Movie reviews: September 24
New movies in theaters were better than Bob Richards might have anticipated. The box office, meanwhile, ended up in a virtual tie for first place. Video by IdahoOnYourSide.comvideo
We won’t know for sure until final numbers are released later today, but we have a photo finish for the top two movies at the box office this weekend. End of Watch was tied with House at the End of the Street for first place with 13 million each, with Clint Eastwood’s Trouble With the Curve not far behind with 12.7 million. Last week’s champ, Resident Evil: Retribution fell all the way to fifth. Dredd was sixth with 6.3 million, and The Master was seventh with 5 million. Overall, the weekend was down 20 percent from a year ago.
(End of Watch – Open Road Films – Rated R)
End of Watch is intense, devastating and incredibly involving. Jake Gyllenhaal is terrific but it is the superb Michael Pena who finally gets a role that will give him the recognition he deserves. This gripping, fascinating cop thriller had me on the edge of my seat the whole time, in sweaty palm mode.
By the time it ended, my heart was in my throat and I couldn’t move. Don’t miss it! 4 ½ Stars Out of 5
(Trouble With the Curve – Warner Brothers – Rated PG-13)
In Trouble With the Curve, Clint Eastwood gives a more emotional performance than we’re used to seeing from the 82 year old master. Expect to shed a tear or two. Amy Adams is delightful as his daughter, while Justin Timberlake and John Goodman give solid supporting performances. It is a very good film. No trouble here. 4 Stars Out of 5
(Robot and Frank – Samuel Goldwyn Films – Rated PG-13)
In Robot and Frank, Frank Langella portrays an aging jewel thief struggling with bouts of Alzheimer’s. He has given many great performances though the years, but none greater than this. This heartwarming, thoughtful film is sure to please, and give you pause. Frankly, this is a very good film
4 Stars Out of 5
(The Master – The Weinstein Company – Rated R)
The Master contains outstanding acting in a blurry film. Joaquin Phoenix is intense, quirky and wonderful, while Phillip Seymour Hoffman commands his role with deftness and aplomb. While both can expect Oscar nominations, the film is a confusing jumble with masterful performances. 4 Stars Out of 5
(Dredd 3-D – Lionsgate – Rated R)
I had very low expectations for Dredd. After all it is a remake of a horrible Sylvester Stallone movie where he wore a golden codpiece. Here, the codpiece and Stallone are gone, but we have a very cheesy and somewhat enjoyable guilty pleasure. The actor playing the title character never shows his face, but is fine delivering his monotone lines. The slow motion effects are pretty cool in 3-D. Dredd is not dreadful – at least not as dreadful as I thought it would be. 3 Stars Out of 5
(House at the End of the Street – Relativity Media – Rated PG-13)
House at the End of the Street is a predictable, scare less, ho-hum, run of the mill thriller that is far beneath Jennifer Lawrence’s talent. She gives an earnest performance that elevates this otherwise 2 star movie to 3 Stars Out of 5
For Bob Richards' past reviews and more, check his website.
Below is the box office for Sept. 21-23:
1 (tie). "End of Watch," $13 million.
1 (tie). "House at the End of the Street," $13 million.
3. "Trouble with the Curve," $12.7 million.
4. "Finding Nemo," $9.4 million.
5. "Resident Evil: Retribution," $6.7 million.
6. "Dredd," $6.3 million.
7. "The Master," $5 million.
8. "The Possession," $2.6 million.
9. "Lawless," $2.32 million.
10. "ParaNorman," $2.3 million.