The Hollars (PG-13) 88 Minutes – 1 1/2 Stars
John Hollar, a struggling NYC artist is forced to navigate the small middle-American town he left behind when news of his mother’s illness brings him home. Back in the house he grew up in, John is immediately swept up in the problems of his dysfunctional family, high school rival, and an over-eager ex-girlfriend as he faces impending fatherhood with his girlfriend in New York. From a script by Jim Strouse that is at turns hilarious and heartbreaking, John Krasinski’s second feature is a poignant look at the bonds of family and friendship.
Director: John Krasinski
Starring: John Kraskinski, Richard Jenkins, Mary Kay Place
Author: The JT LeRoy Story (R) 110 Minutes – 3 Stars
On January 9, 2006 The New York Times sent shockwaves through the literary world when it unmasked “it boy” wunderkind JT LeRoy, whose tough prose about a sordid childhood had captivated icons and luminaries internationally. It turned out LeRoy didn’t actually exist. He was the creative expression of 40-year-old San Francisco former phone-sex operator turned housewife, Laura Albert. Author: The JT LeRoy Story takes us down the infinitely fascinating rabbit hole of how Laura Albert–like a Cyrano de Bergerac on steroids–breathed not only words, but life, into her avatar for a decade. Albert’s epic and entertaining account plunges us into a glittery world of rock shows, fashion events, and the Cannes red carpet where LeRoy becomes a mysterious sensation. As she recounts this astonishing odyssey, Albert also reveals the intricate web spun by irrepressible creative forces within her. Her extended and layered JT LeRoy performance still infuriates many; but according to Albert, channeling her brilliant fiction through another identity was the only possible path to self-expression.
Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Starring: Winona Ryder, Courtney Love
Goat (R) 96 Minutes – 3 Stars
Reeling from a terrifying assault over the summer, 19-year-old Brad Land (Ben Schnetzer) starts college determined to get his life back to normal. His brother, Brett (Nick Jonas), is already established on campus and with a fraternity that allures Brad with its promise of protection, popularity, and life-long friendships. Brad is desperate to belong but as he sets out to join the fraternity his brother exhibits reservations, a sentiment that threatens to divide them. As the pledging ritual moves into hell week, a rite that promises to usher these unproven boys into manhood, the stakes violently increase with a series of torturous and humiliating events. What occurs in the name of ‘brotherhood’ tests both boys and their relationship in brutal ways. Directed by Andrew Neel (King Kelly, Darkon ), co-written by Neel, David Gordon Green and Mike Roberts, based on the acclaimed memoir by Brad Land, GOAT provides a searing portrayal of masculinity, violence and brotherhood. The film is produced by Killer Films’ Christine Vachon and David Hinojosa with Rabbit Bandini’s James Franco and Vince Jolivette.
Director: Andrew Neel
Starring: Nick Jonas, James Franco, Ben Schnetzer
Storks (PG) 87 Minutes – 3 Stars
In this animated children’s fantasy, two storks (voiced by Kelsey Grammer and Andy Samberg) reveal the truth about their job delivering babies to new parents.
Director: Nicholas Stoller , Doug Sweetland
Starring: Jennifer Aniston, Kelsey Grammer, Ty Burrell, Danny Trejo, Andy Samberg, Keegan-Michael Key
The Magnificent Seven (PG-13) 132 Minutes – 3 Stars
Director Antoine Fuqua brings his modern vision to a classic story in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Columbia Pictures’ The Magnificent Seven. With the town of Rose Creek under the deadly control of industrialist Bartholomew Bogue (Peter Sarsgaard), the desperate townspeople, led by Emma Cullen (Haley Bennett), employ protection from seven outlaws, bounty hunters, gamblers and hired guns – Sam Chisolm (Denzel Washington), Josh Farraday (Chris Pratt), Goodnight Robicheaux (Ethan Hawke), Jack Horne (Vincent D’Onofrio), Billy Rocks (Byung-Hun Lee), Vasquez (Manuel Garcia-Rulfo), and Red Harvest (Martin Sensmeier). As they prepare the town for the violent showdown that they know is coming, these seven mercenaries find themselves fighting for more than money.
Director: Antoine Fuqua
Starring: Chris Pratt, Denzel Washington, Ethan Hawke