Limited Releases: Call in the Calvary

Calvary poster

There are an even dozen films on this week's list, but only Calvary is earning good reviews and strong buzz. Hopefully this will translate into ticket sales, or it will likely be a very bad week for limited releases. There are also a couple of documentaries that could do well in limited release, Finding Fela! and Rich Hill, but neither has the potential for breakout success.

4 Minute Mile - Reviews
A young man is roped into running money for a local drug dealers. A track and field coach sees him run and wants to train him to reach his potential. It's an inspirational sports movie that is unfortunately laden with clichés. 4 Minute Mile opens tonight in select cities, as well as on Video on Demand.

The Almost Man - Reviews
This film is about a 35-year old man who still acts like he's in high school partying all of the time and living at home with his mother. However, when his girlfriend winds up pregnant, he has to grow up, fast. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and generally speaking, limited releases need great reviews to thrive. The Almost Man opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City.

Behaving Badly - Reviews
This is a Teenage Sex Comedy that has been on Video on Demand for a month and still has zero positive reviews. There's not much that needs to be said about the movie, because its box office chances are so slim.

Cabin Fever: Patient Zero - Reviews
A prequel to Cabin Fever, which was a surprise hit, at least compared to its production budget. Unfortunately for this film, its box office chances are very low. Horror films rarely do well in limited release, while the reviews won't help. Cabin Fever: Patient Zero opens tonight in select theaters, while it is also playing on Video on Demand.

Calvary - Reviews
Brendan Gleeson plays Father James, a Catholic priest who, while taking confession, learns that the person he is talking to was molested as a child and has decided to kill Father James to make the Catholic Church pay as a whole. He has given Father James one week to live. While deciding what to do, Father James interacts with some of the villagers, many of whom are not pious people. This is the best-reviewed limited release on this week's list. Calvary opens tonight New York City and Los Angeles and could earn the highest per theater average this weekend.

Child of God - Reviews
James Franco tries yet again to write, direct, and star in a movie. So far he hasn't had much success. Then again, he does choose very difficult stories to adapt. This particular movie is about a man who loses his parents and goes to live in a cave, losing whatever made him civilized in the process. Child of God opens tonight in eight theaters in select cities. Check out the official site for more details.

Finding Fela! - Reviews
A documentary about Fela Kuti, a musician, social activist, and the creator of Afrobeat fusion music. The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, but its chances to thrive in limited release will rely heavily on the popularity of the music. Finding Fela! opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Louder Than Words - Reviews
After their young daughter dies, two parents create a memorial to her, a hospital for sick kids where parents can be part of the healing process. It's an inspirational story, but the early reviews are not encouraging. Louder Than Words opens tonight in select theaters, but it has also been playing on Video on Demand for a while.

Moebius - Reviews
This film is directed by Ki-duk Kim, who specializes in films that are hard to watch. This one is no different. It is about a husband who cheats on his wife and a wife who tries to take revenge, but when she fails, she targets their son instead. Like I said, it is difficult to watch, so even if it does find an audience in limited release, it won't expand significantly. Moebius opens tonight at the Cinefamily in Los Angeles before moving to New York in two weeks.

Rich Hill - Reviews
A documentary about life in a small town, Rich Hill, and some of the young residents who are dealing with dysfunctional families and bleak futures. The reviews are 80% positive, which suggests it could find an audience in art house theaters. However, it is a documentary, so its chances of expanding significantly are very limited. Rich Hill opens tonight at the Village East Cinema in New York City.

The Strange Little Cat - Reviews
A movie about a family get-together that takes place in one apartment. The film's reviews are good, but not great, and reading the reviews gave me the distinct impression that this was strictly an art house film. The Strange Little Cat opens tonight at the The Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center in New York City.

Sarabham - No Reviews
A Bollywood thriller about a man willing to do whatever it takes for power and money. That's not a very specific plot description, but I've been having a lot of trouble finding reviews for the film online. There is also no official site and even Now Running only has a entry with no showtimes. Granted, these films rarely have a lot of online presence, but this is much lower than expected.


- C.S.Strowbridge


Date posted: 2014-08-01