Inside a cramped tenement apartment in the Lower East Side of New York City, the Angulo brothers recreate key scenes from Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. They use handmade costumes and props, delivering lines with startling accuracy and tenor. Playtime is rarely this elaborate. So begins Crystal Moselle's bizarre documentary The Wolfpack, a film that explores isolation, manipulation and the overwhelming power flickering pictures have on young minds.
The Angulo children, made up of six brothers and one daughter, live under the strict rules of their father Oscar, who is a Hare Krishna devotee, with mother Susanne caught in what feels like a suffocating purgatory. Family outings are a rarity, as such the kids have learned about the outside world by way of an expansive film collection that exceeds 5,000. With startling access to the codes and cues of this family's everyday life, Moselle's camera gravitates to Mukunda, the most outspoken of the brothers. He was the first to challenge his father in 2010 by venturing out into the world without permission. Four other brothers eventually followed suit, and much of The Wolfpack is filmed during their outings.
Moselle has a difficult time structuring her story. She's understandably torn between the contradictions defining Mukunda's relationship with both of his fathers (Oscar and the Cinema) and the family as a collective unit being held captive by a man afraid of losing control. The latter thread has another casualty; Susanne's plight as a woman is completely underdeveloped, only examined more carefully once when she finally decides to call her own estranged mother.
The spell of The Wolfpack's initial gut punch wears off quickly. The familial ecosystem it presents is inherently interesting, but too many of its ideas are left to wander the hallways of the Angulo abode like ghost children looking for a way out.
Dope: Malcolm escapes his tough neighborhood by attending an underground party that leads him and his friends on a Los Angeles adventure.
Every Last Child: Tom Roberts' documentary addresses the current health crisis in Pakistan where children are con - tracting polio at an alarming rate. Opens Friday, June 19, at the Reading Gaslamp Cinemas.
Hunting Elephants: After a bullied young teen reconnects with his grandfa - ther and uncle, the trio decides to solve their financial problems by robbing a bank. Opens Friday, June 19, at AMC Mission Valley Cinemas.
Inside Out: Pixar goes inside the mind of a twelve-year-old girl and finds something ethereal, resonant and powerful.
La Sapienza: The marvels of European architecture provide the backdrop for this drama about an older couple trying to salvage their marriage. Screens through Thursday, June 25, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Llévate Mis Amores: This documentary offers an intense look at the plight of those crossing the U.S. / Mexico border by train, and the people who try to make their journey slightly less difficult. Screens through Thursday, June 25, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Love at First Fight: Two French twentysomethings meet, fight and fall in love in this Cannes Film Festival award-winner. Screens through Thursday, June 25, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl: The title really says it all. Get ready for some precious cinephile self-reflection.
The Wolfpack: Sequestered in an expansive and dank apartment, the Angulo children learn about the world from their massive movie collection in Crystal Moselle's documentary.
One Time Only
Despicable Me: A criminal mastermind voiced by Steve Carell learns to love again after a trio of orphan children enters his life. Screens at 10 a.m. Wednesday and Thursday, June 17 and 18 at Reading Grossmont and Town Square Theaters.
Strangers on a Train: If you ever needed a morality lesson about the dangers of trading murders with a complete stranger, let my man Hitch show you the way. Screens at 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 17, at the Scripps Ranch Public Library.
Pearl Peep's Viewer's Choice: The choice is yours, dear reader. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 17 at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Il Padre e lo Straniero (The Father and the Foreigner): Two strangers, each raising a disabled child, bond in modern day Rome. Screens at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 18 at the Museum of Photographic Arts in Balboa Park.
Dirty Dancing: Patrick Swayze's rock hard abs compete with Jennifer Grey's pouty smirk for sexy supremacy on the dance floor. Screens at 8 p.m Thursday and Friday, June 18 and 19, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Top Gun: You'll always be my wingman, Goose. Screens at 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21, at Cinema Under the Stars in Mission Hills.
Seconds: Rock Hudson's in for a rude awakening on John Frankenheimer's warped conspiracy thriller. Screens at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 22 at San Diego Central Library in East Village.
May in the Summer: A successful novelist who's about to be married realizes her perfect life is anything but. Screens at 6 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, at Point Loma / Hervey Branch Public Library.
The Lady From Shanghai: Orson Welles gets beguiled by Rita Hayworth on a yacht - ing cruise and pays the price. Screens at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at Mission Val - ley Public Library. Sex and the City: The Movie: Ladies life out. Screens at 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 24, at The Pearl Hotel in Point Loma.
Amor de mis amores: Love at first sight strikes hard in this romantic comedy set in Spain. Screens through Thursday, June 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Jurassic World: Velociraptors in mirror are closer than they appear.
Live from New York: This documentary goes behind the scenes of an American television institution: Saturday Night Live.
Marie's Story: A deaf and blind teenager finds salvation in a nunnery in 19th century France. Screens through Thursday, June 18, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Results: Andrew Bujalski's sweetly offbeat romantic comedy features Guy Pearce and Cobie Smulders as personal trainers whose relationship gets complicated after a new client (Kevin Corrigan) comes into the picture.
Entourage: The popular HBO show about a movie star and his childhood friends making it big in Hollywood gets the big-screen treatment.
Sundance Film Festival Shorts: Award winning collection of short films from the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, including Don Hertzfeld's World of Tomorrow. Screens through Wednesday, June 17, at the Digital Gym Cinema in North Park.
Testament of Youth: Vera Brittain's WWI memoir is told from the perspective of a woman seeing the futility of war for the first time.
Aloft: A conflicted single mother turned mystic must come to grips with the decisions she makes that will affect her children well into the future.
Insidious: Chapter 3: Round three in the ongoing battle between white suburbia and the supernatural hereafter. Go!
Love & Mercy: Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys gets the biopic treatment in a story that covers pivotal moments in the 1960s and 1980s. Starring Paul Dano and John Cusack.
Spy: Melissa McCarthy steps out from behind the desk and into the field in this spy comedy from director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids).
When Marnie Was There: The latest animation from the legendary Studio Ghibli tells the story of a shy young girl who meets the young occupant of a mysterious mansion.
Aloha: Cameron Crowe tries to resuscitate his career with this long-delayed (not a good sign) drama about a military man based in Hawaii trying to rediscover love.
San Andreas: "What a disaster." —Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson.
In the Name of My Daughter: André Téchiné's melodrama is set in the South of France and follows the sordid relationships of a casino owner (Catherine Deneuve) and her daughter.
Poltergeist: In this remake, the youngest daughter of a suburban family is captured by ghosts, leaving her family scrambling for ways to rescue her.
Tomorrowland: George Clooney and Britt Robertson star in Brad Bird's space adventure about a young girl who finds a ring that opens up an alternate universe.
Saint Laurent: A strange and beguiling biopic about the famous French fashion designer, Yves Saint Laurent, portrayed with unflinching vulnerability by Gaspard Ulliel. Bertrand Bonello directs.
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Jumped Out the Window and Disappeared: An elderly man escapes his nursing home immediately before his 100th birthday hoping to rekindle his sense of adventure.
Felix and Meira: Two lost souls attempt to find a romantic connection despite the obstacles presented by the neighborhood they inhabit.
Mad Max: Fury Road: George Miller's infamous policeman-turned-road-warrior returns to the big screen in what looks like one long bonkers chase through a dystopic desert. Tom Hardy reprises the role made famous by Mel Gibson.
About Elly: While on a picnic in the north of Iran, a kindergarten teacher disappears, leaving her friends distraught with panic. From director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation).
Far From the Madding Crowd: Carey Mulligan and Matthias Schoenaerts star in Thomas Vinterberg's adaptation of Thomas Hardy's sweeping romance about a fiercely independent woman who struggles to choose between three suitors.