Machete [rated R]
Remember those gloriously tacky fake trailers that preceded Robert Rodriguez and Quentin Tarantino’s ambitious 2007 tribute to exploitation cinema Grindhouse? Fans responded so positively to one particularly outrageous trailer involving illegal immigration, a rifle-toting priest and the craggy-faced Danny Trejo wielding an enormous machete, that Rodriguez made a feature-length version of Machete as his very next project. Joining Trejo are Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan (portraying a nun), the legendary Robert De Niro and the equally legendary Steven Seagal.
The American [rated R]
George Clooney plays against type for his newest starring role in music video director Anton Corbjin’s thriller, The American. After botching a mission and retiring to the Italian countryside, an assassin (Clooney) falls for a beautiful local woman, forming a relationship that could prove to be extremely dangerous. The breathtaking cinematography has been hailed as reason enough to see this tense character study.
Going the Distance [rated R]
Drew Barrymore returns in front of the camera after a short stint in the director’s chair for a new romantic comedy. Funnyman Justin Long plays her romantic counterpart who, after meeting the girl of his dreams in New York, attempts to keep the newly developed relationship afloat after he travels back home to San Francisco. Comedic veterans Jason Sudeikis, Christina Applegate and Ron Livingston round out an impressive cast.
The Tillman Story [rated R]
In 2002, NFL player Pat Tillman turned down a contract worth millions of dollars to enlist in the United States Army and fight in Iraq. On April 22, 2004, Tillman was killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. This documentary reveals the U.S. government’s attempt to cover-up the specifics behind Tillman’s death from the soldier’s family and the rest of America in order to maintain an unspoiled heroic story. The film was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at last year’s Sundance Film Festival.
— AJ Serrano