PolicyMic Movie Guide: What to See, Stream, and Skip This Week

A new week begins, and with it another comes another round of PolicyMic's movie guide! Since last time featured some heavy flicks, this week focuses on (relatively) lighter fare. Fast cars, teenage royalty, and backcountry accents make up our picks for the movies to see, stream, or skip this week.

What movies are you looking forward to seeing? Got suggestions for next week’s roundup? Let me know in the comments and on Twitter.

1. See: 'Rush'

What it’s about: Rush is based on the true story of Formula One drivers James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth, a.k.a. Thor) and Niki Lauda (Daniel Brühl, of love-lorn Nazi fame). Hunt, a cocky British playboy, and Lauda, a brooding perfectionist from Austria, become entangled in one of the most intense and high-profile rivalries the racing world has ever seen as they battle for the 1976 world championship title.

Why you should see it: Even if you have no knowledge of or interest in Formula One racing, Rush will get your blood pumping. It has been called not only one of the best films of the year, but also one of the “the best movies about auto racing ever made” and an “adrenalin-fuelled ride” with Oscar-bait performances from both leads. One would expect nothing less from director Ron Howard. It's sort of like the thinking man’s The Fast and the Furious.

Directed by Ron Howard.
Starring Chris Hemsworth, Daniel Brühl, and Olivia Wilde.
In theaters now.

2. Stream: 'The Kings of Summer'

What it’s about: When fifteen-year-old Joe (Nick Robinson) can no longer stand living under the rules of his gruff, widowed father (Nick Offerman), he enlists the help of his best friend Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the slightly off-kilter Biaggio (Moises Arias) to run away and build a house in the woods. Far from the demands and expectations of their overbearing parents, the boys vow to “be [their] own men.” But when living off the land proves more difficult than anticipated, their friendship is put to the test.

Why you should see it: A slight but warm coming-of-age comedy, The Kings of Summer captures that fleeting moment of childhood twilight when innocence and naiveté have yet to fully give way to the angst of adolescence. The film is anchored by the strong performances of its three likeable leads, and anything that features both halves of real-life comedy power couple Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally (here playing Patrick’s gratingly cheerful mom) is good by me.


Directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts.
Starring Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, and Megan Mullally.
Streaming on iTunes and Amazon.

3. Skip: 'As I Lay Dying'

What it’s about: James Franco's adaptation of Faulkner’s classic novel follows the misfortune-prone Bundren family as they carry their recently deceased matriarch, Addie, across Mississippi to be buried in her hometown.

Why you should skip it: Franco is nothing if not ambitious; Faulkner’s story is not an easy one to adapt for the screen (it has fifteen narrators, for one thing). Unfortunately, it seems Franco was not up to the challenge. His film has been called a pompous endurance test, with maddening film school 101 techniques and dialogue rendered nearly unintelligible by overwrought backcountry accents.

Franco is trying so hard to be taken seriously as an auteur that I almost feel bad for the guy. Almost.


Directed by James Franco.
Starring  James Franco, Danny McBride, and Tim Blake Nelson.
Theatrical release recently canceled (womp womp); heading to DVD soon.