Weekend Watchlist: “Prisoners,” “Killer Joe,” “Rush”

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Alcon Entertainment/Courtesy

This weekend’s list is all about high-adrenaline, action-packed films starring some of Hollywood’s leading men. They’ve all got their serious faces on, so be prepared for some intense thrills and somber scenes this weekend at the movies.

 

Prisoners

I’m really excited for this movie, mostly  because it features Jake Gyllenhaal, but also because, if the critics are to be believed, “Prisoners” raises questions about some pretty hot topics, like the use of torture, the conduct of law enforcement officers, and the effectiveness of the rule of law. Hugh Jackman stars as a father who is willing to go to any extremes to find his missing daughter, while Gyllenhaal takes the role of the detective  determined to solve the case by following the rules. Gyllenhaal was great in “Zodiac” as the clean-cut cartoonist-turned-investigator, but expect a much darker, more complicated character in “Prisoners.”

 

Killer Joe

If you weren’t able to catch “The French Connection” last week as part of the PFA’s Dark Matters:The Films of William Friedkin series, check out “Killer Joe”(2011)  this Saturday. Matthew McConaughey stars as Killer Joe Cooper, a contract killer/police detective hired by Chris (Emile Hirsch), who puts a hit on his own mother to pay off a debt. The film’s tagline is “A Totally Twisted Deep-Fried Texas Redneck Trailer Park Murder Story,” so…I’m in. Director William Friedkin will be at the PFA in person for the screening as well as for a book-signing earlier in the evening.

 

Rush

For an intense movie experience without all the violence of my first two picks, check out Ron Howard’s “Rush.” This action-drama tells the true story of the fierce rivalry between Formula One racers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) in the 1970s. “Rush” takes audiences not only into the race cars themselves, but into the minds of the drivers who challenge death every time they start their engines. I’m looking forward to the racing scenes, they look beautiful in the trailer.