Capsule reviews of the weekend’s new movie releases. Should you see it, wait for DVD, or skit it altogether? We give you the goods (and oh-so-terribles) below.
SEE IT NOW
The Rover: Good early critical buzz from the Sydney Film Festival, where this Aussie production from the talented David Michôd made its debut, has propelled it onto a lot of critic’s must-see lists. The story concerns yet another dystopian future, after a worldwide economic collapse, and a badass former soldier (Guy Pearce) who is forced to track down his stolen car—the poor wretch’s lone possession—with the help of an unwitting innocent (Robert Pattinson). Something about the harsh, largely barren Outback lends itself to these kinds of hard-bitten, rough-edged tales. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 68%
Obvious Child: A potential star vehicle for former SNL and Parks and Recreation actress Jenny Slate. This fine-tuned comedy from Gillian Robespierre concerns a successful standup comedienne (Slate), who suddenly finds herself dumped, out of a job, and—worst of all—pregnant. Navigating this foreign terrain, she has to figure out how to handle everything while maintaining her acute sense of humor. By all accounts, Slate is brilliant, and the film has earned much in the way of early hype—at least on the indie front. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%
A Coffee in Berlin: A wry drama about an easy-going slacker (Tom Schilling), who is suddenly forced to confront his lackadaisical nature when things start going south may not sound all that remarkable on paper. But the fact that this well-observed, black-and-white film also offers a good deal of humor—and absolutely cleaned up at the German Film Awards (Deutschland’s Oscar equivalent), winning Best Film, Actor, Supporting Actor, Director, Screenplay, and Score—suggests there’s more to it than one might originally suppose. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%
WAIT FOR DVD
Jersey Boys: Going slightly against expected type, Clint Eastwood does enjoy dabbling in music-themed films from time to time (see also Bird and Honky Tonk Man) so perhaps his adaptation of the Tony-winning Broadway musical about Frankie Valli and the rise of the Four Seasons might not be so farfetched. Still, an outright musical might remain a bit of a stretch for the Man With No Name, who apparently has left a number of critics bored and largely unimpressed. Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%
Think Like a Man Too: The original film was a surprise minor hit, and helped make comedian Kevin Hart a break-out comic star, so there were some encouraging signs leading into this sequel (both films loosely based on Steve Harvey’s Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man). Alas, apparently setting all the couples loose in Vegas for a weekend of debauchery and hijinks has left a pallid taste in the mouth of the few critics who’ve had a chance to review it (shrewdly, Sony pictures has largely withheld the film from critic screenings, generally a move that suggests they know the film would be pasted if they did). Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13%