16 August 2012 12:26 PM, PDT | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

There's no shortage of films opening this weekend, but many will be disappointments if you go in with high expectations. The safest bet is Chris Kenneally's doc "Side by Side," which is both a treat for film buffs and a primer for anyone looking to get behind a camera in today's fast-changing digital landscape. Also getting strong reviews is Craig Zobel's Sundance entry "Compliance," which is suitably disturbing given the true story behind it, but its real-life grittiness is undermined by casting an actress who looks like a stripper to play a small town teenage girl. "The Awakening," while it certainly has its flaws, marks a cinematically satisfying debut from director Nick Murphy. Starring Rebecca Hall and the "The Wire"'s Dominic West, the film is gorgeously lensed (on 35mm) in stunning texturaly period settings by Eduard Grau ("A Single Man"). David Cronenberg's "Cosmopolis" is a »

- Sophia Savage

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