A Viewer's Guide to Weekend Movies: Is 'The Other Woman' a Train Wreck or a Harmless Distraction?

Multiplex offerings this week feature three vengeful women, one brooding man, and a posthumous Paul Walker film. 

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Multiplex offerings this week feature three vengeful women, one brooding man, and a posthumous Paul Walker film.

In Theaters

Can you tell studios are gearing up for a mega blockbuster next week? The month of April has been wanting for movies worth seeing, and this final weekend is no different.

The movie everyone will be talking about, for better or (mostly) worse, is The Other Woman, starring Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, and Kate Upton. Diaz and Upton both play the titular "other woman," and Mann plays the wife of Mark – Nikolaj Coster-Waldau – whom is cheating on all three of them. The three eventually discover the existence of one another, and thus team-up to hatch a revenge scheme; we can only assume shenanigans ensue. Instead of drawing from the Bridesmaids lineage, though, it seems to be woefully male-centric: the three women rarely discuss anything except the man who has spurned them. Linda Holmes, for NPR's Monkey See blog, rips into the movie: "[It is] a story in which they play idiots with no interests of any kind except bickering over an utterly charmless man ... It is the most grotesque pantomime of girl power." Not everyone hates it so emphatically –Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson writes, "As daffy springtime diversions go, you could do a lot worse" – but it's pulling a 25 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes currently and it's the sort of movie that inspired this post, so you've been warned.

Also opening wide this week is horror flick The Quiet Ones, which like so many these days alleges to be "inspired by true events", and a posthumous Paul Walker film called Brick Mansions. The fact that it's one of two Walker movies to be released after his death (the other being Fast and Furious 7) will probably end being more notable than the movie itself, which seems like fairly standard dystopian, lawless-crime thriller fare.

In Limited Release

Locke is the most notable of this week's limited releases, opening in a grand total of four theaters. But its premise is generating buzz: essentially a one-man show, Locke is an hour and a half of Tom Hardy alone in his car, and that's it. While that might be gimmicky in other cases, apparently Hardy's performance makes it worth it, as the movie's 90 percent rating on RT attests.

Joining Locke are Young and Beautiful, a French coming-of-age film from last year about a 17-year-old call girl that's playing at the IFC Center in NYC, and Blue Ruin, which picked up the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at Cannes and has an impressive 92 percent on RT, so it's probably the safest bet of the bunch.

Videos on Demand

There aren't many new movies hitting Demand, but there are two rather interesting options: the first is Small Time, which is interesting pretty much only because of its cast. Isn't there something inherently fascinating about seeing Christopher Meloni as someone besides Elliot Stabler? Through in Dean Norris for good measure, and Small Time appears to be worth watching. Your other option is Gambit, which stars Colin Firth and Cameron Diaz (if you choose to forgo The Other Woman) and was written by the Coen brothers. Joel and Ethan didn't direct it (that would be Michael Hoffman), but we've come to the point where we'll see almost anything with the Coen's affiliation.

Streaming on Netflix

Netflix Instant is similarly sparse this week, with most of the notable new entries coming in the way of television than movies – but if you do want a feature-length movie on Netflix, you could try The Eagle, which is a Roman action movie starring Channing Tatum. You're probably better off with the news seasons of either Robot Chicken, Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown, or Morgan Spurlock's Inside Man. As useless as CNN is on air lately, at least they put up some of their more worth while content on Netflix.

Movies on TV

Premiering on HBO at 8 p.m. Sunday is the 2013 graphic-novel adaptation Bullet to the Head, starring Sylvester Stallone. It's likely not a very good film, but it's an AARP-eligible Stallone shooting bad guys, so what do you want from it? On Showtime Saturday at 7 p.m. is the Adam Sandler version of The Longest Yard, which they also aired a month ago. It is barely a tolerable enough movie to warrant one showing, let alone two.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.