Moviefone's Top DVD of the Week
The Weinstein Co.
"20 Feet From Stardom"
What's It About? Being a back-up singer is no easy task, especially when you're working so hard and getting so little credit. Darlene Love, Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill, and other singers take front and center in this doc about the women who've revolutionized the music we listen to.
Why We're IN: The doc features fantastic footage of performances from every era of modern music -- we dare you not to get teary when you see and hear Luther Vandross doing backup with Fischer and others for David Bowie. Interviews with Mick Jagger, Stevie Wonder, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, and Bette Midler are icing on the cake.
Moviefone's Top Blu-ray of the Week
What's It About? Director Jules Dassin snagged the Palme d'Or for this film noir about four guys going in on one last heist -- and we all know how that whole "one last heist" thing usually goes. The spectacular heist scene alone makes this worth the price of admission.
Why We're IN: Criterion does its usual bang-up job on restoring a classic art film and then adds in a few goodies, like an interview with Dassin and an essay by J. Hoberman.
New on DVD
What's It About? Also known as "Plus One," this film from Dennis Iliadis is a mash-up of genres, from the house party gone awry to sci-fi thriller. A college boozefest turns sour when a whole bunch of uninvited folks infiltrate the fun. They look awfully familiar, though...
IN or OUT? This could be the midnight movie for you.
What's It About? Adam Scott stars Carter, as an adult child of divorce who's forced to revisit the dysfunction of his split family when his parents and their spouses all get together for his little brother's wedding. Catherine O'Hara and Richard Jenkins appear as Carter's parents, with Ken Howard and Amy Poehler as their respective significant others and Jane Lynch as Carter's childhood therapist who, as it turns out, was actually studying the effects of divorce on children.
EXCLUSIVE: Watch a very awkward dinner from "A.C.O.D." (VIDEO)
What's It About? This thrilling indie is inspired by the relationship between the men behind the Beltway sniper attacks: John Muhammad and teen Lee Malvo. Isaiah Washington stars as a deadly father figure to an abandoned teen from Antigua, played by Tequan Richmond.
IN or OUT? "Blue Caprice" got strong reviews, so it's a good pick if you're in the market for a chilly, unique drama that doesn't offer any easy answers for the shooters' violent crimes.
What's It About? They're all going to laugh at you, Carrie! Chloe Grace Moretz stars as everyone's favorite prom queen in this newish take on the Stephen King classic by directed Kimberly Peirce ("Boys Don't Cry") and writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa. Julianne Moore appears as Carrie's terrifying (and later terrified) mother.
IN or OUT? Even people who aren't diehard fans of the De Palma original might be skeptical, with good reason.
What's It About?
Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini co-star as divorced single parents tentatively embarking on a relationship with each other as they prepare for their daughters to leave for college. Writer/director Nicole Holofcener throws in a monkey wrench that could come off as hokey but, for some viewers, will end up heartbreaking. Catherine Keener appears as a glamorous poet, and Tavi Gevinson makes her acting debut as a slightly lost teen looking for a mom/friend.
IN or OUT? This might be Nicole Holofcener's best movie yet.
What's It About? Michael B. Jordan stars as Oscar Grant, a young man who was shot and killed by a BART police officer on the first day of 2009. Writer/director Ryan Coogler's feature-length debut has stunned audiences since Sundance and is an awards season favorite.
IN or OUT? A must-see.
"Lee Daniels' The Butler"
What's It About? Cecil Gaines (Forest Whitaker) worked as a butler at the White House for eight different presidents. The political climate of the different eras are juxtaposed between his encounters with the various presidents and Cecil's complicated relationship with his wife Gloria (Oprah Winfrey), politically radical son Louis (David Oyelowo), and younger son Charlie (Elijah Kelley).
IN or OUT? It's definitely a mixed bag, but if you're in the mood for a sprawling historical tale (and some snazzy jumpsuits), dive in.
What's It About? Vin Diesel's back as our favorite creepy-eyed alien bad-ass, although this time around things have gotten an even more desolate vibe. It seems like Riddick is all alone on a planet far from home, just him and his CGI doggie hybrid, but soon enough a whole lotta bounty hunters show up.
IN or OUT? This is mostly for fans of the first two "Riddick" flicks. And maybe not even them.
"A Single Shot"
What's It About? Sam Rockwell holds it down as a poacher living in upstate New York who accidentally shoots a teenage girl in the woods. He finds her stuff nearby and takes it -- including a cool $100K that a whole bunch of bad people are also after. Who's hunting who now?
IN or OUT? Out, unless you're dying for a Sam Rockwell fix.
"The Spectacular Now"
What's It About? Miles Teller stars in this adaptation of a popular YA novel about Sutter, a teen who loves booze almost as much as he loves his kind of weird new girlfriend, Aimee. Teller's "Divergent" co-star Shailene Woodley plays Aimee, a shy, smart, science-y teen who's along for the dangerous ride.
IN or OUT? Fans of the novel might quibble with one or two of the changes, but this is an excellent coming-of-age movie with a strong cast.
EXCLUSIVE: Go behind-the-scenes on "The Spectacular Now" (VIDEO)
What's It About? Going to meet your boyfriend's family can be stressful, but when Erin (Sharni Vinson) goes home with Crispian (A. J. Bowen) for a reunion, she's in for a whole new type of dysfunction. Killers in creepy animal masks are slowly picking off Crispian's family, but Erin isn't quite what they bargained for.
IN or OUT? Fans of horror and extremely dark comedy will want to check this one out, especially if you're into the chummy circle of horror filmmakers who are behind this production.
New to Blu-ray
What's It About? Bruce Willis's first role as a leading man is as an uptight suit who gets fixed up by his brother with a beautiful and very interesting woman, played by Kim Basinger. Unfortunately for Walter, Nadia has two problems: a psycho ex played by John Larroquette and a sensitivity to alcohol. What follows is a typically Blake Edwardsian screwball comedy with a crazy good ensemble cast.
IN or OUT? In.
"Buffalo '66 (15th Anniversary Edition)"
What's It About? Billy Brown (writer/director Vincent Gallo) is fresh out of jail when he kidnaps Layla (Christina Ricci) and forces her to pretend to be his wife so he can impress his parents. Ben Gazzara and Anjelica Huston appear as Billy's parental units, and Rosanna Arquette pops up as a possible ex-girlfriend and definite source of drama for the two crazy kids. Will revenge win out over lurve?
IN or OUT? If you're a fan of this movie, you already know it.
"A Chorus Line"
What's It About? Richard Attenborough directs this adaptation of the stage musical, starring Michael Douglas as a director holding auditions for a new, uh, stage musical. The dancers who are auditioning sing and dance their hearts and sexy, sad secrets out.
IN or OUT? There's not much to brag about as far as extras, but fans of the film can finally get their paws on the Blu-ray.
"In the Heat of the Night"
What's It About? Virgil Tibbs (Sidney Poitier) is a homicide detective from Philly who is first arrested and accused of murder in a small Mississippi town, then recruited to work on solving the case with the town's sheriff, Gillespie (Rod Steiger). Norman Jewison's award-winning drama captures the racial tension of the '60s, but it's as every bit as relevant as it was the day it won Best Picture.
IN or OUT? In.
"Thief (Criterion Collection)"
What's It About? Writer/director Michael Mann's debut stars James Caan as a guy who wants to leave the life of crime behind - just after this one last jewel heist. Tuesday Weld stars as the woman Frank wants to start a normal family life with, if only he could get away from his past.
IN or OUT? Neo-noir fans, Michael Mann fans, and Tangerine Dream fans will all want in on this one.