The weekend warriors of September 12, 2014 includes No Good Deed and Dolphin Tale 2 along with a slew of limited releases. Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard-earned dollars, Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others and determine who will be victorious.
Last weekend, Guardians of the Galaxy continued its hot streak alive for the fourth weekend in a row. How will a home invasion thriller and a family movie about dolphins fair? We should bring back SeaQuest. This is the Box Office Battlefield:
No Good Deed (Sam Miller) Rated PG-13 [84 min] – Terri is a devoted wife and mother of two, living an ideal suburban life in Atlanta when Colin, a charming but dangerous escaped convict, shows up at her door claiming car trouble. Terri offers her phone to help him but soon learns that no good deed goes unpunished as she finds herself fighting for survival when he invades her home and terrorizes her family. Starring Taraji P. Henson, Idris Elba, Leslie Bibb, and Kate del Castillo
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 10% • Audience – 75%
“A few scenes succeed in generating legitimate tension, but this movie isn’t so much a nail-biter as a very occasional hangnail-chewer.” – Jen Chaney (Washington Post)
“Despite competent performances and packaging, dialogue and situations in Aimee Lagos’ script are too routine to create much excitement.” – Dennis Harvey (Variety)
I’d say this looks like an adequate home invasion thriller, however others tell it otherwise. General audiences obviously disagree with this assessment. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!
Dolphin Tale 2 (Charles Martin) Rated PG [107 min] The team of people who saved Winter’s life reassemble in the wake of her surrogate mother’s passing in order to find her a companion so she can remain at the Clearwater Marine Hospital. Starring Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble, and Cozi Zuehlsdorff
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 72% • Audience – 83%
“You’d be hard pressed to find a movie more wholesome and well intentioned.” – Kristy Puchko (CinemaBlend)
“A “what happened next” DVD extra that got stretched to feature length.” – Matthew Lickona (San Diego Reader)
How Dolphin Tale 2 was even made is beyond me, but the trailer tells you everything you need if you don’t wish to seek it out. I’m sure that it is perfectly capable of being the cheesiest family movie of the year. SKIP IT!
The Drop (Michaël R. Roskam) [Limited] Rated R [106 min] – Bob Saginowski finds himself at the center of a robbery gone awry and entwined in an investigation that digs deep into the neighborhood’s past where friends, families, and foes all work together to make a living – no matter the cost. Starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, James Gandolfini, and Erin Darke
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 87% • Audience – 82%
“Suffice to say that it’s packed with tiny, telling details, some of which are relevant but all of which add dimension to the tale.” – Chris Knight (National Post)
“Another pulp noir gem based on a story by Dennis Lehane and a great final bow from Gandolfini.” – James Verniere (Boston Herald)
Gandolfini and Hardy. It would be hard-pressed to screw this one up. The only downside I see to this film is it just being a stereotypical mob movie. The dark sheen of the cinematography and downer tone isn’t too appealing, but I’m sure the acting is impeccable. MATINEE IT!
The Skeleton Twins (Craig Johnson) [Limited] Rated R [93 min] – Having both coincidentally cheated death on the same day, estranged twins reunite with the possibility of mending their relationship. Starring Kristen Wiig, Ty Burrell, Bill Hader, and Luke Wilson
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 90% • Audience – 83%
“At its best, The Skeleton Twins exudes the vague unease of two putative grown-ups trying to stifle their awareness that the lives they’ve chosen neither fit nor suit them.” – Ella Taylor (NPR)
“The bleak tone sometimes leads to a cerebral quality at odds with the actors’ energy, but at its best Johnson manages to enliven the darker moments of Skeleton Twins with sudden bursts of comedic inspiration.” – Eric Kohn (IndieWIRE)
The chemistry between Wiig and Hader can’t be beat. I think that this is one of those indie darlings that will stay in people’s minds for years down the road. SEE IT!
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them (Ned Benson) [Limited] Not Rated [122 min] – One couple’s story as they try to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone. Starring Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Ryan Eggold, and Bill Hader
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 68% • Audience – 76%
“Of the countless novels and movies that take up this grim theme, few find the right blend of tact, horror and honesty. “Eleanor Rigby” is not one of them.” – A.O. Scott (New York Times)
“At one point late in the turgid tale I found myself wondering what this movie would amount to if its heroine’s parents hadn’t named her after the Beatles song.’ – Joe Morgenstern (Wall Street Journal)
Jessica Chastain is a hurricane of tremendous acting and James McAvoy is on a warpath for unique roles that have stretched his acting chops to great heights. Although I have not seen this film, I would have to say that I am confident these two make a compelling story based on the concept and tone of the trailer. MATINEE IT!
Winner: No Good Deed
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