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Only gluttons for punishment will be venturing out to take in one of this weekend’s new releases — unless you live in New York or Los Angeles, that is. And of course, there’s still some great stuff out there in its second, third, and fourth weeks. Here’s your weekly rundown:
Paranormal Activity 4
Written by: Christopher Landon, Chad Feehan
Directed by: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Starring: Stephen Dunham, Katie Featherston, Alexondra Lee, Brady Allen
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Theater Count: 3,412
What’s It About? Did you see the other three films? Yeah, it’s about that.
Early Reaction: It’s the worst in the series by a large margin.
Rotten Tomatoes: 32%
What to Watch for: Have the filmmakers made any attempt to shake things up? Or are they content just chugging along, year after year, until this series goes the way of Saw?
Written by Marc Moss, Kerry Williamson
Directed by Rob Cohen
Starring: Tyler Perry, Matthew Fox, Edward Burns, Carmen Ejogo
Theater Count: 2,539
What’s It About? The title character is based on a wildly popular series of novels written by James Patterson. Cross has been played on the big screen twice before by Morgan Freeman. As unlikely as it seems, Tyler Perry takes over here to take the Sherlock Holmes-like investigator into a darker, more intense direction.
Early Reaction: It’s as bad as you imagined: an unexciting thriller with two leads who’ve shown nothing resembling acting talent (at least on the big screen).
Rotten Tomatoes: 12%
What to Watch for: Is it really that bad? Must Perry dress in drag to be a successful on-screen talent?
The Sessions — Helen Hunt, William H. Macy, and particularly John Hawkes have been steadily building Oscar buzz since Sundance for their work in Ben Lewin’s film about a polio-stricken man who, at 38, is determined to lose his virginity. (Metacritic: 79/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 96%) — Fox Searchlight
Nobody Walks — Olivia Thirlby plays an artist staying with friends in Los Angeles while she works on a new film. She forges a bond with the couple’s husband (played by John Krasinski), which complicates their friendship and living situation but sparks her creativity in a very exciting way. (Metacritic: 54/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 38%) — Magnolia Pictures
Holy Motors — This favorite out of Cannes defies explanation. French actor Denis Lavant plays almost a dozen different roles, including a monster of some kind. Leos Carax directs. Sounds like a doozy. (Metacritic: 89/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 93%) — Indomina Releasing
We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists — This documentary takes its viewers inside Anonymous, the mysterious hacking organization that’s made its mark around the world. (Metacritic: 65/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 89%) — Laemmle Theatres and FilmBluff
Tai Chi Zero — A small Chinese village keeps its powerful style of Tai Chi a secret from outsiders, but when someone threatens to destroy the village, an outsider with a mysterious past becomes their only hope. (Metacritic: 56/100, Rotten Tomatoes: 47%) — Variance Films/Well Go USA