by Kam Williams
Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
Carol (R sexuality, nudity and brief profanity) Cate Blanchett plays the title character in this romance drama, set in New York City in the Fifties, as a woman in the midst of a bitter divorce who becomes smitten with a department store clerk (Rooney Mara) she meets while buying a Christmas present for her daughter (Kk Heim). With Sarah Paulson, Kyle Chandler and Jake Lacy.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 (PG-13 for action, intense violence and mature themes) Franchise finale finds reluctant rebel Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) leading a team of trusted close friends (Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin and Natalie Dormer) on a mission to assassinate the President (Donald Sutherland) and to free the citizens of Panem. Ensemble cast includes Jeffrey Wright, Woody Harrelson, Julianne Moore, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.
The Night Before (R for pervasive profanity, incessant substance abuse, frontal nudity and graphic sexuality) Raunchy holiday comedy revolving around a trio of lifelong BFFs' (Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie) wild night of drugs and debauchery during their annual Christmas Eve reunion. Cast includes James Franco, Miley Cyrus, Tracy Morgan, Mindy Kaling, Anthony Mackie, Lizzy Caplan and Jillian Bell.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Censored Voices (Unrated) Middle East documentary questioning the supposed heroism of Israeli soldiers who fought in '67 war won in just six days. Featuring long-suppressed interviews with veterans recorded by kibbutzniks. (In Hebrew with subtitles)
Democrats (Unrated) Power corrupts documentary chronicling Zimbabwe strongman Robert Mugabe's going through the charade of staging a presidential election in a futile attempt to fool the world into believing the country's a legitimate democracy.
Frame by Frame (Unrated) Free press documentary chronicling the efforts of four Afghan photojournalists to ply their trade following the fall of the Taliban who had made taking pictures a crime. (In Dari and English with subtitles)
Kingdom of Shadows (PG-13 for mature themes and disturbing images) Rio Grande documentary taking an unflinching look at the ever-escalating body count in the drug wars being waged along the U.S.-Mexico border. (In Spanish and English with subtitles)
Legend (R for sexuality, drug use, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Mob saga revisiting the exploits of Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy), infamous identical twins who ran a powerful crime syndicate in London in the Sixties. Supporting cast includes Emily Browning, Paul Bettany and Chazz Palminteri.
Mediterranea (Unrated) Fact-based docudrama recounting the ordeal of a couple of refugees (Koudous Seihon and Alassane Sy) who make the perilous journey from Africa to Italy in search of a better life only to be met with hostility and violence. With Paolo Sciarretta, Annalisa Pagano and Pio Amato. (In French, Italian, English and Arabic with subtitles)
Mustang (PG-13 for mature themes and sexuality) Tale of female empowerment, set in Turkey, about five, freedom-loving sisters grounded by their parents after engaging in innocent horesplay with boys on their way home from school. Co-starring Gunes Sensoy, Elit Iscan, Doga Zeynep Doguslu, Tugba Sunguroglu and Ilayda Akdogan. (In Turkish with subtitles)
Secret in Their Eyes (PG-13 for profanity, sexual references, mature themes and disturbing violence) Whodunit revolving around a tight-knit FBI unit, investigating a string of murders of teenage girls, that is suddenly torn asunder by the brutal slaying of a team member's (Julia Roberts) daughter (Zoe Graham). With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Lyndon Smith.
The Summer of Sangaile (Unrated) Julija Steponaityte handles the title role in this coming-of-age tale of teen love as a shy and retiring wallflower who falls head over heels for a daredevil (Aiste Dirziute) she meets at an airplane stunt show. Featuring Nele Savicenko, Laurynas Jurgelis and Jurate Sodyte. (In Lithuanian with subtitles)
Very Semi-Serious (Unrated) Jocular documentary highlighting the process by which the New Yorker magazine's cartoon editor Bob Mankoff settles on which submissions to include in each issue.