Cloud Atlas - 3 stars out of 4 (Read my full review here)
While I openly recognize that the Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer's Cloud Atlas is an (arguably) over-ambitious and messy piece of filmmaking, the film is also a wonderfully captivating and transcendent piece of art. Personally, I can't wait to watch Cloud Atlas for a second and third time around (with paper and pen) to finally piece together the puzzle behind all six of its fantastic stories. Visually groundbreaking and aesthetically pleasing, Cloud Atlas is a polarizing film that lands somewhere on the spectrum of flop to cinephiles dream. For me, it was much closer to the latter. Any passionate fan of cinema should truly see this film. However, I admit that Cloud Atlas is certainly not a movie for everyone. This is a lengthy and epic-bound journey more so than a casual rental. Know what you're getting in to and proceed with caution. But if you're open for the experience, I think it's an easy one to enjoy. (MAY 14TH)
Stand Up Guys - 3 stars out of 4
At last year's Philadelphia Film Festival, I was thrilled to be a part of only the second screening worldwide for Fisher Stevens' action-comedy Stand Up Guys. Boasting an unbelievable cast including Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin, Stand Up Guys serves as a hilarious and amusing return to the crime drama for its stars. In the story, Val (Pacino) is released from prison and looking to reconnect with his lifelong friend Doc (Walken) after 20 years in the joint. However, Doc's been ordered by a crime boss to murder his best friend. Trying to provide one last night of insanely fun times, the pair break Hirsch (Arkin) out of a retirement home and relive the good old days. A likable watch and a thrillingly wild ride, Stand Up Guys makes for a stellar DVD rental. (MAY 21ST)
Side Effects - 3 stars out of 4 (Read my full review here)
Standing out as a rare bright spot in an always glum crowd of early-year releases, Steven Soderbergh's Side Effects took February moviegoers by storm. Offering a slight Hitchcockian vibe as an outside the modern-day norm thriller, Side Effects grabs the audience in a skin crawling and disturbing way. When a doctor's (Jude Law) prescription for a patient (Rooney Mara) leads to murderous results, his world gets turned upside down. Unique and intoxicating, Side Effects makes for a slightly over-extended but worthwhile movie experience. (MAY 21ST)
Honorable Mention: Also reaching DVD this month is Tom Cruise's Jack Reacher (5/7). While I didn't see the movie myself, it was recommended by Action Guru Chris Bandoian as well as many critics. In addition, horror fans were suggested by Horror Enthusiast Stephen Fisher to check out Jessica Chastain in Mama (5/7). Finally, although I wasn't completely sold on the film, Nicholas Sparks fans and romance lovers will certainly enjoy the author's latest from novel to screen adaptation, Safe Haven (5/7).