Creating an account with gives you access to more features and services, like our weekly newsletter and other special features just for the film community.

Large birdman marquee

This Weekend's Indies: 'Birdman,' 'Dear White People,' 'Rudderless' and More

Opening this weekend in theaters: Michael Keaton's glorious return to the screen, Billy Crudup shows off his singing chops and a campus radio show that starts a revolution.

Birdman:   Picking up with Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) at a time when he's trying to put together a Broadway show and locate himself as an artist in the Hollywood star-system, Birdman brings together the promising duo of director Alexander Gonzalez Iñárritu and cinematographer Emannuel Lubezki.  Michael Keaton is Thomson, the has-been celebrity who regularly played the fictional superhero and Emma Stone, another superhero movie-grad, plays Riggan's daughter and a sardonic recovering addict.

Dear White People: At the center of this movie is Sam White (Tessa Thompson,) who responds to her Ivy league school's overwhelmingly white student body with her radio show, Dear White People. Director Justin Simien often meanders from Sam's story to look at alternate experiences of black students, ultimately arriving at the prototypical racist college Halloween party.

Rudderless: William H. Macy's much anticipated directorial debut has Billy Crudup as Sam, a grieving alcoholic who finds his son's music after the teenager passes away in a school shooting. Sam forms a band with his kid's former classmates and performs the songs to mourn the death without hitting the bottle. 

Listen Up Philip: Misanthropic author Philip (Jason Schwartzman,) doesn't take his second novel's lack of success well, choosing to deal with his sophomore slump by leaving New York City and his girlfriend to hole up at his mentor's country home. After its successful run at the NYFF, Listen Up Philip opens in New York this Friday and comes to VOD next week. 

Camp X-Ray:  New to the armed forces, Private Amy Cole is stationed at Camp X-ray, the notorious detention center in Guantanamo and strikes up a friendship with innocent detainee Amir Ali (A Separation's Peyman Moaadi.) Negotiated through his cell's window, the pair have an interesting dynamic that serves to humanize both soldier and detainee.


What you need to know today