Trailer Mash

Olivia Thirlby, John Hawkes and other forces of nature from this week's new movies

Has Tyler Perry launched a fabulous and brilliantly new subversive approach to the casting of action heroes? Can they all now be played by people whose first career is cross-dressing? Who in their right mind would not want Ru Paul to be the next James Bond? The stuff of YouTube commenting aside, Alex Cross looks like a perfectly agreeable workaday thriller with lots of horrible deeds referenced mostly in the context of the vengeful fury that will be rained down upon the perpetrator should he choose the wrong victim. As Alex Cross puts it in his own rather convoluted way: "I will meet his soul at the gates of hell before I'll let him take a person that I love from me." Rehabilitation is as popular as it was in Charles Bronson's Death Wish days.

You could write a thesis on the found-footage movie that actually sparked the genre, but Paranormal Activity is by far the most successful. Trailers for the first PA cleverly juxtaposed the movie's grainy home-video footage with grainy infrared footage of the audience jumping out of its skin at the only shocking moment, for which, if you subject yourself to the whole thing, you have to wait right until the very end. Intended only as a cheap proof of concept by director Oren Peli, Paranormal Activity became one of the most financially successful movies in cinema history. Hence all the "What do we do now?" sequels. The trailer for this latest version, only the fourth apparently, demonstrates that this time the makers have at least had the decency to hire a cast that reflects the target tween audience.

The idea that the path to movie success is to jump on the found-footage bandwagon by creating a supposedly real account of the pursuit of a mythical creature may not be the worst idea anyone ever had, and Troll Hunter was received with kindness by international audiences. Copying that trick seems a little lazy. Unless Bigfoot: The Lost Coast Tapes happens to be that episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians when everyone forgot to wax.

Any idea what you're going to do with your parents when they get very old? Any idea what you're going to do with yourself? All Together takes a rather charming approach and suggests the best thing is for geriatrics to live together like hippies in a house so glamorously decrepit it must symbolize the people living in it. Recalling that recent movie about the old British duffers in the hotel in India, only French and with Jane Fonda, this looks as though it will be much enjoyed by women over 60 in groups of two. If it came to my cinema, I'd book matinees only.

Those who saw Dredd may have some idea of the impact of Olivia Thirlby on a camera lens, but until this trailer, they may not adequately be acquainted with its utterly devastating power. That Nobody Walks is a Lena Dunham joint about glamorous middle-class infidelity, that John Krasinski is in it as the younger husband of an indie favorite, Rosemarie DeWitt (did he learn nothing from Away We Go?), and that Thirlby is playing an experimental filmmaker ought to be warning enough to anyone of what to expect. All of that notwithstanding, Thirlby…

When Winter's Bone came out in 2010, John Hawkes delivered such a devastating performance as Teardrop that it seemed inevitable he would very soon be subsumed into a generic superhero franchise. Instead, that cruel fate befell his co-star, Jennifer Lawrence, while Hawkes shows up this week in what looks like a properly grownup movie, The Sessions. Based on a true story, Hawkes is the chap paralyzed from the neck down since childhood who hires a sex surrogate to help him lose his virginity. No misery memoir this, however, the trailer, full of rather moving gags (William H. Macy's shaggy priest: "I understand even among non-believers the most common expression of sexual ecstasy is, 'Oh God' ") and Helen Hunt as a sex surrogate, seems perfect. There's even a good part for Moon Bloodgood. But the real reason to take a look is to see the 2013 Oscar winner for best actor, at least according to this trailer.