The top 5 at the 63rd Annual Berlinale

Pascal Mercier, Bille August, Jeremy Irons and Bruno Ganz pose during a photocall at the Hotel Bellevue on March 14, 2012 in Bern, Switzerland. Director Bille August started filming Pascal Mercier's Book 'Night Train To Lisbon' on March 12, 2012. Credit: Getty Images
Pascal Mercier, Bille August, Jeremy Irons and Bruno Ganz pose during a photocall at the Hotel Bellevue on March 14, 2012 in Bern, Switzerland. Director Bille August started filming Pascal Mercier’s Book ‘Night Train To Lisbon’ on March 12, 2012.
Credit: Getty Images

The 63rd Annual Berlinale, Germany’s frosty answer to the Cannes Film Festival, kicks off February 16, screening more than 400 films from around the world, with 19 of those competing for the coveted Golden Bear award. Here’s a look at some of the can’t-miss entries headed to Berlin.

SIDE EFFECTS

A week after its release in the U.S., Steven Soderbergh brings his “last” film to Berlin — he’s threatening retirement after this and his HBO film “Behind the Candelabra.” If this is it, he’s going out on a high note, with a taut and twisty adult thriller rooted in America’s dependence on the pharmaceutical industry for mental health issues.

THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN

Frederik Bond’s bizarre dystopian romance starring Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood received some fairly lousy reviews out of Sundance, so it isn’t likely to earn any statues here, but what critics are saying about the odd, over-the-top content of the film makes it fascinating and hard to miss.

YI DAI ZONG SHI (THE GRANDMASTER)

While it’s not a part of the competition, Wong Kar-wai’s attention-grabbing martial arts masterpiece has been selected as the festival’s opening night film. The historical epic about the origins of kung fu, featuring fight choreography by Yuen Woo-ping (“the Matrix,” “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) offers plenty for both action and art-house audiences.

NIGHT TRAIN TO LISBON

Based on Pascal Mercier’s high-minded 2004 novel, Oscar-winner Billie August’s film finds Jeremy Irons as a Swiss professor abandoning his post to investigate the life of a deceased Portuguese doctor. With Melanie Laurent, Jack Huston and Charlotte Rampling along for this journey, this could prove to be some good sophisticated fun, even if it’s not part of the Berlinale competition.

DARK BLOOD

Also screening out of competition, this title is likely the most anticipated, as director George Sluizer has finally “completed” his 1993 film, left unfinished when star River Phoenix died of a drug overdose 10 days before shooting was to be completed. The missing segments are filled in with Sluizer’s voiceover, and the director insists, “It’s a finished film.” While that remains to be seen, it’s at least a chance to finally see the last work of Phoenix.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…