Published Jan 13, 2012With January in full swing, it's time to pick up the popcorn, embrace your winter waistline and stay warm with the best of the box office this weekend. Read full reviews of the following picks in our Recently Reviewed section.
First up, acclaimed Icelandic filmmaker Baltasar Kormákur delivers his trademark dark humour in Contraband (pictured). Mark Wahlberg stars as ex-con Chris Farraday, a fella fighting to save his family from the erratic wrath of crime lord, Tim Briggs (Giovanni Ribisi).
Next, director Phyllida Lloyd presents a fascinating, if at times flighty, portrait of Britain's first female prime minister in The Iron Lady. Meryl Streep is mesmerizing as Margaret Thatcher in a biopic that neither demonizes nor shies away from the political figure's notorious conservatism.
David Cronenberg also delights with his new film, A Dangerous Method, which offers a tongue-in-cheek take on the budding relationship between Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) at a time when their speculative psychoanalytical theories became the "religion of the 20th century." Keira Knightley also stars in this Exclaim!-approved flick.
For fans of 2007's low-budget Irish film Once, the question of what happened following the songwriting duo's success (which included an Oscar win for best song) is answered in the surprisingly candid documentary The Swell Season.
Next, novice filmmaker Dee Rees delivers a coming-of-age tale with Pariah. The film follows Alike (Adepero Oduye), a gifted teen struggling to come to terms with her sexuality and the challenges of coping with her straight-laced mother. A heavy-handed yet admirable debut strengthened by newcomer Oduye's performance.
Finally, Dolly Parton and Queen Latifah take to the stage in Todd Graff's Christian-loving gospel romp Joyful Noise. Often unintentionally funny, Joyful Noise provides food fights, Parton performing hip-hop and an obese African-American woman inducing a slight Asian man to have a heart attack after sex. If that floats your boat, this one's for you.
To read full reviews of these picks and more, head over to the Recently Reviewed section at Exclaim.ca.