This Week in Trailers: Cruise, ‘Compliance,’ and Cirque du Soleil


Every Friday here at Flavorwire, we like to gather up the week’s new movie trailers, give them a look-see, and rank them from worst to best — while taking a guess or two about what they might tell us (or hide from us) about the movies they’re promoting. This week, we’ve got seven new trailers starring Tom Cruise, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson, Jesse Eisenberg, Jessica Biel, Gael Garcia Bernal, Melissa Leo, and Tracy Morgan; check ’em all out after the jump, and share your thoughts in the comments.

Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away

If you like Cirque du Soleil, the idea of seeing them in a big, James Cameron-produced, 3-D performance movie (a la Wim Wenders’ Pina) is probably irresistible. If you find them sort of irritating and obnoxious, well, this probably won’t be the movie for you, and you’ve got to give the trailer credit for fronting exactly what it is. But since we lean more towards the latter position, perhaps it’d be best to just move on…

The Tall Man

It’s kind of a slim week, so we’re including the trailer for this thriller directed by Pascal Laugier and starring Jessica Biel, even though it’s one of those international trailer situations where our C-level high school French skills aren’t doing much good with the text translation (that’s French, oui?). No awards for originality on this one to begin with, but the creepy, echo-y, incongruent music thing is seriously past its expiration date, right?

Jack Reacher

When Tom Cruise was cast as Jack Reacher, the protagonist of 17 books by Lee Child, diehards howled — because the character is described as a mountain of a man, weighing in between 210 and 250 pounds and standing 6’5″. As you may have noticed, Tom Cruise is nearly a foot shy of that. Our concern with the first trailer to Jack Reacher, however, has less to do with size than familiarity; simply put, this looks like a movie we’ve seen many, many times before, the wandering drifter looking for justice (with a shot of Drive-style cool). But, to be fair, the film is written and directed by Christopher McQuarrie, whose scripts for The Usual Suspects and The Way of the Gun (which he also directed) transcended their been-there, done-that storylines via tough dialogue and endless cool. Hopefully Reacher will do the same, but we’re not exactly dazzled by this first peek.

Why Stop Now?

It sounds formulaic, one of those “one nutty day” comedies where everything that can go wrong does (usually capped off by a big “Do you know what I’ve been through today?” laundry list/speech by the frazzled protagonist). But it’s got a good cast — Eisenberg and Morgan are interesting comic odd couple, and we’ll see just about anything Leo does — and it’s co-written and co-directed by Ron Nyswander, who penned Philadelphia. This doesn’t look like a picture with much to do with that one (or his other big writing credit of the intervening years, The Painted Veil), but the trailer’s got an odd sensibility and enough laughs to pique our interest.


This based-on-a-true-story drama was quite the cause célèbre at Sundance; we missed it there, but caught up with it at SXSW, and found it to be a difficult, harrowing, and brutally effective picture that raises some disturbing questions about not only our deference to authority in real life, but at the movies. Seeing this trailer brings much of the discomfort of the original experience back, as it masterfully assembles the film’s languid close-ups of fast-food drudgery with flashes of the troubling events in that back room. A good, tight trailer that nicely encapsulates the picture without giving too much away.

The Loneliest Planet

As you may have noticed, we’d rather a trailer leave us intrigued than informed; better make us wonder what happens in the movie than show us everything that does. So yes, we’re kind of nuts about this trailer for The Loneliest Planet, a film that’s been knocking around the festival circuit for a while, because it sets up some sort of catastrophic event, and leaves us with no clue as to what said event actually is. But now we direly, desperately want to know, and that, friends, is good trailer-making.