This Week at the Movies: ‘The Visit,’ ‘Sleeping With Other People’


It’s mid-September, and we’re still stumbling out of the late summer dead zone, so there’s not a lot happening at the multiplex this weekend. But here are a couple of items to consider, if you’re got your expectations in the right place:

  • M. Night Shyamalan’s The Visit certainly doesn’t match the heights of his Sixth Sense or Unbreakable, but it’s the best film he’s made since that double-header (which is to say, in well over a decade). Darkly funny, emotionally grounded, and, yes, pretty scary, it makes clear the giant budgets and fantastical worlds Shyamlan’s been dwelling in were, at the very least, part of the problem. Read our review here. (In wide release.)
  • Leslye Headland’s Sleeping with Other People has been gathering almost entirely rapturous reviews, so maybe your film editor is just flat wrong about this one. But in spite of a four-star cast and a writer/director who can do take-no-prisoners comedy without breaking a sweat (see her Bachelorette), this rom-com simply can’t beat its formula, and by its sappy end, they’re not even trying anymore. Here’s our Sundance review; your mileage may vary. (In limited release.)
  • And finally, the best movie of the week is the smallest: Time Out of Mind, a modest yet powerful drama from writer/director Oren Moverman (The Messenger) with Richard Gere as a homeless man grinding it out on the streets of New York City. Gere is tremendous—but he usually is, though no one ever notices—and Moverman’s observational style, with scenes often observed at great distance to emphasize the city bustling around him, is effective. More in this month’s indie guide. (In limited release.)