Our weekly round-up of new releases, ranked for your viewing pleasure, by their indispensability and watchability. Yes, we made up that word.
SEE IT NOW!
1. X-Men: Days of Future Past: Bryan Singer triumphantly returns to the series he launched back in 2000. Epic and sprawling, and yet still able to bring the small, precise detail for which the first two installments were known, Singer’s film is a gripping mélange of meaningful action sequences, solid character work from a formidable cast, and clever, exacting filmmaking. A bullet-time sequence involving Quicksilver might be worth the price of admission on its own.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
FEEL FREE TO WAIT FOR DVD
1. The Double: The second adaptation of Dostoevsky’s novel — along with Denis Villenueve’s trippy Enemy — in less than a year, this version, from director Richard Ayoade, promises to stick to the original source material a bit more. A miserable, unfulfilled government clerk (Jesse Eisenberg) finds to his horror an exact physical doppelganger of himself in the form of a new co-worker, who is brash, confident and loutish, and who also attracts the attention of the clerk’s dream girl (Mia Wasikowska).
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 84%
2. The Immigrant: An impressive collection of talent — James Gray directing Joaquin Phoenix, Marian Cotillard and Jeremy Renner — somehow never really adds up from the sum of its parts. A turn-of-the-century tale about a young woman (Cotillard) separated from her older sister and stuck in Manhattan on her own until taken in by a conniving man (Phoenix) who runs a prostitution ring, everything reads slightly overwrought. Not helping matters: Phoenix, generally a brilliant performer, bites on Brando so hard in this role, it almost reads like parody.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%
SKIP IT ALTOGETHER
1. Blended: Jesus H., Adam Sandler, will you please either care a flying whit about what you’re doing or skip it altogether? His third collaboration with Drew Barrymore involves two divorcees who have a date, hate each other, and then both inadvertently sign up for the same family vacation in Africa, where they are — sigh — forced to spend all kinds of time together. Sight unseen, you can expect fart jokes, poop jokes, lots of tired physical comedy, and fart noises.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 0%!