In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'The November Man,' 'As Above, So Below' and More

6:00 AM PST 08/29/2014 by Ryan Gajewski
The Solution Entertainment Group
'The November Man'

And see what THR's critics are saying about the Jennifer Aniston caper 'Life of Crime' and the Robin Wright-Paul Giamatti sci-fi flick 'The Congress'

Spies, bumbling kidnappers and doomed explorers converge on cineplexes this weekend, as The November Man, Life of Crime and As Above, So Below all open in theaters. 

Find out what The Hollywood Reporter's critics are saying about the weekend's new offerings (along with which film will top the weekend's box office).

The November Man

Pierce Brosnan, Olga Kurylenko, Luke Bracey and Bill Smitrovich star in director Roger Donaldson's (The Bank Job) spy flick about a former CIA operative who faces off against his acolyte. The film, though "familiar," is likely to "satisfy [Brosnan's] fans and moviegoers biding their time until the next top-shelf [John] le Carre-style thriller," THR film critic John DeFore writes in his review.

As Above, So Below

Perdita Weeks, Ben Feldman, Edwin Hodge and Francois Civil star in director John Erick Dowdle's horror flick about a group of people who face some spooky surprises in the catacombs below Paris. "This rather hopeless mash-up of The Descent and [Rec]" offers only "one or two genuine scares," THR film critic Jordan Mintzer writes in his review.

Life of Crime

This adaptation of a novel by the late Elmore Leonard stars Jennifer Aniston, Yasiin Bey (aka Mos Def), Isla Fisher, Tim Robbins and John Hawkes. Director Daniel Schechter's caper film involves a pair of bumbling crooks who kidnap a woman whose wealthy husband doesn't want her back. In his review, DeFore writes that the film "starts promisingly and ends with a smile but underwhelms in between."

The Congress

The sci-fi film about an aging actress embarking on an acting gig with unexpected repercussions was directed by Ari Folman (Waltz With Bashir) and stars Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston and Paul Giamatti. "Ambition markedly outstrips achievement" in this "commendable but short-falling exploratory drama," writes THR chief film critic Todd McCarthy. Read his full review here.

Last Weekend

Tom Dolby and Tom Williams co-directed this story of a woman who invites her troubled family for a weekend getaway at their lake house. Patricia Clarkson, Zachary Booth and Joseph Cross star. THR film critic David Rooney writes in his review that the film "is too muted in its catharsis and too overcrowded with superfluous characters to be fully satisfying," although Clarkson's "delicate central performance keeps it watchable."

Starred Up

This prison drama — about a teenager meeting his father while both are behind bars — features a cast that includes Jack O'Connell, Ben Mendelsohn, Rupert Friend and Sam Spruell. Director David Mackenzie's film delivers "potent but somewhat familiar stuff," McCarthy writes in his review.

Kundo: Age of the Rampant

A period piece about the militia taking on the ruling class, director Yoon Jong-bin's film stars Ha Jung-woo, Gang Gong-won and Lee Sung-min. The film is an "entertaining actioner" despite "convoluted plotting, profusion of characters and heavy doses of explanatory narration," according to THR film critic Frank Scheck's review.

Canopy

Khan Chittenden, Mo Tzu-yi and Robert Menzies star in director Aaron Wilson's debut film about an Australian pilot who is shot down in Singapore during World War II and tries to survive. THR film critic Megan Lehmann opines that the film is "remarkably visceral" and "carefully calibrated." Read her full review here.

The Notebook (Le Grand Cahier)

A pair of teenage twins try to survive in a Hungarian village during World War II in this drama from director János Szász. László Gyémánt, András Gyémánt and Piroska Molnár star in the film adaptation of the novel of the same name. "It's hard to care" for the two main characters, especially given the actors' "intentionally expressionless performances," writes THR film critic Boyd van Hoeij in his review.

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