Looks like it might be a busy weekend at the theater. New films opening this weekend include Captain Fantastic (Viggo Mortensen), Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick), The Secret Life of Pets (animated), Cell (Samuel L. Jackson), The Dog Lover (James Remar), Fathers and Daughters (Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried), Indian Point (documentary), Men Go To Battle (Tim Morton), Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You (documentary), Our Little Sister (Haruka Ayase), Sultan (Salman Khan), and Zero Days (documentary). Continue reading for summaries and trailers of the new films for this weekend.
Deep in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father (Viggo Mortensen) devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, beginning a journey that challenges his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Hard-partying brothers Mike (Adam Devine) and Dave (Zac Efron) place an online ad to find the perfect dates (Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza) for their sister’s Hawaiian wedding. Hoping for a wild getaway, the boys instead find themselves out-hustled by the uncontrollable duo.
Comedy superstars Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet and Kevin Hart make their animated feature-film debuts in The Secret Life of Pets, which co-stars Ellie Kemper, Lake Bell, Jenny Slate, Bobby Moynihan, Hannibal Buress and Albert Brooks. Illumination founder and CEO Chris Meledandri and his longtime collaborator Janet Healy produce the film directed by Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2), co-directed by Yarrow Cheney and written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul and Ken Daurio.
Stephen King’s best-selling novel is brought to terrifying life in this mind-blowing thriller starring John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson. At the Boston airport, Clay (Cusack) witnesses a scene of chaotic mayhem when an electronic signal turns hundreds of cell phone users into rabid killers. Desperate to find his estranged wife and son, Clay teams with a train driver (Jackson) to battle the horde of murderous “phoners” as the city descends into apocalyptic madness.
Sara Gold is a rising star at the United Animal Protection Agency (UAPA), a major animal rights organization that conducts animal rescues and lobbies for better animal welfare laws. Handpicked for a major assignment, Sara goes undercover as a college intern to infiltrate a suspected puppy mill run by the enigmatic Daniel Holloway. Sara soon ingratiates herself with Daniel and his family, and learns all about the world of dog breeding but is hard pressed to find any sign of animal abuse. The UAPA teams up with local law enforcement and raids the farm, accusing Daniel of the inhumane treatment of animals. Sara finds herself torn between doing her job and doing what’s right, and she awakens to the moral contradictions of her work with the UAPA.
A Pulitzer-winning writer grapples with being a widower and father after a mental breakdown, while, 27 years later, his grown daughter struggles to forge connections of her own.
Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant looms just 35 miles from Times Square. With over 50 million people living in close proximity to the aging facility, its continued operation has the support of the plant’s operators and the NRC — Nuclear Regulatory Commission — yet has stoked a great deal of controversy in the surrounding community, including a vocal anti-nuclear contingent concerned that what happened at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant could happen here. In the brewing fight for clean energy and the catastrophic possibilities of government complacency, director Ivy Meeropol presents a balanced argument about the issues surrounding nuclear energy and offers a startling reality check for our uncertain nuclear future.
Bracing for another winter on their struggling Kentucky farm, brothers Henry (Tim Morton) and Francis Mellon (David Maloney) have become suffocatingly close. Francis’ practical jokes have become more and more aggressive until he accidentally injures Henry in a drunken fight. Then, after humiliating himself in front of a daughter (Rachel Korine) of the town’s preeminent family, Henry disappears in the night. Only months later does Francis learn that Henry has joined the Union army, leaving each brother to find out separately what the approaching war will bring.
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You is the definitive chronicle of Mr. Lear’s life, work, and achievements, but it is so much more than an arm’s-length, past-tense biopic; at 93, Mr. Lear is as vital and engaged as he ever was. Top-notch cinéma vérité documentarians Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing (Jesus Camp, 12th and Delaware, Detropia) seize the opportunity to fashion a dynamic portrait that matches the spirit of their subject. Breaking down the fourth wall to create an evocative collage where past and present intermingle, they reveal a psychologically rich man whose extraordinary contributions emerge from both his personal story and a dialogue with the world.
Our Little Sister, directed by internationally acclaimed director Hirozaku Kore-eda, is adapted from Yoshida Akimi’s best-selling graphic novel: Umimachi Diary. Three twenty-something sisters — Sachi, Yoshino and Chika — live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura. When they learn of their estranged father’s death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral. There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and begins a new life with her older sisters.
Sultan is a story of Sultan Ali Khan — a local wrestling champion with the world at his feet as he dreams of representing India at the Olympics. It’s a story of Aarfa — a feisty young girl from the same small town as Sultan with her own set of dreams. When the 2 local wrestling legends lock horns, romance blossoms and their dreams and aspirations become intertwined and aligned. However, the path to glory is a rocky one and one must fall several times before one stands victorious — More often than not, this journey can take a lifetime. Sultan is a classic underdog tale about a wrestler’s journey, looking for a comeback by defeating all odds staked up against him. But when he has nothing to lose and everything to gain in this fight for his life match… Sultan must literally fight for his life. Sultan believes he’s got what it takes… but this time, it’s going to take everything he’s got.
Alex Gibney’s Zero Days is a documentary thriller about warfare in a world without rules — the world of cyberwar. The film tells the story of Stuxnet, self-replicating computer malware (known as a worm for its ability to burrow from computer to computer on its own) that the U.S. and Israel unleashed to destroy a key part of an Iranian nuclear facility, and which ultimately spread beyond its intended target. It’s the most comprehensive accounting to date of how a clandestine mission hatched by two allies with clashing agendas opened forever the Pandora’s Box of cyberwarfare.