Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Specialty Box Office: 'Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck' Primes HBO Pump, Russell Crowe's 'Water Diviner' Is Spotty Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Friday Box Office: 'Adaline' Bumps 'Furious' for a Day; 'Kurt Cobain' Big in 3 Theaters Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Remembering Film Critic Richard Corliss (1944-2015) Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" Cannes: Denis Villeneuve Says Drug War Film 'Sicario' Is "Very Dark" and "Quite Violent" How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' How Do You Solve a Problem Like Erika? Universal Hires Husband to Write 'Fifty Shades Darker' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' 'Age of Ultron' Director Joss Whedon on Self-Doubt and Why It's His 'Rio Bravo' Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) Watch: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Patricia Arquette and Amy Schumer Hilariously Slam Hollywood Sexism (NSFW) CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show CinemaCon: How Tom Cruise Stole the Paramount Show Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) Meet the Director of 'Tangerines,' the 2015 Dark Horse Oscar Nominee You Missed (Exclusive Video) LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film LA Film Fest Unveils Horror Slate, More World Premieres, Zoe Cassavetes Film Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Cannes: Directors' Fortnight Lines Up Vet Auteurs and American Indies Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Joe Wright's 'Pan' Gets Fall Release Date: Good News or Bad News? Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) Seeing Ryan Gosling's 'Lost River' Through Composer Johnny Jewel's Eyes (STREAM SOUNDTRACK) 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships 3 Women Genre Directors Get SF Film Society Fellowships Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Here's Why Jon Stewart Quit 'The Daily Show' Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Watch: From Tarantino to Cronenberg, Great Directors Talk the Art and Anxiety of Filmmaking Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences Specialty Box Office: 'True Story' and 'Child 44' Flop as 'Ex Machina' Lures Audiences 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 10 Films Booed at Cannes That Every Cinephile Should See 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 5 Things You Didn't Know About Lars von Trier, Who's Going Back to Work 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO) 7 Things to Learn from 'Mad Men' Creator Matthew Weiner About Compelling Storytelling (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO)

Must Sees: Fantastic Mr. Fox, The Messenger

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 14, 2009 at 1:12AM

The movie most likely to succeed this weekend is Roland Emmerich's 2012, which I look forward to seeing with a crowd. The critic-proof doomsday movie is expected to do $40-50 million on over 3400 screens. I just want to see the VFX. That's what Emmerich is good at. Even in the trailer John Cusack looks embarrassed.
3
Thompson on Hollywood

The movie most likely to succeed this weekend is Roland Emmerich's 2012, which I look forward to seeing with a crowd. The critic-proof doomsday movie is expected to do $40-50 million on over 3400 screens. I just want to see the VFX. That's what Emmerich is good at. Even in the trailer John Cusack looks embarrassed.

Must See: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Wes Anderson's adaptation of the Roald Dahl tale of wily foxes (Americans) vs. nasty farmers (Brits) is charming until it runs out of steam in the last third (the script is by Anderson and Noah Baumbach). But the stop-motion animation is gorgeous and voice actors George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are superb. The movie has already performed well in the UK; it opens in NY and LA before going wide on Thanksgiving. The critics adore it: Tomatometer: 92%; Metascore: 88.

To counteract press about Anderson directing long distance from Paris to London, Fox is trying to showcase his involvement, which will also be a factor in whether the animation branch of the Academy takes Anderson seriously. Check out the clip on the jump.

Must See: The Messenger
Israeli screenwriter and rookie director Oren Moverman's military service informs this thoughtful, painful movie, which is beautifully acted by Ben Foster and Woody Harrelson (in his second juicy role this year, after Zombieland) as two casualty notification officers delivering terrible news to families. Steve Buscemi pops in a small role as an angry man who lashes out at the messengers; Samantha Morton portrays a widow conflicted by grief for her dead husband and attraction to Foster. Like The Hurt Locker, this movie is more personal than political: a close-up view of how people feel in the face of war. I look forward to seeing more of Moverman's work. The movie played well at Sneak Previews; during the Q & A, Harrelson and Morton made a point of stressing how important it is for them to accept low-paying assignments on indie movies like this (even with first-time directors) which give them robust characters to play. Harrelson twisted his schedule into a pretzel to do this movie. When they choose a film, neither of them considers whether it will score with audiences.

Tomatometer 91%; Metascore 73

Must to Avoid: Pirate Radio
I am Richard Curtis's biggest fan. He's the witty Brit behind Working Title's success (he wrote Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, Bridget Jones Diary and wrote and directed Love Actually), which is why WT co-chiefs Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner allowed him to make this 60s period stinker about a gaggle of djs marooned on a boat in the Atlantic. Philip Seymour Hoffman can't salvage this; neither can Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost or Curtis stalwart Bill Nighy. Originally titled The Boat That Rocked, the comedy plays almost like a Curtis parody, flopped in the UK, and was recut for stateside release by Focus Features rather than Universal. (I saw the Brit version on a plane.)

Tomatometer 57%; Metascore 57%

This article is related to: Genres, Reviews, Weekend Preview, Thriller, Animation


E-Mail Updates