Moviegoing prospects looks good this weekend, as J.J. Abrams' entertaining action comedy "Star Trek Into Darkness" continues its opening weekend after a Wednesday debut, and a slew of appealing limited release titles hit screens. One of these is Noah Baumbach's critical darling "Frances Ha," starring likable muse Greta Gerwig in a drifting, French New Wave Lite tale of twentysomething ennui and platonic breakups.
Cesar nominee "Augustine," a formally solid if dynamically lacking debut from Alice Winocour, which stars Vincent Lindon and popstar Soko as famed French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot and his favored hysteria patient, is getting praise from critics. Last year's uber-violent but stylish Venice Golden Lion winner "Pieta," Kim Ki-duk's bloody thriller about a son and his mysterious would-be mother, is also earning good reviews.
Katie Aselton's feminist survival thriller "Black Rock" is sitting in bottom place with mediocre reviews, though the film, which stars Aselton, Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth, is better liked by TOH!. It may be a casualty of the largely male critical demographic. But its generic trailer isn't helping.
Frances Ha Dir. Noah Baumbach, USA | IFC Films | Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver, Michael Zegen, Patrick Heusinger | 92% Fresh | A.V. Club: " Above all, Frances Ha is a wry and moving portrait of friendship, highlighting the way that two people who know everything about each other can nevertheless grow apart as their needs change." | Our TOH! review
Augustine Dir. Alice Winocour, France | Music Box Films | Cast: Soko, Vincent Lindon, Chiara Mastroianni, Gregoire Colin | 91% Fresh | The Hollywood Reporter: "Augustine's script is a coherent and valid artistic reinterpretation of the case, told against an unfussily atmospheric evocation of late 19-century Paris - persuasive even though the dialogue seldom sounds particularly old-fashioned."
Star Trek Into Darkness Dir. J.J. Abrams, USA | Paramount Pictures | Cast: Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Benedict Cumberbatch, Zachary Quinto | 86% Fresh | Washington Post: "The casting coup here is Benedict Cumberbatch, who exudes steely resolve and silken savagery as a villain on the cusp of becoming a legendary nemesis."
Pieta Dir. Kim Ki-duk, South Korea | Drafthouse Films | Cast: Jo Min-soo, Lee Jeong-jin | 70% Fresh | Variety: "The final reel packs a genuine emotional wallop, even as it makes auds laugh with the vicious precision of its dramatic irony."
Black Rock Dir. Katie Aselton, USA | LD Entertainment | Cast: Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, Katie Aselton | 39% Rotten | Indiewire: "Black Rock never reinvents the rules, but it understands them just well enough to make its bloodless stabs at ingenuity stand out." | Our TOH! interview with Katie Aselton