The venerable outlet for alternative film returns with 70 selections from Sweden, Mexico, England, Brazil, Poland, the US and more over the course of 10 days (Oct. 10 through 19). There are documentaries, comedies, dramas and the ever-popular shorts programs--plus parties and special guest appearances. For a complete list of films and times, go to swglff.com.
Lionsgate's new "Code Black" label distributes its first film, an upscale erotic thriller based on the best-selling dirty novel by Zane (who also writes "Zane's Sex Chronicles" on Showtime). Sharon Leal ("Guiding Light," "Hellcats") plays a successful businesswoman with a loving husband, two beautiful kids and a successful career. She's also got an addiction to naughty, naughty sex and finds gratification with a sexy, sexy painter (model Tyson Beckford). This might tide horny female viewers over until 50 Shades of Grey in February. 105 minutes R.
The popular chidren's book gets turned into a madcap comedy in which an unlucky boy transfers his bad juju to his hapless family for a single day. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner are on mom and dad duty. There isn't a lot of depth to be found here--mostly just a string of chaotic set-pieces--but director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl) adds just enough honest-to-goodness social awkwardness to give it a bit of gravity. 81 minutes PG.
Pity the poor, flesh-and-blood stars of The Conjuring. Turns out the inanimate doll got her own spin-off before they did. Seems another nice couple are experiencing deadly supernatural occurrences after they bring a creepy antique doll into their house. Do I sense a team-up with Chucky in the near future? R.
From the makers of Coraline and ParaNorman comes this stop-motion-animated toon about a young orphan raised underground by cave-dwelling, trash-collecting trolls. The look is imaginative, but the story is so-so. Based on the children's novel Here Be Monsters! by Alan Snow. Ben Kingsley, Nick Frost, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan provide voices. 97 minutes PG.
Universal has decided to reboot all of its classic "Universal Monsters" films, starting with their chief bloodsucker. Unfortunately somebody at the studio thought he needed one of those "boring superhero origin story" movies. Here we find out how good-guy Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans from Fast & Furious 6) became a vampire to fight off invading Turks. This one's perfect for people who felt Bram Stoker's classic tale needed to look a lot more like 300. 92 minutes PG-13.
The popular, but mostly forgotten 1980s TV series starring Edward Woodward as an elderly, ass-kicking former intelligence agent gets a reboot courtesy of actor Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen). Washington is a tough guy with a mysterious past who volunteers to protect a young girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) from ultra-violent Russian mobsters. 131 minutes R.
David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) directs this gripping adaptation of Gillian Flynn's twisty crime novel about a man who comes under intense media scrutiny after his wife disappears. Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris star. 148 minutes R.
Marvel Comics' superhero movies take off in a different direction, heading into outer space for this buoyantly comic, endlessly entertaining sci-fi romp. A band of misfits, criminals and brash adventurers is conscripted into saving the galaxy when a powerful alien warlord comes looking for a weapon of cosmos-threatening proportions. Cult filmmaker James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet, Dawn of the Dead, Slither, Super) writes and directs. Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation"), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) and Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) star. 121 minutes PG-13.
After the untimely death of their matriarch, a brokenhearted Indian clan wanders Europe looking for a place to open up their family restaurant. They end up in an impossibly picturesque French town where Papa (Om Puri) decides to hang up his shingle across the street from a Michelin Star restaurant. Gifted young chef Hassan (Manish Dayal) falls in love with the rival sous chef (Charlotte Le Bon), while Papa starts up a love/hate relationship with the fancy French restaurant's uptight owner (Helen Mirren). This is exactly (exactly) the sort of semi-exotic foodie romance you would expect from the director of Chocolat. 122 minutes PG.
Robert Downey Jr. is a big-city lawyer recalled to his childhood home to defend his estranged father (Robert Duvall), a local judge, on charges of murder. Downey and Duvall chew scenery at an impressive rate, but the low-grade John Grisham-wannabe script is short on logic, heavy on melodrama. 114 minutes R.
A reporter becomes the target of a vicious smear campaign that drives him to the point of suicide after he exposes the CIA's role in funding Nicaraguan rebels by smuggling cocaine. This fact-based thriller is based on the true story of journalist Gary Webb (played here by Jeremy Renner). 112 minutes R.
It's come to this, has it, Nicolas Cage? Starring in a reboot of the 2000 Kirk Cameron born-again Christian shocker of the same name? Yeesh. Cage plays an airline pilot who gets left on Earth after The Rapture. Even renowned Jesus-lover Kirk Cameron only managed to make three of these things before flaming out. With Cage's star power, will we finally get cinematic versions of all 16 of Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins' Left Behind books? Probably not. A criminally restrained Cage spends the entire film trying to land a plane, while everybody else takes 90 minutes to figure out The Rapture has happened. 110 minutes PG-13.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (still hanging out off the set of FOX's "New Girl") are a couple of struggling pals who decide to dress up as cops for a costume party. Mistaken for real police officers, and afforded respect for the first time in their lives, the two decide to keep up the charade. Unfortunately a collection of real-life mobsters and dirty detectives put our dressed-up do-gooders in mortal danger. Yes, it's as silly as you're thinking. 104 minutes R.
More post-apocalyptic YA teen lit hits the big screen. In this adaptation of James Dashner's hit book trilogy, a mind-erased teen (Dylan O'Brien, "Teen Wolf") is dropped into a community of "runners" trapped inside a deadly, monster-filled, impossible-to-escape maze. Why? Just wait two more movies and you'll find out. 120 minutes PG-13.
Who are Mormons and what are they all about? I'm sure this documentary--produced by, written by, directed by and starring Mormons--will give you a fair and balanced look at the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints and its adherents. It is, however, a perfect film for Mormons who want to see a film about how awesome Mormons are. 78 minutes PG.
A middle-aged American loser (Kevin Kline) inherits an apartment in Paris, but it comes with a hitch--an elderly tenant, played by Maggie Smith. Our penniless protagonist camps out in a spare room while figuring out what to do with the property and finds himself regularly abused by his tenant's mean daughter (Kristin Scott Thomas). An tartly enjoyable if stagebound directing debut (at age 75) from veteran playwright Israel Horovitz (dad to Beastie Boy Adam Horovitz). 107 minutes PG-13.
Middle-of-the-road talent Shawn Levy (Cheaper By the Dozen, Night at the Museum, Date Night, Real Steel) directs this dramedy about a dysfunctional family (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll) brought together by their secret-stealing author of a mother (Jane Fonda) to sit shiva in their childhood home after their father passes away. The story (based on a novel by Jonathan Tropper) doesn't plow any new ground. It's your standard "crazy clan gets the skeletons out of the closet, cries, hugs and makes up" tale--right down to the requisite pot-fueled confessional scene. But the cast is filled with comic ringers, and script generates its emotions in a mostly organic manner. 103 minutes R.
From director John Curran (The Painted Veil, We Don't Live Here Anymore) comes this primal, meditative drama (based on a true story) about a woman (Mia Wasikowska from Alice in Wonderland) who goes on a life-changing journey across the Australian outback accompanied by her dog and four camels. Occasionally she bumps into a National Geographic photographer (Adam Driver from "Girls"). As you might expect, it's got breathtaking cinematography and not a lot of dialogue. 110 minutes PG-13.