Three new movies hit wide release screen today, but you’ve probably only heard about one of them.
Whether you still have hopes for him or not, M. Night Shyamalan is back in action – only now he’s straying away from big budget Hollywood (thank heaven) to return to his roots and the artistic freedom that comes with micro-budget moviemaking. ‘The Visit‘ is a freaky flick that’s definitely Shyamalan’s most “horror” movie to date. It follows a pair of teenagers who leave their single mother (Kathryn Hahn) to spend a week at a secluded Pennsylvania family farm with their estranged grandparents. The older of the two kids is an aspiring documentary filmmaker who has decided to film the first encounter. Yes, ‘The Visit’ is told through the found-footage style, but the lack of shakiness and the creative two-camera method of pulling it off will make you forget that you’re watching a found-footage movie. Even though it’s easily the best Shyamalan movie in over a decade, ‘The Visit’ may not be as approachable and mainstream as ‘The Sixth Sense‘. If you don’t like horror, this probably won’t do anything for you – aside from frequently causing your heart to race.
Surprisingly, opening on more than 2,200 screens is the Screen Gems romantic thriller ‘The Perfect Guy‘. In this little-advertised and not-screened-for-press release, Sanaa Lathan stars as a successful, strong woman looking for a rebound relationship after her long-term stint with Morris Chestnut went south. When she meets Michael Ealy, a seemingly perfect catch, she’s swept off her feet – but things start to get weird between her and both men, leading her to wonder who’s keeping secrets and whom she can trust.
Hot on the heels of the unexpected box office hit ‘The War Room’ comes another faith-based drama. Telling a true story that’s extremely similar to last year’s ‘Heaven Is for Real’, ‘90 Minutes in Heaven‘ is about a minister (Hayden Christensen) who dies during a nasty head-on car accident and spends an hour and a half in heaven before being sent back to his mangled body. Kate Bosworth plays the wife character and her real-life husband, Michael Polish, directs. Also not screened for press, there’s little feedback surrounding the film so far.
Earlier this year, ‘Bachelorette’ director Leslye Headland took her second feature to Sundance, where it received a strong response. This weekend, you can catch ‘Sleeping with Other People‘ in limited release thanks to IFC. Alison Brie plays a woman who can’t be in a relationship without cheating, while Jason Sudeikis plays a flighty player on the constant prowl for one-night stands. In ‘No Strings Attached’ or ‘Friends with Benefits’ fashion, opposites attract and they begin a doomed relationship from hell.
Finally, Richard Gere, Steve Buscemi and Jena Malone star in the indie limited release ‘Time Out of Mind‘. ‘The Messenger’ and ‘Rampart’ director Oren Moverman helms the film about a guy who checks into an all-male homeless shelter while trying to get his feet on the ground. It’s within the friendships that he forges there that a plan for reconnecting with his daughter is formulated.