Basically, the studios have given up this weekend for dead — the dead in “Saw 4”, that is. The only other debut release of note is the Steve Carell dramedy “Dan in Real Life”, which should appeal to adults not interested in watching Jigsaw slaughter another group of hopeless dimwits. Meanwhile, in selected theaters, there are plenty of options, but as they’re opening in very few theaters, you’ll probably not notice them while flocking to see “Saw 4”. But just in case you’re one of those interested in the alternative, there is Ethan Hawke in “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”, Ron Livingston in “Music Within”, and Kevin Bacon in “Rails & Ties”. There is also something called “Bella” and the documentary “Jimmy Carter Man from Plains”, which pretty much no one but Jimmy Carter and his wife will bother to see at the theaters.
Dan in Real Life: Dan Burns (Carell) is a single father who dedicates his life to his children, but one day he meets Marie (Binoche) at a bookstore. They get to know each other, but then Dan finds out that Marie is actually dating his brother, Mitch Burns (Cook).
Starring: Steve Carell, Juliette Binoche, Dane Cook, John Mahoney, Emily Blunt
Directed by: Peter Hedges
Saw 4: Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead. Upon the news of Detective Kerry’s murder, two seasoned FBI profilers, Agent Strahm and Agent Perez, arrive at the depleted police precinct and help veteran Detective Hoffman sift through Jigsaw’s latest grizzly game of victims and piece together the puzzle. However, when SWAT Commander Rigg, the last officer untouched by Jigsaw, is suddenly abducted and thrust into the madman’s harrowing game, the officer has but ninety minutes to overcome a series of interconnected traps…or face the deadly consequences.
Starring: Scott Patterson, Tobin Bell, Shawnee Smith, Costas Mandylor, Justin Louis
Directed by: Darren Lynn Bousman
Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead: Needing extra cash, two brothers conspire to pull off the perfect, victimless crime. No guns, no violence, no problem. But when an accomplice ignores the rules and crosses the line, his actions trigger a series of events in which no one is left unscathed.
Starring: Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Aleksa Palladino
Directed by: Sidney Lumet
Music Within: The true story of Richard Pimentel, a brilliant speaker with a troubled past. Pimentel returns from a tour of duty in Vietnam, his hearing severely impaired and finds true purpose and meaning in his life working on behalf of Americans with disabilities.
Starring: Ron Livingston, Melissa George, Michael Sheen, Yul Vazquez, Rebecca De Mornay
Directed by: Steven Sawalich
Rails & Ties: On a beautiful stretch of California coastline, a suicidal mother parks her car on a railroad crossing and awaits the arrival of a speeding train, the sleek and unstoppable Coastal Starlight. Thus begins the story of two families in physical, emotional and psychological collision–of the victim’s relatives and of the train engineer who couldn’t possibly have stopped time.
Starring: Kevin Bacon, Marcia Gay Harden, Miles Heizer , Jim Cody Williams, Jack Kaeding
Directed by: Alison Eastwood
Films opening in selected theaters:
Jimmy Carter Man from Plains
Documentary following former President Jimmy Carter on a book tour of his non-fiction book “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid.”
A restaurant cook develops a bond with a young unmarried waitress who is fired from her job after discovering she is pregnant.