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Premises, Premises

Everyone understands that movies require audiences to suspend disbelief, but, as a few of this month’s offerings demonstrate, that can sometimes be a big ask.

DeNiro in The Family

DeNiro in The Family

Improbability rating: 6/10
Perhaps the most unlikely thing about this movie isn’t the scandalous plotline—although a film about two best friends who fall for each other’s sons did raise eyebrows when it premiered at Sundance (with Naomi Watts and Robin Wright as the two cougars)—it’s the fact that it’s based on a novella Doris Lessing published at 84.

The Family
Improbability rating: 7/10
In this latest outing from The Professional director Luc Besson, the FBI relocates a violent Brooklyn mafia clan into rural France. What could possibly go wrong? The only thing more implausible would be if this film, which features the two most popular faces of Robert DeNiro—that of gangster and family man—doesn’t win big at the box office.

Muscle Shoals
Improbability rating: 9/10
Oddly, the most unbelievable story of the three is actually true. Not only were “Brown Sugar,” “When a Man Loves a Woman,” “Mustang Sally,” “Free Bird” and countless other classic songs all recorded at Fame Studios, the subject of this charming documentary, but the studio was located in Muscle Shoals, a small Alabama town at the back end
of nowhere.

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