by Lillianna Byington | Contributing News Editor
Trophies, honorary plaques and stacks of public records requests fill the office of the founder and director of the Documentary Center in the School of Media and Public Affairs.
Nina Gilden Seavey, a research professor of media and public affairs and history, is now working on a film that has required her to sue the federal government for the release of 386 Freedom of Information Act request results. Seavey’s most recent film was picked up by a distributor last week, and will be one of the first short documentary films sold to big-name video streaming companies like Hulu.
Seavey said her newest film, “Parables of War,” is a 32-minute short film that explores the relationships of three men as they heal from the effects war. The film features three male leads: Joshua Bleill, a Marine Corps veteran, Bill Pullman, an award-winning actor and Keith Thompson, a dancer.
Last week, “Parables of War” was picked up by Gravitas Ventures, an international film distribution company. Seavey said that typically distributors don’t like short films but the film is expected to be a success because it will be released around Memorial Day and near the release of “Independence Day 2,” which also features Pullman.
“This had everything a distributor needs to say this thing has legs and that is how we got distribution,” Seavey said.
She said the distributor is looking to publicly launch the short film in May on streaming platforms like Netflix, Epix, Hulu and iTunes.
“They are developing a model that they hope will carry over to a lot of very high-end short films,” Seavey said. “We are happy to be the guinea pig. It is an honor that we are the first.”
Seavey said they have showed the film to medical and nursing students at GW and at the Department of Veterans Affairs therapy education, and will have more screenings in the medical school next month. The film premiered last year to rave reviews.
“How you heal the wounds of war is such a big issue not only for veterans but also for their families, and this really goes to that question,” Seavey said.
The documentary center has ranked in the top 10 schools for documentary making for the past 25 years, and Seavey was named one of the top 50 journalism professors in 2012. The school offers a graduate degree in documentary filmmaking and takes in about 15 students each year.
Seavey said she chooses to work on films that can tell her audiences something about the human condition. She has directed films on everything from football and country music to disease and war.
“Each one of them is so drastically different, and that is what keeps me fresh and interested, that I am not just churning out the same thing,” Seavey said.
She said one of her next films is a project that's been in the works for 30 years. Titled, “My Fugitive,” it chronicles the events of May 1970 at Washington University in St. Louis when protests erupted and a cherry bomb was thrown into an ROTC building.
She said her father, Louis Gilden, was the attorney for the students and the faculty who were wrongly accused.
“It impacted a huge number of lives, what happened that night, and some people never got their lives back,” Seavey said.
Seavey said she recently received a $25,000 grant from a private donor to keep her efforts going. She said she will release a five-minute fundraising trailer this summer to give possible donors a preview of the film.
“There was a lot of complication about the various people who were involved,” Seavey said. “We have the lawsuit and it will take them a while to get that whole problem of what to release, how to release and when to release it.”
Seavey said that she wants students to be inspired by the films she makes and has them focus on their own creative work instead of playing a big role in her films. She said that she loves teaching students about her passion.
“Every day I get up, I am excited. I love what I do. I love teaching my students what I love, and that is why I mentor them for so long,” Seavey said. “It feels like every day is some new surprise, and that's how I feel about this project. That's how I feel about all of these projects.”
Originally posted at: http://www.gwhatchet.com/2016/02/21/documentary-center-directors-film-picked-up-for-spring-release/
By Rob Owen
PITTSBURGH (AP) - Filmed partly in Pittsburgh, home to the annual Furries fest Anthrocon each summer, the new documentary “Fursonas” was made by a local man who was in the closet about his own furry status - to his collaborators and the film’s interview subjects - during the early stages of production.
“Fursonas,” available today on iTunes and other online digital platforms, begins by explaining furry enthusiasts’ interest in anthropomorphic animals from a party line perspective. The film grows more interesting halfway through when director Dominic Rodriguez pushes back against that same carefully cultivated image.
Rodriguez, 25, a 2009 graduate of Upper St. Clair High School who now lives in McDonald, began work on “Fursonas” while studying cinema and digital arts at Point Park University with fellow students Olivia Vaughn, the film’s producer, and Christine Meyer, the film’s editor.
The project began as a 12-minute senior thesis in 2012 but grew into an 81-minute documentary. Eventually “Fursonas” became a production of Pittsburgh’s Animal Media Group, the company responsible for the ABC pilot “Downward Dog” and the 2013 documentary “Blood Brother.”
The film’s first half profiles assorted Furries, including some local to Pittsburgh (such as Boomer the Dog, aka Gary Guy Mathews). It’s a fairly by-the-numbers introduction to Furries culture, the appeal of being part of the Furries community and its tendency to attract outcasts.
“Fursonas” grows more compelling once it leaves those rudimentary elements behind and begins examining furries in the media and the policies of Anthrocon and its leader, CEO Sam Conway (aka Uncle Kage), who profanely disparages any Furries who fail to live up to his expectations of promoting a positive Furry image.
In “Fursonas,” Conway advises Furries not to lie or get defensive when speaking to the media but to deflect questions or play dumb, especially if reporters inquire about the sexual side of Furries culture.
“We rely on the goodwill of the people of Pittsburgh,” Conway says during an Anthrocon panel, before threatening, in graphic terms, anyone who embarrasses the convention.
“Fursonas” introduces the founder of Bad Dragon, a company that makes sex toys for Furries, which once had a store at Anthrocon until “Uncle Kage wanted nothing to do with that,” according to one Anthrocon attendee.
Rodriguez said he was interested in Furries at age 12, and he got more into the scene as he worked on “Fursonas.” He’d never been to a Furries convention before he started making “Fursonas,” but now he tries to make it to one con per month. He has his own Furries persona, a wolf called Video, and costume.
Rodriguez said he didn’t initially share his Furries intrigue with the Furries he interviewed or with his fellow filmmakers, saying he wanted to earn their trust as a filmmaker “instead of asking like I was owed that trust.”
He also wanted to question the approach of Conway in dealing with the media and his iron-fisted desire to maintain a clean public image for all Furrykind.
“I didn’t like the way Furries in the media were portrayed; it felt exploitative,” Rodriguez said. “But I also didn’t like the response from Furry fandom, which was too much in the other direction, too PR-heavy.”
The Furry devotees Rodriguez interviews both defend Conway’s approach and question it.
“It’s an unnecessary cover-up,” says one Furry interviewed in “Fursonas.” ”If you just let things be . people might accept Furries for who they are.”
Rodriguez said the footage of Conway was culled from free online sources and mostly recorded with Mr. Conway’s knowledge at Furries-in-the-media panels at Anthrocon.
“To my knowledge, he hasn’t seen (the film) yet,” Rodriguez said. “But they don’t endorse the film because we broke the Anthrocon rules.”
Those rules include editorial review of documentaries filmed at Anthrocon, Rodriguez said. “I broke the rules because I don’t agree with them. It’s a freedom of speech thing.”
Conway said none of the Anthrocon directors have seen “Fursonas” in its entirety.
“The filmmakers declined our repeated requests to view it, and there have been no screenings local to any board member’s home,” he wrote in an email. “Based on the clips, reviews and articles that have appeared online, however, the film appears to portray the filmmakers’ own perspectives and predilections as opposed to presenting a balanced overview of our community.”
Rodriguez said when he went to register for this year’s Anthrocon, which will be held June 30-July 3 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, he learned he has been banned from the event.
“Obviously there’s a little delight in being a rebel, but I didn’t want to get banned. I wasn’t trying to cause trouble,” Rodriguez said. “It’s bittersweet. Anthrocon is in my town, it’s my con.”
Rodriguez has been screening “Fursonas” at other Furries conventions, and there may be efforts afoot to try to hold a screening in Pittsburgh to coincide with Anthrocon. (It did have one showing in Pittsburgh at the Regent Square Theater on March 10.)
“The reaction from the community has been surprisingly positive,” he said. “It’s about starting a conversation. I didn’t want to just shake things up and ruin people’s lives.
“Everybody who’s actually seen the movie, for the most part, is getting a lot out of it.”
By Meredith Clark
Dominic Rodriguez wasn't an active member of the furry community when he decided to make a documentary about the subculture. Sure, he was intrigued by drawings of happy, human-sized animals, but his interest wasn't deep. "I was sort of half in half out," he told Glamour. It took Rodriguez a full two years of filming Fursonas, his documentary on furries and the sometimes complicated world of conventions, custom-made fur suits, and—shockingly—political intrigue.
What are furries? Men and women who dress in anthropomorphic suits and enjoy living lives in character as animals. But not just any animals; think elaborately constructed costumes in the style of Japanese animation, or a Jim Henson puppet, or Sonic the Hedgehog. These are fully realized alter egos that let furries express themselves and their desires in a way they couldn't otherwise. According to Rodriguez, there are probably around a million people in the furry community, although only a few thousand regularly attend conventions and events.
Over the course of four years of filming, Rodriguez and his film crew went to the nation's largest furry convention, met with men and women of all ages and backgrounds from all over the country, and tried to dig deeper into what it means to be a furry than just, "Do you have sex in the suits?" The answer, just like you'd find in any group of people is, some people do, but everyone's different.
The film hasn't been without detractors. Rodriguez told the Daily Beast last week that he has been banned from Anthrocon, the nation's largest furry convention–one that is run by a powerful furry figure who calls himself Uncle Kage and deeply distrusts all members of the media. That doesn't take away from the power of the film, which shows men and women looking for friendship and love, and trying to live their best lives. Glamour spoke with Rodriguez about his personal journey to accepting himself, his film, and what you should do if you're interested in learning more.
Fursonas is available to watch on streaming services on May 10.
Glamour: How did the process of actually making the movie happen?
Dominic Rodriguez: It started with just finding people who would talk to me. Not everyone has a fur suit, so it was important to talk to people with fur suits—that showed dedication to the community. The first round was a lot of making sure they were comfortable and didn't feel like they were being persecuted. There's a lot of that skepticism in the community. Telling them "No, I'm not trying to spin you one direction or another. Later, when we had a history, I asked more challenging questions, and four years later, that's how we got to where we are.
In terms of my personal story and revealing that I am a furry...they made me do it. I have been interested in this stuff since I was 12, and I'd studied it from a distance. Not something I would closely identify myself with. I'd never been to a convention before 2012, when I started filming. I knew a lot of stuff, but not that much, I was sort of half in, half out.
When I started going to conventions, I started meeting people, and certain things changed for me. For a long time I didn’t get the appeal of suits—I like drawings. Someone like Gris [one of the people profiled in the film], he just owned that suit and he was so funny and comfortable. When I invested in my suit, I got it from the same maker as he did. I started dating my boyfriend, which was part of becoming more comfortable with what I was interested in.
I didn’t tell my crew for two years that I was a furry. When I revealed it, I felt like they would never trust me again. I didn’t want to be in [the film] because I thought it would take away the legitimacy and my voice as a filmmaker. But if I expected these people to be honest with me, I had to put some of that [process] in.
Glamour: What surprised you the most after spending so many years in this community?
DR: A thing I that I did not know until I started working on the film: this is a community with a million people or so, and convention goers are small fraction, maybe only 6,000 or so. The people who do go to cons are known, [it's] crazy that everyone knows everybody. It’s a small world, it feels like a small town, when something happens, everyone finds out of it.
Glamour: Was there anything you felt like you needed to debunk? Any misconceptions you wanted to confront?
DR: Very immediately, I knew that I didn’t want it to be exploitative, but didn’t want it to be a PR piece. I knew that some stereotypes are true and others are based on false notions. I wanted a variety [of people] and to challenge the idea that it’s one thing. The furries would be very concerned that it was all going to be the bad, sexual side of furries, or the good innocent side of furries. The biggest misconception is that it’s just a sex thing. It’s more than that for basically everyone. Eroticism is definitely a part of it. Every furry I talk to tries to give me a number, "oh it's only X percent that’s into it for this reason." It’s such a defensive way to deal with it. People get into it for lots of reasons or sometimes get into it for different reasons than they say.
Glamour: What’s your relationship to being a furry now?
DR: The first convention I went to for fun was in 2014, and that was tons of fun. It was almost therapeutic: "I don’t have to be on duty, [I] can just do what I want." I have been to about 14 cons since then, especially when I got my suit. I got my suit in August, and if I could go every month I would. Something really cool about being in a suit and talking to someone in a suit is that you don’t know what you each look like. Nobody knew who I was when I started, but now my name is out there. It’s cool and also kind of scary.
Glamour: What happens now?
DR: Not even a few months ago, I said I’m not making any more furry documentaries. Now that the movie is getting out there and is starting conversations, I'm really thinking about how to follow up. I want to make more furry projects because it’s a community I want to keep taking seriously and it’s a large enough community that it matters.
When I was actually done and we premiered in Pittsburgh [Rodriguez's hometown], everyone in my life was there, I had my suit on, and by the end of the Q&A I was bawling. I care a lot about the community and it’s great that furries are so protective of their image, they’re so sensitive about representation. It’s been really rewarding but also incredibly terrifying.
Glamour: What kind of reaction do you want?
DR: I hope that people see the furries as people—that’s why you see people in fur suits—you don’t know anything about them. It’s so easy to judge when all you have is that image. I hope they see them as people, and that the movie is about acceptance. When I started this, I was hesitant to worry too much about it having a happy ending or having a story. It was just this weird plotless thing, and what changed is how I changed. My belief is that if we just support and accept each other the world would be a better place. There’s just so much potential for people if they respect each other. Let’s keep talking about these things.
Glamour: What if someone wanted to learn more about furries?
DR: I think you know some people. I guarantee you, you know some furries. People should just check out a furry convention. My movie is the tip of the iceberg. Anthrocon is the biggest one in Pittsburgh, and Midwest Fur Fest, the second biggest convention, is in Chicago, but they're all over, they're everywhere. Just go check one out!
By Emily Gaudette
Documentary director Dominic Rodriguez did not know he was a furry until he was partially finished with his incredible film, Fursonas. “Whenever I talk to a person who says ‘I think I kinda like this scene or this film, but I’m not, you know,a furry,’ I know that they are. All it takes is just a little bit of interest. It’s a slippery slope because it’s such a fun community.”
Inverse spoke with Rodriguez over the phone after previewing Fursonas, which premiered at Slamdance in January, and is currently available for pre-order on iTunes. Though the average viewer may watch Fursonas expecting shocking depictions of alternate sexuality, that misconception is a product of sensationalist media.
“I can’t say for everybody, but for a lot of people, [becoming a furry] is a discovery process which grows and changes and has multiple steps. It’s not necessarily an ‘all in’ thing,” Rodriguez says. “It could be an interest in cartoons that follows you into your adulthood. You’re looking at fan art. For other people it’s about mascot-ing, and then for others it starts as a sexual thing, an attraction to the human-animal hybrid. The internet is full of furry porn so I’m sure that’s a reason at least some people get into it as well.”
The most shocking thing about Fursonas is its frank depiction of the insidious and vitriolic rhetoric used by some furries, particularly a leader who goes by Uncle Kage. Kage refused to be interviewed for Fursonas unless he was given, as Rodriguez reports in the film, a “near-editorial level of control.” Kage’s voice, however, reverberates violently through the documentary, through footage taken at Anthrocon, the largest gathering of furries in the world, which Kage himself oversees.
During the film, Kage threatens to take disobedient furries “out back and skull-fuck them,” and he calls one female furry, who appeared on The Tyra Banks Showin order to describe her experience with the fandom, “a fucking bitch.” It’s unclear in Rodriguez’s documentary how Uncle Kage rose to power among American furries. When he’s depicted as an animated humanoid, the way each of the film’s subjects are rendered (quite lovingly), Kage is a cockroach standing on his hind legs, wearing a white lab coat and holding a glass of wine.
Fursonas does a satisfying job of exploring what’s causing the furry community’s inner turmoil. Many of the film’s subjects blame the media for inconsistent, or even damning, portrayals of their culture, but the real problem for furries seems to be their aggression, which is borne out of panic. In one regard, Kage has a point. He tells Anthrocon, “we are the fat kid, we are the kid picked last in gym class.” Though many furries, including those highlighted in Fursonas, are classically attractive, talented, and “normal” looking people, they’re each marked by a lifetime of turbulent growth and introspection.
“Out of hundreds of people we asked to interview for the film, there was maybe one guy who said ‘how did you get this information?’” Rodriguez tells Inverse. “Your typical furry probably doesn’t want to talk to the media, so the people who engaged with us, in a weird paradox, aren’t the most representative of the group as a whole. I got quite a few saying ‘sorry, not interested, don’t want to be on camera’.” Many furries have been socially and systematically victimized, and they act out against this stigma, sometimes succumbing to threatening each other, and members of the media.
Positivity is what makes Fursona such a revelatory watch for non-furries. Aside from Uncle Kage, the subjects of the documentary are sensitive, effervescent, and charming. Rodriguez did a fantastic job casting a wide net, highlighting a woman who balances being a furry with being a mother, and Varka, one of the furries who owns the famous furry sex toy company, Bad Dragon. That both sections of the film are equally engaging is a testament to both Rodriguez’s storytelling, and the transcendent humanity in the furry community. Whether a furry’s interests are childlike, or decidedly erotic, each member of the fandom comes off strikingly genuine when interviewed by Rodriguez.
Somewhere around the documentary’s halfway point, I realized that I had begun anticipating the reveal of each human subject’s animated “fursona”. As a passive viewer of the film, I had accepted that each subject’s image wasn’t complete until a shot of his or her face cut to a quiet shot of an animated, anthropomorphic animal.
When the child and mother (Freya), pictured above first appeared on screen, they were heartbreakingly dancing together in their backyard, seemingly only aware of each other. Seeing their animated portrait, which flickered onscreen shortly after that establishing shot, made me exhale; here was the way the mother and daughter imagined themselves. Rodriguez and his artists had found a way to show us a furry mother’s soul, the feminine, maternal, humanoid animal she saw in the mirror.
One of the most engaging scenes in the documentary features a “mated” couple of furries, Quad and Grix, who dialogue jovially with an offscreen Rodriguez while smoking weed and playing video games. Among all of Rodriguez’s subjects, Quad and Grix are most obviously embodiments of their animation’s personality.
“You wanna know my theory as to why there was a furry uprising during the late 90s, early 2000s?” one asks, and the other nods, smiling softly. They explain thatThe Lion King, a film often cited by furries as inspirational, came out in 1993, and at the turn of the millennium, many of the fans who grew up with anthropomorphic children’s films were suddenly communicating using the internet.
It’s heartwarming to see the two men, obviously very much in love, glance sideways at each other when making a controversial point regarding Uncle Kage or the strict, prude social taboos enforced by the folks at Anthrocon. Drugs, too, Quad and Grix admit, are a great way to discern a chill, accepting furry from an unreasonable one.
Just before the film introduces Bad Dragon, a polarizing subject among furries, Rodriguez includes several clips of now-familiar furry faces smiling when confronted with the company’s name. “Yes, I know Bad Dragon,” says one woman. “We … we have many of their toys.”
Bad Dragon, a wildly successful company which produces imaginative and colorful dildos and vibrators, was banned from Anthrocon by Uncle Kage himself in order to distance the furry community’s public image from sexuality. I will even admit that I felt a rumbling of discomfort watching Varka manipulate the substance Bad Dragon calls “cumlube” in his hands.
He gushes to the camera that the lubricant can be expelled from Bad Dragon toys using a specially designed tube. It was designed, he says, to mimic the ejaculate often drawn in furry erotic fan art. What’s left unsaid here, of course, is that the semen substitute is meant to approximate animal semen, or, in a sense, the thicker, whiter, more obvious semen imagined by furries. In many instances, Varka suggests, actual human semen just doesn’t live up to the fantasy.
Fursonas is a fantastic learning tool for non-furries curious about the subculture, at once downplaying any sensationalism surrounding furry sexuality and allowing many furry subjects to comment on Uncle Kage’s strange reign.
Even more polarizing than Bad Dragon is a particularly infamous furry, Boomer the Dog, who famously tried to change his legal name to his furry name, publicizing the furry community in a sudden way many members found startling.Fursonas overlays Uncle Kage’s hateful and condescending speech about Boomer the Dog, in which he calls him “certifiably insane”, “a nutcase” and says (while the camera focuses on the frankly sweet Boomer making a snowman), “I have no idea what’s going on in his mind, and I’m terrified to find out.”
A chorus of laughter follows the audio clip, and it’s revealed that, of course, Boomer is actually making himself a snow dog. A car drives by Boomer, alone in the snow, and honks in a friendly gesture. Boomer turns, waves happily, and continues shaping his snow dog’s snout. The film ends on that quiet moment, leaving its viewers feeling not only accepting of furries, but fiercely protective of the kindest and most gentle members of the fandom.
By Erin Ryan
“When I met Stan I was like this little kid in awe of every single word as he’s going, ‘Yeah, when I created Spider-Man …’ Wake me up, please!” Michael Valentine says, as breathless as any fan would be about meeting the Godfather of comics.
But his encounter with Stan Lee wasn't limited to a handshake at a convention. The former president of Marvel and creator of iconic characters from Iron Man to the X-Men is a cornerstone of Valentine’s documentary, COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages, along with fellow industry heavyweights like Frank Miller (Sin City), Neal Adams (Batman), Mark Waid (Superman), Todd McFarlane (Spawn), Mike Richardson (Dark Horse Comics) and Marc Silvestri (Image Comics).
About a dozen years in the making, the film was pieced together from nearly 350 hours of footage and more than 200 images from the pages that inspired Valentine as a kid and as an adult superfan. Given the dominance of comic book characters in pop culture right now, he thinks the timing was right to finally unleash his exploration of “the whole phenomenon,” from the masterminds to production to fan culture. And it’s not all superheroes. “There’s horror comics, there’s fun comics, there’s sexy comics, there’s hand-painted art—there are so many different styles now,” says Valentine, adding that indie artists are part of the discovery factor of the film, which is an IndieFEST and Los Angeles Independent Film Festival award winner.
He made it himself, with his wife's support, a personal loan and the grit to just keep tapping on doors until they opened. “This film was a passion project. I started because I love comic books, and to me, just getting it done and having people watch it and enjoy is really the success.” Released in early February, the documentary is available on-demand through services ranging from iTunes and Google Play to Comcast and Dish Network. The DVD drops July 19, and packs about four hours of bonus footage.
But Valentine is already thinking about the next chapter, about going after interviews with famous devotees like Nicolas Cage and Rosario Dawson, and of course digging deeper into the visceral storytelling tradition painted broadly in COMIX. And he hopes it grabs people way outside the culture of comic books, who don't know anything about their political history and heft, let alone their gobsmacking artistry.
Soak it in on Free Comic Book Day, as the Sci Fi Center is screening COMIX and raffling off everything from artwork to action figures to movie tickets. Valentine will be on hand for a Q&A (and is working on getting one of the famous names in the credits to Skype in). He encourages fans to turn up in costume and make it memorable. “I think the film is best when it’s experienced with other people who love what you love.”
COMIX: Beyond the Comic Book Pages May 7, 7 p.m., $5. Sci Fi Center, 5077 Arville St., 855-501-4335.
By: Erik Gruenwedel
Spurred by subscription streaming, first-quarter (ended March 31) consumer spending on home entertainment topped $4.55 billion, down 1.8% from $4.64 billion in spending during the prior-year period, according to new data from DEG: The Digital Entertainment Group.
Spearheaded by Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Video, subscription streaming topped all digital spending at more than $1.4 billion, up 19% from $1.18 billion a year ago. Transactional VOD rental spending increased 7.3% to $561 million, from $523 million a year ago, while Digital HD increased 4.4% to $505 million, from $484 million. DEG said digital sales were impacted by a smaller new-release slate, but continues to see strong growth in catalog titles.
Packaged media sales declined 13.2% to $1.38 billion, from $1.58 billion a year ago, reflecting ongoing secular changes in content ownership.
Meanwhile, more than 1.5 million 4K Ultra HD televisions sold in the quarter, up 210% from same period a year ago. The total number of 4K TVs sold to date tops 7 million, according to the DEG. With 26 Ultra HD Blu-ray releases available for first time in the quarter, consumers purchased more than 80,000 units during the first weeks of release — twice the number of Blu-ray Discs sold during the HD format’s first weeks of release in 2006.
The trade group estimates that nearly 95% — 104 million — of all U.S. homes have at least one HDTV. Blu-ray playback devices (including set-tops and game consoles) are in more than 84 million U.S. households.
Traditional video store rental spending fell 17% to $140 million, from $169 million, while by-mail subscription rental (Netflix, GameFly, etc.) dropped 16% to $148 million, from $177 million. Kiosk rental spending (led by Redbox) declined 20% to $409 million, from $512 million.
Every single movie coming out this summer
The 2016 Summer Movie Preview is a snapshot of the films opening through early September. Release dates and other details, as compiled by Kevin Crust, are subject to change.
Choose a category:
Blockbuster | Family-friendly | Horror | Alternatives
A Beautiful Planet
The view of Earth from space and the information it reveals about humanity's effect on the planet are examined in this large-format science documentary. Narrated by Jennifer Lawrence. Directed by Toni Myers. Imax 2D/3D. Imax Entertainment
Business suddenly picks up for a London kosher baker when his young Muslim apprentice accidentally drops a stash of pot into the mixer. With Jonathan Pryce, Pauline Collins and Jerome Holder. Written by Yehudah Jez Freedman and Jonathan Benson. Directed by John Goldschmidt. Menemsha Films
The kidnapping of a beloved kitty forces two naive cousins to infiltrate a street gang. With Jordan Peele, Keegan-Michael Key, Tiffany Haddish. Written by Peele & Alex Rubens. Directed by Peter Atencio. Warner Bros.
L'Attesa (The Wait)
A mother bonds with her son's girlfriend during trying times. With Juliette Binoche, Lou De Laâge. Written by Giacomo Bendotti & Ilaria Macchia & Andrea Paolo Massara & Piero Messina. Directed by Messina. Oscilloscope Laboratories
The Man Who Knew Infinity
In 1913 Cambridge, England, a young Indian math genius joins forces with an eccentric professor. With Dev Patel, Jeremy Irons, Devika Bhise. Written and directed by Matthew Brown. IFC Films
Another holiday-themed romantic comedy of ensemble stories from director Garry Marshall. With Julia Roberts, Jennifer Aniston, Kate Hudson. Written by Lily Hollander, Anya Kochoff Romano. Open Road
After an auto accident, a young woman finds herself in a life at odds with the one she remembers. With Michelle Chen, Jackson Rathbone, Sung Kang. Written by Doc Pedrolie and Victoria Arch. Directed by Jonathan Lim. Pali Road Productions
Papa: Hemingway in Cuba
The famous writer's downward spiral is witnessed by a young reporter during the revolution. With Minka Kelly, Giovanni Ribisi, Joely Richardson, Adrian Sparks. Written by Denne Bart Petitclerc. Directed by Bob Yari. Yari Film Group
Ratchet & Clank
A lonely lombax and a tiny robot team with the Galactic Rangers to save their world in this animated adventure. Voices of Paul Giamatti, John Goodman, Bella Thorne. Written by TJ Fixman, Kevin Munroe, Gerry Swallow. Directed by Munroe; co-directed by Jericca Cleland. Gramercy Pictures
Rio, I Love You
Ten directors set amorous stories in different neighborhoods of the Brazilian city in this anthology. With Fernanda Montenegro, Emily Mortimer, Basil Hoffman. Directors include Andrucha Waddington, Paolo Sorrentino, Fernando Meirelles and others. Screen Media Films
An Albanian woman vows to live life as a celibate male to escape marriage. With Alba Rohrwacher, Flonja Kodheli, Lars Eidinger. Written by Francesca Manieri, Laura Bispuri. Directed by Bispuri. Strand Releasing
Tales of Tales
The rulers of three kingdoms are occupied by their passions and obsessions in this fairy tale for grown-ups. With Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones. Written by Edoardo Albinati & Ugo Chiti & Matteo Garrone & Massimo Gaudioso, based on the writings of Giambattista Basile. Directed by Garrone. Sundance Selects
A desperate man must stay alive for three weeks until an insurance policy kicks in. With Vince Vaughn, Hailee Steinfeld, Bill Paxton. Written by Andy Lieberman. Directed by Peter Billingsley. Focus World
Vita Activa: The Spirit of Hannah Arendt
A philosophical and spiritual inquiry into the life of the German Jewish author. Directed by Ada Ushpiz. Zeitgeist Films
A Havana hairdresser dreams of being a drag performer while struggling to reconcile with his estranged father. With Jorge Perugorría, Luis Alberto García, Héctor Medina. Written by Mark O'Halloran. Directed by Paddy Breathnach. Magnolia Pictures
We the People: The Market Basket Effect
Employees and customers rise up in support of an ousted CEO during a family feud for control of the New England-based supermarket chain. A documentary narrated by Michael Chiklis. Written by Jeff Pinilla. Directed by Tommy Reid. FilmBuff. FilmBuff
A Bigger Splash
The reunion of a rock star and a legendary record producer on a Mediterranean island has explosive results. With Ralph Fiennes, Dakota Johnson, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tilda Swinton. Written by David Kajganich. Directed by Luca Guadagnino. Fox Searchlight
The Family Fang
The grown children of performance artists investigate the troubling disappearance of their parents. With Nicole Kidman, Jason Bateman, Christopher Walken. Written by David Lindsay-Abaire. Directed by Bateman. Starz Digital
Rabin in His Own Words
Director Erez Laufer uses rare archival footage, home movies, private letters and the late Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin's own voice to probe his dramatic life. Menemsha Films
Band of Outsiders
Jean-Luc Godard's 1964 crime drama stars Sami Frey and Claude Brasseur as a pair of suburban lowlifes who take Anna Karina for a spin and plot a robbery. Rialto Pictures
Four gay men cruise the back streets of Philadelphia looking for connection. With Brian Sheppard, Colman Domingo, Zack Ryan. Written and directed by Joseph Graham. Ariztical Entertainment
A young man deals with his strained relationship with his parents and enters rehab one more time. With Nick Robinson, Morgan Saylor, Devon Bostick. Written by Nick Reiner and Matt Elisofon. Directed by Rob Reiner. Paladin
Belladonna of Sadness
The controversial 1973 Japanese animated work, long out of circulation, about an innocent young woman and her pact with the devil. Written by Yoshiyuki Fukuda and Eiichi Yamamoto, based on a novel by Jules Michelet. Directed by Yamamoto. Cinelicious Pics
After a seemingly harmless insect bite, a young woman undergoes a horrifying transformation. With Elma Begovic, Annette Wozniak and Jordan Gray. Written by Jayme Laforest, story by Chad Archibald. Directed by Archibald. Scream Factory
Captain America: Civil War
Chris Evans returns as Steve Rogers and faces off against Robert Downey Jr.'s Iron Man as the Avengers split into feuding factions. With Scarlett Johansson. Written by Christopher Markus & Stephen McFeely. Directed by Anthony & Joe Russo. Imax 3D. Marvel Studios
Code of Honor
Steven Seagal stars as a former special forces operative turned vigilante seeking revenge for the death of his family. With Helena Mattsson, Craig Sheffer. Written and directed by Michael Winnick. Lionsgate Premiere
The inhabitants of a small Welsh mining village band together to breed a champion racehorse in this documentary. Written and directed by Louise Osmond. Sony Pictures Classics
Dou kyu sei (Classmates)
Animated love story between two Japanese boys based on the manga by Asumiko Nakamura. Voices of Kenji Nojima, Hiroshi Kamiya, Hideo Ishikawa. Directed by Shoko Nakamur. Aniplex
Behind-the-scenes documentary looks at the making of the first "Star Wars" at the famed English film studio. Featuring David Prowse, Jeremy Bulloch, Derek Lyons. Written and directed by Jon Spira. FilmRise
A Palo Alto boy struggles with existential questions about his unsatisfying life. With Sam Dillon, Thomas Mann, Ruby Modine. Written and directed by Nina Ljeti and Vladimir de Fontenay, based on James Franco's "Palo Alto Stories" and "A California Childhood." Monterey Media
Mothers & Daughters
A photographer captures interwoven stories of motherhood. With Eva Amurri Martino, Christina Ricci, Courteney Cox. Written by Paige Cameron. Directed by Paul Duddridge & Nigel Levy. Screen Media
Pelé: Birth of a Legend
The soccer superstar rises from the slums of Brazil to become the world's greatest player. With Vincent D'Onofrio, Diego Boneta, Seu Jorge. Written and directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist. IFC FIlms
Phantom of the Theater
Thirteen years after a performance troupe died in a fire, its spirits haunt the venue, awaiting new victims. With Ruby Lin, Yo Yang, Simon Yam. Directed by Raymond Yip. Well Go USA
The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West
Filmmaker Barry Strugatz explores the ancient art of tai chi through this documentary on one of its modern masters, Cheng Man-Ching, who brought the martial art to the U.S in the 1960s. First Run Features
A newly arrived surgeon in the Shetland Islands off Scotland makes a gruesome discovery connecting ancient rituals to the present. With Radha Mitchell, Rupert Graves, David Robb. Written and directed by Peter A. Dowling. IFC Midnight
A Bit of Bad Luck
A timber heiress, tired of her philandering attorney husband's humiliating behavior, turns his latest weekend romp into a nightmare. With Cary Elwes, Agnes Bruckner, Teri Polo. Written and directed by John Fuhrman. Indican Pictures
The Curse of Sleeping Beauty
A dark thriller inspired by the Brothers Grimm classic. With Ethan Peck, Natalie Hall, India Eisley. Written by Pearry Teo and Josh Nadler. Directed by Teo. XLrator Media
Supernatural forces haunt a family after its return from a Grand Canyon vacation. With Kevin Bacon, Radha Mitchell, David Mazouz. Written by Greg McLean, Shayne Armstrong and S.P. Krause. Directed by McLean. BH Tilt
Palme d'Or winner about Sri Lankan refugees trying to escape their violent past in France. With Antonythasan Jesuthasan Kalieaswari Srinivasan, Claudine Vinasithamby. Written by Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré. Directed by Audiard. IFC FIlms
A feature-length appreciation of the work of the pioneer sculptor, who died in 1970 at age 34. Featuring Hesse's journals and correspondence with mentor Sol LeWitt and interviews with artists Richard Serra, Robert Mangold, Dan Graham. Directed by Marcie Berlieter. Zeitgeist Films
The residents of a luxury apartment tower experience vertical class warfare. With Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller. Written by Amy Jump, based on the novel by J.G. Ballard. Directed by Ben Wheatley. Magnolia Pictures
How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town
When a sex columnist returns to her provincial small town for her estranged mother's funeral, various locals plot to persuade her to stage the titular event. With Jewel Staite, Lauren Holly, Katharine Isabelle. Written and directed by Jeremy Lalonde. Gravitas Ventures
I Am Wrath
John Travolta stars as a former black ops agent bent on revenge after his wife is murdered by a street gang. With Christopher Meloni, Amanda Schull. Written by Paul Sloan, story by Yvan Gauthier. Directed by Chuck Russell. Saban Films/Lionsgate
A young Palestinian pursues his dream of being a singer. With Tawfeek Barhom, Kais Attalah, Hiba Attalah. Written by Hany Abu-Assad and Sameh Zoabi. Directed by Abu-Assad. Adopt Films
Kill Zone 2
An undercover cop is thrown into a Thai prison, a hotbed of corruption, riots and black-market organ transplants. With Tony Jaa, Zhang Jin, Simon Yam. Written by Lai-yin Leung, Ying Wong. Directed by Pou-Soi Cheang. Well Go USA
Last Days in the Desert
Jesus returns from his 40 days and nights to battle the devil over a family's destiny. With Ewan McGregor, Tye Sheridan, Ciarán Hinds. Written and directed by Rodrigo García. Broad Green Pictures
A man in the near future who flees into the woods rather than be turned into an animal because he is single illegally falls in love with a fellow rebel. With Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux. Written by Yorgos Lanthimos, Efthymis Filippou. Directed by Lanthimos. A24
Love & Friendship
A young aristocratic widow is pursued by a disparate trio of gentlemen. With Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, Xavier Samuel. Directed and written by Whit Stillman, based on a Jane Austen novella. Amazon Studios/Roadside Attractions
Financial TV host George Clooney and his producer, Julia Roberts, are held hostage by a desperate man. Written by Jamie Linden and Alan DiFiore & Jim Kouf, story by DiFiore & Kouf. Directed by Jodie Foster. TriStar Pictures
Buddies botch a friend's wedding, then must rescue him in Mexico after he is carjacked and left naked in the desert. With T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Adam Pally. Written by Mike Gagerman, Andrew Waller and Scot Armstrong; directed by Armstrong. Focus World
A young writer's encounter with a mysterious woman changes his future over the course of one night. With Mischa Barton, Grant Harvey, Eric Roberts. Written and directed by Chase Mohseni. Indican Pictures
A spring-break vacation in Puerto Vallarta turns ugly for two high school seniors when a sexy girl makes off with the Rolex belonging to one boy's grandfather. With Devon Werkheiser, Sean Marquette, Camilla Belle. Written by Fernando Lebrija, Miguel Tejada-Flores. Directed by Lebrija. Pantelion
British director Terence Davies' adaptation of the Scottish novel depicts a young woman enduring life in the early 20th century. With Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie. Magnolia Pictures
Corrupt cops unravel a mystery, hoping for a big score. With Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira. Written by Benjamin Brewer and Adam Hirsch. Directed by Alex Brewer & Benjamin Brewer. Lionsgate/Saban Films
Under the Gun
Political inaction is examined in this documentary on the gun-control debate. Narrated by Katie Couric. Written by Brian Lazarte, Mark Monroe, Stephanie Soechtig. Directed by Soechtig. Lionsgate Premiere
What We Become
A virulent strain of the flu quickly turns a Danish family's summer into a nightmare when it is attacked by a bloodthirsty mob. With Mille Dinesen, Troels Lyby, Benjamin Engell. Written and directed by Bo Mikkelsen. IFC Midnight
Ukrainian pastor Gennadiy Mokhnenko uses controversial means to rescue street kids in this documentary. Written and directed by Steve Hoover. The Orchard
The Angry Birds Movie
Outliers Red, Chuck and Bomb must figure out what's going on when mysterious green piggies arrive on their island. Voices of Jason Sudeikis, Josh Gad, Danny McBride. Written by Jon Vitti; story by Mikael Hed & Mikko Pöllä & John Cohen. Directed by Fergal Reilly and Clay Kaytis. Columbia Pictures
Back in the Day
With the help of local mob bosses, a half-Italian, half-Puerto Rican Bensonhurst teen pursues his dream of becoming a champion boxer. With Michael Madsen, Alec Baldwin, Danny Glover. Written by DeMeo. Directed by Paul Borghese. Abramorama
Come What May
In 1940 France, a German man on the run from Nazism looks for his young son. With August Diehl, Olivier Gourmet, Mathilde Seigner. Written by Andrew Bampfield, Christian Carion, Laure Irrmann. Directed by Carion. Cohen Media Group
On Long Island's Gold Coast, a high schooler struggling to make ends meet at an elite prep school discovers inventive ways to profit off his classmates with the help of an attractive runaway. With Kristin Chenoweth, Katrina Bowden, Skyler Gisondo. Written and directed by Sean Nalaboff. Momentum Pictures
It's So Easy and Other Lies
Authorized documentary on the life and career of bassist Duff McKagan of Guns N' Roses and Velvet Revolver. Featuring Slash, Mike McCready. Written and directed by Christopher Duddy. XLrator Media
A young New Yorker falls in love with a married professor, but her plot to be with him goes comically awry. With Greta Gerwig, Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore. Written and directed by Rebecca Miller. Sony Pictures Classics
A tabloid journalist's investigation of the murder of a filmmaker endangers his job, his family and his life. With Adrien Brody, Yvonne Strahovski, Campbell Scott. Written by and directed by Brian DeCubellis. Lionsgate Premiere
The Measure of a Man
An unemployed French mechanic finds morally challenging work doing security in a big-box supermarket. With Vincent Lindon. Directed by Stéphane Brizé. Kino Lorber
A Monster With a Thousand Heads
Frustration with an insurance company over her husband's cancer treatment leads a woman to a series of increasingly violent confrontations. With Jana Raluy, Sebastián Aguirre, Hugo Albores. Written by Laura Santullo. Directed by Rodrigo Plá. Music Box Films
Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising
Seth Rogen, Zac Efron, Rose Byrne return in this sequel to the 2014 frat-boys-versus-new-parents comedy. Written by Rogen, Nicholas Stoller, Evan Goldberg, Andrew Jay Cohen, Brendan O'Brien. Directed by Stoller. Universal Pictures
The Nice Guys
Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling team as a muscle-for-hire and a private eye in this 1970s-set action comedy. With Angourie Rice. Written by Shane Black & Anthony Bagarozzi. Directed by Black. Warner Bros.
O.J.: Made in America
The rise and fall of football hero Orenthal James Simpson is chronicled in the 7 1/2 -hour documentary. ESPN
Paths of the Soul
Documentary follows a group of Tibetans as they traverse snowy conditions in mountains to participate in the transformative "bowing pilgrimage." Directed by Zhang Yang. Icarus Films
Song of Lahore
Documentary explores the changing lives of several Pakistani classical musicians when their new album earns them international accolades and a concert at Lincoln Center. With Wynton Marsalis. Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Andy Schocken. Broad Green Pictures
Documentary goes inside former Rep. Anthony Weiner's failed mayoral campaign. Directed by Josh Kriegman and Elyse Steinberg. IFC Films
Alice Through the Looking Glass
Alice time-travels to save the Mad Hatter. With Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Mia Wasikowska. Written by Linda Woolverton, based on characters created by Lewis Carroll. Directed by James Bobin. Imax 3D. Walt Disney Studios
Filmmaker Will Allen documents his decades-long experience with the Los Angeles spiritual group the Buddhafield. FilmRise
Penélope Cruz stars as a woman with breast cancer who meets a man enduring a grievous loss. With Luis Tosar, Asier Etxeandia. Written and directed by Julio Medem. Oscilloscope Laboratories
The Ones Below
Suburban London parents-to-be engage in a battle of wills with their mysterious new downstairs neighbors. With Clémence Poésy, David Morrissey, Stephen Campbell Moore and Laura Birn. Written and directed by David Farr. Magnolia Pictures
Presenting Princess Shaw
An Israeli musician, composer and video producer discovers a New Orleans singer online and reveals a star in this documentary. With Samantha Montgomery, Ophir Kutiel. Directed by Ido Haar. Magnolia Pictures
A 12-year-old Israeli girl's budding sexual curiosity is piqued by her hedonistic home life and a meeting with an androgynous doppelgänger. With Keren Mor, Ori Pfeffer, Shira Haas. Written and directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer. Breaking Glass Pictures
The original mutant awakens after thousands of years and he is not happy, triggering a battle for a new world order. With James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence. Written by Simon Kinberg; story by Bryan Singer & Kinberg & Michael Dougherty & Dan Harris. Directed by Singer. 20th Century Fox
Bang Gang: A Modern Love Story
Sexual experimentation by a group of teens results in a scandal forcing them to reassess their lives. Written and directed by Eva Husson. Samuel Goldwyn Pictures
As I Am: The Life and Time$ of DJ AM
The turbulent life and times of the late DJ are explored in this documentary. Featuring Jon Favreau, Mark Ronson, Mix Master Mike. Written and directed by Kevin Kerslake. Abramorama
Competitiveness runs amok as six men on a yacht in the Aegean Sea mercilessly measure themselves against one another, both literally and figuratively. With Yorgos Kendros, Panos Koronis, Vangelis Mourikis. Written by Efthimis Filippou, Athina Rachel Tsangari. Directed by Tsangari. Strand Releasing
How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change
Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox travels to 12 countries on six continents seeking local solutions to global environmental problems. With Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Elizabeth Kolbert. International WOW Company/HBO Documentary Films
Me Before You
Romantic drama about a working-class English girl who becomes caretaker for a wealthy, young, wheelchair-using banker. With Emilia Clarke, Sam Claflin, Janet McTeer. Written by JoJo Moyes, based on her book. Directed by Thea Sharrock. Warner Bros.
Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping
Andy Samberg, Akiva Schaffer and Jorma Taccone (a.k.a. the Lonely Island) wrote and star in this comedy about a rapper enduring a colossal sophomore slump. Co-directed by Schaffer and Taccone. Universal Pictures
Military Mallards inadvertently invade the peaceful island of Mandarin ducks, triggering conflict, unexpected friendships and a plot to snuff out the sun. Voices of Michael Gross, Robbie Daymond, Enn Reitel. Directed by Victor Lakisov. Shout Factory
Teenage Mutant Turtles: Out of the Shadows
The return of the pizza-eating, martials-arts-infused, adolescent reptiles. With Megan Fox, Will Arnett, Laura Linney. Written by Josh Appelbaum & André Nemec, based on characters created by Peter Laird and Kevin Eastman. Directed by Dave Green. Paramount Pictures
Time to Choose
Oscar-winning documentarian Charles Ferguson examines the challenges and solutions associated with climate change. With Dr. Jane Goodall, Mohammed Yunus, Paul Polman. Abramorama
A new designer drug turns a night of partying on an island paradise into a lethal bacchanal. With Pierce Brosnan, Justin Chatwin, Ashley Greene. Written by Guy Busick, Aaron Kaufman, Jason Zumwalt. Directed by Kaufman. Lionsgate Premiere
A retired logger helps a young woman who is being harassed by a psychopath cop. With Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta. Written by Joe Gangemi and Gregory Jacobs, based on a novel by Castle Freeman Jr. Directed by Daniel Alfredson. Electric Entertainment
Careful What You Wish For
A college-bound young man's affair with a wealthy neighbor's wife is complicated by a suspicious death. With Nick Jonas, Isabel Lucas, Graham Rogers. Written by Chris Frisina. Directed by Elizabeth Allen. Starz Digital
The Conjuring 2
Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson return as demonologists investigating the haunting of a house in north London. With Frances O'Connor. Written by Chad Hayes & Carey W. Hayes & James Wan and David Leslie Johnson; story by Hayes & Hayes & Wan. Directed by Wan. Warner Bros.
Filmmakers Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow look at the 50-year career of Brian De Palma, director of such films as "Carrie," "Scarface" and "The Untouchables." A24
An 11-year-old tomboy is transfixed by the dance team that practices in the gym where she boxes with her brother. With Royalty Hightower, Alexis Neblett, Da'Sean Minor. Written and directed by Anna Rose Holmer, story by Holmer, Saela Davis and Lisa Kjerulff. Oscilloscope Laboratories
Dramatization of the complex personal and professional relationship between editor Maxwell Perkins and writer Thomas Wolfe. With Colin Firth, Jude Law, Nicole Kidman. Written by John Logan, based on the biography "Max Perkins: Editor of Genius" by A. Scott Berg. Directed by Michael Grandage. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
The God Cells
Documentary examination of fetal stem cell injections, the people who seek the treatment abroad and the religious and regulatory restrictions that prevent its approval in the U.S. Directed by Eric Merola. Merola Productions
A young woman with terminal cancer goes on an adventure with a gender-defying artist. With Adriana Mather, Booboo Stewart, Zach Villa. Written and directed by James Bird. Zombot Pictures
The Lovers and the Despot
Documentary about a South Korean director and his actress muse, who are kidnapped and imprisoned in North Korea, then become movie-mad Kim Jong Il's personal filmmakers. Featuring Shin Sang-ok and Choi Eun-hee. Written and directed by Ross Adam and Robert Cannan. Magnolia Pictures
The Music of Strangers: Yo-Yo Ma and the Silk Road Ensemble
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Morgan Neville profiles the international collective created by world-class cellist Ma. The Orchard
Now You See Me 2
The Four Horsemen return for more magic and tangle with an unethical tech magnate. With Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson. Written by Ed Solomon, story by Solomon & Peter Chiarelli, based on characters created by Boaz Yakin & Edward Ricourt. Directed by Jon M. Chu. Summit Entertainment
Therapy for a Vampire
Sigmund Freud introduces a patient, unaware he is immortal, to a young painter and his girlfriend with unexpected consequences. With Tobias Moretti, Jeanette Hain. Written and directed by David Ruehm. Music Box Films
Three generations of Bulgarian women witness the transformation from communism to democracy. With Irmena Chichikova, Daria Vitkova, Kalina Vitkova. Written and directed by Maya Vitkova. Big World Pictures
Two opposing warriors are on a fateful course that will decide the future of their civilizations. With Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster. Written by Charles Leavitt and Duncan Jones, based on the video game. Directed by Jones. Imax 3D. Universal Pictures
Documentary on the 1964 Queens murder of Kitty Genovese and the search for truth by her brother William. Directed by James Solomon. FilmRise
With demonic possessions on the rise and business booming, an exorcist realizes he isn't happy. With Daniel Falicki, Sherryl Despres. Written by Warren Croyle, Sheri Beth Dusek. Directed by Falicki. Gravitas Ventures
A former geek returns to a high school reunion as a studly CIA agent and recruits his nemesis for a "mission." With Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan. Written by Ike Barinholtz & David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber. Directed by Thurber. Warner Bros.
The clown costume a father wears for his son's birthday turns out to be something much more sinister. With Andy Powers, Laura Allen, Peter Stormare. Written by Christopher D. Ford, Jon Watts. Directed by Watts. Weinstein Co./Dimension Films
Nemo, Marlin and the forgetful blue tang must cross an ocean to find her family in this sequel. Voices of Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill. Directed by Andrew Stanton; co-director Angus MacLane. Imax 3D. Disney/Pxar
A middle-aged Caracas, Venezuela man who pays for male companionship eases into a relationship with a tough young man. With Alfredo Castro, Luis Silva, Jericó Montilla. Written and directed by Lorenzo Vigas, based on a story by Guillermo Arriaga. Strand Releasing
The Last Heist
A bank robbery goes wrong when one of the hostages turns out to be a serial killer and turns the tables on the robbers. With Henry Rollins, Torrance Coombs, Victoria Pratt. Written by Guy Stevenson. Directed by Mike Mendez. XLrator Media
The Last King
During the 13th century Norwegian civil war, two warriors must protect the infant heir to the throne. With Jakob Oftebro, Kristofer Hivju. Written by Ravn Lanesskog. Directed by Nils Gaup. Magnolia Pictures
A teenager's disappearance at a fair in France leads her father to track down her and her Muslim boyfriend in this modern reimagining of "The Searchers." With François Damiens, Finnegan Oldfield, Antonia Campbell-Hughes. Written by Thomas Bidegain and Noé Debré. Directed by Bidegain. Cohen Media Group
Made in Venice
Documentary on Venice Beach skateboarders in the 1980s and their dream of a skate park. Featuring Jesse Martinez, Cesario "Block" Montano, Craig R. Stecyk III. Written by Diane Rozas. Directed by Jonathan Penson. Abramorama
No Stranger Than Love
As a schoolteacher is about to consummate her affair with a married colleague, a gaping hole opens in her living room floor and things get complicated. With Alison Brie, Justin Chatwin, Colin Hanks. Written by Steve Adams. Directed by Nick Wernham. Momentum Pictures
Swiss Army Man
A man stranded on a desert island befriends the corpse that washes ashore. With Paul Dano, Daniel Radcliffe, Mary Elizabeth Winstead. Written and directed by Daniels (a.k.a. Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert). A24
Under legal threats and intimidation, documentarians David Farrier and Dylan Reeve uncover an online operation in which young men are tied up and tickled, but it's no laughing matter. Magnolia Pictures
Filmmaker Penny Lane explores the power of nonfiction filmmaking as she profiles Kansas physician John Romulus Brinkley, who in 1917 claimed to discover a cure for impotence, invented junk mail and the infomercial and built the world's most powerful radio station.
Eat That Question — Frank Zappa in His Own Words
Documentary on the eccentric musician, composer and free thinker uses archival footage to explore his legacy. Directed by Thorsten Schütte. Sony Pictures Classics
Free State of Jones
During the U.S. Civil War, a Mississippi farmer leads a rebellion against the Confederacy. With Matthew McConaughey, Gugu Mbatha-Raw. Written and directed by Gary Ross, story by Leonard Hartman and Ross. STX Entertainment
The Fundamentals of Caring
An emotionally damaged man acts as caregiver to an 18-year-old with muscular dystrophy as they embark on a road trip. With Paul Rudd, Craig Roberts, Selena Gomez. Written and directed by Rob Burnett, based on Jonathan Evison's novel. Netflix
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
A rebellious city kid gets a second chance with a family in the New Zealand countryside, but a tragedy forces him and his foster parent to go on the run. With Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rachel House. Written and directed by Taika Waititi. based on a book by Barry Crump. The Orchard
Independence Day: Resurgence
Twenty years later, the aliens return with new and improved technology. With Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Pullman. Written by Nicolas Wright & James A. Woods and Dean Devlin & Roland Emmerich and James Vanderbilt; story by Devlin & Emmerich and Wright & Woods. Directed by Emmerich. Imax 3D. 20th Century Fox
A veteran theater actress is wooed by a slick television star amid other backstage tales. With Tanna Frederick, James Denton. Written by Henry Jaglom, Ron Vignone. Directed by Jaglom. Rainbow Film Company
A rookie major leaguer with control problems is sent to the minors to work with a sports psychologist who discovers repressed conflicts between the pitcher and his domineering father. With Johnny Simmons, Paul Giamatti, Ethan Hawke. Written and directed by Noah Buschel. RLJ Entertainment
Septembers of Shiraz
A prosperous Jewish family in Tehran is caught in the post-revolution fundamentalism of the Ayatollah Khomeini. With Salma Hayek, Adrien Brody, Shohreh Aghdashloo. Written by Hanna Weg, based on a novel by Dalia Sofer. Directed by Wayne Blair. Momentum Pictures
Blake Lively stars as a surfer on a secluded beach who fights for survival after encountering a great white shark. Written by Anthony Jaswinski. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. Columbia Pictures
Unlocking the Cage
Animal rights lawyer Steven Wise challenges the legal distinctions between animals and humans in this documentary. Directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker. First Run Features
An elongated canine travels cross-country, affecting people along the way. With Greta Gerwig, Ellen Burstyn, Danny DeVito. Written and directed by Todd Solonz. Amazon Studios/IFC Films
Last Cab to Darwin
Michael Caton plays an Australian taxi driver seeking to die on his own terms. With Ningali Lawford-Wolf and Jacki Weaver. Written by Reg Cribb and Jeremy Simms, based on Cribbs' play. Directed by Sims. First Run Features
The Neon Demon
Voracious, beauty-obsessed L.A. women descend upon a newly arrived young model. With Elle Fanning, Bella Heathcote, Abbey Lee. Written by Nicolas Winding Refn and Mary Laws & Polly Stenham. Directed by Refn. Amazon Studios
Director Carlos Saura explores the nation's traditional folklore through dance. Featuring Los Chalchaleros, El Chaqueño Palavecino, Soledad Pastorutti. First Run Features
A Big Friendly Giant befriends a young girl from London in this adaptation of the Roald Dahl claasic. With Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Penelope Wilton. Written by Melissa Mathison. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Disney/Amblin Entertainment
A young female French Red Cross doctor arrives at convent in Poland in December 1945 and discovers several pregnant and traumatized nuns, victims of the Red Army. With Lou De Lage, Agata Buzek. Written by Sabrina B. Karine, Alice Vial, Anne Fontaine, Pascal Bonitzer, Philippe Maynial. Directed by Fontaine. Music Box Films
The Kind Words
Adult siblings reunite after the death of their mother and embark on a road trip from Israel through Paris and Marseille to find their "real" father. With Rotem Zissman-Cohen, Roy Assaf, Jonathan Bar-Giora. Written and directed by Shemi Zarhin. Strand Releasing
The Legend of Tarzan
After years of being civilized, the ape-man returns to the Congo and is entangled in a conspiracy. With Alexander Skarsgård, Samuel L. Jackson, Margot Robbie. Written by Adam Cozad and Craig Brewer, based on the Tarzan stories created by Edgar Rice Burroughs. Directed by David Yates. Imax 3D. Warner Bros.
Microbe and Gasoline
Two French friends take a cross-country road trip in a homemade vehicle. With Ange Dargent, Théophile Baquet, Diane Besnier. Written and directed Michel Gondry. Screen Media
Our Kind of Traitor
On holiday in Marrakesh, an English couple become entangled with the Russian mafia and the U.K.'s MI6. With Ewan McGregor, Naomie Harris, Damian Lewis. Written by Hossein Amini based on the John le Carré novel. Directed by Susanna White. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
The Purge: Election Year
The third edition of this sci-fi horror series in which the annual government-sanction 12-hour period when all crime is legal comes under attack. With Frank Grillo, Edwin Hodge, Betty Gabriel. Written and Directed by James DeMonaco. Universal Pictures
A Pacific Northwest family's off-the-grid lifestyle is disrupted by tragedy. With Viggo Mortensen, Frank Langella, George MacKay. Written and directed by Matt Ross. Bleecker Street
Documentary about Owen Suskind, who was unable to speak as a child but learned how to communicate through repeated viewings of Disney films. Directed by Roger Ross Williams. The Orchard
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates
Two brothers get more than they can handle from the pair of out-of-control women who respond to their online ad. With Zac Efron, Anna Kendrick, Adam Devine, Aubrey Plaza. Written by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien. Directed by Jake Szymanski. 20th Century Fox
Our Little Sister
When their long-absent father dies, three adult Japanese sisters take in their 13-year-old half-sister. With Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa, Kaho, Suzu Hirose. Written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda. Sony Pictures Classics
The Secret Life of Pets
An animated comedy about what our dogs and cats do while we're at work or school. Voices of Louis C.K., Eric Stonestreet, Kevin Hart. Written by Brian Lynch and Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio. Directed by Chris Renaud. Co-director Yarrow Cheney. Universal Pictures
This Last Lonely Place
A cab driver is duped into helping an investment banked cover up a brutal crime. With Rhys Coiro, Xander Berkeley, Carly Pope. Written and directed by Steve Anderson. Indican Pictures
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney trains his camera on the world of cyberwar in this account of a "worm" unleashed by the U.S. and Israel on an Iranian nuclear facility that spread beyond its intended target. Magnolia Pictures
In a genetically engineered society devoid of human emotion, a young woman and man experience a forbidden romance. With Kristen Stewart, Nicholas Hoult, Guy Pearce. Written by Nathan Parker. Directed by Drake Doremus. A24
Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon and Leslie Jones are the new generation of paranormal investigators out to save the world from supernatural baddies. Written by Paul Feig & Katie Dippold, based on the 1984 film written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. Directed by Feig. Imax 3D. Columbia Pictures
Former NFL lineman Steve Gleason battles ALS in this documentary. Written and directed by Clay Tweel. Amazon Studios
Bryan Cranston plays a federal agent who goes deep undercover to access drug king Pablo Escobar's 1980s empire. With John Leguizamo and Diane Kruger. Written by Ellen Brown Furman, based on Robert Mazur's autobiography. Directed by Brad Furman. Broad Green Films
While recuperating from a skiing accident, a woman looks back on a tumultuous decade-long relationship. With Emmanuelle Bercot and Vincent Cassel. Written by Etienne Comar, Maïwenn. Directed by Maïwenn. Film Movement
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
Documentary explores how a Jewish kid from Connecticut could become a groundbreaking television producer and creator of Archie Bunker. Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. Music Box Films
Outlaws and Angels
Bad guys on the run invade the home of a frontier family and come to regret it in this western. With Chad Michael Murray, Francesca Eastwood, Madisen Beaty. Written and directed by JT Mollner. Momentum Pictures
Under the Sun
Russian documentarian Vitaly Mansky chronicles the creepy machinations behind his collaboration with North Korean officials to depict a "typical" family's utopian life. Icarus Films
Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley are back as Edina and Patsy, living the AbFab life until they cause a media storm and flee to the French Riviera, sans argent. With Julia Sawalha. Written by Saunders. Directed by Mandie Fletcher. Fox Searchlight
Don't Think Twice
A New York City improv comedy group learns its theater is shutting down and a hit TV series taps two of its members. With Keegan-Michael Key, Gillian Jacobs, Mike Birbiglia. Written and directed by Birbiglia. Film Arcade
Ice Age: Collision Course
Scrat's back chasing that acorn and sets off a chain of cosmic events that threatens the world he and his friends know. Voices by Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary. Directed by Michael Thurmeier and Galen Chu. 20th Century Fox
A young woman and her brother confront the terrifying reality of what happens in the dark. With Teresa Palmer, Gabriel Bateman, Alexander DiPersia. Written by Eric Heisserer, based on the short film by David F. Sandberg. Directed by Sandberg. New Line Cinema
The People vs. Fritz Bauer
A German Jewish prosecutor pursues Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann. With Burghart Klauner, Ronald Zehrfeld, Robert Atzorn. Written by Lars Kraume, Olivier Guez. Directed by Kraume. Cohen Media Group
A mysterious illness grants a young boy the ability to leave his body and explore New York City as a ghostly apparition. Directed by Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol. GKids
Fed up with his unstable home life, a high schooler asks to move in with his new girlfriend's family and soon wears out his welcome. With Ben Konigsberg, Kara Hayward, Mira Sorvino. Written by Noah Pritzker, Ben Tarnoff. Directed by Pritzker. Momentum Pictures
Star Trek Beyond
The crew of the Enterprise travels to deepest space and is challenged by an inscrutable new foe. With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba. Written by Simon Pegg & Doug Jung and Roberto Orci & John D. Payne & Patrick McKay. Directed by Justin Lin. Imax 3D. Paramount Pictures
A farm girl goes to Paris in 1971, becomes involved in the women's rights movement and begins a passionate lesbian affair. With Cécile de France, Izïa Higelin, Noémie Lvovsky. Written by Catherine Corsini and Laurette Polmanss. Directed by Corsini. Strand Releasing
Overworked and stressed out, a trio of mothers set to liberate themselves from straitjacketed upright behavior. With Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Kathryn Hahn. Written & directed by Jon Lucas & Scott Moore. STX Entertainment
An investment banker guides a client's high-stakes IPO while dealing with the internal politics of her own firm. With Anna Gunn, James Purefoy, Sarah Megan Thomas. Written by Amy Fox. Directed by Meera Menon. Sony Pictures Classics
Matt Damon steps back into the role of the rogue CIA agent for this fifth installment. With Julia Stiles, Alicia Vikander. Written by Paul Greengrass, Christopher Rouse, inspired by the "Bourne" series created by Robert Ludlum. Directed by Greengrass. Universal Pictures
Ellen Page plays a free spirit who liberates a baby from its neglectful mother. With Allison Janney, Zachary Quinto. Written and directed by Sian Heder. Netflix
Author: The JT LeRoy Story
Documentary on the literary scandal caused by writer Laura Albert's bogus creation. Written and directed by Jeff Feuerzeig. Amazon Studios
Bank robbers on the run from police with a hostage infringe on the territory of a twisted, ex-military marksman who likes a good hunt. With Ashley Bell, Pat Healy, Alan Ruck. Written and directed by Mickey Keating. IFC Midnight
Fathers & Daughters
A writer deals with the grief of being a widower and raising his daughter alone. With Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul. Written by Brad Desch. Directed by Gabriele Muccino. Vertical Entertainment
Into the Forest
A Pacific Northwest family's life is upended by a continent-wide blackout. With Ellen Page, Evan Rachel Wood, Max Minghella. Written and directed by Patricia Rozema. A24
A college baseball player channels his disappointment at going unclaimed in Major League Baseball's annual draft into an intramural league full of misfit players. With Aaron Tveit. Written and directed by Joseph Mazello. Vertical Entertainment
Michael Keaton stars as McDonald's impresario Ray Kroc. With Nick Offerman, Linda Cardellini. Written by Robert D. Siegel. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Weinstein Co.
A new friendship with an actor challenges a gay, Asian stylist's ideas about his identity. With Jake Choi, James Chen, Jennifer Neala Page. Written and directed by Ray Yeung. Strand Releasing
An uptight businessman finds himself trapped in the body of the family cat and must learn to be more human to escape. With Kevin Spacey, Jennifer Garner, Malina Weissman. Written by Matt Allen, Caleb Wilson, Daniel Atoniazzi, Ben Shiffrin. Directed by Barry Sonnenfeld. EuropaCorp
The best of the worst in villainy are recruited by the government to take on an unstoppable enemy. With Will Smith, Jared Leto, Margot Robbie. Written and directed by David Ayer, based on the characters from DC Comics. Imax 3D. Warner Bros.
A young woman recovering from a psychotic break is subjected to a strange health and wellness ritual administered by a caretaker. With Sarah Hagan, Barbara Crampton, Sara Malakul Lane. Written and directed by Ben Cresciman. XLrator Media
Writer-director Woody Allen's 1930s romantic comedy follows the adventures of a young man from the Bronx making his way among the swells in Hollywood and Manhattan. With Jeannie Berlin, Steve Carell, Jesse Eisenberg. Amazon Studios/Lionsgate
Florence Foster Jenkins
Meryl Streep stars as a New York socialite in the 1940s who pursues her dream of being a great singer — despite possessing a terrible voice. With Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg. Written by Nicholas Martin. Directed by Stephen Frears. Paramount Pictures
News of his mother's illness brings a New York City artist back to the small town he left behind and he is immediately swept up in his family's dysfunction and other dramas. Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Anna Kendrick, John Krasinski. Written by James C. Strouse. Directed by Krasinski. Sony Pictures Classics
A skeptical forest ranger in the Pacific Northwest meets a young boy who claims to be friends with a large winged reptile in this reimagining of the 1977 film. With Bryce Dallas Howard, Oakes Fegley, Wes Bentley. Written by David Lowery & Toby Halbrooks, based on a screenplay by Malcolm Marmorstein. Directed by Lowery. Walt Disney Studios
A supermarket meat byproduct leads other foodstuffs on an existential quest in this R-rated animated comedy. Voices of Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill. Written by Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter and Ariel Shaffir; story by Rogen, Goldberg and Hill. Directed by Conrad Vernon & Greg Tiernan. Columbia Pictures
Counteracting an unexplainable phantom threat is the mission for an elite special ops team. With James Badge Dale, Emily Mortimer, Max Martini. Screenplay by George Nolfi; story by Ian Fried and Nic Mathieu. Directed by Mathieu. Universal Pictures
Forced into slavery, a prince fights his way back seeking revenge. With Jack Huston, Toby Kebbell, Rodrigo Santoro. Written by Keith R. Clarke & John Ridley, based on the novel by Lew Wallace. Directed by Timor Bekmambetov. Paramount Pictures/MGM
Diary of a Chambermaid
At the turn of the 20th century, a young woman leaves Paris to work as a domestic in a disturbing villa in Normandy. With Léa Seydoux, Vincent Lindon, Clotilde Mollet. Written by Hélène Zimmer & Benoît Jacquot, based on the novel by Octave Mirbeau. Directed by Jacquot. Cohen Media Group
A man travels to Thailand to train with a legendary master in order to avenge his brother's death. With Alain Moussi, Dave Bautista, Jean-Claude Van Damme. Written by Dimitri Logothetis, Jim McGrath. Directed by John Stockwell. RLJ Entertainment
Kubo and the Two Strings
Animated Japanese fantasy about a boy, his magical instrument and the enchanted creatures who aid him as he attempts to heal a long-ago rfit and reunite his family. Voices of Art Parkinson, Matthew McConaughey, Charlize Theron. Written by Marc Haimes and Chris Butler. Directed by Travis Knight. Focus Features
Lo and Behold: Reveries of the Connected World
Werner Herzog explores how digital connectivity has transformed virtually every aspect of the real world experience. Magnolia Pictures
Southside With You
On a summer day in 1989, young legal associate Barack Obama courts attorney Michelle Robinson on their first date. With Tika Sumpter, Parker Sawyers, Vanessa Bell Calloway. Written and directed by Richard Tanne. Miramax/Roadside Attractions
The Space Between Us
The first human born on Mars returns to Earth and sets out to find his father. Written by Allan Loeb and Peter Chelsom & Tinker Lindsay, story by Stewart Schill and Richard B. Lewis & Allan Loeb. Directed by Chelsom. STX Entertainment
Two twentysomething Miami friends exploit a loophole and land a $300-million defense contract to arm the Afghan military. With Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Ana de Armas and Bradley Cooper. Written by Stephen Chin and Todd Phillips & Jason Smilovic, based on a Rolling Stone article by Guy Lawson. Directed by Phillips. Warner Bros.
An ex-con fights to protect his daughter from a drug cartel. With Mel Gibson, Erin Moriarty, Diego Luna. Written by Peter Craig and Andrea Berloff, based on the novel by Craig. Directed by Jean-Franois Richet.Lionsgate Premiere
A teen's ambitious creativity and imagination help him navigate his dysfunctional family, shaky childhood and confusing sexuality. With Connor Jessup, Aaron Abrams, Joanne Kelly. Written and directed by Stephen Dunn. Strand Releasing
A trio of Detroit teens who target the home of a blind war veteran for an easy burglary have no idea of the horror that awaits. With Jane Levy, Dylan Minnette, Daniel Zovatto and Stephen Lang. Written by Fede Alvarez & Rodo Sayagues, Directed by Fede Alvarez. Screen Gems
Hands of Stone
Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran soars to stardom when he defeats Sugar Ray Leonard in 1980, only to be toppled in the rematch when he infamously says "no mas." With Robert DeNiro, Edgar Ramirez, Usher Raymond. Written and directed by Jonathan Jakubowicz. Weinstein Co.
A Man Called Ove
A downsized widower is the terror of his condo community until he strikes up an unlikely friendship with his new neighbors. With Rolf Lassgrd, Zozan Akgn, Tobias Almborg. Written and directed by Hannes Holm, based on a novel by Fredrik Backman. Music Box Films
Sequel to the 2011 action thriller finds Bishop tasked with assassinating the most dangerous men in the world. With Jason Statham, Jessica Alba, Tommy Lee Jones. Written by Philip Shelby and Tony Mosher, story by Philip Shelby, based on characters created by Lewis John Carlino. Directed by Dennis Gansel. Summit Entertainment
An enigmatic woman with a fluid identity unsettles the life of a former lover. With Rachel Weisz, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates. Wrtten by Joshua Marston and Julian Sheppard. Direted by Marston. Amazon Studios
During a weekend getaway, concerned friends force a couple to assess their marriage. With Melanie Lynskey, Cobie Smulders, Alia Shawkat. Written and directed by Clea Duvall. Samuel Goldwyn Pictures
A struggling lesbian singer-songwriter develops a complex relationship with a sensitive young man in Seattle. With Zelda Williams, Zachary Booth, Angela Sarafyan. Written and directed by Brett Allen Smith. Indican Pictures
25,000 Miles to Glory
Three die-hard NFL fans endeavor to visit every stadium in a 1967 VW bus in this documentary. Directed by G. Eric Carpenter and Rhett Grametbauer. Gravitas Ventures
The Light Between Oceans
The dreams of an Australian World War I veteran and his wife are answered when an infant girl enters their lives but with unintended consequences. With Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz. Written and directed by Derek Cianfrance, based upon the novel by M.L. Stedman. DreamWorks SKG Pictures
The Blackcoat's Daughter
Evil lurks as two students are left at a Catholic girls' prep school at winter break, and nearby a young woman accepts a ride from a seemingly kind-hearted couple. With Emma Roberts, Kiernan Shipka, Lucy Boynton. Written and directed by Osgood Perkins. A24
In 1951 Ohio, a young Jewish man risks his military deferment by pursuing an attractive classmate and butting heads with a college dean. With Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts. Written and directed by James Schamus, based on the Philip Roth novel. Lionsgate/Roadside Attractions
Land of Mine
German POWs, at the end of WWII, are forced to clear land mines on the Danish coasts. With Roland Mller, Mikkel Boe Flsgaard, Louis Hofmann. Written and directed by Martin Zandvliet. Sony Pictures Classics
The friendship between two middle school boys is jeopardized by a feud between their families. With Greg Kinnear, Jennifer Ehle, Paulina Garcia. Written by Mauricio Zacharias and Ira Sachs. Directed by Sachs. Magnolia Pictures
Morris From America
Hip-hop aspirations fuel a 13-year-old boy's angst when he relocates with single dad to Heidelberg, Germany. With Craig Robinson, Markees Christmas. Written and directed by Chad Hartigan. A24
A Romanian woman agrees to act as a surrogate mother for a Danish couple only to be horrified when the embryo inside her begins to grow far too quickly. With Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Cosmina Stratan, Peter Christoffersen. Written by Ali Abbasi and Maren Louise Kaehne. Directed by Abbasi. IFC Midnight
Total Frat Movie
Three years after being kicked off campus, the remaining members of a fraternity attempt to return their house to its previous debauched glory. With Nick Bateman, Tom Green, Justin Deeley. Written by Stephen Fromkin, Sacha Pavlovic. Directed by Warren P. Sonoda. Gravitas Ventures
by Justin Lowe
A nasty little piece of work that should serve as a fine calling card for writer-director Victor Zarcoff, 13 Cameras turns a home security CCTV system into a stalker’s super-weapon in his campaign to terrorize a suburban couple. Alternately both repetitive and repulsive, this home-invasion thriller never quite hits its stride, but a brief theatrical release may generate enough word of mouth to buoy VOD, where it’s mostly likely to find traction.
Recently married, 30ish couple Ryan (P.J. McCabe) and Claire (Brianne Moncrief) move from New York City to California so that Ryan can take a new job while Claire focuses on nesting and preparing for the birth of their first child. They rent a two-bedroom house with a swimming pool from Gerald (Neville Archambault), a slovenly and taciturn loner who lives in a nearby apartment and manages the home as an income property. Unknown to the new tenants, Gerald has installed a closed-circuit TV system with hidden cameras throughout the house (and even in the shower), clearly with the intent of observing their activities rather than providing security.
He soon observes that the couple’s latent marital problems are reasserting themselves, principally because Ryan is cheating with this cute assistant Hannah (Sarah Baldwin), even risking discovery by inviting her over to the house when Claire is out. Their steamy affair makes for some explicit footage that Gerald avidly views on the cameras installed in the pool and master bedroom. Ryan rationalizes that he needs Hannah’s affection because Claire can’t satisfy his needs since she’s so distracted by her pregnancy. However, when Hannah becomes more assertive about claiming Ryan’s loyalty, insinuating herself into his relationship with Claire, the situation escalates beyond what any of them could have anticipated and Gerald soon faces more problems than he expected renting to the young couple and exploiting their vulnerabilities.
Formerly titled Slumlord while making the festival rounds (an odd choice for a film taking place almost entirely within a middle-class, suburban ranch-style home), Zarcoff’s feature debut displays an imaginative sensibility, but suffers from uneven pacing, lurching from one plot point to another and defying logic as Gerald repeatedly sneaks into the house to tweak the camera setup while Ryan and Claire are out, never arousing suspicion. Subsequent developments prove significantly more extreme, boosting tension, but not credibility.
Archambault does what he can to animate a character who’s almost entirely lacking a backstory, shambling and antisocially grunting his way through the movie, but never revealing much about Gerald’s motivations beyond his creepy voyeurism and potentially violent tendencies. As the young couple, McCabe and Moncrief serve more as placeholders than fully developed characters, generically fulfilling the roles of exploited victims.
Rather than relying entirely on the closed-circuit camera setup, Zarcoff integrates those sequences into his overall coverage, avoiding a found-footage approach that might be too disorienting to provide adequate continuity in any case.
Production company: 30 Bones Cinema
Distributor: 79th & Broadway Releasing
Cast: P.J. McCabe, Brianne Moncrief, Neville Archambault, Sarah Baldwin
Director-writer: Victor Zarcoff
Producers: Kevin McManus, Matthew McManus, Jim Cummings, Ethan Rosenberg, Benjamin Wiessner, Tony Yacenda
Executive producers: Jordan Rudman, Andrew van den Houten
Director of photography: Jess Dunlap
Production designer: Charlie Textor
Editor: Derek Desmond
Music: Paul Koch
Not rated, 99 minutes
By Chuck Yarborough, The Plain Dealer
CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Cleveland artist Derek Hess is as much an icon in this city as Terminal Tower or -- perhaps even more appropriate -- the old Euclid Tavern.
The life of Hess, whose art has helped capture the mystique of bands from Pantera to Pink Floyd to Pearl Jam, was captured in the documentary "Forced Perspective,'' which won a Local Heroes Award at the 2015 Cleveland International Film Festival. It's one of several awards the documentary has earned.
The film went on sale on DVD and Blu-ray Tuesday through packages on indiemerch.com and via download or streaming on demand on vimeo.com. The indiemerch.com packages range from $25 to $149.99. The latter includes a Blu-ray copy of the film, an offset print signed by Hess and director Nick Cavalier, and a hardcover book and bonus special-features DVD. A limited number of silkscreen prints also will be included in that bundle.
"Forced Perspective'' isn't just your average docu-story or even a biopic, but rather a journey through Hess' struggle with alcoholism and bipolar disorder and "how these demons affect the artwork,'' according to a release announcing the sale. "This exploration presents a voyeur's [look] into Hess' personal life, revealing his process and philosophy.''
Hess first rose to prominence as an artist with the posters he designed for bands he booked at the old Euclid Tavern, including Helmet, Cop Shoot Cop, Jesus Lizard and Soul Coughing.
His work has been featured everywhere from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the Louvre in Paris.