Last weekend, Transformers: Age of Extinction — Michael Bay’s latest, nearly-three-hour love letter to shit blowing up, orange women in short shorts, and editorial incoherence — grossed $300 million worldwide. In one weekend. If that information, and what it means for the ongoing dumbing-down and sequel-ization of mainstream moviemaking, isn’t enough to get you to the art house this month out of sheer principle, here are a few indie movies worth making the trek for as well.
RELEASE DATE: Out now
DIRECTOR: John Carney
CAST: Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Hailee Steinfeld, Yasiin Bey, Adam Levine, Catherine Keener, Cee-Lo Green
Once director John Carney clearly adopted an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach for his latest, which is basically a bigger-budget, higher-gloss take on his breakthrough film, transplanted from Dublin to New York City. That’s the grumbly part; he manages to recapture much of the likability and charm of the earlier picture (particularly its joy of performance and its unpredictable, maybe/maybe-not romantic dynamic), while trying out some inventive experiments with style and structure. It’s a lightweight effort, but in the best possible sense of the word.