Also In Theaters
A brief look at films opening in theaters Friday, Sept. 30. Read full reviews of these and other films at THR.com.
Sarah Palin: You Betcha! (Freestyle Releasing)
Directed by Nick Broomfield
British muckracker/documentarian Broomfield and co-director Joan Churchill go after big game but never score a direct hit on the former vice presidential candidate and current undeclared presidential candidate. The filmmakers do get interviews with her parents and plenty of former allies of the ex-Alaska governor, but THR critic John DeFore, in his review from Toronto this month, wrote that the film never comes up with anything likely "to move fans who love Palin's brand of conservatism."
Take Shelter (Sony Pictures Classics)
Directed by Jeff Nichols
Emerging character actor Michael Shannon dominates this psychological thriller written and directed by Jeff Nichols. Shannon plays an Ohio man who grows increasingly disturbed by dreams and hallucinations portending violence. "The unsettling final scene," David Rooney wrote in his Sundance review, "is wide open to interpretation. But it's clear that Nichols is less interested in the last word on [Shannon's character's] sanity than he is in conveying how fear has become an inescapable part of our world."
Tucker & Dale vs. Evil (Magnolia)
Directed by Eli Craig
Both a prime example and a spoof of midnight movies, this horror-comedy from a first-time director played extremely well to a Sundance crowd. Alan Tudyk and Tyler Labine star as
hillbillies who want a quiet fishing weekend in the West Virginia mountains only to run afoul of a group of college kids who believe the duo has kidnapped one of their own. Justin Lowe applauded the filmmakers' use of "horror and suspense movie conventions and film references throughout the HD production to ratchet up the dread, pushing the narrative in some amusingly unexpected directions."
Benda Bilili! (National Geographic)
Directed by Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye
In this disturbing yet inspirational documentary, four paraplegics and three "abled" men with homemade instruments make the sweetest music on the meanest streets in the Congo. The musicians and singers are a surreal sight: They make their way around on Mad Max-like motorized tricycles and camp down like nomads in a hideous street square. "Most magically," Duane Byrge wrote from Cannes, "their compositions sound as if they've come from the luckiest and happiest performers in the world."