Welcome back to Alt Weekly, a column in which we shine a spotlight on the independent films brave enough to open opposite Hollywood’s behemoth blockbusters before rolling out in wider release.
Filmmaker Cred: This is writer Jamie Linden's directorial debut.
Star Power: Plenty of it — Channing Tatum, Jenna Dewan-Tatum, Rosario Dawson, Chris Pratt, Justin Long, Max Minghella, Oscar Issac, Kate Mara, Ari Graynor, Aubrey Plaza, Lynn Collins, Ron Livingston, Brian Geraghty.
Festival/Awards Buzz: After debuting at last year's Toronto International Film Festival, this reunion dramedy has earned generally positive reviews as part of Tatum's already stellar year.
Release Details: One screen in LA and two in NY this Friday.
See This If… You're a sucker for ensemble regret, second chances and good old-fashioned C-Tates.
Filmmaker Cred: Writer-director Nicholas Jarecki previously directed the 2005 documentary "The Outsider."
Star Power: Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth.
Festival/Awards Buzz: This upper-crust thriller was well-received at Sundance earlier this year, although our review was less impressed.
Release Details: Almost 200 screens across the country in addition to availability on demand starting on Friday.
See This If… You'd like to watch Richard Gere sweat and scheme past his white-collar problems.
Filmmaker Cred: Co-writer/directors Brian M. Cassidy and Melanie Shatzky previously collaborated on the 2011 documentary "The Patron Saints."
Star Power: Melissa Leo.
Festival/Awards Buzz: For the most part, reviewers praised Leo's performance in this character study while acknowledging the inherently glum nature of the material.
Release Details: Opens this Wednesday at New York's Museum of Modern Art.
See This If… The prospect of Melissa Leo playing an ex-con who finds herself connecting more with pets than people doesn't put you off outright.
Filmmaker Cred: This is writer-director Josh Radnor's follow-up to 2011's "Happythankyoumoreplease."
Star Power: Radnor ("How I Met Your Mother"), Elizabeth Olsen, Richard Jenkins, Alison Janney, Zac Efron.
Festival/Awards Buzz: Most enjoyed this campus-set romantic comedy out of Sundance, and our own review is a glowing recommendation.
Release Details: Four screens in NY and LA this weekend.
See This If… You're willing to give someone besides Woody Allen a shot at tackling modern neurotic love.
Star Power: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams.
Festival/Awards Buzz: Reactions to PTA's somewhat cryptic drama have ranged from full-blown awe to more restrained admiration.
Release Details: NY and LA this weekend, with a nationwide expansion set for next week.
See This If… You're already on board for a psychologically opaque character study featuring the return of Joaquin Phoenix after the "career-ending" stunt that was "I'm Still Here."
Star Power: Nicolas Cage, Josh Lucas, Danny Huston, Malin Akerman.
Festival/Awards Buzz: Not a peep.
Release Details: 141 screens scattered across the country.
See This If… You want to help Nic Cage pay his bills.