kim Coates, Deborah Kara Unger, and Forest Whitaker. Touted as an eco-thriller, the film relies too heavily on violence and not enough on intelligent filmmaking to satisfy the advertisment. MC: no score yet RT: 0%
"56 Up." Directed by Michael Apted and Paul Almond. The latest feature in Apted's documentary project -- which he's been working on for close to half a century -- is fast-paced but intimate, revealing the oft overlooked value of each person's life. MC: 76 RT: 100%
"My Brooklyn." Directed by Kelly Anderson. This study of the borough's evolution and gentrification is both deeply personal and effectively political in its argument for the preservation of a community. MC: 67 RT: 100%
"A Bottle in the Gaza Sea." Directed by Thierry Binisti. Starring Agathe Bonitzer, Mahmud Shalaby, and Hiam Abbass. A love story between an Israeli and a Palestinian that is hopeful, idealistic, and surprisingly nonpartisan; the result is both heartwarming and overly reductive. MC: 55 RT: 60%