Valentine’s Day weekend gets a little weird this year, as Universal opens its Middle American bondage picture and everyone else races to counterprogram an alternative date movie. Let’s see how that works out.
Fifty Shades of Grey: I had to miss this for Kingsman on Wednesday night — and Susan’s review isn’t encouraging — but I’m going to have to catch up to it eventually just to see what drew Sam Taylor-Johnson to the project, I guess.
In Her Place: Canadian filmmaker Albert Shin’s directorial debut is a tense, claustrophobic South Korean domestic drama, and Rad is all for it.
Kingsman: The Secret Service: Matthew Vaughn’s retro spy picture is perhaps a little too much in love with its source material. Also, it’s kind of ugly inside.
The Last Five Years: Richard LaGravenese’s open-hearted musical lets the stellar Anna Kendrick and the decent-enough Jeremy Jordan play out a modern romance in duelling chronologies. I bought in.
Timbuktu: Abderrahmane Sissako’s drama about a small community coping with the imposition of Sharia law will be embraced as a cautionary tale by right-wingers looking to wave the Scary Muslim flag. But it’s a lot more complex — and humane — than that.
The Voices: Ryan Reynolds gives the performance of his career in Marjane Satrapi’s batshit character study, about which you should know as little as possible before going in. I’ve probably said too much already.
What We Do in the Shadows: Jemaine Clement and Taika Waititi’s vampire mockumentary might be the funniest movie you see this year. And yes, I know it’s only February.
Counter-intuitive anti-Valentine argument: Catch In Her Place or What We Do in the Shadows this weekend, because they might not be around next weekend. Okay?