Opening Soon in Theaters

Laurie Sparham/Focus Features

Brief reviews of films opening in theaters the week of Aug. 31:

The Debt
Directed by John Madden
Opens Aug. 31 (Focus)

Although it premiered at last year's Toronto Film Festival, this thriller about Nazi hunters was in danger of becoming an orphan when Disney sold off Miramax Films until Focus stepped in to distribute for Miramax. Cutting between 1966 Berlin and 1997 Tel Aviv, the film follows three Mossad agents pursuing a Dr. Mengele-type villain, pairing off Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren, Sam Worthington and Ciaran Hinds and Martin Csokas and Tom Wilkinson as younger and older versions of the same characters. Despite some reservations about its time structure, Kirk Honeycutt found that "the suspense builds nicely, the twists come as surprises, and its key characters are vivid enough."

Gainsbourg: A Heroic Life
Directed by Joann Sfar
Opens Aug. 31 (Music Box Films)

French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg gets the biopic treatment as this film traces his life from his childhood in Nazi-occupied Paris to an affair with Brigitte Bardot and a decline into alcoholism. "Eric Elmosnino's impersonation of Gainsbourg in his drink-sodden progress from struggling painter to cabaret performer to aging proto-punk is a highly impressive piece of work," reviewer Bernard Besserglik wrote, though he expressed doubts that the movie would resonate with viewers outside of  France.

A Good Old Fashioned Orgy
Directed by Alex Gregory, Peter Huyck
Opens Sept. 2 (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

With a nod to '80s sex comedies, Horrible Bosses' Jason Sudeikis stages an end-of-summer orgy before his dad, played by Don Johnson, sells off the family's Hamptons home. At the movie's Tribeca Film Festival premiere, John DeFore complained that only one of the four women invited to the anything-goes party "exposes anything remotely R-rated," and that for all its pushing of boundaries, the promised orgy "is just another catalyst for conventional romantic pairings and predictable personal growth."

Also Opening Sept. 2

Apollo 18 (Dimension), directed by Gonzalo Lopez-Gallego

Love Crime (IFC Films), directed by Alain Corneau

Shark Night 3D (Relativity), directed by David R. Ellis

Saving Private Perez (Pantelion), directed by Beto Gomez

Full reviews can be found at