Please Give: I've enjoyed all of Nicole Holofcener's movies to some degree, but Please Give might be her best. Her funny, smartly observed story of New Yorker guilt and malaise comes together in ways that Friends with Money didn't, quite: thematically unified but not too tidy. Holofcener writes such intimate, effective scenes between her characters—a couple (Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt) who sells vintage second-hand furniture after buying it from children of the deceased; their teenage daughter (Sarah Steele); their elderly neighbor (Ann Guilbert) and her two granddaughters (Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall)—that the size of the cast almost sneaks up on you, a stealth ensemble. Keener feels guilty about her mildly predatory job, guilty about waiting for Guilbert to die so they can take over the apartment next door, guilty about her relative wealth and privilege, and it's this dissatisfaction with satisfaction that drives the movie's New Yorky searching. Amanda Peet and Rebecca Hall, meanwhile, make convincing sisters, even if their contrasting manifestations of unspoken loneliness (Peet is mouthy and cynical; Hall, quiet and dutiful) are a little screenplay-ready, as Nick hints at in his review. Peet in particular shines as Holofcener exploits her capacity for meanness. It's probably the best new movie I've seen all month.
Harry Brown: Michael Caine stars in what sounds like Gran Torino for real, and which I didn't have that much interest in seeing (love for Caine's cockney notwithstanding) until I read Henry Stewart's analysis of its over-the-top grit and catchphrase-mongering.
The Human Centipede: If this gross-out shocker is supposed to be an actual feature film, I'm not sure why they've given the game away in the title. The creation of a revolting human centipede better happen in the first half-hour, followed by its revolting adventures, or... whatever, it doesn't matter, I'm still not seeing this, and FYI, makers of indie horror: if I don't want to see what you're up to, you've created something that sounds either incredibly rote or incredibly vile. So, congratulations.
Furry Vengeance: However, if Jigsaw locked me in a room and made me choose between watching live-animated critter revenge comedy Furry Vengeance, watching The Human Centipede, and digging out a key embedded in my thigh, let's just say Furry Vengeance might prompt me to ask: "How deep in my thigh?"