What's New in Theaters This Weekend: February 22, 2013

(Getty Images | Fame FlyNet)

It's Oscar weekend and Hollywood is in shutdown mode with only two minor wide releases this week: Snitch and Dark Skies. Our box office expert, Jeff Bock, doesn't think either one will make much noise. "Dark skies" is certainly the forecast for this weekend's box office, with Identity Thief likely creeping back into the top spot in its third week of release as Hollywood shuns theaters in favor of congratulating itself on a job well done this year." Bock sees Safe Haven finishing second behind Identity Thief with A Good Day to Die Hard, Snitch, and Escape from Planet Earth completing the top five.

Directed by Ric Roman Waugh
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon, Harold Perrineau, Michael K. Williams

The Rock's newest explosion-fest finds him playing a father who goes undercover for the DEA in a deal to free his imprisoned son. Admittedly, Snitch isn't going to blow your mind with fantastic writing or acting, but director Waugh was a stuntman and the true story aspect (Frontline documented the tale) makes it more than the usual brainless action vehicle for a major star (we're looking at you Expendables and career of Vin Diesel).
See it? Sure.
Box office prediction: $11M

Dark Skies
Directed by Scott Stewart
Starring: Keri Russell, Jake Brennan, Josh Hamilton, J.K. Simmons

Director Stewart's first two films, Legion and Priest, were nearly unwatchable, but Dark Skies doesn't look like it relies on over-the-top effects as much. The trailer has some chilling stuff—flocks of birds crashing into a house, Keri Russell bashing her head against a slider uncontrollably—and looks more like natural horror story than those first two movies.
See it? Yes.

Bless Me, Ultima [Limited]
Directed by Carl Franklin
Starring: Luke Ganalon, Joseph A. Garcia, Miriam Colon

Based on Rudolfo Anaya's influential novel of the same name, Bless Me, Ultima is a coming of age story set in New Mexico during World War II. A young boy discovers both good and evil and deals with it with the help of a spiritual medicine women in town.
See it? Yes.

Inescapable [Limited]
Directed by Ruba Nadda
Starring: Alexander Siddig, Joshua Jackson, Marisa Tomei

A Middle Eastern thriller starring underrated chacter actor Siddig (Syriana, Kingdom of Heaven) in a leading role and Marisa Tomei doing a Syrian accent. The setting is Damascus, a place Siddig's character once put in his rearview but he's forced to return when his daughter is kidnapped. As much as I like Siddig and Tomei, the plot here is a mashup of a dozen better movies. Nothing looks original, besides Tomei's accent.
See it? No.

Managing Editor, Zimbio — entertainment writer, critic, and reporter since 2011. Bay Area. Origin: Shark City.