Tribeca 2013: ScreenAnarchy Picks 17 Can't Miss Titles

Editor, Festivals; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
Tribeca 2013: ScreenAnarchy Picks 17 Can't Miss Titles

Time to raise that curtain up! The Tribeca Film Fest starts tonight! We've already brought you plenty of previews with our looks at the Galas and Midnighters, the Documentary and Narrative Competitions, the Special Screenings and Shorts, and the Spotlight and Viewpoints sections. That's a whole lot of films and we're sure it's hard to pick from all of them, so we've made it easy and selected a mere 17 titles you can't leave town without checking out. And if you can't catch them all, never fear; the ScreenAnarchy team will be bringing you news and reviews all throughout the fest.

Emma Roberts is becoming quite the stalwart in the young quirky lead department and who better to pair her with than the master of the archetype, Mr. John Cusack. While Scott Coffey may not exactly be a known quantity as director, he has been bumming around Hollywood as an actor and writer dating back 80s hits like Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Pair this with the producing chops of Anonymous Content (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) and Treehouse Pictures (Arbitrage) and chances look good that this film will deliver on its richly comedic concept. - Ryland Aldrich

As a teenager I was deathly afraid of my own kind. As an adult I still am. That all stems from the fact that I don't feel I'll ever outgrow the malaise of being 15. Perhaps Matt Wolf's docu about the relatively short history of the teenager will help me cope with all this. At any rate, isn't it cool as all heck that Ben Whishaw and Julia Hummer are narrating? - Ben Umstead

Arvin Chen proves that his fine first feature Au Revoir Taipei was no fluke with this sophomore effort, which examines two couples - one married for nine years, the other about to be married - who are going through relationship crises. Chen injects the too-often tired conventions of romantic comedy with a fresh approach that always strikes the right tone and includes humorously fantastical touches. - Christopher Bourne

One of sports' most explosive and fascinating personalities, Muhammad Ali (aka Cassius Clay) has been no stranger to the silver screen, and though the controversy surrounding the former champ's legal battles was examined by the Michael Mann biopic Ali, one can only hope that this doc gets even more nitty and gritty in its examination of the boxer's decision to refuse service in Vietnam. - John Jarzemsky

The gritty realist wave of Danish cinema is undeniable right now and Michael Noer is at the top of the heap. After co-directing gritty prison drama R with Tobias Lindholm (A Hijacking), Noer has struck out on his own for this urban crime thriller casting real life brothers as protagonists. - Ryland Aldrich

Ok, I have a thing for documentaries; I'm willing to admit it. But who ISN'T interested in a documentary about a West Virginia coal mining town crippled with widespread OxyContin addiction? Bonus: it's directed by Sean Dunne, who gave us the amazing American Juggalo mini-doc, which is inarguably the greatest examination of Juggalodom that exists today. - John Jarzemsky

Set in a future Tehran, Vahid Vakilifar's film looks to be just the kind of absurd, melancholic minimalism I enjoy. - Ben Umstead

As she proved in last year's Ruby Sparks, Zoe Kazan is one indie breakthrough away from becoming a full blown superstar. Perhaps it will be in Jenée LaMarque's debut feature which casts her in not one, but two roles (as twin sisters). - Ryland Aldrich

One man's journey from Wall Street mover-and-shaker to angry militant scholar is explored in this thriller, Nair's best film in quite a while. The 9/11 terrorist attacks become the brutal dividing line in the central character's life, and no one is whom they seem in this engrossing film, whose twists are continually surprising and fueled by great performances, especially by lead actor Riz Ahmed. - Christopher Bourne

From Navot Papushado and Aharon Keshales, directors of the 2011 Tribeca smash and ScreenAnarchy favorite Rabies, comes a revenge thriller which promises to be anything but run of the mill. - Ben Umstead

A major new talent emerges with this visually stunning and emotionally devastating debut feature about the unending cycle of violence and murder (of both human and animal) in a small Kazakh village. The rhymed visual motifs of circles and frames which trap the characters within represent the prisons of the mind, as well as the literal prisons, which chain everyone to their harsh and merciless lives. - Christopher Bourne

I won't lie, it was my reaction to David LaChappelle's 2005 doc Rize that made me interested in Flex is King, another nonfiction look at an aggressive style of street-dancing. This film looks to be a little more rough around the edges, but hopefully it's no less informative and beautiful. - John Jarzemsky

Kurdish director Hisham Zaman hones his sights on the brutal world of honor killing in this globetrotting thriller of familial vengeance. - Ben Umstead

The sweet sounds of American bluegrass and roots music infuse this fine Belgian film which combines humor, romance and great tragedy in its chronologically jumbled narrative. "Will the Circle Be Unbroken?" is not only the question asked by the famous song that is performed in the film, but one which haunts the married couple at its center. - Christopher Bourne

We're all too familiar with the story of the awkward 20-something who goes on a mission to lose their virginity, only to come of age in all the important nonsexual ways instead. But hold up. Instead of the tired white nerd, what if it was a Middle Eastern girl from Middle America? Meera Menon's feature debut holds a ton of promise as a fun take on a tired classic and a snapshot of slightly post 9/11 America. - Ryland Aldrich

Based on a true story, this film tells the story of an autistic child who escapes the pressures of daily life by disappearing into the vast and sprawling New York City subway system. As his mother desperately searches for him, their parallel journeys come to an intersection just as Hurricane Sandy is scheduled to explode. - John Jarzemsky

One of the finest entries to date in what has now become a mini-genre of Japanese cinema - the post-3/11 earthquake drama - Odayaka is a beautifully rendered chamber piece, a moving and dramatically potent depiction of the places where natural and man-made disasters, mistrust in the government and, and emotional upheaval intersect. Odayaka is greatly powered by an intense and wonderfully nuanced performance by actress/co-producer Kiki Sugino. - Christopher Bourne
Read Peter van der Lugt's review

Benjamin Umstead, Christopher Bourne and John Jarzemsky contributed to this story.

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