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This Weekend, Why 'Die in the West' When You Can Head to 'Night Moves' and 'Maleficent'? (TRAILERS)

Photo of Ryan Lattanzio By Ryan Lattanzio | TOH! May 30, 2014 at 8:09PM

Though critics are pooh-poohing the tawdry, toilet-humor antics of Seth MacFarlane's "Million Ways to Die in the West," Angelina Jolie in "Maleficent" promises to be a fun family time-suck, while the weekend's indies offer something more to chew on.
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'Night Moves'
'Night Moves'

Though critics are pooh-poohing the tawdry, toilet-humor antics of Seth MacFarlane's "Million Ways to Die in the West," Angelina Jolie in "Maleficent" promises to be a fun family time-suck, while the weekend's indies offer something more to chew on.

Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent'
Angelina Jolie in 'Maleficent'

Director Kelly Reichardt's most accessible film to date, "Night Moves," is a finely chiseled, old-fashioned thriller stars Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning and Peter Sarsgaard as a band of radical environmentalists whose small act of eco-terrorism spawns a Dostoevskian fallout for all. Brooding beneath utterly natural performances and the film's noir outline is an elemental story of guilt and impossible redemption -- and Eisenberg's best work since "The Social Network."

Disney updates "Sleeping Beauty" in gloomy fairytale "Maleficent," starring a wickedly beautiful Angelina Jolie as the iconic arch villain. Word is the film gets muddled in a stew of CGI, and in a screenplay that brings nothing new to the fairytale table. But Jolie is the reason to watch, and surely audiences will do so accordingly this weekend.

'We Are the Best!'
'We Are the Best!'

Two long-awaited indies finally hit -- Moodysson's fantastic youngster punk band comedy "We Are the Best!", which may really be the "best!" of the weekend, and Jon S. Baird's Irvine Welsh adaptation "Filth," starring a stable of studly Brits -- including James McAvoy and Jamie Bell -- as vulgarians with a taste for the ole ultraviolence.

Trailers below.

Night Moves Dir. Kelly Reichardt, USA | Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat | 78% Fresh | The Dissolve: "A film of deliberate, gnawing intensity and focus, built around a Jesse Eisenberg performance that doesn’t give much away, at least not easily." | Our review and Q&A with Peter Sarsgaard

Maleficent Dir. Robert Stromberg, USA | Disney | Cast: Angelina Jolie, Sam Riley, Elle Fanning, Miranda Richardson, Imelda Staunton | 45% Fresh | Salon.com: "Whatever its flaws, 'Maleficent' is a family-friendly Disney adventure that offers a relaunched and thoroughly delightful Angelina Jolie..." | Our director interview

A Million Ways to Die in the West Dir. Seth MacFarlane, USA | Universal | Cast: Seth MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Giovanni Ribisi, Neil Patrick Harris | 35% Fresh | New York Magazine: "Some of the gags do land - maybe one in four. But the genre-parody genre with big stars and poop jokes needs a little more class than MacFarlane is capable of providing."

We Are the Best! Dir. Lukas Moodysson, Sweden | Magnolia Pictures | Cast: Mira Barkhammar, Liv LeMoyne, Mira Grosin, Alexander Karlsson | 97% Fresh | LA Times: "If ever a movie earned the exclamation point in its title, it's Lukas Moodysson's 'We Are the Best!'"

Filth Dir. Jon S. Baird, UK | Magnet | Cast: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Jim Broadbent, Imogen Poots | 67% Fresh | NYT: "After a certain point, watching it is like listening to the ravings of an increasingly incoherent and abusive drunk."

This article is related to: Reviews, Night Moves, Kelly Reichardt, Maleficent, Jesse Eisenberg, Lukas Moodysson, Angelina Jolie


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.