Kevin Costner stars as a widower lawyer fighting for custody of his biracial granddaughter. Octavia Spencer is the equally righteous paternal grandmother of the little girl, who wants her to be raised by African Americans and not the guy from Dances with Wolves. This is a seriously well-intentioned family drama, but the liberal-minded ideals of writer-director Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger, Reign Over Me) get lost in TV-movie-of-the-week courtroom melodrama. 121 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Who doesn't love a good submarine movie? Jude Law plays a salty seadog fired from his job at an ocean salvage company who assembles a motley crew of pseudo-pirates to search the depths of the Black Sea for a sunken Nazi U-boat rumored to be loaded with gold. Director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) manages to shoot some tense aquatic adventure sequences. If only the stripped-down script for this underwater Treasure of the Sierra Madre rehash were as interested in its plot as in the heated arguments among the ensemble crew members. 115 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Barbra Streisand and Omar Sharif star in this lavish 1968 musical about real-life comedienne Fanny Brice's rise to fame--from the Jewish slums of the Lower East Side to center stage at the Ziegfeld Follies. 151 minutes G. (Opens Sunday 2/1)
Film historian and journalist Jeff Berg is at it again, delivering another of his patented screenings/lectures. Here he live-narrates a selection of films shot in New Mexico--all of which feature Native American characters. The clips stretch from 1897 to 2013. Included in the screening is information from an interview that Jeff did with Cheyenne/Arapaho director Chris Eyre (Smoke Signals, A Thief of Time). 100 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 2/1)
Rugged hunks-in-ties Karl Urban (Star Trek), James Marsden (X-Men), Matthias Schoenaerts (Rust and Bone) and Wentworth Miller ("Prison Break") star in this dirty-minded Hitchcock thriller about a bunch of married businessmen who rent a penthouse apartment for illicit affairs. When a woman's bloody body turns up in the loft, they begin to suspect one another of murder. Belgian director Erik Van Looy remakes his own 2008 film with this twist-heavy Hollywood version. The original is better. 120 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Oscar Isaac (Inside Llewyn Davis) plays a businessman determined to rise to the top of New York City's home heating oil delivery industry, circa 1981. Writer-director J.C. Chandor (All Is Lost) wants very badly to direct a '70s-style, Sidney Lumet-esque crime thriller. A Most Violent Year has got a lot of grit and plenty of atmosphere, but the milieu seems petty, and the overall film is just too chilly to really hit home. 125 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Mike Leigh (Secrets & Lies, Vera Drake) writes and directs this biopic covering the last quarter century in the life of eccentric British landscape painter J.M.W. Turner. Timothy Spall (Peter Pettigrew in the Harry Potter series) stars at the titular artist/womanizer. Even Turner's own biographer once admitted that the guy wasn't very interesting--but Leigh manages to find the drama in this very private man's personal life. Leigh is assisted immensely by Spall's born-to-play-it performance and by his glorious longtime cinematographer Dick Pope. 150 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/30)
This year's selection of Academy Award-worthy animated shorts includes selections from the US, the UK, Canada and The Netherlands. "The Bigger Picture" is a darkly humorous tale of caring for elderly parents told through life-sized animated characters. "The Dam Keeper" introduces us to a young pig encumbered with a most important job. "Feast" is a lovely, Disney-produced love story as seen through the eyes of man's best friend. "Me and My Moulton" takes us to mid-'60s Norway where a 7-year-old asks her parents for her very first bicycle. "A Single Life" features a mysterious vinyl record that allows a woman to travel through time. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Here's a chance to catch five Academy Award-nominated documentaries in one sitting. "Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1" spotlights the traumas endured by America's veterans. "Joanna" profiles a Polish woman diagnosed with an untreatable illness. "Our Curse" shows how the film's director and his wife cope with the rare and incurable disease of their newborn child. "The Reaper" looks into the life of a poor Mexican man who has spent 25 years working at a slaughterhouse. "White Earth" documents an immigrant family that flocks to America's Northern Plains seeking work in the oil fields. 160 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 2/3)
Well, we've had found-footage monster movies (Cloverfield), found-footage zombie movies (the [REC] series), found-footage ghost movies (the Paranormal Activity series), found-footage devil movies (The Last Exorcism), found-footage mummy movies (The Pyramid), found-footage space movies (Apollo 18), found-footage comedies (Project X), found-footage superhero movies (Chronicle), found-footage kids' movies (Earth to Echo) and found footage disaster movies (Into the Storm). So why not a found-footage time machine movie? 106 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 1/30)
Reliable but rarely more than workmanlike director Clint Eastwood helms this biopic based on the biography of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper is excellent, running through all the emotions of our main character as he goes from front-line shellshocked to home-front rehabilitated. But Eastwood waffles too much between gung-ho patriotism and a more reasoned examination of the horrors our modern military men and women are asked to endure. It wants to tackle some big moral issues, but unlike Eastwood's Unforgiven, it can't break the Hollywood formula long enough to find the metaphorical weight behind the story. 132 minutes R.
When Disney took over Marvel, everyone wondered what that mash-up would look like. Now we know. Based (quietly) on the Marvel comic of the same name, this sci-fi cartoon feels like a Disneyfied (in the best sense) take on the superhero genre. Tech-savvy teenager Hiro lives in futuristic San Fransokyo with his brother and aunt. But when his bro is murdered and his greatest invention stolen, Hiro teams up with an inflatable robot named Baymax and a group of self-proclaimed "science nerds" to get revenge on the masked villain responsible. The story is your standard superhero origin tale. But the sci-fi flourishes are well conceived, and the unflappably kindhearted Baymax is easily the most lovable character of the year. 108 minutes PG.
Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel, 21 Grams) directs Michael Keaton (Batman) in this winkingly meta farce about a washed-up action movie star who tries to mount a comeback on Broadway. Shot in what looks like a single, breathless take, the film swoops and soars through the corridors of a venerable Broadway theater watching its manic, self-loathing, hallucination-prone protagonist face crisis after crisis. Dark and funny, cynical and empathetic, this oddly experimental gem offers viewers this year's most original cinematic vision. 119 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Sat 1:55, 4:45, 7:35, 10:25; Sun 1:55, 4:45, 7:35, 10:25; Mon-Thu 1:55, 4:45, 7:35 High Ridge Fri-Sun 1:00, 4:05, 7:25, 10:20; Mon-Thu 1:00, 4:05, 7:25
Jennifer Lopez stars in this time-wasting erotic thriller about a divorced teacher who has a torrid affair with the new boy across the street. Things get complicated when he turns up as a student in her high school class and then goes all Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction on her. Oops. 91 minutes R.
Jennifer Aniston gets all actorly all of a sudden to play a drug-addicted suburbanite who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. It's her best "change of pace" work since 2002's The Good Girl, but the film is too slow and morose to fully gel as either a comedy or a tragedy. 102 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri 12:05, 2:30, 4:50, 7:20, 9:45; Sat 12:05, 2:30, 4:50; Sun 7:20, 9:45; Mon-Wed 12:05, 2:30, 4:50, 7:20; Thu 12:05, 2:30 High Ridge Fri-Sun 1:00, 10:15; Mon-Thu 1:00
Shot in Gallup, NM, by hometown boy and first-time filmmaker Sydney Freeland, this gritty ensemble drama follows three young Native Americans--an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be and a promiscuous transsexual--as they strive to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation. The script was developed through the Sundance Director's Lab, and the finished product was executive produced by Mr. Sundance himself, Robert Redford. 92 minutes Unrated.
Peter Jackson wraps up his monumental (perhaps a little too much so) adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit. Here we finally get to the closing action sequence, a war that pits five armies and a dragon against one another in a battle for the fate of Middle-earth. 144 minutes PG-13.
Hollywood is sick of trilogies. That's only three movies' worth of profits. The cool thing now is to take the final book in a trilogy and split it in two different movies (like The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn--Part 1 and The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn--Part 2). So apparently Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) has destroyed the Hunger Games. She's hiding out, trying to rescue her boyfriend (Josh Hutcherson) from evil government forces when she gets a call from the rebel leader (Julianne Moore) asking her to become the face of the rebellion. It beats being the face of L'Oreal. 123 minutes PG-13.
Century Rio Fri 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:45; Sat 12:45; Sun 7:20, 10:45; Mon-Tue 12:45, 4:00, 7:20, 10:45; Wed 10:45
America's British boyfriend Benedict Cumberbatch stars as famed mathematician Alan Turing in this real-life biopic about Turing's efforts to decipher the infamous German Enigma code during World War II. The film is very tasteful and "Masterpiece Theatre"-ish. But Turing's story of professional triumph and personal tragedy is terribly compelling stuff. Based on the book by Andrew Hodges. 114 minutes PG-13.
At this point mashing up a bunch of fairy tales is nothing new in movies (Shrek) or TV ("Once Upon a Time"). Nonetheless, Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's hit Broadway musical does some interesting work finding the "adult" undertones of the old Brothers Grimm tales. Disney has glossed over some of the darker material, and the perpetually moving ensemble cast was probably better suited to stage. Still, actors Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Anna Kendrick and James Corden are fun to watch as they reinvent Cinderella, Rapunzel, Little Red Riding Hood and the like. 124 minutes PG.
Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany star in this oddball adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli's P.G. Wodehouse-esque comic thrillers (published between 1973 and 1978). Depp plays the title character, a charming, debonair art dealer and part-time rogue who gets caught up in a caper involving MI5, some angry Russians and a stolen painting rumored to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold. Clearly, Depp wants to be the Peter Sellers of his generation, but this silly, agressively unfunny romp is not the way to go about it. 106 minutes R.
Ben Stiller and friends (and the monkey) are back in this third outing about wacky hijinks at a natural history museum after the lights go out. Seems the magic that causes all the displays to come to life at night is fading, and our security guard hero (Stiller) must travel the globe, uniting characters old (Robin Willams' Teddy Roosevelt) and new (Dan Stevens' Sir Lancelot) to save it. 97 minutes PG.
The beloved British picture book character gets the requisite CGI makeover for the movies. Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) voices the raincoat-wearing Peruvian bear who ends up lost and alone at a London train station. He gets adopted by a kindly family (led by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins) and has some episodic adventures. Nicole Kidman plays the villain, an evil taxidermist. Because there has to be a villain in these sorts of things. 95 minutes PG.
This serious, dutiful biopic chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via a groundbreaking march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965. David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler) is perfect as King. Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Carmen Ejogo, Alessandro Nivola, Martin Sheen, Tom Wilkinson and Oprah Winfrey round out the important cast. 128 minutes PG-13.
Four Hispanic high school students form a robotics club. With no experience, no money and a bunch of old car parts, they challenge the country's reigning robotics champions at MIT. Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis, Esai Morales, George Lopez and Steven Michael Quezada star. Yup, it was shot here in Albuquerque, and it's based on one of those inspiring true stories you hear so much about. 83 minutes PG-13.
Before he sold the farm, George Lucas spent several years working on this secret project. It's an animated musical about goblins, elves, fairies and imps, all battling over a powerful magical love potion. Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Chenoweth provide some of the voices. Popular tunes by Whitney Houston, Heart, The Four Tops and ELO make up of the musical numbers. It's like somebody took your aunt's Spotify list, the Cliff Notes version of A Midsummer Night's Dream and a Tinkerbell cartoon and jammed them in a blender. 99 minutes PG.
It really does not pay to be friends or family with ex-government agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). Everybody he knows has been killed or kidnapped by bad guys, whom he is then obliged to stalk and kill using his "particular set of skills." This time around his wife has been killed, and he's framed for murder. Oh, somebody's in for an old man ass-kicking! As before, French action king Luc Besson pens it, and the awesomely named Olivier Megaton directs it. 109 minutes PG-13.
'Tis the season for high-toned biopics. Eddie Redmayne (The Pillars of the Earth, Les Misérables) stars as world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking. This inspirational romantic drama concentrates on Hawking's pre-talking-wheelchair relationship with his college girlfriend-cum-wife Jane (Felicity Jones, Like Crazy). It's beautifully performed and perfectly bittersweet, but occasionally feels too expertly crafted for Academy Award appeal. 123 minutes Unrated.
As a director, Angelina Jolie (who previously gave us In the Land of Blood and Honey) appears to like things as dark and depressing as possible. Here, she searches for uplift in the (true life) story of Olympic champ Louis Zamperini, who got shot down over the Pacific during World War II, spent 47 days on a raft and then went straight to a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The telling is dutiful and appropriately epic, and star Jack O'Connell (300: Rise of an Empire) does understated work. But even with a scripting assist from Joel & Ethan Coen, the film ends up wearing its good intentions on its sleeve a little to prominently. 137 minutes PG-13.
Josh Gad (Frozen) plays a well-meaning, friendless schlub who hires a fake best man (comedian Kevin Hart) in order to impress his fiancée (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) at their wedding. As one does in contrived romantic comedies. 101 minutes R.
A shy young musician (Miles Teller from The Spectacular Now) dreams of becoming a world-famous jazz drummer. Attending a prestigious New York music academy, he gets the opportunity to learn from the school's most infamous instructor (J.K. Simmons from "Oz"). What follows is the musical equivalent of the training camp sequence from Full Metal Jacket. Simmons is perfect as the sadistic taskmaster, but Teller matches him beat-for-beat as the determined student. 107 minutes R.
Reese Witherspoon stars in this inspirational biopic about Cheryl Strayed, who lost her mother and slipped inrp a bout of sex and drug addiction. Instead of going to therapy, she decided to go all hippie and hike the Pacific Crest Trail solo. It's kind of like Eat, Pray, Love--but with walking instead of eating, praying and loving. 115 minutes R.
This loose sequel to the old-fashioned ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe takes place 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House. It's the eve of World War II, and a group of London schoolchildren has been evacuated to the English countryside. Unfortunately, it's to a sprawling estate full of dead people. Good luck with that, kids. 98 minutes PG-13.
The popular chidren's book gets turned into a madcap comedy in which an unlucky boy transfers his bad juju to his hapless family for a single day. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner are on mom and dad duty. There isn't a lot of depth to be found here--mostly just a string of chaotic set-pieces--but director Miguel Arteta (Chuck & Buck, The Good Girl) adds just enough honest-to-goodness social awkwardness to give it a bit of gravity. 81 minutes PG.
Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth, Hellboy) produces this candy-coated, fiesta-colored cartoon. In it, two small-town pals (Diego Luna and Channing Tatum) battle for the heart of their childhood sweetheart (Zoe Saldana)--spurned on by a pair of cosmic entities, the angelic La Muerte and the demonic Xibalba. The film's complicated mythology borrows a lot from Mexico's Dia de los Muertos tradition. The result--a sort of reverse Orpheus and Eurydice--is probably too dark for the youngest kids. But this original, unpredictable toon is a vivid seasonal treat for the rest of us. FULL REVIEW:Mexican-themed cartoon offers unexpected seasonal treats by Devin D. O’Leary (10/16/2014). 95 minutes PG.
Filmmaker Richard Linklater (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) spent 12 years--off and on--shooting this coming-of-age tale. Instead of being gimmicky, the film is comfortingly real and quietly observational. We simply watch as Mason (Ellar Coltrane) grows from age 5 to age 18 and experiences all that life throws at him. His parents (Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke) are divorced, and he drifts from video games to ogling lingerie catalogues to dealing with awful stepparents to navigating high school. The free-flowing narrative never tries to impose a "story" on the proceedings--and yet it's never dull. Instead, it's a lesson in regression for audiences as they recall all the funny, sad, rough, joyous, confusing moments that make up pre-adulthood. 165 minutes R.
Universal has decided to reboot all of its classic "Universal Monsters" films, starting with their chief bloodsucker. Unfortunately somebody at the studio thought he needed one of those "boring superhero origin story" movies. Here we find out how good-guy Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans from Fast & Furious 6) became a vampire to fight off invading Turks. This one's perfect for people who felt Bram Stoker's classic tale needed to look a lot more like 300. 92 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:50am, 2:20, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:35, 10:10
Twenty years later moronic friends Lloyd (Jim Carrey) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) reunite for a cross-country road trip. Harry's searching for the daughter he never knew, but it's really just an excuse for our two characters to engage in more of their patented clueless idiocy. 109 minutes PG-13.
Christian Bale (The Dark Knight) is Moses and Joel Edgerton (Warrior) is Ramses in Ridley Scott's action-disaster retelling of the famous Biblical tale. All the basics are there: Moses rising up against the cruel Egyptian pharaoh, bringing down the plagues, setting 600,000 slaves free, parting the Red Sea. But Scott (who gave us Gladiator, Kingdom of Heaven, Black Hawk Down and Robin Hood) is more interested in the sword-swinging battle scenes--of which there are plenty. The special effects are appropriately grandiose, but some of the casting is questionable, and the dialogue is frequently ripe. 150 minutes PG-13.
David Fincher (Fight Club, Se7en) directs this gripping adaptation of Gillian Flynn's twisty crime novel about a man who comes under intense media scrutiny after his wife disappears. Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Tyler Perry and Neil Patrick Harris star. 148 minutes R.
Jason Bateman, Charlie Day and Jason Sudeikis return for more criminal hijinks--but this time around, they appear to be the horrible bosses. Unable to get their new business off the ground thanks to a slick investor, the trio plot a harebrained kidnapping scheme. Jennifer Aniston and Kevin Spacey drop by to help. 108 minutes R.
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain) stars in this grim crime thriller-cum-satire as a sleazy hustler who worms his way into the underground world of freelance crime reporting. Armed with a video camera and a total lack of ethics, he prowls LA's dark streets looking for any stories that bleed so he can sell them to content-hungry local networks. The film has a lot of scathing things to say about today's voyeuristic culture, but it's also a tense, Taxi Driver-ish thriller. 117 minutes R.
Hasbro and Universal Pictures have already made Transformers and Battleship into mind-numbing multimillion-dollar action movies. So why not turn Ouija into a cheap ghost drama? A bunch of teens use an "ancient spirit board" to "awaken the dark powers." You know what happens next. 90 minutes PG-13.
Following cameos in the Madagascar films and a successful TV series, the wannabe-super-spy penguins get their own feature spin-off. This CGI toon shows audiences how dimwitted waterfowl Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private got their start in the global espionage biz. 92 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00