Film Friday (12/12): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: December 12, 2014
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. Top Five R COMEDY Trailer
In his first directorial effort in seven years, Chris Rock stars as an actor/comedian trying to get his life and career in order over the course of one day. Many critics feel that it's among the year's best comedies, even if it can be a bit messy at times. Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, and Rosario Dawson also star.
. Exodus: Gods and Kings PG-13 ACTION/ADVENTURE Trailer
Ridley Scott's massive-budget, effects-laden Old Testament action-adventure stars Christian (!) Bale as Moses alongside Aaron Paul, Joel Edgerton, Sigourney Weaver, Ben Kingsley, and John Turturro. Some critics like the spectacle, others find it dull and confused, and some simply think it's awful.
Notable limited releases
. Inherent Vice R COMEDY/DRAMA Trailer
Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson ventures into somewhat more lighthearted territory (after the twin critical successes of The Master and There Will Be Blood) with this adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s period L.A. detective novel Inherent Vice. The ensemble cast includes Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, and Martin Short, among many others.
Additional limited releases (in alphabetical order)
. After the Fall R DRAMA iTunes Amazon
. The Captive NR THRILLER iTunes Amazon
. The Color of Time R DRAMA iTunes Amazon
. Expelled PG-13 COMEDY  
. Free the Nipple NR COMEDY iTunes Amazon
. Isn't It Delicious NR DRAMA/COMEDY  
. Little Feet NR DRAMA  
. Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks NR COMEDY/DRAMA  
. We Are the Giant NR DOCUMENTARY  

All movies now in theaters... | Recent DVD/Blu-ray releases... | Recent streaming releases...

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

Mad Max: Fast and furious

From the evidence of this latest trailer for Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller (Happy Feet and Happy Feet Two) looks to be returning to the Mad Max story in fine form after completing the Mel Gibson-starring trilogy of Mad Max, The Road Warrior and Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome almost 30 years ago. This re-telling of the Mad Max story has been gestating for over a decade and sees Tom Hardy taking over the role of Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron joining him as Furiosa. A supporting cast includes Nicholas Hoult, Zoe Kravitz, Riley Keough, and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Mad Max: Fury Road opens on May 15, 2015.

The Rock's latest disaster

Dwayne Johnson reunites with his Journey 2: The Mysterious Island director, Brad Peyton, for San Andreas, a disaster pic that imagines what might happen if the Big One finally hit California. Johnson plays a search and rescue helicopter pilot who teams up with his estranged wife (Carla Gugino) to save their only daughter (Alexandra Daddario). With six credited screenwriters (Allan Loeb, Carlton Cuse, Carey Hayes, Chad Hayes, Jeremy Passmore, and Andre Fabrizio), San Andreas has a very 2012 feel, but did that movie have Paul Giamatti saying, “You will feel it on the east coast”? The earthquake begins on May 29, 2015.

A new trailer for Pixar's Inside Out

After a year of no Pixar releases, 2015 promises two: The Good Dinosaur (planned for November 25) and Inside Out. This week, we get a new trailer for the latter. Set inside the mind of an 11-year-old girl named Riley (Kaitlyn Dias), the latest from director Pete Docter (Up, Monsters, Inc.), focuses on the emotions inside her head—Joy (Amy Poehler), Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black), Disgust (Mindy Kaling) and Sadness (Phyllis Smith). Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan voice Riley’s parents, who each have their own set of out-of-control emotions. Look for it in theaters beginning June 19, 2015.

From Divergent comes Insurgent

The sequel to Divergent finds Tris (Shailene Woodley) and Four (Theo James) on the run in the ruins of futuristic Chicago, hunted by Jeanine (Kate Winslet), the leader of the Erudite faction. But they find new allies in the factionless, led by Naomi Watt’s Evelyn. Robert Schwentke (RED, R.I.P.D.) takes over directing duties from Neil Burger, and Variety reports that he will be back for the third but not final film, Allegiant - Part 1, because every YA novel trilogy must be turned into a movie tetralogy (or quadrilogy if you prefer the Alien terminology). Octavia Spencer, Suki Waterhouse, and Daniel Dae Kim also join the cast, and Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, and Ray Stevenson all return. The Divergent Series: Insurgent hits theaters on March 20, 2015.

The Gunman

Pierre Morel (Taken) directs Sean Penn, Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, and Mark Rylance in this adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel, The Prone Gunman. Penn stars as Jim Terrier, an international operative who finds himself battling the organization he used to work for. Jasmine Trinca plays his girlfriend, who is not surprisingly kidnapped. Will The Gunman do for Penn what Taken did for Liam Neeson? Find out when it hits theaters on March 20, 2015.

A second look at Michael Mann’s Blackhat

Sony could use a guy like Chris Hemsworth’s Nicolas Hathaway, a convicted hacker recruited to hunt down a man threatening the globe in Blackhat, Michael Mann’s first feature since 2009’s Public Enemies. Hemsworth teams up with Viola Davis, Tang Wei, and Wang Leehom as they track the mysterious cyber-terrorist all over the globe to typically beautiful Michael Mann locations. Blackhat hits theaters on January 16, 2015.

Take another soak in Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Writer Josh Heald, director Steve Pink, and stars Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson and Clark Duke are all back in this sequel to the surprise 2010 hit Hot Tub Time Machine. Previous lead John Cusack is missing, and an explanation is not provided in this second trailer, which finds the guys jumping forward and backward in time (instead of getting stuck in the 1980s). Joining the fun this time around are Adam Scott (rumored to be playing Cusack’s son in the future), Gillian Jacobs (her Community castmate Chevy Chase returns as well) and Thomas Lennon. Hot Tub Time Machine 2 visits theaters on February 20, 2015.

Two trailers for Kingsman: The Secret Service

Fans of Matthew Vaughn’s Kick-Ass might be the target audience for his latest boundary-pushing, action-filled adaptation of a comic book. Sure, he directed X-Men: First Class, but this looks a fair bit cruder than that franchise could stomach. Colin Firth stars as a veteran spy of the Kingsman organization who recruits newcomer Taron Egerton into the agency’s training program. They, with an assist from Mark Strong and Michael Caine, face off against a lisping, twisted genius (played by Samuel L. Jackson) and his blade-legged assistant (Sofia Boutella). Kingsman: The Secret Service opens on February 13, 2015.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt takes The Walk

The story of Philippe Petit’s tightrope walk between the World Trade Center towers has already been chronicled in James Marsh’s Oscar-winning documentary Man on Wire, but what if that walk were rendered in 3D—or even IMAX 3D? Robert Zemeckis, who last directed Flight, will dramatize the amazing true story with Joseph Gordon-Levitt playing Petit. Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon, James Badge Dale, Ben Schwartz, Clément Sibony, and César Domboy also star in The Walk, an October 2, 2015 release.

Paranoia runs deep in the latest Inherent Vice trailer

Inherent Vice opens in five theaters today to qualify for awards consideration, but it doesn’t expand nationwide until January 9. So Warner Bros. has been kind enough to provide one more trailer for those who must wait. The film recently earned Joaquin Phoenix a Golden Globe nomination for his performance as private eye Doc Sportello, and it’s currently sitting at number 4 on our year-end Film Critic Top 10 List roundup. So you may want to check it out when it hits your town.

The Last Five Years

Richard LaGravenese (Beautiful Creatures, P.S. I Love You) directs Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan in this screen adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s musical The Last Five Years. Kendrick plays struggling actress Cathy Hiatt, and Jordon plays Jamie Wellerstein, a rising young novelist. Their story is told in song as Cathy begins at the end of their relationship and moves back in time while Jamie sings about the beginning and moves forward. Early reviews have been mixed, but the films comes to theaters just before Valentine’s Day on February 13, 2015.

Julianne Moore is Still Alice and still great

Julianne Moore plays a Columbia University linguistics professor struggling with early onset Alzheimer's in this adaptation of Lisa Genova’s 2007 novel from the writing and directing team of Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland (The Last of Robin Hood). Moore’s lead portrayal has already earned her numerous best actress honors, including Golden Globe and SAG nominations. The film’s strong supporting class includes Alec Baldwin as her husband and Kate Bosworth, Kristen Stewart, and Hunter Parrish as her children. Still Alice is in select theaters now, but it expands to more cities on January 16, 2015.

White God

The latest film from Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó (Delta) won the Un Certain Regard Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Lili is forced to live with her father, who then gives up her beloved dog Hagen, because it's mixed-breed heritage is deemed unfit by the state. But that’s just the beginning of Lili and Hagen’s journey, as all the unwanted, unloved and so-called unfit dogs rise up under their new leader, Hagen. White God opens in select theaters on March 27, 2015.

Love, Rosie

Rosie (Lily Collins) and Alex (Sam Claflin) have been best friends since they were 5-year-olds. But could they be more than friends? Love, Rosie, based on Cecelia Ahem’s best-selling novel Where Rainbows End, scripted by Juliette Towhidi and directed by Christian Ditter, answers that question. While the answer might not be surprising, maybe the journey will be? Mediocre reviews from its UK bow leave lingering doubts. But you can find it in theaters and On Demand beginning February 6, 2015.

Little Accidents

Sara Colangelo’s debut feature, an expansion of her short film of the same name, looks at the impact of a mining accident on a small Appalachian community. The drama focuses on a miner, played by Boyd Holbrook, who is under pressure to testify, and a coal executive (Josh Lucas), his wife (Elizabeth Banks), and their missing son. The strong supporting cast includes Jacob Lofland (Neckbone in Mud), and Chloë Sevigny. With solid early reviews, Little Accidents comes to select theaters on January 16th.

Short takes

With excellent reviews from Cannes and TIFF, It Follows is a film to look forward to in 2015. Here’s the first trailer (with French subtitles).

Written, directed by and starring Desiree Akhavan, Appropriate Behavior tells the story of Shirin’s struggles to be the ideal Persian daughter. Look for it in theaters and On Demand beginning January 16, 2015.

Nick Broomfield’s well-reviewed documentary, Tales of the Grim Sleeper, has made the Oscar shortlist and is currently playing in Los Angeles (look for it in New York next week) before airing on HBO in April.

Director Hitoshi Matsumoto's R100 stars Nao Ohmori (Ichi the Killer) as an ordinary man who signs an S&M contract for one year. Find out what he’s in for when the film hits select theaters on January 23, 2015.

Coming to theaters and On Demand January 22, 2015, the romantic comedy We’ll Never Have Paris stars Simon Helberg (who also wrote and co-directed), Melanie Lynskey, Maggie Grace, and Zachary Quinto.

Hungry? Find out the recipe for General Tso’s chicken and more about Chinese-American cooking in The Search for General Tso, coming to theaters and VOD January 2, 2015.

[Rec] 4: Apocalypse, the final chapter in the horror franchise, comes to U.S. theaters on January 2, 2015. Here’s the red-band trailer.

Kathryn Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) directed this animated short about elephant poaching, the ivory trade and terrorism.

News and notes

  • If you missed yesterday's announcement, we have a full list of this year's Golden Globe nominations.
  • Roberto Orci will no longer direct the next Star Trek film. - Deadline
  • Edgar Ramirez will play Jennifer Lawrence’s husband in David O. Russell’s Joy, the story of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano. - THR
  • Shawn Levy will not direct Warner Bros.’ Minecraft film. - Variety
  • Gina Carano (Haywire) has joined Dave Bautista, Alain Moussi, and Jean-Claude Van Damme in John Stockwell’s Kickboxer remake. - Heat Vision
  • Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) will direct an adaptation of the graphic novel Sebastian X. - Variety
  • Zoey Deutch (Vampire Academy) has joined Zac Efron and Robert De Niro in the comedy Dirty Grandpa. - Deadline
  • John Lee Hancock is in talks to direct The Founder, based on the true story of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc. - THR
  • Penny Marshall (A League of Their Own) will return to the baseball field to tell the story of Effa Manley, the first woman to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. - Deadline
  • Wondering what the names are of the new characters in the Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens trailer? Check out these cool, retro trading cards at EW.

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