Movies in Theaters This Friday, January 23, 2015: Mortdecai, Strange Magic, The Boy Next Door, and More
Happy Friday (we made it!) everybody! Just like last weekend, this weekend sees a full crop of new releases (both wide and limited).
By the looks of things, though, it’ll be hard to slow the momentum of Clint Eastwood’s record-breaking film American Sniper.
His biggest challenger may be the Johnny Depp-starring film Mortdecai just out of sheer name recognition. With a kooky premise, I could see this being a hit-or-miss movie.
The other wide releases belong to two very unlike-the-other movies: the animated movie Strange Magic and the erotic thriller The Boy Next Door.
In limited release, there are quite a few most people have heard of. For starters, there’s the film Cake starring Jennifer Aniston. Although she didn’t ultimately get an Oscar nomination, her appearance had a lot of people talking.
Then there’s Black Sea starring Jude Law in a submarine heist tale directed by The Last King of Scotland’s Kevin Macdonald.
Also, both Black or White (starring Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer) and Son of a Gun (starring Ewan McGregor) have the starpower to garner some momentum as they hit limited theaters.
The list of limited movies doesn’t stop there, either. You can also see Against the Sun, Americons, The Atticus Institute, Baby, Big Muddy, The Duke of Burgundy, The Humbling, Killers, Manny, Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter, Mommy, R100, Red Army, Salvation Army, Song One, and We’ll Never Have Paris in select theaters.
Enjoy your weekend!
Shortly after her divorce, a woman falls for a younger man who just moved in across the street, though their torrid affair takes an obsessive, dangerous turn.
Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.
“Strange Magic,” a new animated film from Lucasfilm Ltd., will be released by Touchstone Pictures on January 23, 2015. “Strange Magic” is a madcap fairy tale musical inspired by “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Popular songs from the past six decades help tell the tale of a colorful cast of goblins, elves, fairies and imps, and their hilarious misadventures sparked by the battle over a powerful potion. Lucasfilm Animation Singapore and Industrial Light & Magic, which created the CGI animation for 2011’s Academy Award®-winning film “Rango,” bring to life the fanciful forest turned upside down with world-class animation and visual effects.
A WWII pilot, bombardier, and radioman find themselves adrift on a lifeboat without food or water after being forced to ditch their plane during a scouting mission.
AMERICONS tells the story of a broken down collegiate football star who gets a shot at real-estate stardom during the eleventh hour of LA’s nihilistic sub-prime mortgage boom.
The year is 2007 and twenty percent of the state of California is employed in real estate. Mortgage banks are on a hiring frenzy when hotshot Mortgage Broker, Devin Weiss lures the financially burdened Jason Kelley into this world of financing other people’s dreams. He convinces Jason that to win in this business cheaters do prosper and everyone is doing it from the Appraisers to the Bond Traders. Jason throws his moral compass to the wind and spins out of control all the way to the Mortgage Brokers convention in Las Vegas where he learns his new world is booming on a foundation of quicksand. The quagmire of ruin escalates into the indeterminate ending of both the film and the continuing saga of today’s global economy.
In the fall of 1976, a small psychology lab in Pennsylvania became the unwitting home to the only government-confirmed case of possession. The U.S. military assumed control of the lab under orders of national security and, soon after, implemented measures aimed at weaponizing the entity. The details of the inexplicable events that occurred are being made public after remaining classified for nearly forty years.
The country is perpetually under threat from terrorist powers and the common man walks unaware of the threats and the attacks that our Government controls and prevents. While the common Indian fights for everyday issues, there are deeper and bigger threats to him and his family that he will never know exist because it is the men and women in uniform that safeguard them. The men and women who put country before self, the men and women who define our history because they give a damn! Ajay (played by Akshay Kumar) is one such officer who is part of an elite team chosen from amongst the best in the Forces to form a covert Counter Intelligence Unit. In the course of foiling one terrorist attack bid, Ajay discovers a major threat to our nation – a plan to cause damage and strike fear at the heart of our very existence. The plot is masterminded by a maniacal leader whose organization has its tentacles spread across the world. As days progress, the unit goes through escalating challenges with time ticking against them and risks escalating. At all points, the members of the unit give it all they’ve got and stand tall to guard us with all their strength so that we may sleep safe in our homes. Covert and courageous operations are performed across Kathmandu, Istanbul, Abu Dhabi, Delhi and Mumbai as our protectors will not rest till evil is debated. Will the maniacal Maulana Rehman and his band of evil succeed in striking terror in the heart of India? Will the Indian Government change gears from being reactive to proactive and strike? Will Ajay and his unit be able to prevent this terror tsunami?
An outlaw tale played out as a modern day murder ballad, Big Muddy follows grifter Martha Barlow who must come to terms with her dark past after her teenage son commits a horrible crime. On the run to survive she must dodge her sociopathic revenge-seeking former flame, and attempt to reconcile with her son’s dangerous and long forgotten father in order to protect her estranged family.
Black or White is the story of a grandfather (Kevin Costner) who is suddenly left to care for his beloved granddaughter. When her paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) seeks custody with the help of her brother (Anthony Mackie), the little girl is torn between two families who love her deeply. With the best intentions at heart, both families fight for what they feel is right and are soon forced to confront their true feelings about race, forgiveness, and understanding. Anchored by an all-star cast and based on real events, the movie is a look at two seemingly different worlds, in which nothing is as simple as black or white.
In order to make good with his former employers, a submarine captain takes a job with a shadowy backer to search the depths of the Black Sea for a submarine rumored to be loaded with gold.
Claire Simmons (Jennifer Aniston) is in pain. Her physical pain is evident in the scars that line her body and the way she carries herself, wincing with each tentative step. She’s no good at hiding her emotional pain either. Blunt to the point of searing insult, Claire’s anger seethes out of her with nearly every interaction. She has driven away her husband, her friends — even her chronic-pain support group has kicked her out.
The only one left in Claire’s otherwise solitary existence is her housekeeper-cum-caretaker, Silvana (Academy Award nominee Adriana Barraza), who barely tolerates her boss’ need for liquor and prescription pills. But the suicide of Nina (Academy Award nominee Anna Kendrick), one of Claire’s fellow chronic-pain group members, prompts another fixation. In pursuing questions about the death of a woman she barely knew, Claire explores the boundaries between life and death, abandonment and heartbreak, danger and salvation. As she inserts herself into the lives of Nina’s husband (Sam Worthington) and the son Nina left behind, Claire just might find salvation.
Cynthia and Evelyn love each other.
Day after day the couple act out a simple ritual that ends in Evelyn’s punishment, but Cynthia yearns for a more conventional relationship. Evelyn’s obsession quickly becomes an addiction that pushes their relationship to breaking point.
An aged and addled actor has his world turned upside down after he embarks upon an affair with a lesbian, in this acidulous adaptation of the Philip Roth novel.
In Tokyo, a serial killer is murdering women and posting his violent crimes on-line. In Jakarta, a rogue vigilante uploads his murdering spree for the world to see. A psychotic game of cat and mouse ensues as the two men battle for notoriety. Soon it becomes clear that it’s only a matter of time until the two killers square off face to face.
Narrated by Academy Award Nominee Liam Neeson and directed by Ryan Moore and Academy Award winner Leon Gast (“When We Were Kings”), “Manny” is the untold story of one of the most loved and respected athletes of all time. From a starving teenager who fought to feed his family, to becoming a boxing champion on the world stage, “Manny” is a feature length documentary film that takes you behind the scenes into the life of fighter Manny Pacquiao.
Filming for “Manny” began in 2010 and features Manny’s never-before-seen home footage. “Manny” also features original music by Lorne Balfe (Inception, The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Sherlock Holmes) and interviews include Mark Wahlberg, Jimmy Kimmel, Jeremy Piven, Oscar De La Hoya, and other notable personalities.
Miss Hill: Making Dance Matter tells the inspiring and unknown story of Martha Hill, a visionary who fought against great odds to make dance a legitimate art form in America. In a career spanning most of the 20th century, Hill became a behind the scenes leader of the field and the founding director of The Juilliard Dance Division. Stylistically weaving together over 90 years of archival footage, the film is a celebration of dance and an examination of the passion required to keep it alive.
Forty-six year old Diane Després – “Die” – has been widowed for three years. Considered white trash by many, Die does whatever she needs, including strutting her body in front of male employers who will look, to make an honest living. That bread-winning ability is affected when she makes the decision to remove her only offspring, fifteen year old Steve Després, from her previously imposed institutionalization, one step below juvenile detention. She institutionalized him shortly following her husband’s death due to Steve’s attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and his violent outbursts. He was just kicked out of the latest in a long line of facilities for setting fire to the cafeteria, in turn injuring another boy. She made this decision to deinstitutionalize him as she didn’t like the alternative, sending him into more restrictive juvenile detention from which he would probably never be rehabilitated. However, with this deinstitutionalization, she has to take care of him which means only being able to do home based work. Despite they always yelling expletives at each other and Steve sometimes demonstrating those violent tendencies toward her, Die and Steve truly do love each other, his emotions which are sometimes manifested as an Oedipus complex especially as he seems to need her complete attention most specifically when it is being directed at possible male suitors. Their lives, both individually and as a family, are affected with the entrance of two of their neighbors. The first is Paul, a lawyer, who does have that sexual interest in Die as he tries to help Steve through his legal problems. The second and more important is Kyla, who lives across the street with her husband Patrick and their adolescent daughter, they who are in transit in their life to wherever Patrick’s job will take them. Kyla is a high school teacher on sabbatical as she deals with her own emotional issues, which are manifested in stuttering whenever she feels incapable of dealing with her life. Kyla may find that she needs the Després as much as they need her.
An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only and there is one rule: no cancellation under any circumstance. The man enters into a whole new exciting world he never before experienced where crazy love goes wilder and crazier. Is it an illusion or is it real? Welcome to the world no one has dared to explore until now!
Red Army is a feature documentary about the Soviet Union and the most successful dynasty in sports history: the Red Army hockey team. Told from the perspective of its captain Slava Fetisov, the story portrays his transformation from national hero to political enemy. From the USSR to Russia, the film examines how sport mirrors social and cultural movements and parallels the rise and fall of the Red Army team with the Soviet Union.
Abdellah is a young gay man navigating the sexual, racial and political climate of Morocco. Growing up in a large family in a working-class neighborhood, Abdellah is caught between a distant father, an authoritarian mother, an older brother whom he adores and a handful of predatory older men, in a society that denies his homosexuality. As a college student, Abdellah moves to Geneva and while faced with the new possibilities of freedom, he grapples with the loss of his homeland. SALVATION ARMY, the directorial debut for Abdellah Taïa – an acclaimed Moroccan and Arab writer – is adapted from his novel of the same name. Taïa is the first writer of his descent to speak out openly about his homosexuality.
Locked up for a minor crime, 19 year old JR quickly learns the harsh realities of prison life. Protection, if you can get it, is paramount. JR soon finds himself under the watchful eye of Australia’s most notorious criminal, Brendan Lynch. But protection comes at a price. Lynch and his crew have plans for their young protegee. Upon release, JR must help secure Lynch’s freedom, staging a daring prison break. As a reward, he’s invited to join the crew as they plan a gold heist that promises to deliver millions. However, as things start to go wrong, a deadly game of cat and mouse ensues. JR finds himself unsure of whom he can trust and on a collision course with his former mentor.
Estranged from her family, Franny returns home when an accident leaves her brother comatose. Retracing his life as an aspiring musician, she tracks down his favorite musician, James Forester. Against the backdrop of Brooklyn’s music scene, Franny and James develop an unexpected relationship and face the realities of their lives.
In a story based on true events, Quinn (Simon Helberg) has been in a devoted relationship with Devon (Melanie Lynskey) for several years, and is ready to propose marriage until a gorgeous blonde co-worker reveals her love for him. Quinn immediately has second thoughts about matrimony and ends up terminating his relationship with his long-time better half. After a brief relationship with the blonde, Quinn quickly realizes he’s made the mistake of a lifetime, so he sets off to Paris, where his one and only true love has moved, to win her back.
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