It's a great weekend to laugh or cry at the movies. Joseph Cedar's "Footnote" (Israeli Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film) is a dramedy for intellectuals, while "21 Jump Street" and "Jeff, Who Lives at Home" deliver sillier, satisfying fun. For naturalistic drama, treat yourself to the Dardenne Brothers' exquisitely crafted "The Kid with the Bike" (Golden Globe nominee for Best Foreign Film); if you want something really depressing check out Tony Kaye's "Detachment." Adrien Brody shows he's still got it; while the film succeeds in some powerful moments, it ultimately fails to send a clear message about its already extensively covered topic (our failed educational system).
Will Ferrell's "Casa de mi Padre" ranks lowest among critics alongside Nicolas Cage's "Seeking Justice."
Reviews, details and trailers below:
"The Kid with a Bike" Sundance Selects, BELGIUM | Dir: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne; Cast: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier | The Dardennes Talk Joys of Filmmaking at Golden Globes Panel | 95% Fresh | Variety says: "Dardenne brothers make movies that remind you the most compelling stories are unfolding right outside your window, rather than in outer space, the distant past or wherever cinema usually takes us."
"Footnote" SPC, ISRAEL | Dir: Joseph Cedar; Cast: Lior Ashkenazi, Shlomo Bar-Aba | TOH! Talks Five Questions with Director Cedar | 89% Fresh | Roger Ebert says "it's one of the smartest and most merciless comedies to come along in a while."
"Detachment" Tribeca Film, US | Dir: Tony Kaye; Cast: Adrien Brody, Christina Hendricks, James Caan, Lucy Liu, Marcia Gay Harden, Blythe Danner | ThePlaylist interviews Kaye | 71% Fresh | Village Voice says "The movie's motives might be admirable, but its execution is so bogged down in impenetrable old-white-guy self-pity that the real problems facing public education and its practitioners get buried in the wallow."
"Jeff, Who Lives at Home" Paramount Vantage, US | Dir: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass; Cast: Jason Segel, Ed Helms, Susan Sarandon, Judy Greer | Indiewire says It's Secretly Better Than It Looks | 73% Fresh | EW says it's "A goofy, sweet comedy about estranged siblings who work their way back to brotherly love in the course of a daylong, very shaggy caper of coincidences."
"Cada de mi Padre" Pantelion Films, US | Dir: Matt Piedmont; Cast: Will Ferrell, Diego Luna, Pedro Armendariz, Jr., Genesis Rodriguez | ThePlaylist says the film Takes Will Ferrell's Man-Child Antics South of the Border with Uneven Results | 38% Rotten | THR says: "It makes sense that this Spanish-lingo farce plays very much like an SNL sketch. The only problem is that it packs about as many laughs into its 85 minutes as a good skit does in eight or 10."
"Seeking Justice" FilmNation, US | Dir: Roger Donaldson; Cast: Nicolas Cage, January Jones, Guy Pearce, Jennifer Carpenter | 28% Rotten | THR says: "Neither the script's conspiracies nor Nicolas Cage's performance is weird enough to trump the film's generic feel."