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Cinefiles

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The Visitor (PG-13)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment / Release: Oct. 7

Here's a movie that came out of left field: Director Thomas McCarthy's low key, low-budget indie flick that is heartfelt and moving without being cloying or pretentious. Character actor Richard Jenkins takes center-stage as Walter, a lost, bored, middle-aged professor who ends up friends with two Muslim immigrants squatting in his apartment, bonding with the boyfriend over their love of music and Afro-beat drumming. When the NYPD arrests and detains the boyfriend, Walter makes it a personal mission to save him before deportation to Syria, with heartbreaking (and unexpected) results. The resolution may tick off those who want a traditional Hollywood happy ending, but the fact this movie is as far from that as possible makes it so damn good, and Jenkins should definitely be up for an Oscar. Louis Fowler

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Soccer Mom (PG)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Mrs. Doubtfire meets Ladybugs in Soccer Mom, a tween sports comedy directed by Gregory McClatchy that adults will find an unholy abomination against laughter. But kids let's face it, the audience will love every minute of it. Single mom Missi Pyle, trying to raise her sullen children after their father's tragic death, goes to extreme lengths to impress her eldest daughter, including dressing up as famous Italian soccer player Lorenzo Vincenzo so she can coach the team and give the girls some much-needed self-esteem against the snotty private-school team that tends to play dirty. Of course, everyone learns the valuable life lessons, and many gender-bending guffaws are to be had, but what else would you expect from a flick that was produced by, I'm not kidding, Ladies' Home Journal magazine? Louis Fowler

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Bryan Loves You (NR)

Anchor Bay Home Entertainment

Apparently this was based on a true story, but I have my suspicions. Regardless, those suspicions only strengthen Bryan Loves You, director Seth Landau's super-spooky, lo-fi shocker about a small Arizona town that is ground zero for a cult that believes in a god named "Bryan." The kids wear creepy masks when they say the Pledge of Allegiance, ominous chanting is overheard at the library, and if you question the teaching of Bryan, you'll be transformed in a weird Body Snatchers-type way. Having been filmed documentary-style with handheld camcorders, this really does feel like a set of someone's lost tapes I'd go as far as to say it outdoes Blair Witch, simply for how close to home this idea hits. Bryan is perfect, 2 a.m. freaky fare that will leave you looking over your shoulder. Louis Fowler

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