This week at the movies, Jigsaw’s comin’ at ya in three dimensions in Saw 3D, starring Tobin Bell and Cary Elwes, and we’ve also got a real-life legal drama (Conviction, starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell). What do the critics have to say?
With the possible exceptions of Elvis and 2Pac, few can rival Jigsaw for posthumous productivity. We’d love to tell you if the critics think the mad, methodical killer is back in top form in Saw 3D, but few of them have seen the movie at press time. This time out, the survivors of Jigsaw’s evil schemes seek help from a self help guru – who turns out to have a dark past of his own. Kids, stop playing with that chainsaw and guess that Tomatometer! (Check out this week’s Total Recall, in which we list some memorable movie gimmicks.)
As we know, good performances can elevate even the most predictable material. Critics say Conviction>, which is based on the true story of a woman who became a lawyer to free her wrongly imprisoned brother, benefits greatly from excellent work from its strong cast. Hilary Swank stars as a woman who will do anything to get her brother (Sam Rockwell) out of the can. The pundits say Conviction occasionally suffers from Oscar-bait melodramatics, but Swank and Rockwell make it into an excellent showcase for fine acting.
Also opening this week in limited release:
Waste Land, a documentary about a photographer’s trek to the world’s largest garbage dump, is at 100 percent.
Amer, a French psychological thriller about a woman who returns to a house that haunted her childhood, is at 86 percent.
Strange Powers: Stephin Merritt And The Magnetic Fields, a doc about the reclusive indie rock cult favorite, is at 79 percent.
Monsters, a low-budget thriller about an attempt to contain quarantined alien life, is at 64 percent.
Jolene, an indie drama about a young woman’s life and hard times on the road, is at 58 percent.
Shake Hands with the Devil, a drama about a Canadian military officer who witnesses genocide in Rwanda, is at 56 percent.
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest, the third and final film based upon the late Stieg Larsson’s Millennium Trilogy, is at 49 percent.
The Kids Grow Up, a doc about a filmmaker dealing with his daughter leaving home, is at 44 percent.