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.
1. The Visit
It’s been a long time since M. Night Shyamalan has put out even a halfway decent movie, with subpar offerings like The Happening, After Earth, and The Last Airbender tainting a legacy that began with such promise. There are plenty of theories out there about what exactly it was that led to such a steep fall for the twist-centric director, but the simple fact of the matter is that he just stopped making good movies. With each subsequent offering of his worse than the preceding film, it’s been getting hard to trust anything he puts out. Thankfully, The Visit may just change that, however temporary this return to form might be.
Going into the latest from Shyalaman, it’s important to start by tempering your expectations. If you measure The Visit up against The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, there’s a good chance you’ll walk out of the theater disappointed. Compared to Lady in the Water or The Happening though, it might as well be Citizen freaking Kane. It currently sits at a surprisingly positive 64% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critical consensus calling it a “satisfying blend of thrills and laughs.”
Other reviews haven’t been so kind though. Over at Cinema Blend, they’re dubbing The Visit “a film so bad and uninteresting that it forces you to apologize to any of the other films you’ve panned this year.” Their review seems to be a clear case of continuing to expect The Sixth Sense in a time when Shyamalan is simply not capable of making that kind of movie anymore. If you want to see a slightly not terrible and “better than recent efforts” type of M. Night film though, The Visit is the one to catch this weekend.
2. Sleeping With Other People
It’s been a good year for subversive romantic comedies, with movies like Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck dominating the creative landscape. Sleeping With Other People is a similarly themed film, playing with classic tropes of the genre and then turning each of them on their respective heads. In it, Jason Sudeikis and Alison Brie play a pair of sex addicts who vow to not sleep with each other, who later find the true value of their relationship in an approach neither of them have ever tried.
We have two charismatic actors leading a talented cast composed of Billy Eichner, Jason Mantzoukas, Amanda Peet, and more. Even with all this, many reviews seem to be split on just how subversive Sleeping With Other People manages to be. L.A. Weekly astutely points out that its premise is essentially “a Photoshop copy of ‘When Harry Met Sally,’ clone-stamped and saturated.” On the other side of the spectrum, Vulture disagrees, calling it “a rare American non-homogenized rom-com,” while noting that “it’s delightful even when you’re not sure what you’re watching.” Of course the only way to know for sure is to see for yourself, so for an entertaining angle at a genre in need of a refresh, Sleeping With Other People is the way to go.
3. Welcome to Leith
Racial tension over the last year has exploded across the country, as white Americans have begun to have their bubble bursted over a simple fact: Racism is alive and well in our country. Welcome To Leith shows us the most extreme example of this, as a documentary detailing the attempted takeover of a small North Dakota town by white supremacist Craig Cobb. While many use free speech as a justification for hate speech, here we have a movie that shows us what happens when this mode of thinking is taken all the way to its limit.
Critics everywhere are absolutely raving, evidenced by its whopping 95% score on Rotten Tomatoes. The consensus is no less kind, outlining just what makes this a must-see movie.
As disturbing as it is thought-provoking, Welcome to Leith offers an uncomfortable — and essential — glimpse into a part of society many Americans would much rather ignore.
You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who didn’t find it an insightful look into racial America. It appears during a lull in blockbuster releases, making it the perfect weekend to set aside some time to get your documentary fix before the Fall movie season ramps up in full.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest
More from Entertainment Cheat Sheet:
- 9 Outdoorsy Movies That Challenge the Wild
- ‘Star Wars, Episode VIII’: Everything We Know So Far
- Before ‘The Visit’: The Good (and the Bad) From M. Night Shyamalan