In theaters this week...
Matt Damon stars as Steve Butler in Gus Van Sant's contemporary drama "Promised Land," a Focus Features release.
Matt Damon plays Steve Butler, a corporate salesman who is sent along with his partner, Sue Thomason (Frances McDormand), to close a key rural town in his company’s expansion plans. With the town having been hit hard by the economic decline of recent years, the two outsiders see the local citizens as likely to accept their company’s offer for drilling rights to their properties. What seems like an easy job for the duo becomes complicated by the objection of a respected schoolteacher with support from a grassroots campaign.
The buzz: “Promised Land” attempts to tackle an important contemporary issue, but its heavy-handed message takes the place of real emotional heft. Fans of Matt Damon may find themselves appreciating his performance despite the movie’s flaws.
Length: 106 min.
Show times: 11:35 a.m., 2:10 p.m., 4:45 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 10 p.m. Opening Friday at Cinemark.
The film shows a few hours in the life of Monsieur Oscar, a shadowy character who journeys from one life to the next. He is, in turn, captain of industry, assassin, beggar, monster, and family man. He seems to be playing roles, plunging headlong into each part — but where are the cameras?
The buzz: As unpredictable and confusing as its premise promises, it will have audiences questioning the line between reality and fantasy — with few real answers.
Length: 115 min.
Show times: 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday; 4:30, 7 and 9 p.m. Saturday; 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday at Maiden Alley Cinema.