This column took last week off partly out of forgetfulness, but if we're being honest with ourselves, also partly out of frustration. The end of summer was not kind to wide releases, and new offerings on Netflix and On Demand were grim as well. But it's our duty to recommend movies to you, no matter how grim things may be. Away we go!
As always, let's take a look at the Rotten Tomatoes ratings for this week's movies, and ... oh. Why, that's a lot of tomatoes. Well, those must all be limited releases, right? Look at No Good Deed, the Idris Elba/Taraji P. Henson thriller hitting over 2,000 screens, for instance. At 17% for the critics who have even seen it – critics' screening were cancelled at the last minute – it's clearly not worth your time or money. But there's two other wide releases this week. The first is Dolphin Tale 2, a sequel you probably didn't realize you wanted or needed. But like the first, it's apparently refreshing and lovely. Good if you need something to do with the kids this weekend.
But the minor surprise of the week is Tom Hardy's new family crime drama The Drop, which received fairly glowing notices. It's also got a posthumous performance from James Gandolfini – the last film he completed before his passing last year.
In Limited Release
Things are also pretty great in limited release! While our David Sims didn't quite love The Skeleton Twins, other critics disagreed, to the tune of an 89% RT rating. It's also got that killer trailer we've been obsessed with all summer:
Otherwise, we've got The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them, which got mixed reviews (again, we weren't big fans) and My Old Lady, which premiered Wednesday and baffled Sims. On the former: Remember that there's three versions of the movie, this being the mixture star Jessica Chastain didn't want. If you live in New York or Los Angeles and really want to see it, you might be better off waiting for the Him and Her releases.
Streaming on Netflix
We can't have it all – one of the only new streaming releases is Filth, starring Rigby's James McAvoy as a manipulative detective who schemes to make his way to the top on the back of a case. It's a Scottish film, but came out in the U.S. in May. Not the best option this week, but chances are you haven't seen it. So there's that!
Video on Demand
Surprisingly, Honeymoon isn't a horror take on The Honeymooners, but about a post-wedding vacation gone wrong. A man's new bride disappears, but the real horror comes about when he finds her – and though this one's in theaters as well, we're betting you want to be safely under the covers as you watch.
Movies on TV
HBO is debuting Dallas Buyers Club on Saturday at 8 p.m., and it's certainly not the worst way to spend the night. The film won three Oscars this past March – for stars Matthew McConaughey and Jared Leto, plus the hair and makeup – and they were well-earned. It's not the best movie of last year by any measure, but the central pair of actors really bring their unexpected A-game.
If you want a slightly different flavor of 2013 awards bait, Fruitvale Station is airing at the same time over on Showtime. The film burnt out before it got to the Oscars, but star Michael B. Jordan quickly emerged as a hot young star. It was for good reason, too – his performance is stellar.
This article was originally published at http://www.thewire.com/entertainment/2014/09/a-viewers-guide-to-weekend-movies-fall-is-here/380153/