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 and Netflix. I invite you to add in your thoughts on any films I haven’t seen in the comments below.
Now Playing in Theatres
Complete Unknown (recommended): Rachel Weisz anchors this intriguing look at a woman who lives her life as a chameleon opposite Michael Shannon, directed by Joshua Marston, who made “Maria Full of Grace.” It’s interesting but less sure of where it wants to end up. Now playing at IFC Center and Lincoln Plaza. Read my review from Monday.
The Hollars (recommended): John Krasinski directs and stars in his second feature film with a superb cast including Margo Martindale, Sharlto Copley, and Anna Kendrick. It’s a witty and enjoyable comedy with plenty of laughs and some good dramatic content too. Now playing at AMC Lincoln Square and Landmark Sunshine. My review will be up tomorrow.
Is That You? (mixed bag): This Israeli film about a man who comes to America to find the woman that he let get away is a road movie that often feels like it’s aimless but does contain some decent moments along the way. Now playing at Cinema Village. Read my review from Tuesday.
Level Up (anti-recommended): This British thriller about a random guy forced to run around London completing tasks and errands to save his kidnapped girlfriend is hardly worth the price of admission, and could have functioned much better with stronger characters and a more clever format. Now playing at Cinema Village. Read my review from Wednesday.
Mia Madre (recommended): Italian director Nanni Moretti crafts this layered look at a director coping with a frustrating American actor and her mother’s ailing health. Margherita Buy delivers a strong lead performance as the struggling director in question. Now playing at Angelika and Lincoln Plaza. Read my review from Thursday.
Sea of Trees (mixed bag): Gus Van Sant’s portrait of a grieving man lost in a vast forest should have been great considering it features Matthew McConaughey, Ken Watanabe, and Naomi Watts, but something just doesn’t click in this occasionally engaging but ultimately disappointing journey. Now playing at Village East Cinemas. Read my review from yesterday.
New to DVD
Maggie’s Plan (recommended): Greta Gerwig is perfectly cast in this strong comedy about a woman trying to stay true to where she wants her life to go, with strong assists from Ethan Hawke and Julianne Moore as the man she falls for and his wife. The film’s mockery of its own intellectual nature is particularly inviting.
Now Available on Instant Streaming
Blue is the Warmest Color (highly recommended): I can’t overstate my affection for this film, which has sadly earned more notoriety for its sex scenes than its sincere depiction of a relationship. Adèle Exarchupoulos and Léa Seydoux give incredible performances as the two main characters in this immensely worthwhile film that feels real and emotional.