Looks like it’s going to be a busy week at the theater. New films this weekend include Money Monster (George Clooney, Julia Roberts), The Darkness (Kevin Bacon), Dheepan (Antonythasan Jesuthasan), High-Rise (Tom Hiddleston), Kill Zone 2 (Tony Jaa), Last Days in the Desert (Ewan McGregor), The Lobster (Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz), Love and Friendship (Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny), Search Party (Thomas Middleditch), and Sunset Song (Agyness Deyn). Continue reading for summaries and trailers of the new movies for this weekend.
In the real-time, high stakes thriller Money Monster, George Clooney and Julia Roberts star as financial TV host Lee Gates and his producer Patty, who are put in an extreme situation when an irate investor who has lost everything (Jack O’Connell) forcefully takes over their studio. During a tense standoff broadcast to millions on live TV, Lee and Patty must work furiously against the clock to unravel the mystery behind a conspiracy at the heart of today’s fast-paced, high-tech global markets.
As a family returns home from vacation at the Grand Canyon, they innocently bring home a supernatural force that preys off their own fears and vulnerabilities, threatening to destroy them from within, while consuming their lives with terrifying consequences. The Darkness stars Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz, Lucy Fry, Matt Walsh and Jennifer Morrison. Directed by Greg McLean and written by McLean, Shayne Armstrong and S.P. Krause, the film was produced by Jason Blum, Bianca Martino and Matt Kaplan.
Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, the new film from acclaimed director Jacques Audiard (A Prophet) is a gripping, human tale of survival. On the losing side of a civil war in Sri Lanka, a Tamil soldier (Antonythasan Jesuthasan) poses as the husband and father of two other refugees in order to escape their ravaged homeland. Arriving in France, the makeshift family sets about establishing a new life — only to find themselves once again embroiled in violence on the mean streets of Paris. A heartrending saga of three strangers united by circumstance and struggle, Dheepan is both a tour-de-force thriller and a powerful depiction of the immigrant experience.
High-Rise stars Tom Hiddleston as Dr. Robert Laing, the newest resident of a luxurious apartment in a high-tech concrete skyscraper whose lofty location places him amongst the upper class. Laing quickly settles into high society life and meets the building’s eccentric tenants: Charlotte (Sienna Miller), his upstairs neighbor and bohemian single mother; Wilder (Luke Evans), a charismatic documentarian who lives with his pregnant wife Helen (Elisabeth Moss); and Mr. Royal (Jeremy Irons), the enigmatic architect who designed the building. Life seems like paradise to the solitude-seeking Laing. But as power outages become more frequent and building flaws emerge, particularly on the lower floors, the regimented social strata begins to crumble and the building becomes a battlefield in a literal class war.
When an undercover cop gets too close to revealing the mastermind of a drug syndicate, his cover is blown. Double-crossed and under a false identity, he’s thrown into a Thai prison, where a guard discovers the inmate — claiming he’s a cop — is a bone marrow match for his dying daughter…and his warden may have an even deadlier operation hidden within the prison walls. In this giddily frenetic follow-up (though not a sequel) to modern martial arts epic Kill Zone, action icons Tony Jaa (Ong Bak, The Protector) Wu Jing (Wolf Warrior) and Zhang Jin (IP Man 3) team up with Hong Kong megastars Simon Yam, and Louis Koo for a breakneck story of dirty cops, prison riots, and black market organ transplants, all brought together by a non-stop series of inventive, bone-crunching setpieces.
Last Days in the Desert follows Jesus (Ewan McGregor) in an imagined chapter from his forty days of fasting and praying in the desert. On his way out of the wilderness, he struggles with the Devil, also played by McGregor, over the fate of an ordinary family in crisis, setting for himself a dramatic test with distinctly human conflicts.
Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who has just been dumped by his wife. To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods. David is kept at the mysterious hotel while he searches for a new partner, and after several romantic misadventures decides to make a daring escape to abandon this world. He ultimately joins up with a rebel faction known as The Loners, a group founded on a complete rejection of romance. But once there David meets an enigmatic stranger (Rachel Weisz) who stirs up unexpected and strong feelings within him… At once a full immersion into a strange and surreal world, and a witty and clever reflection of our own society, The Lobster is a thrillingly audacious vision fully brought to life by Lanthimos and his terrific cast. The filmmaker displays a completely singular style and mastery of tone, finding the perfect balance between sharp-edged satire and romantic fable that entertains its audience while also leaving them with lots to reflect on long after the credits have rolled.
Love & Friendship is an adaptation of young Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan, believed to have been written in the mid 1790s but revised up to a fair copy prepared in 1805 and finally published by her nephew, James Edward Austen-Leigh, in 1871. Set in the 1790s, earlier than most Austen tales, Love & Friendship concerns beautiful young widow Lady Susan Vernon (Kate Beckinsale) who has come to Churchill, the estate of her in-laws, to wait out colourful rumours about her dalliances circulating through polite society. Whilst ensconced there, she decides to secure a husband for herself and for her daughter, Frederica, played by Morfydd Clark.
Wedding bells threaten to break up three best friends’ long-running bromance, but they aren’t going down without a fight in Search Party, the directing debut of screenwriter Scot Armstrong (The Hangover Part II, Old School). Convinced that his buddy Nardo (Thomas Middleditch) is making the mistake of a lifetime by marrying Tracy (Shannon Woodward), Jason (T.J. Miller) puts a dramatic end to their wedding. When the furious bride decides to take her Baja honeymoon solo, Nardo follows her south of the border — where the lovesick groom is carjacked and left stranded, naked and penniless in a remote part of the Mexican desert. With no one else to call for help, Nardo sends out an SOS to Jason and their pal Evan (Adam Pally), an up-and-coming ad exec slated for an all-important business meeting the next morning. As Jason and a reluctant Evan rush to Nardo’s rescue, the trio embarks on a series of increasingly outrageous misadventures involving con artists, drug smugglers and even the Federales in this wild and wacky action comedy.
The film takes place during the early years of the twentieth century, with the conflicts and choices a young woman experiences reflecting the struggle between tradition and change; a struggle that continues to resonate today. Set in a rural community, Sunset Song is driven by the young heroine Chris and her intense passion for life, for the unsettling Ewan and for the unforgiving land. The First World War reaches out from afar, bringing the modern world to bear on the community in the harshest possible way, yet in a final moment of grace, Chris endures, now a woman of remarkable strength who is able to draw from the ancient land in looking to the future.