New Releases 4/14/15

Top Hits
Big Eyes (Tim Burton-directed drama, Amy Adams. Rotten Tomatoes: 71%. Metacritic: 62. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “A horror movie tucked inside a domestic drama wrapped up in a biopic, Tim Burton’s ‘Big Eyes’ tells the story of Margaret Keane, an artist whose characteristic style is summed up in the title… ‘Big Eyes,’ directed in Mr. Burton’s coy, heavily pictorial manner, and written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski, never quite achieves the full measure of psychological intensity promised by the spooky interior lighting, the low camera angles and Danny Elfman’s hysterical score. The element of Margaret’s personality that allowed her to remain under Walter’s spell for so long remains opaque.” Read more…)

Maps to the Stars (comic thriller, Julianne Moore. Rotten Tomatoes: 63%. Metacritic: 67. From A.O. Scott’s New York Times review: “If the Oscars have left you with a residual hatred of Hollywood or a renewed appreciation of Julianne Moore, ‘Maps to the Stars’ may be just what you need. Suavely directed by David Cronenberg from an elegantly waspish script by Bruce Wagner, it belongs to the venerable tradition of movieland self-loathing. The film, tipping its hat to Nathanael West’s ‘The Day of the Locust’ and Mr. Wagner’s own novels, imagines Los Angeles as an inferno of narcissism, greed and sexual perversity. The radiant sunshine has a sinister glow, and the blossoms on the trees are surely poisonous.” Read more…)

The Homesman (western, Tommy Lee Jones. Rotten Tomatoes: 82%. Metacritic: 68. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “Set in a flat, unforgiving stretch of the American frontier in the decade before the Civil War, ‘The Homesman’ is both a captivating western and a meticulous, devastating feminist critique of the genre. Mr. Jones, who rides alongside Ms. Swank as a whiskery ruffian known as Briggs, uses western iconography to dismantle a familiar set of romantic myths. Most basically, the journey Briggs and Mary Bee undertake is not further into the West but back toward the East. It is a trek that originates in failure, passes through frustration and concludes on ambiguous notes of sorrow, resignation and cynicism.” Read more…)

Kidnapping Mr. Heineken (thriller, Anthony Hopkins. Rotten Tomatoes: 20%. Metacritic: 33. From Manohla Dargis’ New York Times review: “The sole object lesson in the true-crime drama ‘Kidnapping Mr. Heineken’ is that not every crime deserves its own movie. That much becomes clear in the director Daniel Alfredson’s dreary, uninvolving fictionalized take on the real 1983 snatching of Alfred Heineken, chairman of the company bearing his family’s name.” Read more…)

Foreign Letters (coming of age story, Noa Rotstein)
Ragamuffin (Christian bio-pic, Michael Koch)

New Foreign
Goodbye to Language (France, Jean-Luc Godard-directed drama, Heloise Godet. Rotten Tomatoes: 86%. Metacritic: 75. A New York Times Critic’s Pick. From A.O. Scott’s Times review: “[Director Jean-Luc] Godard has a habit of blending gravity with whimsy. His latest film, a 70-minute 3-D visual essay called ‘Goodbye to Language’ (‘Adieu au Langage’), exhibits the formal and philosophical mischief that has been his late-career calling card. It is baffling and beautiful, a flurry of musical and literary snippets arrayed in counterpoint to a series of brilliantly colored and hauntingly evocative pictures — of flowers, boats, streets, naked bodies and Mr. Godard’s own dog, a mixed-breed scene-stealer identified in the credits as Roxy Miéville.” Read more…)

New American Back Catalog
Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell (1968, comedy, Gina Lollobrigida)

New British
Foyle’s War: Set 8

New Documentaries
Antarctica: A Year On Ice (nature, photography. Rotten Tomatoes: 84%. Metacritic: 69. From Nicolas Rapold’s New York Times review: “The extremes of ‘Antarctica: A Year on Ice’ might seem routine to fans of nature documentaries, but the photographer and director Anthony Powell produces some dazzling imagery in his droll study of isolation way, way down under. His varied tour of Antarctica’s scientific stations and their long-term residents is like a jokey, expertly shot slide show from another world.” Read more…)

New Gay & Lesbian
Such Good People (comedy/romance, Lance Bass)