Raleigh, N.C. — There are several promising movies to see this weekend.
23 Blast (Family, PG-13, Starring Mark Hapka, Bram Hoover, Stephen Lang, Max Adler, Kim Zimmer)
When a high school football star is suddenly stricken with irreversible, total blindness, he must decide whether to live a safe, protected life or to summon the courage through playing football to step back into the world. 23 Blast is based on the inspirational, true story of Travis Freeman, who with the support of his family and community shows us what real faith and courage is.
John Wick (Action/Adventure/Suspense, R, Starring Keanu Reeves, Adrianne Palicki, Willem Dafoe, Bridget Moynahan, Jason Isaacs)
An ex-hitman comes out of retirement to track down the gangsters that took everything from him. With New York City as his bullet-riddled playground, John Wick is a fresh and stylized take on the "assassin genre".
Ouija (Suspense/Thriller, PG-13, Starring Ana Coto, Bianca A. Santos, Vivis Colombetti, Douglas Smith, Erin Moriarty)
A group of friends must confront their most terrifying fears when they awaken the dark powers of an ancient spirit board.
Happy New Year (Hindi) (Comedy/Romance/Action, No Rating, Starring Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood)
This is the ultimate underdog story where a team of 'losers' win the love of millions in their quest to pull off the biggest diamond heist ever!
Some other movies to check out:
Dear White People (Comedy/Drama, R, Starring Kyle Gallner, Dennis Haysbert, Brittany Curran, Tyler James Williams, Tessa Thompson)
The unexpected election of activist Samantha White as head of a traditionally black residence hall sets up a college campus culture war that challenges conventional notions of what it means to be black. While Sam leverages her notoriety as host of the provocative and polarizing radio show "Dear White People" to try to prevent the college from diversifying Armstrong Parker House, outgoing head-of-house Troy Fairbanks, son of the university's dean, defies his father's lofty expectations by applying to join the staff of Pastiche, the college's influential humor magazine. Lionel Higgins, an Afro-sporting sci-fi geek, is recruited by the otherwise all-white student newspaper to go undercover and write about black culture-a subject he knows little about-while the aggressively assimilated Coco Conners tries to use the controversy on campus to carve out a career in reality TV. But no one at Winchester University is prepared for Pastiche's outrageous, ill-conceived annual Halloween party, with its "unleash your inner Negro" theme throwing oil on an already smoldering fire of resentment and misunderstanding. When the party descends into riotous mayhem, everyone must choose a side.
Men, Women & Children (Comedy/Drama, R, Starring Ansel Elgort, Judy Greer, Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, Emma Thompson)
This film follows the story of a group of high school teenagers and their parents as they attempt to navigate the many ways the internet has changed their relationships, their communication, their self-image, and their love lives. The film attempts to stare down social issues such as video game culture, anorexia, infidelity, fame hunting, and the proliferation of illicit material on the internet. As each character and each relationship is tested, we are shown the variety of roads people choose - some tragic, some hopeful - as it becomes clear that no one is immune to this enormous social change that has come through our phones, our tablets, and our computers.
St. Vincent (Comedy, PG-13, Starring Melissa McCarthy, Bill Murray, Naomi Watts, Chris O'Dowd, Terrence Howard)
Maggie, a single mother, moves into a new home in Brooklyn with her 12-year old son, Oliver. Forced to work long hours, she has no choice but to leave Oliver in the care of their new neighbor, Vincent, a retired curmudgeon with a penchant for alcohol and gambling. An odd friendship soon blossoms between the improbable pair. Together with a pregnant stripper named Daka, Vincent brings Oliver along on all the stops that make up his daily routine - the race track, a strip club, and the local dive bar. Vincent helps Oliver grow to become a man, while Oliver begins to see in Vincent something that no one else is able to: a misunderstood man with a good heart.
Pride (Drama, R, Starring Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, George MacKay, Joseph Gilgun)
This film is inspired by an extraordinary true story. It's the summer of 1984, Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers is on strike, prompting a London-based group of gay and lesbian activists to raise money to support the strikers' families. Initially rebuffed by the Union, the group identifies a tiny mining village in Wales and sets off to make their donation in person. As the strike drags on, the two groups discover that standing together makes for the strongest union of all.