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Weekend Preview: Critics Divided on Luminous 'To The Wonder,' '42' Neither Home-Run Nor Strike-Out, 'Disconnect' Connects

Reviews
by Beth Hanna
April 12, 2013 1:33 PM
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Ben Affleck and Olga Kurylenko in "To The Wonder"

Terrence Malick's luminous, meditative portrait of romance in a small-town community, "To The Wonder," opens in theaters and on VOD this weekend. The film, which stars Olga Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem and Rachel McAdams, is being met with varying critical response: Some love it (as I did), while others find the lyrical editing and whispy voiceover to be Malick repeating himself.

Jackie Robinson biopic "42," starring Harrison Ford and Chadwick Boseman in the lead role, is receiving tepidly positive reviews, while internet-predator drama "Disconnect," starring Jason Bateman, Paula Patton and Alexander Skarsgard, is connecting with critics, boasting a healthy Rotten Tomatoes score.

Oscilloscope's micro-indie "It's A Disaster" humorously isn't living up to its title, and the apocalypse comedy has nabbed the top critical marks for the weekend.

Meanwhile, in the documentary sector, Sebastian Junger's tribute to his late friend and fellow journalist Tim Hetherington is receiving sparse yet positive reviews, with the LA Times calling it "heartfelt, intense and maddening (in the right way)."

It's A Disaster Dir. Todd Berger, USA | Oscilloscope Pictures | Cast: America Ferrera, David Cross, Julia Stiles, Todd Berger | 80% Fresh | Village Voice: "The story's outline may be familiar, but its emphasis and quality are not." | Our TOH! review

Disconnect Dir. Henry Alex Rubin, USA | LD Entertainment | Cast: Jason Bateman, Paula Patton, Alexander Skarsgard, Andrea Riseborough, Frank Grillo | 79% Fresh | Rolling Stone: "Bateman, in a rare dramatic role, is just tremendous, finding depths of emotion where they're least expected. Disconnect works they same way. Even when it trips on its ambitions, it hits home."

42 Dir. Brian Helgeland, USA | Warner Bros. | Cast: Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman, Christopher Meloni, Nicole Beharie | 68% Fresh | A.V. Club: "The Jackie Robinson biopic 42 operates in a box inside of a box—and not the batter’s box, either, because that would imply it has some freedom to swing away. It’s thoroughly embalmed in the glossy lacquer of conventional baseball movies, and limited further by trying to deal with the horrors of racism in that context." | Carrie Rickey's review

To The Wonder Dir. Terrence Malick, USA | Magnolia Pictures | Cast: Olgo Kurylenko, Ben Affleck, Javier Bardem, Rachel McAdams | 41% Rotten | Roger Ebert: "There will be many who find To the Wonder elusive and too effervescent. They'll be dissatisfied by a film that would rather evoke than supply. I understand that, and I think Terrence Malick does, too. But here he has attempted to reach more deeply than that: to reach beneath the surface, and find the soul in need." | Our TOH! review | Our TOH! interview with Olga Kurylenko

Which Way Is the Front Line From Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington Dir. Sebastian Junger, USA | HBO Documentary Films | Los Angeles Times: "For Hetherington, the front line was not just a set of coordinates in a bloody battle, but a space where true artists operated, and Junger's film goes a long way toward celebrating that mind set, but also recognizing how treacherous it can be." | Our TOH! interview with Sebastian Junger

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