Starring: Karl Urban, Olivia Thirlby, Lena Headey & Rachel Wood
Directed by Pete Travis for distribution by Lionsgate
The Plot: In a world where society has crumbled to unspeakable levels, a group of cops named “judges” are given the power to act as judge, jury and executioner. Following a heinous crime, one of the city’s most notorious “judges” springs into action along with his rookie trainee to take down a slum controlled by a merciless Madame.
The Final Word: Anybody else the Sylvester Stallone version of “Judge Dredd” from 1996 that nearly destroyed the franchise? Yeah, Lionsgate is hoping you don’t and will be able to go into this version with an open mind. While fans seem willing to give the filmmakers a second chance, the problem is there may not be as many left as studio executives had hoped when they originally greenlit the project.
END OF WATCH
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena, Anna Kendrick,
Frank Gillo & America Ferrera
Directed by David Ayer for distribution by Open Road Films
The Plot: Two police officers are marked for death after they disrupt the plans of a local drug cartel and must fight to stay one step ahead of the group’s allies.
The Final Word: While Gyllenhaal and Pena are earning some of the strongest reviews of their careers for the action drama, audiences don’t seem to be that interested. Many probably wouldn’t even know the plot if they weren’t a preview like this one. However, Hollywood is ripe with movies that start off with no buzz, earning solid reviews and then dominate during award season.
HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Elisabeth Shue, Max Thieriot & Gil Bellows
Directed by Mark Tonderai for distribution by Relativity Media
The Plot: A mother and daughter looking for a fresh start move to a new house where they learn their neighbor is the sole survivor of a brutal crime that still haunts the neighborhood.
The Final Word: Jennifer Lawrence is still riding high courtesy of “The Hunger Games” and Relativity should be able to milk that opening weekend. The trick is going to be sustaining whatever type of buzz the movie manages to garner as the movie opens at the start of a very crowded time at the box office.
TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE
Starring: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman,
Robert Patrick, Matthew Lillard, Scott Eastwood & Joe Massingill
Directed by Robert Lorenz for distribution by Warner Brothers
The Plot: A aging baseball scout seeing his career slip away reluctantly allows his daughter to accompany him on his latest scouting trip in order to prove to his bosses he still has what it takes to get his job done.
The Final Word: Despite his status as a Hollywood legend, the four-time Academy Award winning filmmaker has seen a very uneven track record as of late. Every year Eastwood is talked about in Oscar circles as automatic contender, but it’s been years since he’s been an automatic nominee. In addition, “Curve” will actually be Eastwood’s first movie in almost twenty years that he has starred in but hasn’t directed. First time director Robert Lorenz instead shepherded the project with some helpful hints probably coming from his iconic star.