Every once in a while, between dump months, blockbuster season, and awards-bait real estate, weird things sometimes happen at the box office. Case in point: For it being Mother’s Day and all, this weekend’s crop of new releases is decidedly on the disturbing end of the spectrum! Consider this your guide to the whole gamut, which starts at simmering intrigue and goes all the way to a roiling boil of horror—but don’t worry, like getting a dish of ice cream after eating something painfully spicy, we have a cool splash of Melissa McCarthy waiting at the end to help chase it all down. No matter what you (or your mom) are into, when it comes to what’s in theaters, you’ve definitely got some options:
Jim Carrey’s been more visible for sharing his political cartoons on Twitter than anything else lately, but he’s back onscreen this weekend (for the first time since his startling turn in 2016’s The Bad Batch). Now, in perhaps his darkest role to date, he plays a police detective who becomes obsessed with a murder that really, by the looks of the trailer alone, ought to be an open-and-shut case. But it seems this Polish mystery thriller is actually about Carrey’s increased fixation on the suspect, a famous novelist, and his girlfriend, the always-alluring Charlotte Gainsbourg. Will this be a triumphant return to the more serious fare that earned Carrey acclaim in the late 90s and early aughts? There’s only one way to find out.
With the tagline “Payback is a mother” and a self-conscious holiday weekend release, it’s clear that Breaking In is not for the regular moms! It’s for the cool moms. Gabrielle Union, who is easy to root for, plays a seemingly typical matriarch (there’s no dad in sight) who finds herself smack dab in a reverse-Panic Room nightmare when she gets locked out of a high-tech fortress-like house with the bad guys—and her kids—inside. Apparently, these stupid burglars have never heard that a mother’s love is deadly, and watching the mouse become the cat in this familiar cinematic dance is both refreshing and strangely satisfying. Supermom to the rescue!
Content note: This trailer contains graphic violence and bodily harm.
This is the debut feature from Coralie Fargeat, and a joint release from Neon (Gemini, I, Tonya) and OTT VOD service Shudder. It feels vaguely like an unholy union of Ana Lily Amirpour’s The Bad Batch (also from Neon) and the 1978 revenge-exploitation classic I Spit On Your Grave, with an added sprinkle of Kill Bill—in a good way. If you can handle the subject matter and the blood spatters, neither of which beckon the faint of heart (and both of which make Kill Bill look like The Karate Kid 3 by comparison), you’ll be rewarded with a lot of men getting their brutal “just desserts” against the backdrop of the beautiful and unforgiving desert. From the trailer, we can tell that star Matilda Lutz is one to keep an eye on, and honestly, with these kinds of genre-bending guts, so is Fargeat.
Life of the Party
In no way is this a slight to Melissa McCarthy, national treasure, whom we have loved since her days as Sookie on Gilmore Girls, but seriously: She has her craft so dialed-in at this point that it almost feels comforting. The only question mark on this mom-goes-back-to-college comedy is whether ingenues Molly Gordon, Debby Ryan, and Adria Arjona can carry the straight-man routine to match a McCarthy at the top of her game. Certainly, the supporting cast of funny ladies Maya Rudolph, Gillian Jacobs, and Julie Bowen can handle this moms-to-the-front brand of fun with their eyes closed. Like that box of chocolates someone gets you every year because you said you liked it once—once!—Life of the Party is a safe and easy choice for a fun weekend outing that’s not full of murder, mayhem, and mystery, but also probably not full of surprises.