In this mild comedy, Tina Fey plays Portia, a Princeton admissions officer in the running for a significant promotion. When she goes on a recruiting visit to an alternative high school, its headmaster John (Paul Rudd) keeps pushing her toward one of his students. John knew Portia a little when they went to college together, and he's pretty sure this kid is the son she placed for adoption as an undergrad.
How interested you might be in Admission depends almost entirely on your view of its leads, because the story is pretty thin: What you see above is kind of it, plus the usual moderately credible rom-com obstacles keeping apart the protagonists who are clearly going to end up together at the end. Since I like both Rudd and Fey, I liked it OK. It also features a winning supporting cast in Wallace Shawn as Portia's boss, Gloria Reuben as her equally ambitious colleague, and Lily Tomlin as her badass feminist mother. And watching it at home might make it feel more like what it possibly should have been: an expensive, well-made TV movie.
New and Notable
Someone please let the Girls In Hoodies know that they can now watch their favorite movie of 2013 in the privacy of their own homes.
Stephenie Meyer wrote a non-Twilight book, and this is the movie that was adapted from it.
Temptation: Confessions of a Marriage Counselor
This deeply weird movie is worth seeing for (a) the unbelievably wooden Kim Kardashian, and (b) learning the specifics of Tyler Perry's terror of sex.
A Jesuit priest who specializes in gang intervention looks back on his life in this documentary.
Best Friends Forever
A pair of friends find their road trip ruined by the Rapture.
Disneynature: Wings of Life
Meryl Streep narrates this documentary about winged creatures in nature.
After his release from prison on a false charge, Attack the Block’s Luke Treadaway plots revenge against the man who sent him away.
Six former heads of Shin Bet, Israel's FBI, talk about Israeli security policy in this documentary.
The Power of Few
Christopher Walken and Christian Slater star in this movie about the heist of … the Shroud of Turin.
Just a bunch of rogue cops who play by their own rules but get results. What's the twist? Eh, no twist. Well, they're in Spain. But that's it.
No Heart Feelings
This is the most Torontonian-looking movie I think I've ever seen, and I might watch it for nostalgia's sake if it wasn't packed with amateur actors, my kryptonite.
Dead Man Down
Colin Farrell plays a crime lord's henchman, who lets himself get entangled with a lady (Noomi Rapace) who wants revenge on his boss.
The Devil You Know
Now that Jennifer Lawrence has an Oscar, someone decided that it was about time to release this film, in which she apparently has a very tiny role. But this movie is obviously quite elderly. (Seriously, Dean Winters is in it and looks about 14.)
An undercover cop infiltrates a Korean crime gang.
Arena of the Street Fighter
Finally, Germany gets into the mindless martial-arts action game.
"In Theaters" VOD Picks
Crystal Fairy and the Magical Cactus
The title tips you that it contains a Manic Pixie Dream Girl (Gaby Hoffman). There's also Michael Cera, and mescaline.
Remember that movie Waiting… with Ryan Reynolds? This is that, except set in a coffee shop, from CollegeHumor, starring Josh Groban.
The Look of Love
Steve Coogan plays real-life entrepreneur/pornographer Paul Raymond in this comedy that reteams him with director Michael "The Trip" Winterbottom.
Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me
It's another "whatever happened to [band]" documentary — this time, about Big Star.
If you've always wanted to see Christina Ricci play a Confederate war widow, now's your chance.
Just Like a Woman
Two women in unhappy marriages reinvent themselves as belly dancers, as you do.
Revelation Road 2
I find it hard to believe that an Eric Roberts vehicle is going to be released theatrically, but apparently this is.
Pawn Shop Chronicles
This is one of those "comedies" where a bunch of middling stars "have fun" playing redneck dirtbags.
A Girl and a Gun
The premise of this documentary is that guns are great and empowering for women. I don't agree, but maybe you do.
Opportunistic Backlist Revival Theme of the Week: "Comic-Con"
With the annual nerdfest about to descend on San Diego again, it's time for this collection of movies that would have been featured there in years past: 300, Watchmen, Kick-Ass, both Hellboys, the first two Iron Mans, all the X-Mens except the awful Brett Ratner one, Thor, that Percy Jackson thing, The Incredible Hulk (the Edward Norton one), Green Lantern, Sin City, Red, and my favorite of the bunch, V for Vendetta. (I know it wasn't a great movie, but I love Hugo Weaving, it made me cry and want to dismantle the capitalist system, and I generally think superhero movies are just OK.)
Early VOD Release
I Give It a Year
Rose Byrne and Rafe Spall play newlyweds who start getting kind of sick of each other very quickly.
Paul Bettany plays a cop who goes nuts and kills a perp … and then has to investigate said perp's murder.
Weird Indie of the Week
Pickin' & Grinnin'
Time Warner's website says: "An award-winning quirky comedy that tugs at your heartstrings and enlightens you along the way with a hilarious cast of characters, and witty dialogue." It might be perfectly fine, but that generic description plus the indie-by-the-numbers trailer inspire little optimism.
The Haves and the Have Nots
A stage production of the play that provided the source material for Tyler Perry's terrible OWN soap opera has been put on film.