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. Mississippi Grind
The comedy drama stars Ben Mendelsohn as a down-on-his luck gambler, who attempts to turn around his luck by teaming up with Curtis, a younger charismatic poker player played by Ryan Reynolds. The two set off on a road trip through the South. As they gamble their way toward a legendary high-stakes poker game in New Orleans, the trip’s highs and lows unveil the duo’s true character and motivation as they form an undeniable bond. Sienna Miller, Analeigh Tipton, Marshall Chapman, and Alfre Woodard also co-star.
Directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, the film has earned widely positive reviews since its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It currently holds a 91% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with critics praising the “low-key but emotionally rich” narrative. Reynolds‘s performance is getting particular praise, with THR writing, “It’s hard to remember this ridiculously handsome actor’s talents being put to more effective use.”
2. 99 Homes
Directed by Ramin Bahrani, the thriller stars Andrew Garfield as Dennis, a single father who is evicted from his home, and Michael Shannon as Rick, the charismatic and ruthless businessman who threw him out. Dennis’s only chance to win back his house and provide security for his family is to work for Rick. But as Dennis gets more involved, he finds himself in situations more brutal and dangerous than he ever imagined. Laura Dern and Noah Lomax also co-star in the movie.
The film aired at multiple festivals earlier this year and won the Grand Prix prize at Deauville American Film Festival. It’s earned rave reviews, with critics praising the “powerful acting” and the “taut, patiently constructed” storyline.
3. Pawn Sacrifice
Tobey Maguire stars as American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer in this gripping true story. Set during the height of the Cold War, the movie follows Fischer as he challenges the Soviet Empire and eventually finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles. Liev Schreiber and Peter Sarsgaard also co-star in the film.
Directed by Edward Zwick, the movie has garnered a positive response among critics, who labeled it a “well-acted and handsomely crafted biopic.” Maguire is also earning high praise, with Rolling Stone calling his portrayal of Fischer a “transfixing, transformative performance.“