This Week at the Movies: ‘Pan,’ ‘Steve Jobs,’ and ‘The Walk’

Considering we’re entering the thick of Serious Movie Season, it’s a pretty lightweight week at the multiplex, thanks to a couple of empty spectacles. But larger markets are also getting several fine indies and one of the best flicks of the fall thus far.

  • It’s not fair to judge a movie solely from its premise and advertising, but Joe Wright’s “origin story” Pan sure looked like a loud, noisy, dopey mess—and, come to find out, that’s exactly what it is, but with incongruent Nirvana songs thrown in. Read our “pan” (hahahahaha…ha) here. (In wide release.)
  • Robert Zemeckis’s The Walk, a dramatization of the 1974 World Trade Center wire-walk already brought to screens in the (far superior) documentary Man on Wire, goes into regular theaters after an engagement exclusive to IMAX 3D screens. Problem is, without IMAX 3D, there ain’t much of a movie there. (In wide release.)
  • The story behind Lyric R. Cabral and David Felix Sutcliffe’s (T)ERROR popped up on This American Life a couple of weeks ago, and the movie itself is even more riveting. Tracking a mildly incompetent FBI informant and his somewhat less-than-threatening target, it’s a sobering look at the how our intelligence agencies are clumsily fighting the “war on terror” at home. (In limited release.)

Still from "The Final Girls"

  • An ingenious cross between Friday the 13th and The Purple Rose of Cairo (yes, really), Todd Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls takes its title from one of slasher horror’s most enduring tropes and weaves its journey through the genre’s conventions and clichés with the same knowing wink. Read about it in our October indie guide here. (In limited release and on demand.)
  • Guy Maddin’s films are not for casual admirers; his is an unmistakably unique world of juxtaposed images, gurgling audio, and outright absurdity. His latest, The Forbidden Room, is a mash note to the movies, and the bizarre images, fantasies, and fusions they can inspire. (In limited release.)
  • And finally, New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto are getting their first look at Steve Jobs, the thrillingly chatty and thankfully unconventional biopic from director Danny Boyle and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin—a seemingly incompatible duo that end up bringing out the best in each other. Read our review from the New York Film Festival here, and see how it stacks up in the Boyle filmography here.