Brooklyn Feature

Some Movies to See This Weekend, November 13, 2015

Friday, November 13, 2015 Rob Samuelson

Nothing that comes out this weekend is expected to blow the doors off the place, box office-wise. However, there sure is a lot of volume between new wide releases and a couple films expanding their reach. There are six in total, which makes this one of the most singularly crowded weekends in some time. Let's see the numerous options.

Love the Coopers
Director: Jessie Nelson
Writer: Steven Rogers
Starring: Diane Keaton, Olivia Wilde, John Goodman, Ed Helms, Alex Borstein

There is seemingly little to this beyond a ton of charming, comedic performers getting together to hang out and make a movie. Every beat of the movie is clear from the trailer, and it's all about the relatively innocent lies we tell our family when we only see them once a year. This Christmas story lets Diane Keaton and John Goodman ostensibly be the leads as the parents of the Cooper family, and the idea of them bouncing off each other is reason enough to get me to say go see it.

My All American
Director: Angelo Pizzo
Writer: Angelo Pizzo
Starring: Finn Wittrock, Aaron Eckhart, Robin Tunney, Sarah Bolger

Inspiration. Determination. The little guy succeeding against all odds. Those are the types of things written all over the faces of the people in My All American, written and directed by the man who did Rudy, that classic of my Catholic high school health classes when the gym coaches didn't feel like teaching. It's all very familiar, but Aaron Eckhart – and his chin – is usually worth watching. If you're into football and underdog stories, you need not read anymore of this list.

The 33
Director: Patricia Riggen
Writers: Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten, Michael Thomas, Jose Rivera
Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche

Based on the 2010 true story about the miners who became trapped underground in Chile, The 33 brings a mostly veteran cast to dramatize something that was already full of gripping pathos. These are people just going to work and because of poor conditions, their workplace became unsafe and nearly killed all of them.

It would be a lie to say I'm particularly excited for this one, because from the trailers I've seen – it's been attached to just about every movie I've reviewed in the last six weeks for you fine Halfstackers – make it all bombastic music and oddly accented English without the Spanish these people actually spoke. It could be good, but it all feels a bit too much like a TV movie with a slightly bigger budget.

Director: Tom McCarthy
Writers: Tom McCarthy, Josh Singer
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery

This one is being hailed as one of the best movies about journalism ever made. As such, this has quickly shot to the top of my most anticipated movies of the year list, even if the investigation at its center – about the Boston Globe team who unveiled the systematic molestation of the Roman Catholic Church – is about as grim as it gets. Even still, its cast is full of ringers and it has a moody-yet-naturalistic look to it that should serve it well in telling the story visually.

Director: Jay Roach
Writer: John McNamara
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Lane, Helen Mirren, John Goodman

Breaking Bad's Bryan Cranston gets to subvert the villainous Walter White here with screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a guy who was simply considered a monster by the United States Senate for his refusal to cooperate with the Black List communist witch hunt in the 1950s. He was wily, though, and took on a slew of ghostwriting jobs despite technically being barred from working in Hollywood again, including Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus.

This one is looking for Oscar contention, especially on the acting side, and it has the cast to do so. The thing I worry about, with a broad director like Jay Roach (the Austin Powers movies and a bunch of made-for-HBO movies) calling the shots, that it can easily fall into the trap of being too schmaltzy when making its point about standing up for what's right. But hey, it's Cranston being charming. You can't really top that.

Director: John Crowley
Writer: Nick Hornby
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson

A young woman (Saoirse Ronan) from Ireland makes her way across the Atlantic to build a life for herself in New York. She finds love, but a death in the family back home yanks her back across the ocean where she must decide to stay with those she has always known – and the handsome man (Gleeson) who wishes to marry her – or return to the new place where she had just started to get a foothold before disaster struck.

By all accounts, Brooklyn is as “classic Hollywood” as it gets, with earnest love between the characters and between the filmmakers and the Technicolor classics of the 1950s. It has a similarly bright color palette and Ronan has done terrific work since she was a child in Atonement. Gleeson has been part of some of the most interesting movies of the last few years (Ex Machina, Frank). Their involvement is enough, but the overwhelming reaction I've seen to this one on Twitter makes it sound like the perfect romance for this time of year.

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