Sound of My Voice
Where: In limited release.
What: Our own Peter Hall wrote: “It's a smart, engrossing film about a couple trying to infiltrate and expose a cult whose leader claims to be from the future.” The cult leader is played by Brit Marling, who co-wrote the script with director Zal Batmanglij.
Why Go: Again, we quote from Mr. Hall: “It's got a sharp, clever script and great performances all around.” The film debuted at Sundance last year, as did Another Earth, which also featured Marling as star, based on a script she co-wrote. Both are intelligent slices of science fiction: quiet, dramatic, and thoughtful, and should provide good fodder for a post-movie coffee this weekend.
See also: The first 12 minutes of the movie. But here’s why you should wait.
Where: In limited release.
What: Based on a true story. A beloved assistant funeral director (Jack Black) in a small town in Texas befriends an affluent widow and then comes under suspicion when she goes missing. With Shirley MacLaine and Matthew McConaughey. Directed by Richard Linklater.
Why Go: Jack Black is said to give one of the better performances in his career; plus, it’s Richard Linklater operating in darkly comic territory he knows well: small-town Texas. Reviews have been generally favorable, though not wildly enthusiastic.
Where: Los Angeles and New York; starts rolling out nationwide next week.
What: A high-level corporate employment recruiter leads a double life in this fast-paced thriller from Norway.
Why Go: Indulge your sweet tooth with a glossy, lively thriller that may give you whiplash before the final credits roll. It’s smart and funny, with a sharp performance by Aksel Hennie as an insecure corporate headhunter with a lovely wife and a taste for luxury. He’s matched by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Game of Thrones) as his latest target, who may prove to be the headhunter’s undoing.
DVD Pick of the Week: Let the Bullets Fly
What: A wily thief poses as a provincial governor to fleece a town and its residents, only to be forced to match wits with a well-entrenched gangster who has his own designs on local fortunes.
Why See It: Jiang Wen, who directed and stars as the wily thief, has concocted a rambunctious mixture of action and comedy that is thoroughly entertaining, if a bit long. And it’s nothing but a pleasure to see Chow Yun-Fat as a duplicitious yet lovable gangster, a man who can be heartless one moment and share a joke in the next. If you have any taste at all for Asian action movies, this will go over like gangbusters. (Read more from my Fantastic Fest report.)
See also: Pariah, an excellent coming-of-age drama. Peter Hall explains why.
Coming Soon: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel
What: British retirees find that living out their golden years in India may be more challenging than they anticipated. With Judi Dench, Bill Nighy, Tom Wilkinson, Maggie Smith, and Dev Patel. Directed by John Madden (Shakespeare in Love).
Why We Want to See It: This looks like a (gin and) tonic for all the parents and grandparents whose offspring will be fully occupied by The Avengers next week. And even younger ones will probably enjoy watching old pros like Dench, Nighy, Wilkinson, and Smith performing in a relaxed, light comedy.