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Limited Releases Grab Your Attention

July 19th, 2013

Every week we try and find a limited release with potential to expand significantly. This week there are two such films that appeared to be contenders: Girl Most Likely and Only God Forgives. Then the reviews came in and the chances of limited release success became a lot more limited. There are a few films earning stunning reviews: The Act of Killing, Blackfish, and Ways to Live Forever. I'm not sure any will expand significantly. Grabbers' reviews are not quite as strong, but it is the film I'm looking forward to seeing the most.

The Act of Killing - Reviews
A documentary by Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn about death squads in Indonesia, which killed more than 1 million people over the course of the year. The leaders are celebrated as heroes in their country, which is frightening. The filmmaker gets the leaders to re-enact these killings in various Hollywood genres. It's a powerful film earning 100% positive reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I think it is too out there to find mainstream success. The Act of Killing opens tonight at the Sunshine Cinema in New York City. This includes Q&As with the director tonight and tomorrow. Check the official site for more details.

Blackfish - Reviews
A documentary about orcas in captivity and some of the controversy surrounding that. The film's reviews are astronomical, but it is a documentary, so it will likely not expand enough to earn mainstream success. Blackfish opens tonight in four theaters, split between New York City and the Los Angeles area and expands next week to Chicago, Philadelphia, Washington, D.C., and more cities.

Broken - Reviews
A coming of age story about an 11-year old girl who witnesses a violent attack and loses her innocence as a result. It features a first time director, Rufus Norris, and a first time star, Eloise Laurence, both of whom are earning some praise. However, the overall reviews are merely good, but not great. Broken opens tonight at the Quad Cinema in New York City, but I'm not sure if it is debuting elsewhere. There's no official site for its North American release.

Evidence - Reviews
Radha Mitchell and Stephen Moyer star as two cops investigating a massacre at an abandoned gas station where all they have to go on is countless video recordings done by the victims. It's a found footage police procedural, which doesn't sound promising. At the moment, it is earning zero positive reviews. Evidence opens tonight in theaters and on video on demand. It will likely perform a lot better on the latter than the former, but not by enough to really matter.

Girl Most Likely - Reviews
Kristen Wiig stars as a woman who loses her boyfriend and pretends to attempt to commit suicide to get him back. However, her suicide note is so convincing, it leads to her being sent to a mental institute, and they put her in the protective custody of her mother, Annette Bening. This film has an incredible cast and I was really looking forward to seeing it, but the reviews are simply awful. Most critics are saying this movie has no real plot and the talent is completely wasted here. That's a real shame. Girl Most Likely opens tonight in select cities, but likely won't go very far.

Grabbers - Reviews
An Irish black comedy about life in a small, remote Irish village, which comes under attack from tentacled, blood-sucking aliens. The only defense against them is getting really drunk. The reviews are very good, but it is the wrong genre for limited release, plus it is opening on video on demand as well. I don't have high hopes for the film's theatrical run, but it could do well in limited release. Out of all of the films on this week's list, this is the one I'm most looking forward to seeing. Grabbers opens tonight at the IFC Center in New York City.

Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp - Reviews
A biopic about 1960s pimp turned successful writer, Robert Beck, a.k.a., Iceberg Slim. The reviews are only mixed with some critics complaining about the lack of depth or gritty details. It's almost like they were glorifying his old lifestyle, which is something Robert Beck regets happened with his memoirs, Pimp. Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp opens tonight in select theatres, while it is already on Video on Demand.

Only God Forgives - Reviews
Ryan Gosling and Nicolas Winding Refn team up again after Drive. That film earned incredible reviews and a lot of people were very interested in this film. Unfortunately, this film's reviews are terrible. A Tomatometer Score of just 33% positive would be bad for a populous popcorn flick. It will likely sink this film. Only God Forgives opens tonight in select cities as well as Video on Demand.

Ways to Live Forever - Reviews
This film focuses on a 12-year old boy, Sam, who is living with leukemia, but who doesn't want that to rule his life. The reviews on Rotten Tomatoes are so far perfect; however, there are only five of them, which suggests limited buzz. Hopefully it will find an audience. Ways to Live Forever opens tonight in eight theaters in major cities nationwide. Check the official site for more details.


Filed under: Limited Releases, Girl Most Likely, Evidence, Only God Forgives, Ways to Live Forever, Blackfish, The Act of Killing, Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp, Grabbers, Broken, Annette Bening, Ryan Gosling, Radha Mitchell, Stephen Moyer, Kristen Wiig, Joshua Oppenheimer, Robbie Kay, Nicolas Winding Refn, Christine Cynn, Rufus Norris