This week: Sacha Baron Cohen plays a North African dictator who comes to America in the joyfully offensive comedy "The Dictator," also starring Anna Faris and Ben Kingsley.
Also new this week is 50 Cent teaming up with Robert De Niro in the crime thriller "Freelancers," the award-winning Iranian drama "A Separation," the Disneynature documentary "Chimpanzee" and the Blu-ray debut of "Good Will Hunting" with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck.
Box Office: $60 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 58% Rotten
Storyline: Sacha Baron Cohen returns for his fourth leading-man role as Admiral General Aladeen, a misogynistic and unapologetically anti-Western North African dictator who travels to UN headquarters in New York City to ensure that democracy never comes to Wadiya, the (fictional) country that he's oppressed for years. Anna Faris in on board as the earthy-crunchy activist and owner of an alternative lifestyle co-op where Aladeen hides out after his treacherous uncle Tamir (Ben Kingsley) tries to assassinate him.
Extras! The Banned and Unrated DVD and Blu-ray has deleted and extended scenes as well as a Larry King interview with Cohen and the tongue-in-cheek music video, "Your Money's on the Dresser."
We Say: You would think Cohen's shtick would be getting old and it's true that some bits here work better than others, but if you enjoyed "Borat" and "Brüno" you'll be surprised at how often Cohen's sharp political satire connects while you're laughing at the ridiculous vulgarity of it all. Highlights include Cohen and Faris assisting a woman giving birth with a camera POV shot from inside the womb, an assassin attacking Cohen by using her humungous breasts to smash through walls and crush obstacles and gleefully misogynistic lines like "Are you having a boy or an abortion?"
Box Office: N/A
Rotten Tomatoes: N/A
Storyline: Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson plays Malo, the son of a slain NYPD officer, who joins the police academy along with his two best friends (Malcolm Goodwin and Ryan O'Nan). There he is taken under the wing of his father's former partner (Robert De Niro) and becomes part of the captain's rogue task force. Dana Delaney and Forest Whitaker co-star in this R-rated crime thriller.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain a commentary with 50 Cent and director Jessy Tererro, who not-so coincidentally has directed 50 Cent in several music videos.
We Say: Although it surely aspires to be "Training Day" and even reaches for "The Departed," the been-there/done-that "Freelancers" never rises to the heights of its inspirations and only got a very limited theatrical release in New York and Los Angeles before heading straight to disc this week.
Box Office: $7.1 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 99% Fresh
Storyline: This acclaimed Iranian drama is about a middle-class couple that separates and the problems that arise when the husband hires a lower-class female caretaker to care for his elderly father, who is stricken with Alzheimer's disease. The husband soon discovers that his new maid has been lying to him and there is more at stake than just his marriage.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain "An Evening with Asghar Farhadi," a Q&A with the director as he talks (through an interpreter) about how his movie about a parent with Alzheimer's mirrors experiences in his own life.
We Say: This challenging, introspective drama won the Oscar earlier this year for Best Foreign Language Film and was even nominated for Best Original Screenplay, which doesn't happen very often for a foreign language film. Issues of gender, class, religion and justice will leave you morally conflicted but, most importantly, will also get you thinking.
Box Office: $29 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Fresh
Storyline: Released on Earth Day 2012, this Disneynature documentary is about a young chimpanzee named Oscar who finds himself all alone in the African forest until he is adopted by another chimpanzee who raises Oscar as his own son. The film is narrated by Tim Allen.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray have in-depth behind-the-scenes footage chronicling the making of the film.
We Say: Although Allen's ribbing is too on-the-nose and aims too young, this beautifully shot film offers an intimate look at a family of primates and the chimps' struggle to survive.
'Good Will Hunting' 15th Anniversary Blu-ray
Box Office: $138 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 97% Fresh
Storyline: Matt Damon plays 20-year-old South Boston laborer Will Hunting, a genius who sees a therapist (Robin Williams) and studies advanced mathematics with a renowned professor (Stellan Skarsgard) in order to avoid jail time for assaulting a man who bullied Will as a child. Through therapy, Will reevaluates his relationships with his girlfriend (Minnie Driver) and his best friend (Ben Affleck).
Extras! Two new retrospective features have been added for this new Blu-ray edition, including the hour-long "Reflecting on a Journey: 'Good Will Hunting' 15 Years Later" and the shorter "Matt Damon Remembers 'Good Will Hunting.'"
We Say: Pals Damon and Affleck shared the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and Williams took home a statue for Best Supporting Actor. This universally acclaimed 1997 drama still resonates and, from a historical perspective, is the film that catapulted Damon and Affleck to the A-list.
Also New This Week:
"One in the Chamber"
"The Aristocats" Blu-ray
"Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers" Blu-ray
"Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers" Blu-ray