This Labor Day weekend is a very quiet one at the movies—as they usually are, for no good reason—but we’ve got a trio of noteworthy new releases doing the art-house (and, mostly, VOD) thing this holiday.
- The Black Panthers: Vanguard of a Revolution is an informative, intelligent, and well-constructed (if rather conventional) documentary portrait of the influential Black Power group, the political culture that brought them together, and the pressures and personalities that took them apart. Read more about it in our September indie guide. (In limited release.)
- Your correspondent saw Neil LaBute’s Dirty Weekend last spring at Tribeca and never quite got my arms around it—it’s not vintage (which is to say, sharp and mean and nasty) LaBute the way his last feature Some Velvet Morning was, but it’s not as personality-free as his other “departures” either. This much is certain: the performances are excellent, particularly from Velvet’s Alice Eve, who’s turning into LaBute’s secret weapon. Read our original Tribeca review here. (In limited release and on demand.)
- And the week’s best new movie is Alex Gibney’s Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, a tech-age Citizen Kane that’s occasionally stinging, occasionally mean, and always insightful. It’s less a bio-doc than a free-form consideration of the Apple founder—and the company and culture he left behind. Check out our full review from its SXSW premiere here. (In limited release and on demand.)