Half a decade after Zac Efron‘s last High School Musical outing, he’s still working on the challenging transition from Disney dreamboat to serious adult actor. And while he’s not quite there, he seems to be getting a little bit closer with every passing film. Neither The Lucky One nor The Paperboy were particularly well received, but they at least allowed Efron to try his hand at more mature material, and his supporting role in Liberal Arts earned some critical appreciation.

Perhaps Efron’s best shot yet at proving his chops comes from At Any Price, the latest drama by Goodbye Solo and Man Push Cart director Ramin Bahrani. Reactions to the film were all over the place after its Telluride debut last year, but for what it’s worth, our own Peter Sciretta called it his favorite of the festival — better, even, than Argo. Dennis Quaid, Kim Dickens, Heather Graham, Maika Monroe, and Red West also star. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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Ramin Bahrani‘s most accessible film to date ends up being my favorite film of the 2012 Telluride Film Festival (yes, besting Ben Affleck‘s Argo).

Ramin has developed a cult following from his three minimalist slice-of-life micro-budget films starring non-professional actors (if you havent yet seen Man Push Cart or Goodbye Solo, put them on your “to see” list). But with At Any Price, Bahrani is gearing up to step out of the film festival shadows and find an audience beyond cinephiles. Indie filmgoers may be turned off by this but I welcome Bahrani’s attempt to tell more expansive stories.

Dennis Quaid plays a fourth generation farmer trying to survive in a time when big corporations are pushing in and devouring the American heartlands. Fighting to keep his family afloat, and losing the battle of keeping his family unit together, Henry comes face to face with the consequences of his amoral actions.

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The cast of Christopher McQuarrie‘s One Shot has been filling up at lightning speed over the past month. Robert Duvall, Alexia Fast, Richard Jenkins, and David Oyelowo have all boarded the project within the last few weeks, and now comes news that Spartacus: Blood and Sand star Jai Courtney has signed on as well. Based on the novel by Lee Child, the story follows military cop turned drifter Jack Reacher (Tom Cruise) as he investigates a string of sniper shootings. Rosamund Pike is also set to star, as a detective who works with Jack to solve the case.

Courtney will be playing one of the bad guys, a highly trained sniper who tries to keep Reacher from finding out the truth. One Shot is scheduled for a February 8, 2013 release. [Cinema Blend]

After the jump, Hugh Jackman thinks that he might want to do Glee, and Highlander actor Clancy Brown gets competitive with Dennis Quaid.

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SXSW Movie Trailer: Ramin Bahrani’s Goodbye Solo

Next up in our continuing series of movie trailers for films that will be playing at the 2009 South By Southwest Film Festival, we bring you the trailer for Ramin Bahrani‘s Goodbye Solo. I got a chance to see this film at the 2008 Toronto Film Festival, and while it didn’t make my best of the fest (as it did many other critics), I found it to be a extremely well crafted character piece.

Winner of the Venice Film Festival’s prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, Solo has been hailed as “A force of nature!” by Roger Ebert. And The New York Times’ A.O. Scott says it has “an uncanny ability to enlarge your perception of the world.” And if you haven’t seen Bahrani’s 2005 film Man Push Cart, please add it to your netflix queue now. Watch the trailer after the jump.

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