Film Friday (3/20): This Week's New Movies & Trailers

  • Publish Date: March 20, 2015
  • Comments: ↓ 0 user comments

Opening this weekend

Nationwide releases
. Insurgent PG-13 ACTION-ADVENTURE/SCI-FI Trailers
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. Luckily, they find new allies in the Factionless, led by Naomi Watts’ Evelyn. Robert Schwentke (RED, R.I.P.D.) takes over directing duties from Neil Burger, and Octavia Spencer, Suki Waterhouse, and Daniel Dae Kim join the cast while Jai Courtney, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Zoe Kravitz, Maggie Q, and Ray Stevenson all return from the first film.
. The Gunman R ACTION/THRILLER Trailers
Can action director Pierre Morel (Taken) do for Sean Penn what he did for Liam Neeson? Despite an impressive cast (Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Ray Winstone, Mark Rylance) for this adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s novel, The Prone Gunman, the answer appears to be no, as far as critics are concerned. Penn stars as Jim Terrier, an international operative who finds himself battling his former organization while coming to the aid of his imperiled girlfriend (Jasmine Trinca).
. Do You Believe? PG-13 DRAMA Trailers
Christian drama from the writing team behind the rather abysmal God's Not Dead stars Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, and Lee Majors. Critics did not get to see this one in advance.
Notable limited and/or VOD releases
. Jauja NR DRAMA  
Lisandro Alonso’s drama, starring Viggo Mortensen, earned good reviews when it premiered at Cannes last year for its story of a Danish engineer and his daughter who move to the Patagonian desert in 1882.
. Spring NR HORROR/DRAMA iTunes Amazon
This hard-to-classify supernatural romance/European travelogue from the team behind 2013's Resolution is described by Time Out as "a mutant hybrid between Before Sunrise and An American Werewolf in London." Lou Taylor Pucci stars.
. Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter NR DRAMA  
David and Nathan Zellner’s follow-up to 2012’s Kid-Thing tells the story of a Japanese “office lady” (Rinko Kikuchi of Pacific Rim and Babel, here in a near-silent performance) who becomes so obsessed with finding the briefcase of money buried in the snow by Steve Buscemi in the Coen brothers film Fargo that she flies to Minnesota to search for it.
. Danny Collins R DRAMA/COMEDY  
Al Pacino plays an aging rock star who tries to reconnect with his younger self and his family after he discovers a a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John Lennon. Christopher Plummer, Bobby Cannavale, and Jennifer Garner also star for writer-director Dan Fogelman (writer of Crazy, Stupid, Love).
. Accidental Love PG-13 COMEDY iTunes Amazon
Formerly known as Nailed, this odd political comedy adaptation of the novel Sammy's Hill by Kristin Gore (yes, Al's daughter) was mostly filmed from 2008-10 by director David O. Russell as his follow-up to I Heart Huckabees. But recurring budget problems plagued the production, and Russell eventually abandoned and disowned the project, which was was recently completed without his involvement (to apparently disastrous results). Jessica Biel, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Catherine Keener star.
Additional limited and/or VOD releases (in alphabetical order)
. Backcountry NR THRILLER  
. Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police NR DOCUMENTARY/MUSIC  
. Compared to What: The Improbable Journey of Barney Frank NR DOCUMENTARY
. Growing Up and Other Lies NR COMEDY iTunes
. La Sapienza NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. The Letters PG DRAMA  
. Lily & Kat NR DRAMA/COMEDY iTunes
. Lost and Love NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Metalhead NR FOREIGN/DRAMA  
. Secret of Water NR DOCUMENTARY  
. She's Lost Control NR DRAMA  
. Sword of Vengeance NR ACTION  
. Tracers PG-13 ACTION — Also available on VOD  
. The Walking Deceased R HORROR/COMEDY  
. Zombeavers R HORROR/COMEDY iTunes

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

New trailers and updates for upcoming films

Another two-bit eight-bit Adam Sandler movie

When classic arcade game characters attack the Earth, President Kevin James (apparently receiving a major promotion from mall cop) calls in his childhood friend—a video game champ played by Adam Sandler—plus a few other gamers (Peter Dinklage and Josh Gad) to help save the world. With the help of Michelle Monaghan’s Lt. Col. Violet Van Patten, they take on Pac-Man, Donkey Kong and other arcade icons. Also starring Brian Cox, Jane Krakowski, Sean Bean, and Ashley Benson, Pixels opens July 24th.

The Transporter Refueled

In this reboot of the Transporter franchise which has already produced The Transporter, Transporter 2, and Transporter 3, Ed Skrein, who previously played Daario on Game of Thrones, takes over for Jason Statham. The result looks like more of the same from new writers Bill Collage and Adam Cooper (Exodus: Gods and Kings), who replace original creators Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen. But you can expect a bit less parkour and a few more car crashes from Brick Mansions director Camille Delamarre in his latest outing. The Transporter Refueled hits theaters June 19th.

Ex Machinations

Alex Garland, the screenwriter of Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Sunshine, makes his debut as writer-director with Ex Machina. The story follows Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a programmer at a giant tech company who wins a competition to spend a week at the private estate of the company’s brilliant CEO, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac). Once he gets there, Caleb soon finds out he’s not on vacation. He’s there to test Nathan’s latest experiment in artificial intelligence, Ava (Alicia Vikander), and this proves much more difficult than either imagined. Following good early reviews and a clever, Tinder-driven ad campaign at SXSW, Ex Machina arrives in theaters on April 10th.

Insidious, the prequel

Insidious Chapter 3 is set before the haunting of the Lambert family, revealing how gifted psychic Elise Rainier (Lin Shaye) reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a young father (Dermot Mulroney) and his teenage daughter (Stefanie Scott), who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity. After James Wan directed Insidious and Insidious: Chapter 2, co-creator Leigh Whannell takes over for this third installment. Look for it in theaters June 5th.

Paper Towns

From the screenwriters of The Fault in Our Stars, Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, comes an adaptation of another John Green novel, Paper Towns. Directed by Jake Schreier (Robot & Frank), the film stars Nat Wolff (the blind best friend in TFIOS) as Quentin Jacobsen, a high school senior who has pined for his neighbor, Margo Roth Spiegelman (Cara Delevingne), since he was young. After one crazy night together, she disappears, but when Quentin learns she has left clues for him to find her, it’s road trip time. Paper Towns comes to theaters on July 24th.


Directed by Boaz Yakin (Remember the Titans) and starring Josh Wiggins (Hellion), Thomas Haden Church, Lauren Graham, Robbie Amell, and Jay Hernandez, Max tells the story of a precision-trained military dog adopted by the family of his fallen Marine handler. While the trailer gives much of the story away, this PG-rated family film could win many hearts when it is released on June 26th.


At this year’s Academy Awards, where Ida walked away with the best foreign language film Oscar, Tangerines was one of the more obscure nominees. But the film will finally get a limited release in the U.S. beginning April 17th. Set in 1992 during the growing conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists, Tangerines follows two Estonian immigrant farmers who decide to remain in Georgia long enough to harvest their tangerine crop. When the war comes to their doorsteps, Ivo (Lembit Ulfsak) takes in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides. The fighters vow to kill each other when they recover, but their extended period of recovery has a humanizing effect that might transcend ethnic divides.

Short takes

While we were away last week, the second trailers for Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney and Britt Robertson, and Pixar’s latest, Inside Out, were released and are still well worth a look:

Early reviews from a surprise screening at SXSW were good, not great, for Furious 7, but that shouldn’t deter the legion of fans waiting for the latest chapter in this mega-franchise. Here are a few more early looks at the film that comes out April 3rd:

There’s plenty of new footage in the latest Avengers: Age of Ultron TV spot:

Simon Pegg and Lake Bell star in the romantic-comedy Man Up. An American release date has not been set, but here’s a trailer for its UK release:

News and notes

  • Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Emma Thompson and Kevin Kline, will be released on March 17, 2017.
  • Latino Review reports that J.J. Abrams is the frontrunner to direct Star Wars: Episode IX.
  • T.J. Miller revealed he will be playing Weasel, and Morena Baccarin disclosed that she will be playing Vanessa Geraldine Carlysle (aka Copycat), in Deadpool, opposite Ryan Reynolds.
  • Peter Dinklage and Nicola Peltz are in talks to join Christian Bale and Rosamund Pike in James Mangold’s adaptation of John D. MacDonald’s Deep Blue Good-by. - THR
  • Gina Rodriguez (Jane the Virgin) is in talks to join Mark Wahlberg in the Peter Berg-directed Deepwater Horizon. - TheWrap
  • A Blue Thunder remake is in the works, “but this time the airborne surveillance weapon will be a world's most advanced drone instead of a tricked out helicopter.” - Heat Vision
  • Edgar Ramirez (Carlos) will star with Matthew McConaughey in Stephen Gaghan’s mining drama Gold. - Deadline
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt will produce and star in a live-action Fraggle Rock movie. - Variety
  • Jim Carrey, Keanu Reeves, Suki Waterhouse, Jason Momoa, and Diego Luna have all joined the cast of The Bad Batch, writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour’s follow-up to A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night.

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