Good God, there are a lot of new movies opening today. They’re not all winners, but from docs to sci-fi to period romance, if you don’t find something that interests you, you must hate America.
(Click links to reveal the reviews encoded within. Or, in Fame‘s case, the more entertaining “Nine Most Scathing Critical Responses.”)
Bright Star: John Keats swoons over a saucy seamstress and then swoons — and dies — from tuberculosis. In between, aching and ardent letter-writing ensues. Somers Town: English director Shane Meadows’ film about nothing. Well, there are characters adapting to life in a new town, developing friendships and tending to broken hearts. But no death or swooning.
Surrogates: Bruce Willis stars as an FBI agent during a time in which people live virtually, sending good-looking ‘bot-versions of themselves out into the world that are impervious to death. Or are they? The more important question is why Willis’ idealized android has such an awful toupee. Fame: The gritty 1980 classic gets a High School Musical polish. It will live forever — in discount DVD bins. No Impact Man: A crazy — er, environmentally conscious — Manhattan man tries to live one year without leaving a single carbon footprint. Watch for his creative ideas, or to see his wife flip out over caffeine withdrawal and having worms in the house.
Pandorum: Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster wake up on spaceship with little memory of what they’re doing there. Several cheap scares, choppy edits, and spiny Voldemort-esque predators later, they may seem to have recalled their mission, but you still won’t have a clue.
The Providence Effect: A doc about a school on Chicago’s West Side that has a 30-year history of sending 100 percent of its graduating students to college.
Amreeka: A drama about a single mother who leaves the West Bank and starts a new life in the States with her teenage son.
Paris: L’auberge espagnole director Cédric Klapisch takes on the City of Lights. Juliette Binoche, romance, and wistfulness star.