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Now Playing: Killing Them Softly, The Collection, Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning and More

Those sparkly vampires dominated the box office once again over the Thanksgiving holiday, but they might be thwarted by – of all movies – a biopic about President Abraham Lincoln this weekend. Talk about vampire hunter Honest Abe.

Holdovers compete for the weekend’s top spot, but two new films still arrive in theaters, one of which might be worth watching. Also, the fortunate folks in Los Angeles and New York have a few interesting options coming their way.

PICK OF THE WEEK

Killing Them Softly

Directed by Andrew Dominik
Written by Andrew Dominik (screenplay) and George V. Higgins (novel Cogan’s Trade)
Starring: Brad Pitt, Richard Jenkins, James Gandolfini
Theater Count: 2,424

What’s It About? A man must restore order to a tarnished system. It’s a synopsis that works for the Brad Pitt-led Moneyball, but we’re talking about the new crime thriller Killing Them Softly, in which he once again works under the guidance of his The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford director Andrew Dominik. For those of you crossing your fingers for a Roberta Flack biopic, this isn’t it.

Metacritic: 64/100
Rotten Tomatoes: 79%

Why It’s Our Pick of the Week: Brad Pitt goes hardcore on us again. Look, we like his recent turns in The Tree of Life and the aforementioned Moneyball, but we certainly don’t mind him going the action route once again. Although our own Kieran Freemantle wasn’t high on it, Killing Them Softly played well at Cannes earlier this year. The film isn’t awards fodder, so the strong response suggests it’s more than your average action-driven thriller.

WIDE RELEASE


The Collection

Directed by Marcus Dunstan
Written by Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton
Starring: Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick, Christopher McDonald
Theater Count: 1,403

What’s It About? A man who once escaped the grasp of a serial killer called The Collector must deliver the innocent Elena from the killer’s warehouse.

Metacritic: 49/100
Rotten Tomatoes: 44%

What to Watch for: It’s a horror option in theaters in November/December. Those don’t almost ever happen.


LIMITED/INDEPENDENT RELEASES

Universal Soldier: Day of Reckoning – Scott Adkins leads this action flick as a man seeking to avenge the death of his family by killing the man responsible for their murder: Luc Devearux (Jean-Claude Van Damme). (Metacritic: 58/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 52%) – Magnolia Pictures

Back to 1942 – Academy Award winner Adrien Brody stars in this drama about the effects of a 1942 drought in the Henan province of China. (Rotten Tomatoes: 29%) – China Lion Films

Dragon – A martial arts expert with a deviant past can’t start life anew since his former master and a detective are on the hunt for him. (Metacritic: 62/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 83%) – Radius-TWC

Talaash – This crime thriller sees Aamir Khan playing a cop who gets twisted with a housewife and prostitute – Reliance Big Pictures

A Werewolf Boy – A Korean grandmother reminisces on the strange boy she met many years ago. Not Twilight-related – CJ Entertainment

California Solo – A former British rocker might have to leave the U.S. after getting caught drunk driving. Robert Carlyle of The Full Monty and television’s Once Upon a Time leads the indie drama that played at Sundance earlier this year. (Metacritic: 60/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 81%) – Strand Releasing

Beware of Mr. Baker – Ginger Baker, drummer for legendary blues-rock band Cream, takes center stage in this documentary that hit theaters on Wednesday. (Metacritic: 78/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 100%) – Snagfilms

Love, Marilyn – Acclaimed documentarian Liz Garbus gets big names like Viola Davis and Glenn Close to read letters and diaries of movie legend Marilyn Monroe – Submarine Deluxe

Addicted to Fame – David Giancola directs this doc about Illegal Aliens, the sci-fi comedy that marked the last cinematic appearance of Anna Nicole Smith. (Rotten Tomatoes: 14%) – Abramorama

Hecho en México – This Spanish-language documentary takes a look at Mexican culture – Lionsgate

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