“There are only two reasons why a boat would defect. One is to go rogue, and the other is to start a war.” With these words, Captain Dmitri Zubov (Ed Harris) sets the tone for Phantom, a Cold War action film inspired by actual events. Torn from his family, Zubov is ordered to lead a classified Soviet submarine mission into the South Pacific. As the vessel approaches a U.S. Navy fleet that’s been targeted for nuclear attack, Zubov must confront his past—as well as a rogue KGB group (led by David Duchovny) that’s bent on taking over the ship—in order to preserve his future.
But everything isn’t as it seems. As tensions rise, whisperings of an otherworldly force begin to spread through the ship, and the men begin to fear that they aren’t alone in their underwater cage. Zubov must peel fact from fiction and maintain control of his submarine if he wants any hope of staving off nuclear apocalypse. With the fate of the world in his hands, Zubov’s dark past comes crashing down on him. Can he overcome it in time to save the future?
Written and directed by Todd Robinson, this RCR Media Group action/thriller will see a limited release on March 1, 2013. Phantom also stars William Fichtner, Sean Patrick Flanery, Johnathon Schaech, Lance Henriksen, Dagmara Dominczyk, Jason Beghe, Matt Bushell, Jason Gray-Stanford, Derek Magyar, and Julian Adams.
In 1988, after 15 years of brutal rule, Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet faces increasing international pressure to legitimize his regime. He calls for a presidential referendum and gives each side fifteen minutes of television time per day to argue their case. The people of Chile will have a simple choice: vote “Yes” and keep Pinochet in power, or vote “No” and move to democracy. No is the true story of the advertising campaign that changed a nation.
Rene Saavedra (Gael García Bernal) is a young, up-and-coming advertising executive who has been given the opportunity to lead the “No” campaign. After seeing the depressing attack ads that the committee has already developed, Rene decides that if they are to win, they will have to focus on the positives of democracy rather than the evils of Pinochet’s regime. No is a tale of human elation, of the power that collective joy holds over fear and anger. Plagued by a lack of resources and beset upon by Pinochet’s spies, Rene and his team devise a daring plan to win over the hearts and minds of a population that has been trampled on for too long. He must convince Chile that freedom is worth fighting for. Filmed with lo-fi cameras and weaving in the actual ads used in 1988, No examines how one dedicated man can change the course of history.
Written by Pedro Peirano and directed by Pablo Larraín, No will see a limited release on February 15, 2013. This Spanish-language Sony Pictures Classics drama also stars Alfredo Castro, Antónia Zegers, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana, Jaime Vadell, and Pascal Montero. Rated R for language.
In The Gatekeepers, all six surviving former heads of Shin Bet, Israel’s secretive counter-terrorist agency, reflect on the actions they took and the lessons they learned in their often-controversial struggle for domestic security. Never before have these powerful men discussed their time in Shin Bet, and their commentary is eye-opening. Working closely with the Israeli prime minister, these men were responsible for responding to all matters related to security. Their insights helped to shape Israeli policy for years, and will continue to shape it for years to come. This documentary follows the Shin Bet leaders’ greatest successes and worst failures, and in the process paints a vivid history of Israel from its decisive victory in the Six Day War of 1967 to its political turbulence in the present day.
Through a mix of interviews and period footage, The Gatekeepers opens a window into the conflicted, troubled, yet strongly-resolute minds behind Israel’s security policies. “We wanted security, but got more terrorism,” reflects Ami Ayalon (1996-2000). Although the six men are wildly different, they shared the same goals and now face the same agonizing remorse. “The power to take lives in an instant, there’s something unnatural about it,” says Yuval Diskin (2005-11). But in “the war against terror, forget about morality,” insists Avraham Shalom (1981-86). “Find morals in terrorists first,” he adds. The Gatekeepers’ candid examination of these men’s difficult decisions may just change the way you view the world.
Written and directed by Dror Moreh, this Sony Pictures Classics documentary will see a limited release in Los Angeles and New York on February 1, 2013. Rated PG-13 for violent content, including disturbing images.
The Baytown Outlaws brings new meaning to the term “Southern justice.” After her ex-husband Carlos (Billy Bob Thornton) attacks her and kidnaps her mentally-disabled godson Rob (Thomas Brodie-Sangster), Celeste (Eva Longoria) wants vengeance. She hires the Oodie brothers (Clayne Crawford, Daniel Cudmore, and Travis Fimmel), three redneck outlaws raised by Sheriff Millard (Andre Braugher) who do his dirty work, to recover Rob and kill Carlos. What they thought would be a quick mission soon explodes into a full-on war. Carlos, a drug lord, is not too keen on giving up Rob and his wealthy inheritance. The brothers must battle their way through a zany host of villains — seductive female biker assassins, Native American scalpers, Federal agents — in order to rescue Rob and fulfill their duty to Celeste. Because if you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right.
Meanwhile, Sheriff Millard is under heat from ATF agent Anthony Reese (Paul Wesley) for the string of violence committed by the Oodie brothers. As the trio continues to chase Carlos through the South, the sheriff will have to make a choice between loyalty to his adopted sons and loyalty to the law. Will the brothers be able to reunite Celeste with her kidnapped godson? And if they do, will they ever be able to set foot in their town again?
Written by Barry Battles and Griffin Hood and directed by Barry Battles, this Phase 4 Films action/comedy will see a limited release on January 18, 2013. Rated R for strong bloody violence, pervasive language, and some sexual and drug content.
In a world where corruption and injustice reign supreme, how far will one man go to find justice? Billy Taggart (Mark Wahlberg), an ex-cop who lost his promising career to a high-profile shooting, has applied his skills to become a private detective. Knowing Taggart’s reputation of not being afraid to get his hands dirty, Mayor Nicholas Hostetler (Russell Crowe) hires Taggart to discover who his wife (Academy Award-winner Catherine Zeta-Jones) is cheating with. When the man Taggart photographs turns up dead soon after the photo is taken, Taggart realizes what he’s gotten himself into.
Broken City is a story of revenge and redemption, deception and truth. Mayor Hostetler won on a campaign of changing the city — but is his “change” what the city needs? In a desperate race to exonerate his name and free himself from the mayor’s influence, Taggart finds himself enmeshed in a web of political intrigue, real estate scandals, and back-alley dealings. With his life on the line, Taggart must find a way to overcome the mayor’s deep power — or risk losing it all.
Written by Brian Tucker and directed by Allen Hughes, Broken City will be released on January 18, 2013. This 20th Century Fox drama/thriller also stars Barry Pepper and Kyle Chandler. Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence.
Any Day Now weaves a narrative of love, family, and struggle as powerful as the 1970s-era true story that inspired it. When Rudy (Alan Cumming), a drag singer, discovers that his drug-addled neighbors have abandoned their mentally-challenged son Marco (Isaac Leyva), leaving him alone in their apartment, Rudy decides to take him in. As Rudy and his partner Paul (Garret Dillahunt), a local district attorney, grow closer to Marco, they realize that they can offer Marco the loving home that he never had. Any Day Now tells the story of their fight for custody against a highly discriminatory legal system, a fight which will threaten to wreck Marco’s new family life and destroy Paul’s career – or unlock doors they only dreamed could be real.
Set in Los Angeles in the late 1970s, Any Day Now portrays a struggle that still continues today. What right does the law have to legislate love? Marco “didn’t ask to be born to a junkie, didn’t ask to be different, didn’t ask for any of that.” Rudy and Paul are just doing what they can to help a young boy that they’ve come to love. At its heart, Any Day Now is a tale of love, an account of those who have love to give, and of those who desperately need it.
Written and directed by Travis Fine and also starring Frances Fisher and Chris Mulkey, this Music Box Films drama will see a limited theatrical release on December 14, 2012. Any Day Now has already won 10 Audience Awards at film festivals around the nation. Rated R for sexual content, language, and some drug use.
What does it take to be a man? In LUV, ex-gangster Vincent (Common) returns home to his mother (Lonette McKee) and nephew Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.) after a lengthy prison term, and he’s intent on turning his life around. 11-year-old Woody is instantly enamored with this new charismatic father-figure, and one day Vincent decides to take him under his wing and show him how a “man gets things done.” Little do they know that Woody is about to learn far more than either of them bargained for. In between lessons on how to dress, how to drive, and how to talk to women, Vincent takes Woody with him to the bank to get a loan to open a new restaurant, Vincent’s ticket to a law-abiding life. But there’s a catch – Vincent must come up with $22,000 by the end of the weekend or lose the loan, along with his dreams for a new future.
Vincent sees no choice but to turn to an old associate for help: Baltimore crime boss Mr. Fish (Dennis Haysbert). To prove his loyalty, Mr. Fish assigns Vincent one last drug run, and soon they are plunged back into the world of crime, a world that Vincent is trying to escape and in which Woody will need to grow up fast in order to survive. Soon Woody must face a desperate choice: follow his hero, or become his own man?
Directed by Sheldon Candis and written by Sheldon Candis and Justin Wilson, this Indomina Releasing Drama also stars Charles S. Dutton, Meagan Good, and Michael Kenneth Williams. It will see a limited theatrical release on January 18, 2013. Rated R for violence, language, child endangerment, and some drug content.
Fanatic. Terrorist. Public Enemy #1. Every American knows about Osama Bin Laden, head of extremist group Al-Qaida and leader of the 9/11 attacks, but few know the story behind his capture. Zero Dark Thirty tells the gripping tale of the greatest manhunt in history. An elite team of military and intelligence agents has been searching out the terrorist leader for nearly a decade – and they are running out of time. As the stakes are raised, secret intelligence operative Maya (Jessica Chastain) is brought in to follow the elusive and shadowy trails leading towards Bin Laden.
Zero Dark Thirty drops the audience into the thick of the action, and vividly brings them all of the tension, doubt, and desperation that the team faces. This film chronicles the team’s struggle to live up to Washington’s immense pressure and details Navy Seal Team 6’s eventual seizure and execution of the terrorist leader.
Helmed by the Oscar-winning team of director-producer Kathryn Bigelow and writer-producer Mark Boal (of “The Hurt Locker” fame), this Columbia Pictures action/drama/thriller will be released on December 19, 2012. Also starring Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez, and Chris Pratt. Rated R for strong violence including brutal disturbing images, and for language.
Three young boys. Three grisly murders. An investigation that led to the imprisonment of the soon-to-be-infamous trio of teenage killers, the “West Memphis Three”: Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jesse Misskelley. Such is the history of West Memphis, Arkansas…but could the verdict have been wrong? In this shocking documentary, Academy Award-nominated director Amy Berg sheds light on an 18-year struggle to save three innocent men from life imprisonment and death row. From a re-examination into the police investigation of the crime, to new revelations surrounding the three convicts, to the story of Damien Echols’ struggle to overcome the hatred and ignorance of his town, West of Memphis chronicles the recent trial that uncovered what really happened all those years ago.
West of Memphis examines what happens when justice goes awry, when the truth takes a back seat to panic and sensationalism. Highlighting the quixotic nature of what people consider evidence, this documentary questions the validity of the death sentence and demonstrates how fear and hatred can all-too-often color the justice system.
Written by Amy Berg and Billy McMillin, and produced by the Academy Award-winning team of Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, West of Memphis will see a limited theatrical release on December 25, 2012. Starring Damien Echols, Lorri Davis, Jason Baldwin, Jesse Misskelley, Jr., and Pam Hicks. Rated R for disturbing violent content and some language.
After serving 28 years for refusing to snitch on his partners-in-crime, aging mobster Val (Al Pacino) is finally released from prison. Eager to make up for lost time, he reunites with his best friend Doc (Christopher Walken) and old pal Hirsch (Alan Arkin) to relive their glory days in a wild night of drugs, sex and crime. Their friendship is instantly rekindled. As the trio romp through the city, they reminisce about their old times and adventures, while Val struggles (often humorously) to keep up with the new technology and changing social mores of the world he’s missed out on for almost three decades.
However, the trio’s reunion isn’t all fun and games. Doc bears a terrible burden: a mob boss has charged him to kill Val within 24 hours, or else face the mob boss’ wrath. Can he kill his best friend, the man who protected him from the law’s eye for all those years? Can he risk putting his family in jeopardy for the sake of a man he hasn’t seen in decades? As time runs down, the trio must face their past if they are to continue their present.
Written by Noah Haidle and directed by Fisher Stevens, this Lionsgate comedy will be released on February 1, 2013. Also starring Julianna Margulies, Vanessa Ferlito, and Katheryn Winnick. Rated R for language, sexual content, violence, and brief drug use.