Bridge of Spies Crimson Peak

Some Movies to See this Weekend, October 15, 2015

Friday, October 16, 2015 Rob Samuelson

This weekend is an explosion of potentially excellent movies. Three of our best working filmmakers have movies out in the same weekend. There really are no wrong choices – even the family CGI extravaganza is getting better buzz than you might expect. Let's stop wasting time and see the smorgasbord ahead of us.

Bridge of Spies
Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Matt Charman, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Starring: Tom Hanks, Amy Ryan, Alan Alda, Mark Rylance

It's been a long three years since Lincoln, but Steven Spielberg is back with another true-to-life American story. This time he covers the height of the Cold War and specifically one American lawyer's (Tom Hanks) attempts to release an American pilot shot down over Soviet airspace.

There is always the possibility of a clunker, even from the man who is probably my favorite living director, but everything is in place for this to be wonderful. Spielberg gets to play with spy craft and sleight of hand in visual ways, the Coen brothers are handling the dialogue in a movie that will largely live and die on conversations, and America's Most Likeable Person is the lead.

Crimson Peak
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Writers: Guillermo del Toro, Matthew Robbins
Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, Tom Hiddleston, Charlie Hunnam

Guillermo del Toro is back in his crazy, spookily designed glory here with a haunted house love story. Del Toro is widely considered a master who could go toe to toe with the man who directed the first movie on this list, plus the overall cast here might be even more top heavy than Bridge of Spies. The trio of Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain, and Tom Hiddleston is basically The Greatness of the 2010s: The Movie. But again, this is del Toro's show. He gets to play with a fictionalized, heightened version of the deterioration of Mary Shelley's England, and he gets to throw in a bunch of ghosts. A double and/or triple (see a couple spots below) feature may be on the agenda for this weekend.

Director: Rob Letterman
Writers: Darren Lemke, Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski
Starring: Jack Black, Dylan Minnette, Odeya Rush, Ryan Lee

The nightmares of R.L. Stine's (Jack Black) Goosebumps get unleashed on the “real” world in this Jumanji update for whatever we're calling the generation after Millennials. It all seems very straightforward, but there are a ton of good words being said about it. It's little surprise that it's getting decent buzz, because Super 8 and the Trophy Wife's Ryan Lee (the kid Melissa McCarthy said looked just like Tom Petty in This is 40) has a significant part. That's all I need. The kid makes me laugh.

Steve Jobs
Director: Danny Boyle
Writer: Aaron Sorkin
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels

The Apple founder comes in for the Sorkin treatment, which has worked exceptionally well for the stories of Mark Zuckerberg (The Social Network) and Billy Beane (Moneyball) in recent years. This time around, Sorkin's words get paired with the kinetic visual maestro Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours) to look at how Steve Jobs changed and (hopefully) grew as a person over a couple decades.

Neatly, Sorkin and Boyle chose to only highlight three specific moments in Jobs' life, during the launches of three different Apple products. The cast features the rest of the greatest performers of this decade, so you probably can't go wrong with anything you see this weekend. Have at it.

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