Top Independent Films Spring 2014

Blood Ties Movie ReleaseMiddle New York, 1974. Fifty-year-old Chris (Clive Owen) has just been released on good behavior after several years in prison following a gangland murder. Reluctantly waiting for him outside the gates is his younger brother, Frank (Billy Crudup), a cop with a bright future. Chris and Frank have always been different, and their father, Leon (James Caan), who raised them alone, seems to favor Chris despite all his troubles. Yet blood ties are the ones that bind, and Frank, hoping that his brother has changed, is willing to give him a chance -- he shares his home, finds him a job, and helps him reconnect with his children and his ex-wife, Monica (Marion Cotillard). But Chris’ inevitable descent back into a life of crime proves to be the last in a long line of betrayals, and after his brother’s latest transgressions, Frank banishes him from his life. But it’s already too late, as the brothers’ destiny is bound together, forever.

The Raid 2 Movie ReleaseHe thought it was over. After fighting his way out of a building filled with gangsters and madmen - a fight that left the bodies of police and gangsters alike piled in the halls - rookie Jakarta cop Rama thought it was done and he could resume a normal life. He couldn't have been more wrong.

Formidable though they may have been, Rama's opponents in that fateful building were nothing more than small fish swimming in a pond much larger than he ever dreamed possible. And his triumph over the small fry has attracted the attention of the predators farther up the food chain. His family at risk, Rama has only one choice to protect his infant son and wife: He must go undercover to enter the criminal underworld himself and climb through the hierarchy of competing forces until it leads him to the corrupt politicians and police pulling the strings at the top of the heap.

And so Rama begins a new odyssey of violence, a journey that will force him to set aside his own life and history and take on a new identity as the violent offender "Yuda." In prison he must gain the confidence of Uco - the son of a prominent gang kingpin - to join the gang himself, laying his own life on the line in a desperate all-or-nothing gambit to bring the whole rotten enterprise to an end.


Dom Hemingway Movie PosterJude Law plays DOM HEMINGWAY, a larger-than-life safecracker with a loose fuse who is funny, profane, and dangerous.  After twelve years in prison, he sets off with his partner in crime Dickie (Richard E. Grant) looking to collect what he's owed for keeping his mouth shut and protecting his boss Mr. Fontaine (Demian Bichir). After a near death experience, Dom tries to re-connect with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke), but is soon drawn back into the only world he knows, looking to settle the ultimate debt.



Frankie & Alice Movie PosterFrom Lionsgate and Codeblack Films and the executive producers of INTRODUCING DOROTHY DANDRIDGE and LACKAWANNA BLUES comes a mind-bending drama starring Academy Award® Winner and Golden Globe® Nominee Halle Berry (THE CALL, MONSTER'S BALL). FRANKIE & ALICE is inspired by the remarkable true story of an African American go-go dancer "Frankie" with multiple personalities (dissociative identity disorder or “DID”) who struggles to remain her true self while fighting against two very unique alter egos: a seven-year-old child named Genius and a Southern white racist woman named Alice. In order to stop the multiple voices in her head, Frankie (Halle Berry) works together with a psychotherapist (Stellan Skarsgard) to uncover and overcome the mystery of the inner ghosts that haunt her.

Always at the forefront of women’s issues, from Halle Berry, Academy Award® winner turned film producer, comes a must-see, award-worthy film FRANKIE & ALICE - a moving psychological drama inspired by a woman suffering with multiple personality disorder in early 1970s Los Angeles.



Hateship Loveshipl Movie PosterJohanna Parry (Kristen Wiig) is a profoundly shy, unadorned woman who is hired by Mr. McCauley (Nick Nolte) as a housekeeper and a primary caregiver to his granddaughter Sabitha (Hailee Steinfeld). Despite her outgoing nature, Sabitha carries wounds from the death of her mother years before, complicated by the circumstances of that death for which her grandfather still blames her father, Ken (Guy Pearce), a hapless recovering drug addict with a certain ragged charm. In an act of mean-spirited rebellion, Sabitha uses technology to foster a pseudo-relationship between Johanna and her father, never dreaming of the potential harm to either party. Sabitha doesn't understand that Johanna is not a demure cut-out, but rather a woman for whom the phrase "still waters run deep" could have been coined. The young girl's interference provokes Johanna to indulge in something long missing from her life: the dream of a future and a home of her own



Joe Movie PosterA gripping mix of friendship, violence and redemption erupts in the contemporary South in this adaptation of Larry Brown’s novel, celebrated at once for its grit and its deeply moving core. Directed by David Gordon Green, JOE film brings Academy Award® winner Nicolas Cage back to his indie roots in the title role as the hard-living, hot-tempered, ex-con Joe Ransom, who is just trying to dodge his instincts for trouble – until he meets a hard-luck kid, (MUD’s Tye Sheridan) who awakens in him a fierce and tender-hearted protector.

With a screenplay by Gary Hawkins, JOE is based on the novel by the late Larry Brown (Big Bad Love, Facing the Moon), the former Mississippi firefighter renowned for his powerful, gothic storytelling and universal themes of honor, desperation and moral rectitude. woman and artist.



The Railway Man Movie PosterBased on his best-selling memoir, The Railway Man tells the extraordinaryand epic true story of Eric Lomax, a British Army officer who is tormented as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labour camp during World War II. Decades later, Lomax discovers that the Japanese interpreter he holds responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him, and his haunting past.

A powerful tale of survival, love and redemption, THE RAILWAY MAN stars Academy Award-winners Colin Firth and Nicole Kidman, with Jeremy Irvine and Stellan Skarsg�d.

An Australia/UK co-production, presented by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland, Screen NSW and Lionsgate UK. An Andy Paterson, Pictures In Paradise, Trinifold Production in association with Davis Films and Latitude Media. A Jonathan Teplitzky film.


Fading GIgolo Movie PosterFioravante (John Turturro), at his friend Murray’s (Woody Allen) suggestion, enters into the world’s oldest profession, and ends up finding something he didn’t know he was looking for. 

The seed of this scheme is planted when Murray’s beautiful dermatologist Dr. Parker (Sharon Stone) mentions she’s looking for a man to participate in a ménage à trois with her and her equally gorgeous friend Selima (Sofia Vergara). Contending with the recent closure of his bookshop, Murray recognizes the financial potential of this proposal and sets about convincing Fioravante to consummate the deal. While Fioravante is at first hesitant at the prospect of being Murray’s “ho,” he also needs the cash and comes to realize that there are worse ways to make a living than making two attention starved women happy. A partnership is born and Fioravante is soon on his way to Dr. Parker’s bedroom for a pre-ménage tryout.


Blue Ruin Movie PosterBLUE RUIN is a classic American revenge story that recently won the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the Cannes Film Festival where it screened in the Directors’ Fortnight. The film follows a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving himself an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. 


Locke Movie PosterIvan Locke (Hardy) has worked diligently to craft the life he has envisioned, dedicating himself to the job that he loves and the family he adores. On the eve of the biggest challenge of his career, Ivan receives a phone call that sets in motion a series of events that will unravel his family, job, and soul. All taking place over the course of one absolutely riveting car ride, LOCKE is an exploration of how one decision can lead to the complete collapse of a life. 

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Steven Knight (writer: EASTERN PROMISES, DIRTY PRETTY THINGS) and driven by an unforgettable performance by Tom Hardy, LOCKE is a thrillingly unique cinematic experience of a man fighting to salvage all that is important to him. 


Walking with the enemy Movie PosterInspired by a true story, WALKING WITH THE ENEMY is an unforgettable film of love, courage, and sacrifice. Set in Hungary during the final months of World War ll, a young man sets out to find his displaced family by stealing a Nazi uniform to pose as an officer. Filled with suspense and danger, he undertakes extraordinary measures to reroute his family and other Jews to safety by disrupting the activities of the German occupiers.


Belle Movie PosterBELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his wife (Emily Watson), Belle’s lineage affords her certain privileges, yet her status prevents her from the traditions of noble social standing. While her cousin Elizabeth (Sarah Gadon) chases suitors for marriage, Belle is left on the sidelines wondering if she will ever find love. After meeting an idealistic young vicar’s son bent on changing society, he and Belle help shape Lord Mansfield’s role as Lord Chief Justice to end slavery in England.


Chef MovieChef Carl Casper (Jon Favreau) suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner (Dustin Hoffman), he is left to figure out what’s next. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife (Sofia Vergara), his friend (John Leguizamo) and his son to launch a food truck. Taking to the road, Chef Carl goes back to his roots to reignite his passion for the kitchen -- and zest for life and love.

The Double Movie PosterSimon is a timid man, scratching out an isolated existence in an indifferent world. He is overlooked at work, scorned by his mother, and ignored by the woman of his dreams. He feels powerless to change any of these things. The arrival of a new co-worker, James, serves to upset the balance. James is both Simon's exact physical double and his opposite - confident, charismatic and good with women. To Simon's horror, James slowly starts taking over his life.


Fed Up MovieFor the past 30 years, everything we thought we knew about food and exercise is dead wrong. FED UP is the film the food industry doesn’t want you to see. From Katie Couric, Laurie David (Oscar winning producer of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH) and director Stephanie Soechtig, FED UP will change the way you eat forever. 



Palo Alto Movie PosterFrom writer-director Gia Coppola comes an astonishing debut feature that deftly captures the complicated ties, heightened emotions, and romantic highs and lows of adolescence. Based on several linked stories by James Franco, PALO ALTO is a teenage movie for the ages, made indelible though its ensemble cast featuring some of the most gifted up-and-coming young actors working today.

Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin -a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI - secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection - Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high-school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred's escalating recklessness spirals into chaos.



THE IMMIGRANT Movie PosterBased on the #1 New York Times best-selling book of the same name, HEAVEN IS FOR REAL brings to the screen the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. The film stars Academy Award® nominee and Emmy® award winning actor Greg Kinnear as Todd Burpo and co-stars Kelly Reilly as Sonja Burpo, the real-life couple whose son Colton (newcomer Connor Corum) claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton recounts the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth ... things he couldn't possibly know. Todd and his family are then challenged to examine the meaning from this remarkable event.


Cold in July Movie PosterHow can a split-second decision change your life? While investigating noises in his house one balmy Texas night in 1989, Richard Dane (Michael C. Hall) puts a bullet in the brain of low-life burglar Freddy Russell (Wyatt Russell). Although he’s hailed as a small-town hero, Dane soon finds himself fearing for his family’s safety when Freddy’s ex-con father, Ben (Sam Shepard), rolls into town, hell-bent on revenge.

Based on the book by prolific author Joe R. Lansdale, Michael C. Hall brings a shell-shocked vulnerability to his portrayal of Dane that contrasts perfectly with the grizzled badasses portrayed by Sam Shepard and Don Johnson. Directed with an excellent eye for the visual poetry of noir by Jim Mickle (We Are What We Are), this pulpy, southern-fried mystery is a throwback to an older breed of action film, one where every punch and shotgun blast opens up both physical and spiritual wounds. Twists and turns accelerate as the film reaches its inevitable destination: a gore-soaked dead end. Cold in July is as muggy, oppressive, and hard to shake as an east Texas summer.



WORDS AND PICTURES Movie PosterA witty romantic drama, WORDS AND PICTURES stars the engaging duo of Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen working together on-screen for the first time. Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (OWEN) laments his students' obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years filling his spare time with drink versus the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto (BINOCHE) — an abstract painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. From the start, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish.

With a performance review looming and his teaching job on the line, Jack hatches an inspired plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn.


Night Moves Movie PosterJesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, and Peter Sarsgaard star as radical activists plotting to blow up Oregon's Green Peter Dam in an act of environmental sabotage. As their plan marches towards fruition, they soon discover that small steps have enormous consequences. Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy director Kelly Reichardt crafts another graceful and absorbing film about outsiders searching for a meaningful place on the edges of the system in this atmospheric suspense thriller.


Obvious Child Movie ReleaseFor aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female twenty-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable brand of humor. On stage, Donna is unapologetically herself, joking about topics as intimate as her sex life and as crude as her day-old underwear. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job, and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future, an unwanted pregnancy, and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own. It's allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. And be truly vulnerable. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Anchored by a breakout performance from Jenny Slate, OBVIOUS CHILD is a winning discovery, packed tight with raw, energetic comedy and moments of poignant human honesty. Writer/Director Gillian Robespierre handles the topic of Donna's unwanted pregnancy with a refreshing matter-of-factness rarely seen onscreen. And with Donna, Slate and Robespierre have crafted a character for the ages – a female audiences will recognize, cheer for, and love.


The Signal Movie ReleaseNic (Brenton Thwaites of The Giver and Maleficent), Haley (Olivia Cooke of Bates Motel), and Jonah (Beau Knapp of Super 8) are three college students pondering the future. Haley is relocating for a year, and her devoted boyfriend Nic and his pal Jonah are helping in the cross-country move.

But their road trip across the Southwest experiences a detour: the tracking of a computer genius who has already hacked into MIT and exposed security faults. Nic and Jonah have piqued this mysterious hacker’s interest, and vice versa. The trail heats up, provocations are traded online, and the trio find themselves drawn to an isolated area. Night falls, contact is made, and suddenly everything goes dark.

When Nic regains consciousness, he is in a waking nightmare. His friends are nowhere to be seen, but he is determined to locate them – in whatever form they may still be alive. His only lead is the man who now meticulously interrogates him, Dr. Wallace Damon (Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne). Damon voices concern for Nic’s safety, and tries to evaluate the younger man’s sense of reality. As the two match wits, Nic looks to break free…


The Rover Movie PosterTen years after a collapse of the western economic system, Australia’s mineral resources have drawn the desperate and dangerous to its shores. With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Eric (GUY PEARCE) is a cold and angry drifter who has left everything and everyone behind. When his car – his last possession – is stolen by a gang of desperate desert hustlers, Eric embarks on a ruthless mission to track them down. Along the way, he is forced into an unlikely relationship with Rey (ROBERT PATTINSON), the naïve and injured younger brother of gang member Henry (SCOOT McNAIRY) who has left Rey behind in the bloody aftermath of the gang’s most recent robbery.


Third Person Movie ReleaseMICHAEL (Liam Neeson) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction author who has holed himself up in a hotel suite in Paris to finish his latest book. He recently left his wife, ELAINE (Kim Basinger), and is having a tempestuous affair with ANNA (Olivia Wilde), an ambitious young journalist who wants to write and publish fiction.

At the same time, SCOTT (Adrien Brody), a shady American businessman, is in Italy to steal designs from fashion houses. Hating everything Italian, Scott wanders into the "Café Americano" in search of something familiar to eat. There, he meets MONIKA (Moran Atias), a beautiful Roma woman, who is about to be reunited with her young daughter. When the money she has saved to pay her daughter's smuggler is stolen, Scott feels compelled to help. They take off together for a dangerous town in Southern Italy, where Scott starts to suspect that he is the patsy in an elaborate con game.

JULIA (Mila Kunis), an ex-soap opera actress, is caught in a custody battle for her 6 year-old son with her ex-husband RICK (James Franco), a famous New York artist. With her support cut off and her legal costs ruinous, Julia is reduced to working as a maid in the same upscale boutique hotel where she was once a frequent guest. Julia's lawyer THERESA (Maria Bello) has secured Julia one final chance to change the court's mind and be reunited with the child she loves. Rick's current girlfriend SAM (Loan Chabanol) is a compassionate onlooker.

THIRD PERSON tells three stories of love, passion, trust and betrayal, in a multi-strand story line reminiscent of Paul Haggis's earlier Oscar-winning film Crash. The tales play out in New York, Paris and Rome: three couples who appear to have nothing related but share deep commonalities: lovers and estranged spouses, children lost and found.

As Writer/Director Haggis puts it: "In any relationship there is always a third person; perhaps not romantically, perhaps not even consciously, but present in some form." At its heart, THIRD PERSON is much more than a collection of love stories—it is a mystery, a puzzle in which truth is revealed in glimpses, and clues are caught by the corner of the eye—and nothing is truly what it seems.





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