Critics are calling Cold in July one of the year’s best thrillers—except for our guy, Ben Sachs, who’s calling it a shotgun marriage between the plays of Sam Shepard and the cinema of John Carpenter. Somehow I don’t think that’s going to make it into the movie’s advertising campaign, but I know which review I’m gonna read. Also this week, I wet my pants from the sheer excitement of being in the same room with Tom Cruise, and eventually get around to reviewing his new blockbuster, Edge of Tomorrow. And Sachs recommends Words and Pictures, a romantic comedy with Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche that harks back to the era of George Cukor and Joseph L. Mankiewicz.
Check out our new reviews of: Across the River, an Italian horror item about a wildlife expert who stumbles onto a Slovenian village haunted by the dead of World War II; Age of Uprising: The Legend of Michael Kohlhaas, starring Mads Mikkelson as the 16th-century merchant who led a terror campaign through Saxony; Innocent Sorcerers, a 1960 comedy from Polish director Andrzej Wajda about a doctor who moonlights as a jazz drummer; Maleficent, with Angelina Jolie as the misunderstood villain from Disney’s Sleeping Beauty; and Return to Homs, a 2013 documentary about life in the besieged Syrian city.
Best bets for repertory: Ernst Lubitsch’s Cluny Brown (1946), Sunday at University of Chicago Doc Films; Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964), all week at Music Box; Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly’s Singin’ in the Rain (1952), with matinees Saturday and Sunday at Music Box; Joe Pytka’s Space Jam (1996), midnight Friday and Saturday at Music Box; and William A. Wellman’s Wild Boys of the Road (1933), next Thursday at Northwestern University Block Museum of Art.
Last call, gentlemen: this may be your final chance to catch several strong recent releases on the big screen before they disappear forever into streaming-video land: David Gordon Green’s Joe (at the Tivoli in Des Plaines, presented by the After Hours Film Society), Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac (at Gene Siskel Film Center), and Mark Levinson’s Particle Fever (at Facets Cinematheque). And if you read our recent review of Hairy Who & the Chicago Imagists and found to your dismay that the one-off screening at Museum of Contemporary Art was sold out, take heart: the movie screens again on Friday, June 6, and Saturday, June 14, at Block Museum.