Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Beyond the Lights (PG-13 for profanity, mature themes, sexuality and partial nudity) Romance drama about a suicidal superstar (Gugu Mbatha-Raw) who falls in love when her bodyguard (Nate Parker) stops her from leaping off a ledge. With Minnie Driver, Danny Glover and Machine Gun Kelly.
Dumb and Dumber To (PG-13 for crude humor, profanity, sexuality, partial nudity and drug references) Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels reprise their iconic roles as dimwitted BFFs to embark on another eventful road trip rife with lowbrow hijinks. Featuring Kathleen Turner, Rob Riggle and Laurie Holden.
Foxcatcher (R for brief violence and drug use) Crime blotter biopic recounting the real-life murder of Olympic wrestler Dave Schulz (Mark Ruffalo) by John du Pont (Steve Carell), his paranoid-schizophrenic coach and multimillionaire benefactor. Co-starring Channing Tatum, Vanessa Redgrave and Sienna Miller.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Drug Lord: The Legend of Shorty (Unrated) Ten Most Wanted documentary recounting the international manhunt for the ruthless, Mexican cartel kingpin known as El Chapo.
The Homesman (R for violence, sexuality, nudity and disturbing behavior) Tommy Lee Jones wrote, directed and stars in this adaptation of the Glendon Swarthout novel of the same name, set in the Wild West, about a convicted claim jumper who teams up with a spinster (Hilary Swank) to escort a trio of insane women (Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto and Sonja Richter) from Nebraska to a mental home in Iowa. With Meryl Streep, Hailee Steinfeld, John Lithgow, James Spader, Tim Blake Nelson and William Fichtner.
Levitated Mass (Unrated) “How did they do that?” documentary detailing the installation of a dangling 340-ton granite boulder wedged over a walkway in the L.A. County Museum by Michael Heizer as a work of art.
A Merry Friggin’ Christmas (PG-13 for profanity and violence) Dark comedy about an estranged father (Robin Williams) and son (Joel McHale) who grudgingly share an eight-hour road trip to retrieve forgotten Christmas presents. Support cast includes Candice Bergen, Wendi McClendon-Covey, Clark Duke, Oliver Platt and Lauren Graham.
Miss Meadows (Unrated) Katie Holmes stars as the title character in this crime drama as a syrupy sweet schoolmarm who moonlights afterhours as a gun-toting vigilante. Featuring James Badge Dale, Callan Mulvey, Stephen Bishop and Tyler Corbet.
Occupy the Farm (Unrated) Eco-friendly documentary about a California Bay Area community’s effort to preserve parcels of public land for urban agriculture.
Red Army (PG for mild epithets and mature themes) Cold War documentary highlighting the exploits of the Soviet Army’s hockey team, the most successful sports dynasty in history.
Rosewater (Unrated) The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart makes his directorial debut with this adaptation of journalist Maziar Bahari’s (Gael Garcia Bernal) memoir about being imprisoned and tortured in Iran for months for merely reporting the truth about the country’s rigged presidential election. With Claire Foy, Golshifteh Farahani and Shohreh Aghdashloo.
Saving Christmas (PG for mature themes) Faith-based film chronicling the efforts of a frustrated family man (Kirk Cameron) determined to put Jesus back at the center of his family’s holiday celebration. Co-starring Bridgette Cameron, Darren Doane, Raphi Henly and Ben Kientz.
Starry Eyes (Unrated) Hollywood horror flick about an aspiring actress (Alex Essoe) who strikes a deal with the devil in exchange for fame and fortune. With Amanda Fuller, Noah Segan and Fabianne Therese.
The Toy Soldiers (Unrated) Ensemble drama revolving around a quintet of coming-of-age tales set during an era marked by sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll and unfolding over the course of one evening. Cast includes Najarra Townsend, Constance Brenneman, Chandler Rylko, Jeanette May Steiner and Samuel Nolan.