There are plenty of notable new films set to hit the big screen this week. Can’t decide which option to buy tickets for first? Here are our staff’s picks for the top three flicks to check out in theaters this weekend.
It’s been a big last couple years for Emily Blunt. The newly-minted American hailing originally from London has made the rare successful transition from comedies into cerebral action films, beginning with Looper back in 2012. Now, she’s here with perhaps her most interesting project to date with Sicario. In it, Blunt plays an FBI agent conscripted into the failed War on Drugs. Pulled into hostile territory in Mexico alongside a task force leader (Josh Brolin) and a suspicious consultant (Benicio Del Toro), she finds herself challenged to abandon her morals in order to stay alive.
The movie weaves an intricate web of equal parts spycraft and political commentary, as Blunt finds herself in a role that puts her on the next level in terms of Hollywood A-listers. Critically, it’s being hailed by many as an early Oscar contender, helped in part by its 90% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Critical consensus is equally as kind, calling Sicario as “taut, tightly wound thriller with much more on its mind than attention-getting set pieces.”
We finally are approaching the end of the post-Summer blockbuster lull, as we get into the closing months of the season. Sicario marks the first in a long line of Oscar contenders releasing in the early Fall months, just getting into under the wire to qualify for the 2016 Oscars next February.
2. Black Mass
Johnny Depp is an actor who’s had his fair share of ups and downs recently. Having finally exited out of the phase of his career that had him labeled as the creepy Tim Burton poster-boy, his last project Mortdecai made all sorts of “worst movies ever” type lists. Many thought this was the beginning of the end for Depp’s storied career, having become almost a parody of himself. His latest film though has him bouncing back in a huge way, starring as the iconic gangster turned FBI-informant, Whitey Bulger in Black Mass.
Depp dons a heavy layer of makeup to make him appear more like the balding Bulger in his later years, while using blue contact lenses to further accentuate the imposing and terrifying demeanor the career criminal used to terrorize Massachusetts. Black Mass sits a shade below Sicario at 77% on Rotten Tomatoes, but that hasn’t stopped critics from crowning Depp for the Best Actor Oscar. Nothing jumpstarts a career like a biopic, and that goes even more so for hauntingly accurate depictions of heartless mobsters (just ask Denzel Washington).
Everest rounds out a group of releases this weekend that provides us with the best selection of must-see movies we’ve had in months. The movie tells the true-to-life story of a series of Mt. Everest expeditions that ended the lives of 8 courageous climbers. Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Josh Brolin, Jason Clarke, and John Hawkes, it’s an A-list cast worthy of depicting one of the most dangerous and fatal tries at climbing the world’s highest peak ever embarked upon.
It goes without saying, but Everest will be best seen on the biggest possible screen, made up of sweeping mountain landscapes, breathtaking helicopter shots, and stunningly well-done CGI that puts audiences right in the middle of the action. Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus gives it high praise, claiming it “boasts all the dizzying cinematography a person could hope to get.” Along with a solid 70% positive rating, catching this one before the weekend is out should be a given for any fans of special effects eye candy.
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