Saturday, October 18, 2014

Saturday Night Movie Recommendations with Abe

Welcome back to a weekly feature here at Movies With Abe. I'm going to be providing a handy guide to a few choice movies currently playing in theatres as well as several films newly released on DVD. I invite you to add in your thoughts on any films I haven’t seen in the comments below. Understandably, some weeks will have considerably fewer releases to address than others.

Now Playing in Theatres

Birdman (highly recommended): This film, which closed out the New York Film Festival, is a spectacular tale of an aging actor staging his comeback portrayed by an aging actor staging his comeback. Michael Keaton leads an incredible cast with no weak links in a marvelously inventive and engaging film. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and the Angelika. Read my review from NYFF.

Camp X-Ray (recommended): Kristen Stewart gets serious in this Sundance hit in which she plays a Guantanamo Bay guard who befriends a detainee, portrayed by Payman Maadi from “A Separation.” Maadi is terrific and Stewart performs ably enough in an uncomfortable film that is occasionally right on target. Now playing at IFC Center. Read my review from Sundance.

Listen Up Philip (highly recommended): Jason Schwartzman is the centerpiece of this New York Film Festival entry about a self-obsessed writer intent on alienating everyone in his life. The script is superb, and Schwartzman, Elisabeth Moss, and the rest of the cast are too. Now playing at Film Society Lincoln Center and IFC Center. Read my review from NYFF.

Rudderless (highly recommended): One of the best films at Sundance this year is also William H. Macy’s directorial debut, an energizing and powerful story about a father, played by Billy Crudup, who starts playing his son’s music in a band after his death in a school shooting. Now playing at AMC Empire and Village East Cinema. Read my review from Sundance.

The Young Ones (highly recommended): Michael Shannon, Nicholas Hoult, Kodi Smit-McPhee, and Elle Fanning are all great in this intriguing dystopian tale from Sundance that feels like both a western and a sci-fi film. Now playing at Village East Cinema. Read my review from Sundance.

New to DVD

Chinese Puzzle (highly recommended): This charming and creative movie stars Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Cécile de France, and a few actors who aren’t from France. Its layered story works very well, and it’s a delightful blast all the way through.

Now on Netflix Instant Streaming

The Debt (recommended): This thriller from John Madden about an Israeli Mossad team assigned to capture a Nazi scientist isn’t as exciting as it should be, but its plot is definitely interesting. My favorite part of my review from August 2011: describing Jessica Chastain as a “rising star.”

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