Movie guide alt: Independent, limited release and foreign-language films

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 8:08pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 24 October, 2012, 8:15pm

Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one younger than 17 admitted.


“All Together” — Five aging friends hire a graduate student as a live-in caretaker and rediscover the joys and pitfalls of communal living. With Claude Rich, Jane Fonda and Geraldine Chaplin. Written and directed by Stephane Robelin. In French and German, with English subtitles. (1:36) NR.

“Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes” — Complications ensue when a disgraced TV journalist leads a film crew to Northern California to debunk a man’s claim that he possesses the body of a dead sasquatch. With Drew Rausch, Rich McDonald and Ashley Wood. Written by Brian Kelsey, Bryan O’Cain. Directed by Corey Grant. (1:29) NR.

“Blues for Willadean” — In a Texas trailer park, a housewife struggles to free herself from her controlling, abusive husband. With Beth Grant, Octavia Spencer, Dale Dickey and David Steen. Written and directed by Del Shores. (1:53) NR.

“Butter” — After her husband, a long-reigning butter-carving champion, is pressured into retiring from competition, a woman steps forward to try to follow in his footsteps. With Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Garner. Written by Jason A. Micallef. Directed by Jim Field Smith. (1:27) R.

“Decoding Deepak” — A documentary following the physician, author and self-help guru Deepak Chopra on a yearlong road trip, as captured by his own son. Directed by Gotham Chopra. (1:14) NR.

“Detropia” — This documentary examines Detroit as an emblem of the social and economic challenges facing postindustrial America. Directed by Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady. (1:27) NR.

“Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” — A documentary exploring the widespread problems of the American health care system, including rising costs, limited access and poor results. Directed by Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke. (1:35) NR.

“Ethel” — A documentary portrait of Ethel Kennedy, widow of the former senator, attorney general and Democratic presidential aspirant Robert F. Kennedy. Directed by Rory Kennedy. (1:37) NR.

“Fame High” — A documentary following students in and outside the classroom at Los Angeles County High School for the Arts over the course of one school year. Directed by Scott Hamilton Kennedy. (1:37) NR.

“Fat Kid Rules the World” — A suicidal, overweight 17-year-old begins an uneasy friendship with a high school dropout who recruits him into a rock band. With Jacob Wysocki, Matt O’Leary and Billy Campbell. Written by Michael Galvin and Peter Speakman. Directed by Matthew Lillard. (1:34) R.

“The First Time” — Sparks fly as two high-schoolers — a lovelorn senior guy and an attached but unfulfilled junior girl — meet at a party and spend a weekend hanging out. With Dylan O’Brien, Britt Robertson and Victoria Justice. Written and directed by Jonathan Kasdan. (1:35) PG-13.

“For Ellen” — A struggling rock musician takes tentative steps to forge a relationship with the 5-year-old daughter he’s neglected before forfeiting custody in a divorce. With Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Margarita Levieva and Jena Malone. Written and directed by So Yong Kim. (1:33) NR.

“Four Assassins” — Four hitmen rendezvous at a Hong Kong hotel to settle some unfinished business. With Will Yun Lee, Miguel Ferrer, Mercedes Renard and Hiro Hayama. Written and directed by Stanley J. Orzel. (1:28) NR.

“3,2,1 … Frankie go Boom …” — A young man comes home to welcome his prankster brother back from rehab and begins a cautious but promising relationship with a new woman, only to get caught up once again in his sibling’s shenanigans. With Charlie Hunnam, Chris O’Dowd, Lizzy Caplan and Ron Perlman. Written and directed by Jordan Roberts. (1:27) NR.

“The House I Live In” — A documentary casting a critical eye on the war on drugs and its fallout over the past 40 years. Directed by Eugene Jarecki. (1:48) NR.

“#Holdyourbreath” — When a group of friends on a camping trip pass by a derelict cemetery, one of them defies an urban legend and becomes the unwitting host of an evil spirit. With Katrina Bowden and Randy Wayne. Written by Geoff Meed. Directed by Jared Cohn. (1:30) R.

“Just 45 Minutes From Broadway” — Stinging from a recent breakup, a histrionic stage actress retreats to her parents’ upstate country house for their annual Seder. With Tanna Frederick, Judd Nelson and Julie Davis. Written and directed by Henry Jaglom. (1:46) R.

“Least Among Saints” — When his neighbor suffers a drug overdose, a troubled Iraq war veteran takes the woman’s 10-year-old son on an ill-advised quest to find the boy’s absentee father. With Martin Papazian, Tristan Lake Leabu and Audrey Marie Anderson. Written and directed by Papazian. (1:45) R.

“Middle of Nowhere” — A nurse puts her plans to attend medical school on hold when her husband is sentenced to eight years in prison. With Emayatzy Corinealdi, Omari Hardwick and David Oyelowo. Written and directed by Ava DuVernay. (1:39) R.

“Mulberry Child” — This documentary about a Chinese immigrant and her adult daughter raised in the U.S. follows the women as they travel to China and attempt to reconnect with each other and their extended family. Directed by Susan Morgan Cooper. (1:25) NR.

“The Mystical Laws” — In this animated film set in a future in which Asia has fallen under a military empire with advanced technology, one man represents humanity’s last hope. With the voices of Takehito Koyasu, Daisuke Hirakawa and Daisuke Hirakawa. Written by the Mystical Laws Scenario Project. Directed by Isamu Imakake. In Japanese with English subtitles. (2 hrs.) NR.

“Nobody Walks” — The arrival of a New York artist, a friend of a friend working to finish a film, disrupts the equilibrium of a laid-back Los Angeles household. With John Krasinski, Olivia Thirlby, Rosemarie DeWitt and Justin Kirk. Written by Ry Russo-Young and Lena Dunham. Directed by Russo-Young. (1:22) R.

“Now, Forager” — A husband and wife who gather and sell wild mushrooms for a living have their simple life upset when one of them decides to take a job as a chef at a high-end restaurant. With Jason Cortlund and Tiffany Esteb. Written by Cortlund. Directed by Cortlund and Julia Halperin. (1:33) NR.

“The Oranges” — Two neighboring families have their comfortable suburban lives upended when the twenty-something daughter of one household returns home and strikes up an affair with the middle-aged husband of the other. With Hugh Laurie, Leighton Meester, Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt. Written by Ian Helfer and Jay Reiss. Directed by Julian Farino. (1:30) R.

“The Paperboy” — In a muggy Florida backwater, an idealistic reporter enlists his hotshot writing partner, his aimless younger brother and a sexpot death-row groupie to investigate the case of a convicted killer. With Matthew McConaughey, Zac Efron, David Oyelowo and Nicole Kidman. Written by Pete Dexter and Lee Daniels. Directed by Daniels. (1:46) R.

“Puella Magi Madoka Magica the Movie Part 1: Beginnings” — In this animated film, a 14-year-old girl signs a contract to gain magical powers and takes up the task of battling witches. With the voices of Aoi Yuki, Chiwa Saito and Kaori Mizuhashi. Written by Gen Urobuchi. Directed by Yukihiro Miyamoto. In Japanese with English subtitles. (2:10) NR.

“Sassy Pants” — A recent home-school graduate struggles to break free from her perky, smothering mother and deadbeat gay father to attend fashion school. With Ashley Rickards, Anna Gunn, Haley Joel Osment and Diedrich Bader. Written and directed by Coley Sohn. (1:27) NR.

“The Sessions” — A 38-year-old man confined to an iron lung enlists therapists and a priest to help him lose his virginity. With John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy. Written and directed by Ben Lewin. (1:35) R.

“Sexy Baby” — A documentary about coming of age and the prevalence of sex in mainstream culture in the digital era. Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus. (1:23) NR.

“Simon and the Oaks” — A bookish young man from a working-class family in Sweden befriends a young Jewish man fleeing Nazi persecution in Germany. With Bill Skarsgaard, Helen Sjoholm and Jan Josef Liefers. Written by Marnie Blok. Directed by Lisa Ohlin. In Swedish and German, with English subtitles. (2:02) NR.

“Sister” — In the shadow of a posh Swiss ski resort, a scheming 12-year-old boy lives with his jobless drifter of a sister and steals gear from rich tourists to get by. With Kacey Mottet-Klein, Lea Seydoux and Gillian Anderson. Written and directed by Ursula Meier. In French with English subtitles. (1:37) NR.

“Six Million and One” — This documentary follows four siblings as they trace the footsteps of their late father, a Holocaust survivor who was interned in Gusen and Gunskirchen, Austria. Directed by David Fisher. In Hebrew, German and English, with English subtitles. (1:37) NR.

“Smashed” — A young married couple whose bond is based on a shared love of alcohol have their relationship tested when the wife decides to get sober. With Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aaron Paul, Octavia Spencer and Nick Offerman. Written by James Ponsoldt and Susan Burke. Directed by Ponsoldt. (1:25) R.

“Smiley” — After hearing about a serial killer, a mentally fragile woman must determine whether she’s losing her mind or in danger of becoming the killer’s next victim. With Caitlin Gerard, Melanie Papalia and Shane Dawson. Written by Michael Gallagher and Glasgow Phillips. Directed by Gallagher. (1:30) R.

“Special Forces” — A special forces unit is dispatched to rescue a war correspondent who has been kidnapped by the Taliban and threatened with execution. With Diane Kruger, Djimon Hounsou and Benoit Magimel. Written and directed by Stephane Rybojad. In English and French, with English subtitles. (1:47) R.

“Step Up to the Plate” — A documentary about the French chef Michel Bras handing over his restaurant to his son, Sebastien, who has worked with his father for 15 years. Directed by Paul Lacoste. In French with English subtitles. (1:29) NR.

“Tai Chi Zero” — A young man with great potential who is teased as the town fool travels to a distant village to learn martial arts. With William Feng, Eddie Peng and Angelababy. Written by Kuo-fu Chen. Directed by Stephen Fung. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (1:55) PG-13.

“That’s What She Said” — A hopeless romantic, her cynical friend and a loopy stranger undertake a daylong misadventure. With Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis and Alia Shawkat. Written by Kellie Overbey. Directed by Carrie Preston. (1:24) R.

“The Thieves” — Expert thieves plot to steal a priceless diamond locked in an impenetrable casino vault. With Yun-seok Kim, Hye-soo Kim and Gianna Jun. Written and directed by Dong-hoo Choi. In Korean with English subtitles. (2:16) NR.

“V/H/S” — Misfits are hired to retrieve a videotape from a deserted house, where they encounter a corpse and a surplus of cryptic footage. With Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Sophia Takal and Kate Lyn Sheil. Multiple writers and directors. (1:55) R.

“Wake in Fright” — A newly restored version of the 1971 Australian film about a British schoolteacher’s descent into demoralization in an outback town. With Donald Pleasence, Gary Bond and Sylvia Kay. Written by Evan Jones. Directed by Ted Kotcheff. (1:54) NR.

“War of the Buttons” — The children of two neighboring villages in the French countryside wage a ruthless play war while the real horrors of World War II begin to creep into their lives. With Jean Texier, Clement Godefroy and Theophile Baquet. Written by Christophe Barratier, Stephane Keller and Thomas Langmann. Directed by Barratier. (1:32) PG-13.

“We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists” — A documentary about the radical online hacker-activist group known as Anonymous. Directed by Brian Knappenberger. (1:40) NR.

“A Whisper to a Roar” — This documentary follows democracy activists in Egypt, Malaysia, Ukraine, Venezuela and Zimbabwe. Directed by Ben Moses. (1:34) NR.

“Wuthering Heights” — A young black man is taken in by a white Yorkshire farmer and develops a close relationship with the man’s teenage daughter in this adaptation of the classic Emily Bronte novel. With Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave and Shannon Beer. Written and directed by Andrea Arnold. (2:08) NR.


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