The big studios are steering clear of the U.S.S. Enterprise this weekend. (You can read The Cricket's review of "Star Trek: Into Darkness" here.)
So the arthouse slate is picking up the slack, with some intriguing Friday openings.
Best of the lot is "In the House," a seductive and twisty French thriller about a high-school student (Ernst Umhauer) who tries to insinuate himself into the middle-class home of a classmate with an eye toward the kid's hot mom (Emmanuelle Seigner). The student relates his progress through his writing assignments, handed into his French teacher (Fabrice Lucchini), who becomes obsessed with the boy's stories. Director Francois Ozon ("Swimming Pool," "Potiche") ratchets the tension slowly but inexorably through this deliciously decadent drama.
"The Source Family" is an absorbing documentary about a larger-than-life character: Father Yod, the charismatic leader of a California cult in the 1970s. The film combines interviews with former cult members with a wealth of archived photos and film to present an intriguing portrait of power, faith and corruption.
"The Angels' Share" is a charmer of a comedy from Scotland, about a parolee, Robbie (Paul Brannigan), who finds a way out of his dead-end life when he discovers a talent for tasting high-end whiskey and masterminds a heist of a rare batch of the stuff. Director Ken Loach, known for his social-realism dramas, changes pace with droll humor and a winning cast.
Lastly, the true-life crime drama "The Iceman" opens in a few theaters around Salt Lake City. Michael Shannon ("Take Shelter") stars as Richard Kuklinski, a contract killer who kept his numerous murders a secret from his wife (Winona Ryder) and daughters. Kuklinski's story is lurid but lacking in tension, but Shannon's drum-tight performance is worth watching. (The Cricket's review will be posted online later today.)