Weekly Previews That Make Choosing a Film Fun
by Kam Williams
OPENING THIS WEEK
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Big Short (R for nudity, sexuality and pervasive profanity) Adaptation of the Michael Lewis best seller of the same name about a quartet of stock market contrarians (Christian Bale, Ryan Gosling, Steve Carell and Brad Pitt) who accurately predicted the global financial collapse of 2008. With Marisa Tomei, Melissa Leo and Finn Wittrock.
In the Heart of the Sea (PG-13 for action, peril, mature themes and brief violence) Seafaring adventure, set in 1820, recounting the ramming and sinking of The Essex by a sperm whale, the tragedy which inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. Ensemble cast includes Chris Hemsworth, Brendan Gleeson, Benjamin Walker, Cillian Murphy, Tom Holland and Ben Whishaw.
Legend (R for sexuality, drug use, graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Mob saga revisiting the exploits of Reggie and Ronnie Kray (both played by 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.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
American Hero (Unrated) Sci-fi comedy about a substance-abusing, womanizing underachiever (Stephen Dorff) who reluctantly turns a new leaf when he puts his telekinetic powers to good use as a crime-fighting superhero. Co-starring Eddie Griffin, Bill Billions and Andrea Cohen.
Bleeding Heart (Unrated) Revenge drama about a yoga instructor (Jessica Biel) who goes vigilante to defend her sister (Zosia Mamet) from an abusive boyfriend (Joe Anderson). Cast includes Edi Gathegi, Kate Burton and Sam Ly, with a cameo by Harry Hamlin.
Body (Unrated) Trespass thriller revolving around three BFFs (Helen Rogers, Alexandra Turshen and Lauren Molina) who come to regret breaking into a presumably-empty mansion to party over the holidays. Featuring Adam Cornelius, Larry Fessenden and Dan Brennan.
Dixieland (Unrated) Recidivism drama revolving around a recently-paroled ex-con (Chris Zylka) who falls in love and embarks on a crime spree with his troubled next-door neighbor (Riley Keough). Co-starring country singers Faith Hill and Steve Earle, and professional wrestler Mick "Mankind" Foley.
Don Verdean (PG-13 profanity, coarse language, suggestive content and brief violence) Sam Rockwell plays the title character in this irreverent Christian comedy revolving around a cash-strapped cleric who hopes to inspire his congregation by finding sacred relics in the Holy Land. With Amy Ryan, Will Forte, Jemaine Clement, Danny McBride and Leslie Bibb.
The Lady in the Van (PG-13 for a disturbing image) Fact-based docudrama recounting the unlikely friendship forged between a celebrated playwright (Alex Jennings) and a homeless woman (Maggie Smith) living in a car parked in his driveway. With Dominic Cooper, Jim Broadbent and James Corden.