George Clooney goes behind the camera for the fourth time to direct The Ides of March, an adaptation of Beau Willimon‘s play Farragut North. The movie stars Ryan Gosling as Stephen Myers, an idealistic deputy campaign manager for Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) who is in a major political battle in Ohio that could be the key to winning the Democratic nomination for the Presidency. When the opposing candidate’s campaign manager (Paul Giamatti) offers Stephen a job on his staff, Stephen neglects to inform his boss (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Just as that omission is revealed, Stephen uncovers a dirty personal secret that could sink Morris’ political career. The Ides of March screened at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. – Perry Seibert, Rovi
‘Dirty Girl‘ is the story of Danielle (Juno Temple), the dirty girl of Norman High School in Norman, Oklahoma, circa 1987. When Danielle’s misbehavior gets her banished to a remedial class, she is paired on a parenting project with Clarke (Jeremy Dozier), an innocent closet-case with no friends. Danielle is determined to get to California to find the father she’s never met, and Clarke is desperate to escape being sent to military school by his homophobic dad. Together, the mismatched misfits light out for California, and discover each other and themselves through a funny and serendipitous friendship.
Hustle & Flow director Craig Brewer takes the helm for this remake of the popular 1984 musical romance about a big-city teen who moves to a town that has outlawed dancing. Uprooted from Boston and reluctantly transplanted to the small Bible Belt town of Bomont, Ren MacCormack (Kenny Wormald) finds himself in a repressed community still reeling from a devastating loss. Shortly before he arrived in Bomont, five local teens perished in a tragic car accident following a local dance. As a result, the upstanding Reverend Shaw Moore (Dennis Quaid) and the local councilmen passed a strict ordinance outlawing both dancing and excessively loud music. Convinced that the new law is hopelessly misguided, rebellious Ren puts on his dancing shoes and wins the heart of Reverend Moore’s distraught daughter, Ariel (Julianne Hough), while showing his fellow classmates that it’s perfectly normal to blow off a little steam with some loud music and good friends. – Jason Buchanan, Rovi
‘Snowmen‘ is a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. After a surprising discovery in the snow catapults three small-town boys into the spotlight, the best friends hatch a plan to be remembered forever by setting a Guinness World Records title. Along the way, the trio battles schoolyard bullies, unites their community and discovers that — while fame may be fleeting — true friendship lasts forever.
The Paranormal Activity franchise continues with this third outing from Paramount Pictures. Oren Peli and Jason Blum return to produce the highly secretive feature, with Catfish‘s directing duo of Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman taking on the helming duties. – Jeremy Wheeler, Rovi
Most American parents are very much aware of Elmo, the child-like fuzzy red Muppet on Sesame Street who has become a favorite among the show’s youthful audience. But far fewer people know the name Kevin Clash, the puppeteer who brings Elmo to life, and filmmaker Constance Marks introduces viewers to the man behind the Muppet in this documentary. Clash, a big and burly-looking man with a large reserve of shyness, was born and raised in Baltimore and was something of a loner in his youth, but found a way to express himself when he discovered puppetry. In his teens, Clash began building his own puppets (once destroying one of his father’s coats to use as material for his latest project), and showed a remarkable talent for the art. Clash worked on a variety of television shows and movies before being hired to work on Sesame Street, where he formulated his most famous character. Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey offers a backstage look at Clash’s life and times, a look into his working methods, and insight into how he informs Elmo’s personality and uses the character to send a positive message to the world. Being Elmo received its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. – Mark Deming, Rovi
A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship.