What's New in Theaters This Weekend: March 23, 2012

From Left: Rachel Weisz, Liam Hemsworth, Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson (Photos: Getty Images).

The Hunger Games

Directed by: Gary Ross
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth

One of the most anticipated movies in recent years, The Hunger Games will be released this weekend. Already boasting a fanbase of millions, the film is set to challenge box office records as it will run virtually unopposed as you can see below. No big studio seems willing to open another movie against it. Lawrence stars as the dystopian heroine, Katniss Everdeen. She is a teenage Artemis, skilled with the bow and arrow and courageous enough to take her sister's place in the kill or be killed Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death produced by an evil futuristic government. Early reviews are nearly all positive and the film looks to be a worthy adaptation of the hugely poplular book by Suzanne Collins.
See it? Yes.

The Raid: Redemption (Limited)
Directed by: Gareth Evans
Starring: Iko Uwais, Ananda George, Ray Sahetapy

This film will draw inevitable comparisons to one of last year's surprise hits: Attack the Block. The producers of The Raid: Redemption should pray it does half as well. I'm betting it will be a fun creative action movie based solely on the resume of writer/director Evans, who made one of my favorite action flicks of recent years: Merantau.
See it? Yes.

The Deep Blue Sea (NY/LA)
Directed by: Terence Davies
Starring: Rachel Weisz, Tom Hiddleston

Another small indie drama for Weisz, whose conviction in choosing her scripts can only be seen as admirable. The Deep Blue Sea follows Hester Collyer (Weisz) through a torrid love-affair with a Royal Air Force pilot (Hiddleston). The film is based on the famous British play of 1952. Collyer is anything but a sympathetic character so it will be interesting to see how Weisz portrays her.
See it? Yes.

Brake (Limited)
Directed by: Gabe Torres
Starring: Stephen Dorff, Chyler Leigh, Tom Berenger

The buzz on Brake is it has a seriously twisted ending. Count me among the interested as the plot sounds like a fun and scary ride. Dorff plays a Secret Service Agent who is trapped in the trunk of a car by terrorists who torture him for information about the President. Dorff has played the victim before, in 2008's very intense Felon. He is an easy actor to root for when he plays the good guy. I doubt the critics will be down with this movie, but it seems worth a look.
See it? Sure.

The Trouble with Bliss (NY/LA)
Directed by: Michael Knowles
Starring: Michael C. Hall, Lucy Liu, Brie Larson, Peter Fonda

Finally, we get a chance to see Hall play someone other than Dexter Morgan. The talented actor has been hamstrung by that role for years so it's great to see him play a character at the opposite end of the spectrum. In The Trouble with Bliss, he plays Morris Bliss, a depressed malcontent who lives with his father and seems trapped by his unimportant New York City life. Larson plays the 18-year-old daughter of Morris' buddy with whom he begins an affair. As long as Morris doesn't fall into the cliched trap of the boring guy whose eyes are opened by the quirky youngster, the movie will be worth a watch.. at least for Hall's performance.
See it? Sure.

Senior Editor at Zimbio. I'll take Johnny Clay, the Rev. Harry Powell, and Annie Savoy. You can have the rest.