The Wolf of Wall Street
We’re in the thick of it now—awards season bait and holiday fare is now playing on screens everywhere. Big movies—with a capital B—are coming at you, stat. That means get ready for the latest Martin Scorsese entry in awesomeness—The Wolf of Wall Street. Based on the memoir of Jordan Belfort, the Wolf is a high-rolling, corrupt stockbroker played by Leo DiCaprio. Belfort gets rich via conning customers, inevitably leading to a massive government investigation. Also starring Jonah Hill as his right hand man, and his “teacher”—who taught him the tricks of the trade—a devious Matthew McConaughey (on an acting roll).
Perfect For: Fans of Scorsese, DiCaprio, and epic crime dramas.
What the Critics Say: Very split down the middle. Some think it’s hot. Some think it’s a hot mess. Writes the New York Times: “From its opening sequence — a quick, nasty, unapologetic tour through its main character’s vices and compulsions, during which he crash-lands a helicopter on the grounds of his Long Island estate and (not simultaneously) shares cocaine with a call girl in an anatomically creative manner — to its raw, chaotic finish, ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ hums with vulgar, voyeuristic energy.”
Our Take: Despite the fact that it is three hours long, we will go see it.
Justin Bieber’s Believe
Lucky for the Beliebers, before the teen dream supposedly retires at the tender age of nineteen, this Bieber-approved “documentary” tries to offer an inside look into the pressure cooker life of the singer, while giving glimpses of his live show to satiate his fan base.
Perfect For: Is this really a question? For Beliebers.
What the Critics Say: Writes The Wrap: “Believe feels earnest but superficial, a next-chapter look at a star who hasn't come enough to terms with where he's come from to contemplate where he is, or where he's going.”
Our Take: Only if you love him.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Ben Stiller’s directorial debut, in which he also stars as the title character, has warm, fuzzy holiday movie written all over it. Based on the classic James Thurber story, Walter is a daydreaming worker bee who reimagines himself as a strapping hero, a romantic dream boy, and a bold man of action. His love interest is played by Kristen Wiig.
Perfect For: People who like a dose of surrealistic fantasy in their romance dramas.
What the Critics Say: Very mixed bag. Most say it falls just short of its whimsical goal and doesn’t say much. Writes USA Today: “By trying to combine fantasy and romance with goofy humor, globe-trotting adventure and feel-good inspiration, Stiller has made Mitty a mixed bag of clashing tones and facile redemption.”
Our Take: It looks intriguing enough to take it for a whirl. A mediocre movie that tries something different is always more interesting than a more perfect movie that goes by the numbers.