The Week in Movies: After Earth, Now You See Me, and The East

Welcome to Annotate This, where we gather reviews, trailers, and annotate the posters for movies coming out this week. It will help you decide what to avoid, what to see, and what to pretend to see. Click on the image above to add your comments to the mix.

After Earth

Even if you didn't know that M. Night Shyamalan had his hand in this sci-fi jumble flick, reading this nutso interview with co-stars Will Smith and his son Jaden about patterns would clue you in. Bascially Will Smith and his son must run about with spears in an abandoned earth. It's not about scientology, as Rich Juzwiak will tell you here.


Now You See Me

This Robin Hood/revenge story about cool (kinda!) magicians who also pull off bank heists is fleetingly fun. The cast is stellar: Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Melanie Laurent, and Michael Caine. Watch the first four minutes below—and please make me feel better and tell me you also fell for the card trick in the first minute.


The East (Limited)

The second film from director Zal Batmanglij and co-writer Brit Marling (this is a follow-up to their 2011 feature Sound of My Voice; Marling's sweet commencement speech on their creative relationship is here), The East is a corporations-vs.-anarchist cult story. While it's too earnest for it's own good, I think it could be the most fascinating movie of the summer.


Shadow Dancer (Limited)

Covering drama in the IRA in the 1990s, documentary filmmaker James Marsh (Man on Wire, Project Nim) gives that era "chillingly effective detail." Shadow Dancer stars Clive Owen and Andrea Riseborough, who is captivating, mesmerizing, and makes a "dramatic virtual of unreadability." This movie inspired some purple phrasing from film reviewers, with one writing that it featured moral compasses, grey as the Irish skies, plots as twisted as the political turmoil.


The Kings of Summer

This summer's Moonrise Kingdom, a few young men escape their outrageous parents (played by Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally) to live on their own in the woods. Though it doesn't add anything to the "crowded canon of oddball rites-of-passage indie comedies," it manages to stay delightfully quirky, lively, sweet and wobbly.


Hannah Arendt (Limited)

This biopic of controversial philosopher Hannah Arendt takes on many of the qualities of its subject; it's ardent and intelligent, captivating and deft. According to this review and this one, it also delves deep into several packs of cigarettes.


Crazy Kind of Love

A newly single mother must "re-evaluate" her life, when a handsome man enters the picture. As you expected, this is love when she leasts expects it.


The History of Future Folk (New York, Los Angeles on June 7)

As the "first neo-hipster Brooklyn sci-fi movie," The History of Future Folk is without an abundance of talent or budget, and is "endearing even if it's never quite hilarious."


American Mary (Limited)

Jen and Slyvia Soska, twin sister directors, were hailed as the latest thing in the horror genre after their cult debut. Following a vengeful medical student, American Mary aims to test "how much nausea and pain an audience can take." It's uneven, but at its best it channels "vintage David Cronenberg and Brian De Palma."


I Do (New York, Los Angeles)

This well-meaning film examines immigration laws that discrimination against same-sex relationships. It unfortunately takes an "earnest, facile treatment of the issues affecting the LGBT community."

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