If any of this week’s new releases looks good to you, just remember, it is the middle of January and those Tomatometers don’t lie.
1. 12 Strong (Warner Brothers, 3,002 Theaters, 130 Minutes, Rated R for war violence and language throughout, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 55% Fresh [86 Reviews]: In the days after the 9/11 attacks, the focus of the American military was on the Taliban. Problem was that they were all located in caves along the mountainside where only horses can reach. So the multiunit attack force did what they had to do–become Horse Soldiers.
The film is based on real life events and has a great cast. However, the film seems bursting at the seams with war film clichés (There’s mention of the team not making it back alive at least twice in the trailer alone). That makes it this week’s best bet only by default.
2. Den of Thieves (STX Entertainment, 2,432 Theaters, 140 Minutes, Rated R for violence, language and some sexuality/nudity, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 36% Fresh [47 Reviews]: Take on crew of bank robbers who do high risk heists for the thrill of it. Add a bunch of cops who are so hard core that they are willing to let suspects die to get the information they need. Mix and you have what the studio thinks is a high octane heist movie.
But, is there enough to make it different from all the high octane heist movies? And will the injection of testosterone dry up all the fun of the genre?
The real question is if the above questions will really matter? The film has already exceeded expectation in Thursday previews. That might be the only answer the studio is looking for.
3. Forever My Girl (Roadside Attractions, 1,115 Theaters, 104 Minutes, Rated PG for thematic elements including drinking, and for language, Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer at press time: 18% Fresh [38 Reviews]: If you caught ads for this film and thought “Groan, not another Nicholas Sparks film,” shame on you. Not every treacly, time and distance crossed romance is done by Nicholas Sparks. This one was adapted from a Heidi McLaughlin novel.
Liam left his best girl at the altar to seek country music fame and fortune. He found it, but lost touch of where he came from. When he returns to his hometown for the funeral of a friend, he is forced to consider exactly what he missed out on.
The film is getting horrible reviews, but so do the Sparks’ adaptation and that doesn’t stop fans of the genre from coming out and seeing them.
Next week’s new releases bring use the next (last?) installment of a young adult adaptation that was more popular than I gave it credit for.