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Opening This Week: October 26th, 2007

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By Christopher Bonet

IFC News

[Photo: Kevin Bacon in Alison Eastwood’s “Rails & Ties,” Warner Independent Pictures, 2007]

A round-up of the best (or worst) $10 you’ll spend this week.

“Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead”

After 2006’s critically underappreciated courtroom drama “Find Me Guilty,” Sidney Lumet reportedly returns to form with this crime thriller about two brothers, both in dire financial straits, who conspire to rip off their parents’ jewelry store, only to have their plan go horribly wrong. The film’s strengthened by a powerful debut script from playwright Kelly Masterson and a solid cast all-around (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney and an often-naked Marisa Tomei).

Opens in New York and Los Angeles (official site).


Alejandro Gomez Monteverde’s debut feature charts the lives of a cook (Eduardo Verástegui) and a waitress (Tammy Blanchard) whose lives are changed forever after an act of kindness binds them together in New York City. The film won the People’s Choice Award at the 2006 Toronto Film Festival.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Black Irish”

“Invincible” screenwriter Brad Gann helms his first directorial feature, based on his own screenplay about a teenage boy (Michael Angarano) in South Boston trying to avoid the pitfalls of his dysfunctional Irish family — a little bit like an Irish-American take on “A Bronx Tale” with less gangsterisms and more Guinness. Brendan Gleeson stars as the boy’s emotionally distant father.

Opens in New York and Boston (official site).

“Dan in Real Life”

We’ve been feeling a bit of Steve Carrell overload for the past year and a half, and we’re still conflicted over his latest choice of project, a comedy/drama from director Peter Hedges, who explored a somewhat similar family dynamic in 2003’s “Pieces of April.” Carrell plays a widower who ends up falling in love with the woman currently in a relationship with his brother. Dane Cook supports in a role that we’re sure is about as forgettable as this sentence, while Juliette Binoche takes on the role of the fraternal love interest.

Opens wide (official site).

“How to Cook Your Life”

Zen priest Edward Espe Brown relates the connection between Zen Buddhism, cooking and everyday life in this documentary from Doris Dörrie. The film premiered earlier this year at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Opens in San Francisco (official site).

“Jimmy Carter Man from Plains”

Academy Award-winner Jonathan Demme chronicles Jimmy Carter’s press tour for his most recent book, “Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid” in this doc. We’re expecting this one to battle “Sicko” for the Best Documentary Oscar, though we’re routing for “No End in Sight.”

Opens in limited release (official site).


It’s tough enough to understand a David Lynch narrative feature, so imagine making a documentary that attempts to get inside the auteur’s mind. Filmed over two years, during Lynch’s production of “Inland Empire,” the doc has made festival rounds while keeping the name of its director under wraps — which makes us wonder if a documentary about David Lynch could only be filmed by Lynch himself.

Opens in New York (official site).

“Mr. Untouchable”

Marc Levin’s well-timed doc charts the rise of junkie-turned-drug kingpin Nicky Barnes, imprisoned for drug smuggling and murder and released after cooperating with authorities after working as an informant — a perfect companion piece to next week’s “American Gangster,” in which Barnes is played by Cuba Gooding Jr.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Music Within”

Steven Sawalich’s debut feature finds Ron Livingston playing Richard Pimentel, a young man with a passion for public speaking who, after returning from a tour of duty in Vietnam with a hearing impairment, finds his purpose as an advocate for people with disabilities. We’re always happy to see our favorite “Office Space” star finding work on the big screen. Melissa George and Michael Sheen support.

Opens in limited release (official site).

“Rails & Ties”

Alison Eastwood, daughter of, yes, Clint, directs this Lifetime-y drama about the unlikely bond between a young boy whose mother commits suicide and a train engineer who witnessed her death. Though Eastwood enlists the help of her father’s “Mystic River” co-stars Kevin Bacon and Marcia Gay Harden, early reviews of the film have been mixed since its debut at Telluride earlier this year.

Opens in New York, Los Angeles, and Toronto (official site).

“Saw IV”

Another Halloween, another “Saw” film. Yes, Jigsaw and his apprentice Amanda are dead after the third installment, but director Darren Lynn Bousman makes sure to create another twisted and grisly game for FBI agents Strahrn and Perez. With recent news of a projected fifth and sixth entry into the series, it’s looking like we’ll be seeing more adventures of Jigsaw and Amanda long after they’ve passed. We long for the days of Freddy, Jason and, hell, self-parody.

Opens wide (official site).


Anthony Hopkins writes, directs and stars in this time-bending noir-comedy about a man caught in a “slipstream” of time falling back on itself as he remembers his own future. The film may sound like the weirdest movie of the fall next to “Southland Tales,” but we’re excited to see into the mind of Hannibal Lecter…er…the guy who brought us Hannibal Lecter. An ace supporting cast includes Gena Rowlands, Christian Slater, John Turturro, Camryn Manheim, Jeffrey Tambor, and many others.

Opens in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago (official site).

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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