Shrug-worthy new movies
'Bluebird,' 'The DUFF,' 'Kingsman: The Secret Service,' 'The Rewrite,' 'Black or White,' 'Black Sea,' 'Song One,' 'Cake,' 'The Wedding Ringer,' 'Spare Parts,' 'Leviathan,' 'The Interview,' 'Big Eyes,' 'Unbroken,' 'Annie,' 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,' 'Top Five,' 'The Imitation Game,' 'The Two Faces of January'
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'Bluebird' is very bleak, which doesn't automatically mean sad
2.5 stars (out of four)
Heavily indebted to "The Sweet Hereafter," this morose drama contains several effective performances but too often equates sorrow with truth. Chicago-area native Amy Morton ("Rookie of the Year") stars as a Maine bus driver who discovers a boy slept overnight on the bus and is now "profoundly hypothermic." Her husband (John Slattery of "Mad Men"), daughter (Emily Meade) and the boy's irresponsible mother (Louisa Krause), who'd rather hang with her colleague (Adam Driver of "Girls") than her son, deal with the fallout and possibility of both death and litigation. Writer-director Lance Edmands overdoes it on chilly scenery and overall bleakness, though Morton might break your heart as she processes guilt, the whispers of the town deafening in their judgment.
Originally published during the 2013 Chicago International Film Festival