Ten movies coming out this weekend, with reviews from our print edition:
10. The summer tentpoles are coming, and this week we have Kenneth Branagh's Thor, which Eric Hynes says is "an astonishingly awkward marriage of ancient Norse mythology and 21st-century nonsense and "works too hard at simply functioning to assert why it, or we, should bother."
9. J. Hoberman reviews The Beaver, a hot topic in Hollywood for various reasons, including Kyle Killen's script about a beaver hand-puppet topping the 2008 Black List (the unofficial guide to the most liked screenplays of the year by development execs) and its revolving door of potential stars, including Jim Carrey, Steve Carell and finally Mel Gibson. Hoberman writes: "While director Jodie Foster fails to maintain a consistent tone -- could there be such a thing as inspirational satire? -- the movie's lopsided wobble is undeniably enhanced by her star, Mel Gibson, or at least by the baggage he shleps into the proceedings."
8. Nick Pinkerton writes of the new Kate Hudson/Ginnfer Goodwin/John Krasinski romcom, "it's no coincidence that Something Borrowed features lawyer protagonists; while making a pretense of being a comedy of modern sexual ethics, the movie never asks a hard question without an answer prepared in advance."
7. In Jumping the Broom, reviewed by Melissa Anderson: "Well-heeled Sabrina (Paula Patton) makes a promise to God that she'll give up one-night stands and won't spread her legs again until she and her fiancé, Jason (Laz Alonso), a striver with blue-collar origins, have tied the knot."
6. Ernest Hardy reviews writer-director Michael Goldbach's Daydream Nation, which "opens with a close-up on the lush, full lips of actress Kat Dennings, whose 17-year-old Lolita-esque character Caroline reclines languidly in bed."
5. Melissa Anderson writes that "Lee Chang-dong's Poetry is a perfectly paced and performed character study of a woman raising a child on her own who must contend with a heinous act of violence."
4. Nick Pinkerton reviews Hadewijch, about and overly enthusiastic nun: "Fingers knotted around her crucifix, surrendering her starvation diet of bread crusts to the sparrows, practicing self-mortification (unseen) -- such single-minded ardency draws the disapproval of the mother superior, who calls the girl "a caricature of a nun" and sends her out to rediscover herself in the world."
3. According to Mark Holcomb, "There Be Dragons compresses, embellishes, and probably whitewashes true events in its depiction of how Catholic priest Josemaría Escrivá (Charlie Cox) founded Opus Dei in the midst of the Spanish Civil War."
2. Karina Longworth writes that "Last Night adopts the 'tasteful' erotics of luxury fetishism familiar from the world of fashion propaganda. Here, as in a cosmetics ad, the performers are assigned to telegraph desire as characters defined by visual stereotype."
1. Melissa Anderson writes of The Robber that "Benjamin Heisenberg's second feature is as taut, lean, and fleet as its title character, played by Andreas Lust and based on the real-life Johann Kastenberger, who was both Austria's most-wanted bank robber of the 1980s and a champion marathoner."