Opening: 5 Broken Cameras
Where: New York and Ann Arbor; expands in limited release on June 22.
What: A family deals with five years of turmoil while living in a village in the West Bank of Israel.
Why Go: Very good reviews have greeted the film, which won a jury award for directing at this year's Sundance Film Festival. it's structured around the destruction of five cameras owned by a Palestinian farmer who was drawn deeper and deeper into the conflict between local residents and Israeli settlers. From all reports, this is a very grounded and deeply affecting picture that forces the viewer to confront (or at least consider) some harsh realities.
Opening: HIGH School
Where: In limited release nationwide.
What: A stoner comedy set at a high school (which you could probably have guessed from the title alone), the film follows an honors student who gets the entire school body baked to cover up his first-time usage of weed and avoid losing his college scholarship.
Why Go: Although early reviews have been much more negative than positive, the cast -- featuring Adrien Brody as a drug dealer and Michael Chiklis as the school principal -- may keep fans distracted while waiting to light up afterwards. We presume there’s some kind of audience out there for another pot flick.
Expanding: The Intouchables
Where: 50 theaters nationwide.
What: French comedy about a young man from the projects who is hired to be the new caretaker for a wealthy disabled man.
Why Go: Based on a true story, the film tracks the developing relationship between street-wise Driss (Omar Sy) and aristrocratic Philippe (Francois Cluzet). Their class and racial differences provide fodder for broad humor and physical gags that’s buoyed by Sy’s radiant smile and dynamic personality. Some reviewers have harshly criticized the film, so we can’t guarantee you won’t get into an argument with a fellow viewer after the movie, but this is very fluffy material, well-suited for the season.
See also: Wes Anderson’s excellent period piece Moonrise Kingdom, which expands from four to 16 theaters.
DVD Pick of the Week
We Need to Talk About Kevin
What: A woman must deal with the aftermath of a tragedy involving her family.
Why See It: The versatile Tilda Swinton gives a towering performance in a very difficult role to nail: the mother of an unwanted demon child who threatens to drive her insane. While John C. Reilly (as her clueless husband) and Ezra Miller (as the evil teen) are fine, Swinton is extraordinary to watch -- but maybe not so much if you’re a parent or expectant mother. It’s a draining experience that will surely provoke a strong reaction, which makes it an ideal picture to watch in the comfort (and reassurance) of your own home.
What: After her fiancee breaks their engagement shortly before their wedding, a young woman must deal with turning 30 as a single person.
Why We Want to See It: The dazzling Greta Gerwig! Her starring role in Whit Stillman’s Damsels in Distress may have met with a mixed reception, but that doesn’t keep us from wanting to see her play a conflicted woman in what we hope will be a pleasant twist on romantic comedies from the the writing / directing team behind indie standout Breaking Upwards. Opens June 8.