(Jan) Hammer Time!
Slam! Bang! Pow! Snort! This tawdry and giddy documentary tells the story of Miami's transformation from a place where old people go to die to a place with so much drug money that the Mercedes dealers were constantly out of stock and the hit men would rather throw a gun away than reload it. It tells as much as it can, anyway, through the eyes of two American coke runners and one cartel goon; the full story of 1980s Miami would require an epic novel or HBO mini-series. Made up of interviews, stock footage, crime scene photos, and grainy reenactments, Cocaine Cowboys is as wired as its subjects. From the lawyers to the cops who toiled through the cocaine wars, everyone seems just a little too pleased to be part of something so thoroughly fucked up. (Jordan Harper)
Also Releasing Tuesday:
The Invincible Iron Man. Marvel Comics—already printing bills like they were comics, with the Spidey franchise and other lesser live-action films—keeps cranking out the direct-to-vid releases. So far, so-so: Iron Man, like the Ultimate Avengers series, offers above-average animation in service of a below-average story that finds billionaire Tony Stark raising an ancient Chinese city, only to incur the wrath of the Jade Dragons and Mandarin and his Elementals before he's forced to don a series of supersuits, lest his injured heart peter out. Yup, sounds totally ridiculous, and it is; if you ain't an 8-year-old boy (or a 32-year-old boy still living with Mom), this is so not for you. Iron Man fetishists will be disappointed that Stark's not an alcoholic, and those who actually buy this will spend an hour on the extras: Ooooh, a gallery of Iron Man suits. Seriously, don't bother waking Mom. (Robert Wilonsky)
Sherrybaby. Maggie Gyllenhaal is delicious frosting on this half-baked cake. She plays the titular Sherry—a recently sprung addict trying to get her daughter back—with such skill and fearlessness that you might not even notice how everything else is a gloppy mess of tired ideas. Sherry cleans up and dirts down in that way we've seen junkies do before, while exuding the kind of unapologetic sexuality that ensures that your film will never get mainstream distribution—though it did get Gyllenhaal a Golden Globe nomination. She lays herself bare, often literally, and it's a shame that the movie can't back her up with a real plot or insights beyond "drugs are bad." (JH)
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