By Kam Williams, Special to The New Tri-State Defender
BIG BUDGET FILMS
The Secret Life of Pets (PG for action and some rude humor) Animated comedy about a pampered terrier (Louis C.K.) whose life is turned upside-down when his owner (Ellie Kemper) brings home a big, sloppy mongrel (Eric Songstreet) found at the dog pound. Voice cast includes Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Lake Bell and Bobby Moynihan.
Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (R for crude sexuality, graphic nudity, drug use and pervasive profanity) Romantic comedy revolving around slacker siblings (Zac Efron and Adam Devine) who find a couple of party animals (Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza) to take to their sister’s (Sugar Lyn Beard) wedding in Hawaii after advertising for dates. With Wendy Williams, Stephen Root and Chloe Bridges.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
At the Fork (Unrated) Agri-business documentary examining the mechanization of the processes involved in the raising and harvesting of farm animals for human consumption.
Captain Fantastic (R for profanity and brief graphic nudity) Viggo Mortensen stars in the title role of this survivalist saga as a widower raising a half-dozen kids off the grid in the forest of the Pacific Northwest until they are forced by circumstances to rejoin mainstream civilization. With George MacKay, Samantha Isler and Annalise Basso.
Fathers and Daughters (R for sexuality) Character- driven drama about a Pulitzer Prize-winning widower’s (Russell Crowe) struggle with parenting issues following a mental breakdown. Ensemble cast includes Amanda Seyfried, Quvenzhane Wallis, Jane Fonda, Octavia Spencer, Diane Kruger and Bruce Greenwood.
Indian Point (Unrated) Investigative expose’ exploring whether New York’s aging nuclear power plant at Indian Point is still safe.
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You
(Unrated) Reverential retrospective revisiting the career of one of the most successful television producers of all time, including such groundbreaking shows as All in the Family and The Jeffersons. Featuring commentary by George Clooney, Bill Moyers, John Amos and Jay Leno.
Our Little Sister (PG for mature themes and brief mild epithets) Dysfunctional family dramedy about three sisters (Haruka Ayase, Masami Nagasawa and Kaho) living in their late grandmother’s home who invite a half- sibling (Suzu Hirose) they meet at their father’s funeral to move in with them. Cast includes Ryo Kase, Ryohei Suzuki and Takafumi Ikeda. (In Japanese with subtitles)
Under the Sun (Unrated) Bamboo curtain documentary chronicling a year in the life of an ordinary North Korean family from Pyongyang. (In Korean with subtitles)
Zero Days (PG-13 for profanity) Malware documentary detailing the blowback visited on the internet after the deployment of the Stuxnet virus against Iran by the U.S. and Israel in order to cripple the country’s nuclear enrichment program.