Two films were screened very late to critics this past week: the fifth in the Bruce Willis franchise, A Good Day to Die Hard, was more of the same although slightly more coherent than the previous episode, and the teen-franchise launcher Beautiful Creatures caught us off guard when it turned out to be rather good, with strong rising-star performances from Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert. We also had Viggo Mortensen speaking Spanish as identical twins in the atmospheric Argentine thriller Everybody Has a Plan, Brady Corbet speaking French in the unsettling sociopath drama Simon Killer, an indie cast speaking Shakespearean English in Joss Whedon's enjoyable but awkward black and white version of Much Ado About Nothing, Mathieu Kassovitz marshalling the French military on a South Pacific island in the riveting thriller Rebellion, and the contrived but charming New York graffiti artist comedy Gimme the Loot.
There were also three documentaries this week, including Reincarnated, which follows Snoop Dogg's trip to Jamaica to reinvent his music and himself. It's a bit of a stoner comedy, but has some strong moments. And I caught up with two docs nominated for the Oscar on Sunday night: from Israel, The Gatekeepers is a brainy, inventive look at how the Israeli government tries to control Palestine, while The Invisible War is an urgent, stomach-churning exposé of the sexual assault epidemic in the US military.