The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: December 7th, November 30th, November 21st.
If Beale Street Could Talk
Stars: KiKi Layne, Stephan James, Regina King, Colman Domingo
Written and directed by: Barry Jenkins, based on the book by James Baldwin
Genre: Drama, Romance
Plot: A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child.
What you should know: This is director Barry Jenkins’ first film since 2016’s Academy Award winning Moonlight.
Q&A: In NYC, at AMC Lincoln Square and the Angelika. In LA, at Arclight and Landmark. Check https://twitter.com/BealeStreet for more info.
Opens in: NYC and LA, and more cities on Christmas.
Stars: Zain Al Rafeea, Yordanos Shiferaw, Boluwatife Treasure Bankole, Kawsar Al Haddad
Writer: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Keserwany, Georges Khabbaz, Khaled Mouzanar
Director: Nadine Labaki
Plot: While serving a five-year sentence for a violent crime, a 12-year-old boy sues his parents for neglect.
What you should know: It’s in Arabic.
Opens in: New York & LA, with a Q&A in NYC
The House That Jack Built
Stars: Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz, Uma Thurman, Siobhan Fallon Hogan
Writer: Lars von Trier, Jenle Hollund
Director: Lars von Trier
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Horror
Plot: The story follows Jack, a highly intelligent serial killer, over the course of twelve years, and depicts the murders that really develop his inner madman.
What you should know: IFC got in trouble with the MPAA for showing an unrated “director’s cut” of the film a few weeks before the official release date.
Opens in: Select cities and available VOD
Stars: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson
Writer: Eric Heisserer, based on the novel by Josh Malerman
Director: Susanne Bier
Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-fi
Plot: A woman and a pair of children are blindfolded and make their way through a dystopian setting along a river.
What you should know: This is Sandra Bullock’s first horror film.
Opens in: Select cities; available on Netflix 12/21
The Second Time Around
Stars: Linda Thorson, Stuart Margolin, Laura de Carteret, Louis Del Grande
Writer: Leon Marr, Sherry Soules
Director: Leon Marr
Plot: In this heart-warming story full of hope, dreams and second chances, two seniors meet and discover that it's never too late to fall in love again.
What you should know: It was released in the UK in 2016, but is just getting a release in the US now.
Opens in: Select cities
Stars: Jason Mitchell, Christopher Abbott, Michael Cera, Caleb Landry Jones
Written and directed by: Sebastián Silva
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Plot: Tyrel, a sole black man, attends an otherwise all-white weekend of drunken bro debauchery on a birthday trip to a cabin in the Catskills.
What you should know: Missed this in last week's post.
Opens in: Select cities and available on demand
Director: Gordon Clark
Storyline: After five tours and serving ten years as a Marine Sniper, Sgt. Douglas Brown, takes us on an emotional eight month journey across America, engaging with fellow servicemen who were once a part of a highly trained military team with a specific skill set now rendered useless.
What you should know: Liev Schreiber is one of the executive producers.
Opens in: LA this week, and NYC next week
That Way Madness Lies...
Director: Sandra Luckow
Storyline: One woman and her family trek the broken mental health system in an effort to save her brother as he descends into madness. Beginning as a testimony of his sanity, his iPhone video diary ultimately becomes an unfiltered look at the mind of a man with untreated schizophrenia.
What you should know: Luckow has made several documentaries since the 1980’s, but in this one, she turns the camera on her family.
Opens in: NYC & LA
Stars: Randy Couture, Natali Yura, Chuck Zito, Wil Traval
Writer: Jason Cominetto, Scott Windhauser
Director: Ken Barbet
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Plot: A selfless doctor and a cocky treasure hunter must join forces to uncover the truth behind the Mayan legend of the White Witch.
What you should know: The lead is a UFC champion, so adjust your acting expectations accordingly.
Opens in: Select cities
Stars: Matthew Brown, Pete Buriss, Laia Costa, Thomas Mann
Written and directed by: Matthew Brown
Plot: While solo thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, a married woman from Spain's journey to reclaim her identity becomes sidetracked when a lone American hiker pursues her.
What you should know: Thought this was a stalker/horror movie til I watched the trailer, and it turns out that is not the vibe!
Opens in: Select cities
Also opening: Backtrace (Trailer), Martyr (Trailer), The Wedding (Trailer), The Quake (Trailer), Heading Home: The Tale of Team Israel (Trailer), Beyond White Space (Trailer)
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What have you been watching, ONTD? Gonna see anything this weekend?