This week's movie action | Bleader

This week's movie action


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The Wise Kids
  • The Wise Kids
One of the best movies I've seen this year is Stephen Cone's The Wise Kids, which makes its world premiere tonight at Music Box as part of the opening-night program for Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival. Cone is probably best known for his feature In Memoriam, which screened at Gene Siskel Film Center earlier this year, but The Wise Kids, a moving story of physical and spiritual longing in a Christian youth group in South Carolina, represents a quantum leap from that earlier release. Check out our long review of the movie and our Reeling sidebar, with a half-dozen capsule reviews of films screening this week.

Another of the city's major festivals, the Polish Film Festival in America, opens Friday night at the Rosemont 18 with the Chicagoland premiere of In Darkness, a Holocaust drama by Agnieszka Holland (The Secret Garden, Europa Europa). Check out our sidebar, with five capsule reviews of movies screening here in town at Facets Cinematheque and in Park Ridge at the Pickwick.

This week brings the commercial release of two strong features we reviewed last month when they screened at the Chicago International Film Festival: Le Havre, the latest from Finnish deadpan comedian Aki Kaurismaki, and Like Crazy, with Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones as star-crossed lovers trying to sustain a long-distance relationship. We also have new reviews of The Double, with Richard Gere as a retired CIA agent charged with icing out a Russian assassin; Eames: The Architect and the Painter, a documentary about the husband-and-wife designers Charles and Ray Eames; Tower Heist, the latest Brett Ratner action comedy, with Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy; Urbanized, the last in Gary Hustwit's trilogy of design documentaries, which began with Helvetica; and A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas, the third entry in the stoner-comedy franchise.

Best bets for repertory: Roy and John Boulting's Brighton Rock (1947)—an adaptation of the Graham Greene classic that blows away the one released earlier this year—Saturday and Sunday morning at Music Box; Sidney Lumet's Dog Day Afternoon (1975), Wednesday at Doc Films; Zhao Dayong's Ghost Town (2008)—not to be confused with the crappy Ricky Gervais comedy—Monday at Doc; Frank Tashlin's The Girl Can't Help It (1956), Wednesday at the Portage, presented by the Northwest Chicago Film Society; and Steve James's Hoop Dreams (1994), Sunday at Doc.