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WEEKEND PREVIEW: Ratner's Tower Heist Set to Topple Indie Docs & Dramas

Thompson on Hollywood By Anne Thompson and Sophia Savage | Thompson on Hollywood November 3, 2011 at 6:34AM

Brett Ratner's timely Tower Heist taps into anti-Wall Street sentiment and is just what you'd expect: competent, breezy, escapist entertainment. The well-cast Madoff-inspired comedy--which stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy in a supporting comeback bid-- is expected to take in $29 million this weekend, while A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D could score $15.5 million.
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Brett Ratner's timely Tower Heist taps into anti-Wall Street sentiment and is just what you'd expect: competent, breezy, escapist entertainment. The well-cast Madoff-inspired comedy--which stars Ben Stiller, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Alan Alda and Eddie Murphy in a supporting comeback bid-- is expected to take in $29 million this weekend, while A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas 3D could score $15.5 million.

In the mood for something smaller or more serious? There are several indie documentaries (SXSW winner Dragonslayer, Charlotte Rampling: The Look and The Other F Word), dramas (Another Happy Day, Son of No One) and even a decadent-looking German period piece about Johann Wolfgang von Goethe--Young Goethe in Love.

Reviews, details and trailers below:

Thompson on Hollywood


Dragonslayer, Drag City, US | Director: Tristan Patterson | A- criticWIRE | Tomatometer | Lisa Schwarzbaum: "With its propulsive punk-rock soundtrack and beautifully rough cinematography, Dragonslayer makes you care about this scrawny young man, skating to nowhere."

The Other F Word, Oscilloscope, US | Director: Andrea Blaugrund; Cast: Tony Adolescent, Art Alexakis, Rob Chaos, Chris De Wolfe, Joe Escalant | B+ criticWIRE | 50% Tomatometer | Rob Harvilla: "a half-poignant, half-absurd documentary on punk-rocker dads."

Charlotte Rampling: The Look, Kino Lorber, FR | Director: Angelina Maccarone; Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Peter Lindbergh, Paul Auster | iW | Mark Adams: "Fascinating...part biographical documentary and part a series of musings on life and art."

Killing Bono, Arc Entertainment, UK/IRELAND | Director: Nick Hamm; Cast: Pete Postlethwaite, Ben Barnes, Robert Sheehan, Krysten Ritter, Justine Waddell | iW | 54% Tomatometer | Rob Harvilla: Christine Champ: "Funny, irreverent, slightly bitter, and brimming with self-importance and self-loathing."

Tower Heist, Universal, US | Dir: Brett Ratner; Cast: Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy, Casey Affleck, Alan Alda, Matthew Broderick, Tea Leoni, Michael Pena, Gabourey Sidibe | 65% Tomatometer | Michael Phillips: "For what it is - recessionary wish-fulfillment escapism, with a lot of highly skilled familiar faces in its amply qualified cast - it's fun."

Another Happy Day, Phase 4, US | Director: Sam Levinson; Cast: Ellen Barkin, Ezra Miller, Kate Bosworth, Demi Moore, Thomas Haden Church | Tomatometer | Chris Bumbray: "A searing look at the modern family dynamic, and the way love and hate can be inter-changable at times."

Young Goethe in Love, Music Box, GER | Director: Philipp Stölzl; Cast: Alexander Fehling, Miriam Stein, Moritz Bleibtreu, Volker Bruch, Burghart Klaußner | 56% Tomatometer | John DeFore: "Highbrow pedigree is mostly window dressing for a commercial period romance about Germany's literary giant."

The Son of No One, Anchor Bay, US | Director: Dito Montiel; Cast: Channing Tatum, Tracy Morgan, Katie Holmes, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche | C- criticWIRE | 27% Tomatometer | Roger Ebert: "Here's a bad movie with hardly a bad scene. How can that be? The construction doesn't flow. The story doesn't engage."

This article is related to: Box Office, Directors, Franchises, Genres, Headliners, Studios, Video, Stuck In Love, Weekend Preview, Universal/Focus Features, Trailers, Critics


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Thompson on Hollywood

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.