In Theaters This Weekend: Reviews of 'The Equalizer,' 'The Boxtrolls' and More

The Equalizer Still - H 2014
Scott Garfield/Columbia Pictures

The Equalizer Still - H 2014

And see what THR's critics are saying about the Viggo Mortensen-Kirsten Dunst thriller 'Two Faces of January' and the rom-com 'Two Night Stand'

Gangsters, trolls and new lovers infiltrate cineplexes this weekend, as The Equalizer, The Boxtrolls and Two Night Stand all hit 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 Equalizer

Denzel Washington stars as a man with a mysterious past who tries to save a young girl from Russian gangsters in director Antoine Fuqua's actioner. Marton Csokas, Chloe Grace Moretz, Bill Pullman and Melissa Leo co-star. In his reviewTHR chief film critic Todd McCarthy calls the film "viscerally satisfying on a primal level," adding that it's "the most exciting, violent and stylish film of its type in a very long while."

The Boxtrolls

An orphaned boy tries to save the trash-collecting trolls who raised him in co-directors Anthony Stacchi and Graham Annable's animated film. Ben Kingsley, Isaac Hempstead Wright, Elle Fanning, Toni Collette, Richard Ayoade and Tracy Morgan provide voices. "There’s no shortage of plot here, and yet somehow the film never gathers much steam," writes THR film critic David Rooney in his review

Two Night Stand

Max Nichols directed Miles Teller, Analeigh Tipton, Jessica Szohr, Scott Mescudi and Michael Showalter in the comedy about a couple that has a one-night stand and is forced to spend another day together due to a snowstorm. THR film critic Stephen Farber writes that the film "doesn’t break any new ground," although "the two stars always brighten the proceedings." Read his full review here. 

Two Faces of January

Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst and Oscar Isaac star in director Hossein Amini's thriller about three people who are on the run in Athens after one of them is implicated in a murder. THR film critic Deborah Young writes in her review that the film is "easy viewing" but that "the joie de vivre is largely missing in this dark story."


Gay activists in the U.K. support a miners' strike in director Matthew Warchus' dramedy. Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton and Dominic West star. The film is a "crowd-pleasing throwback" that "pushes every formulaic button but is no less entertaining for it," according to THR film critic David Rooney's review

The Song

Alan Powell, Ali Faulkner and Caitlin Nicol-Thomas star in director Richard Ramsey's music-centric drama about a singer-songwriter whose marriage gets rocky after his song becomes a hit. THR film critic Frank Scheck writes that the film "sluggishly lurches toward its predictable conclusion," despite featuring musical performances that "are quite good." Read his full review here. 


A Chinese mother, whose son has died, bonds with a stranger in director Hong Khaou's drama. Ben WhishawPei-pei Cheng and Andrew Leung round out the cast. "The gentle study of loss builds quiet emotional power," per Rooney's review

Advanced Style 

Director Lina Plioplyte's documentary examines the lives and outlooks of seven New Yorkers as they age. "The film feels slightly padded," but "it's impossible not to be seduced by the joie de vivre of its subjects," writes Rooney in his review.

Jack and the Cuckoo-Clock Heart (Jack et la mecanique du coeur)

Mathias Malzieu and Stephane Berla co-directed this animated feature about a man with a clock instead of a heart. In her review, THR film critic Leslie Felperin notes that "the herky-jerky script grows seriously wearisome" for adult viewers, while dark subject matter makes it "a write-off for many parents of younger viewers."

Twitter: @_RyanGajewski