Yes, yes, the penultimate 'Harry Potter' film is upon us, but believe it or not, it isn't the sole moviegoing option this weekend. Let's dig in, shall we?
-'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1': Here's the magical elephant in the room, the first half of J.K. Rowling's last book brought to life. We had two reviews, one from Eric D. Snider's series-savvy perspective -- "a quietly thrilling and artful chapter in the eight-part series" -- and the other from admitted outsider Todd Gilchrist, who found the film to be "a well-constructed, competently-told and generally engaging tale that conveys an appropriate sense of finality and suffers only from being but part of the whole story." Win-win!
-'The Next Three Days': Russell Crowe wants to get wife Elizabeth Banks out of jail, while Jenni Miller wanted more excitement out of this would-be thriller: "Once John sets his plan in motion, things speed up nicely, but it's not really enough to redeem the previous two-thirds of the movie." You can read the rest here.
-'Made in Dagenham': Based on a true story, this dramedy focuses on Sally Hawkins ('Happy-Go-Lucky') as she helps rally her fellow factory workers into stand up for women's rights in 1960s England. Alonso Duralde of HitFix called it "a film that takes what was no doubt a valiant and game-changing labor battle and turns it into another Brit flick that tries desperately to be adorable."
-'White Material': Isabelle Huppert tries to keep her family's African coffee plantation running amid the threat of civil war in this latest drama from acclaimed filmmaker Claire Denis. Jeffrey M. Anderson saw it at the San Francisco International Film Festival and felt that "probably one of her most accessible movies. It has an actual plot, and a big star in the lead role, Isabelle Huppert, here looking bright and tough, her freckles and blue eyes glinting and gleaming in the heat... But it's also one of Denis' grimmest and most pessimistic films, although that doesn't stop me from wanting to see it again." The film will be available on demand starting next Wednesday, the 24th.
-'Heartless': Jim Strugess stars in this horror fantasy, which John Gholson reviewed at Fantastic Fest earlier this year: "[The film] starts strong... It's shot well, the demons provide some early, freaky moments of horror, and Sturgess makes for a sympathetic, interesting lead character. Then, it all sort of goes downhill."