What should I see this weekend?, 4/7-4/9

ScreenerBlog

(SR)=Specialty Release

The Good

Gifted: “An exceedingly warm and wonderful family drama from filmmaker Marc Webb.”

Their Finest (SR): “Britain's finest hour, when the people of London kept calm and carried on during Hitler's horrendous blitz, will never be forgotten as long as it can be mined for fresh cinematic material like this.”

The Transfiguration (SR): “A lonely, alienated teenager believes he's a vampire in this low-key drama aimed at art-house audiences rather than the Twilight crowd.”

The Void (SR): “A disparate group of people find themselves trapped in a near-deserted hospital in this affectionate homage to ’80s horror films.”

Your Name (SR): “The beautifully drawn Your Name grossed over $300 million worldwide after opening last year, and has drawn consistent praise from critics. The story of two teens who switch bodies (and genders) during a cosmic event is by turns charming, funny and bewildering. But even at its most baffling, Your Name maintains a visual style that approaches the grandeur of anime masters like Hayao Miyazaki.”

Graduation (SR): “Cristian Mungiu reflects on guilt and social responsibility in this Miller-like portrait of a man haunted by his own mendacity.”

Shot! The Psycho-Spiritual Mantra of Rock (SR): “Like having a personal tour guide through an exhibition of Rock’s classic images, Shot! is an absolutely essential doc for anyone interested in the amazing era of rock music produced during the 1970s.”

Truman (SR): “A rewardingly understated, feel-good film about dying.”

Alive and Kicking (SR): “Some great ballroom acrobatics enliven this dance doc.”

The Blah

Smurfs: The Lost Village: “The small fry will enjoy it; their adult chaperones will feel blue.”

Queen of the Desert (SR): “Werner Herzog sends Nicole Kidman and countless camels trekking through the sands in a clunky, repetitive but sporadically effective account of pioneering traveler Gertrude Bell.”

Colossal (SR): “Anne Hathaway’s alcoholic mess discovers she’s linked to a giant South Korean monster in this fascinatingly uneven misfire.”

1 Mile to You (SR): “Dead-teen romance about a high-school track star who can't run away from his grief. Great supporting performance by Billy Crudup and Peter Coyote, but little else.”

The Ticket (SR): “Visually striking film about blindness and sight that lacks focus and purpose.”

The Ugly

Mine (SR): “An American sniper stranded in a mine-filled desert must fight the elements, terrorists, wild animals, his inner demons and loads of symbolism in this low-wattage mess.”

Salt and Fire (SR): “Described by Werner Herzog as ‘a daydream that doesn’t follow the rules of cinema,’ Salt and Fire may be rule-breaking, but the result is one of the director’s least appealing adventures.”

Cézanne et Moi (SR): “Pretentious, windy and largely empty bromance between two of the greatest figures of French culture in the 19th century.”