From the director of Waltz With Bashir comes this subversive, self-referential mind-bender. Actress Robin Wright plays an actress named Robin Wright, who decides to take on one final job--preserving her digital likeness for future Hollywood. Twenty years later, her computerized avatar is a superstar under the creative control of the studio's head animator. This trippy mix of live-action and animation features the voices and faces of Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti and others. It's (very loosely) based on a novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. If you know who that is, that should give you some idea of how out-there this sci-fi drama is. 122 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 9/16)
Winter, the handicapped dolphin who starred in the inspirational family film about her own life, returns in an even more fictionalized sequel. Here, marine biologists at an aquarium in Florida rescue an even cuter baby dolphin named Hope. Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. are the non-dolphin stars. 107 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 9/12)
Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace star in this gritty little crime drama about a good-natured mook working at his cousin's bar in Brooklyn. The place is secretly owned by the Chechen mob, though. And when some neighborhood idiots rob the joint, our protagonist (Hardy) and his cousin (Gandolfini) must find the money before the mob finds them. It's a slow-paced affair, but it builds to a shocking climax thanks to a smart script by author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and some indelible character work by Hardy. 106 minutes R. (Opens Friday 9/12)
The suddenly multitalented actress Lake Bell ("Boston Legal," No Strings Attached, "Childrens Hospital") wrote, directed and stars in this surprisingly original screwball comedy about an underachieving vocal coach (Bell) who gets into the cutthroat world of movie trailer voice-overs. Funny folks Jeff Garlin, Demetri Martin, Ken Marino, Rob Corddry and Nick Offerman fill out the cast--with all sorts of secret movie industry cameos to boot. 93 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 9/11)
Local film historian Jeff Berg gives viewers a run-down of clips from films both classic (The Grapes of Wrath) and cult (Two-Lane Blacktop)--all of which were shot along Route 66. 100 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 9/13)
Taraji P. Henson ("Person of Interest," Think Like a Man) and Idris Elba ("Luther," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) class up this twisty domestic thriller about a suburban wife and mother who finds her home invaded by a dangerous escaped convict. 84 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 9/12)
Before Eddie Murphy and his fat suits came along, Jerry Lewis wrote, directed and starred in this original, 1963 version about a nerdy scientist who transforms into a handsome ladies man thanks to a miraculous chemical. 107 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 9/14)
This evocative documentary heads to tiny Rich Hill, Mo., (population 1,393) to look in on three young boys as they go about their lives in America's hardworking, poverty-stricken heartland. Filmmakers Tracy Droz Tragos and Andrew Droz Palermo spent a year following their subjects, tracking the future of the American dream. Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Documentaries at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. 91 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 9/12)
This 1998 film from writing/directing/acting conglomerate Wes Anderson and Owen Wilson is, like all their films, an underrated cult gem. Jason Schwartzman stars as an untalented teenage overachiever who engages in a romantic battle of wills with businessman Bill Murray for the affections of a pretty elementary school teacher. Odd, off-kilter but loaded with lots of heart. Part of Guild Cinema's "Books & Bongs: The Sophomore Films of Wes Anderson & Richard Linklater" series. 93 minutes (friday)
The Albuquerque Film Club presents this 1938 classic starring Charles Laughton and Vivien Leigh. Leigh plays a dancer and pickpocket who teams up with street performer Laughton. Together, the two catch the eye of a theater magnate (Rex Harrison) who takes a shine to the lovely Miss Leigh. 80 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 9/13)
In this simplified, overly sentimental look at immigration, a cute 'n' precocious kid named Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) leaves his hometown in Mexico on a quest to find his long-absent mom, slaving away as an undocumented worker in Los Angeles. Along the way, Carlitos meets lots of poor, saintly Mexicans and lots of rich, heartless Americans. The filmmakers at least know to concentrate on the emotional elements, turning this into a crowd-pleasing Hallmark movie by way of Telemundo. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 110 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday)
Spanish auteur Álex de la Iglesia (Acción Mutante, The Day of the Beast, The Last Circus) writes and directs this mad, splatterpunk horror comedy about a gang of jewel thieves who get trapped in a weird mountain town full (and I mean full) of flesh-hungry witches. This is full-tilt, over-the-top craziness, blending the lurid nightmares of Guillermo del Toro with the bloody hilarity of early Peter Jackson. Energetic, funny and appropriately offensive. 115 minutes R. (Opens Friday 9/12)
In this archaeologically minded supernatural thriller, a group of explorers descends into the skeleton-filled catacombs below Paris, only to come face-to-face with their own fears made real. If you're a "found footage" completist, you might be the audience for this low-budget mixture of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Descent from the Brothers Dowdle (The Poughkeepsie Tapes, Quarantine, Devil). 93 minutes R.
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.
Brendan Gleeson reunites with The Guard director John Michael McDonagh for this downbeat drama tinged with black comedy. Gleeson plays a small-town Irish priest who takes confession from a mysterious parishioner who promises to kill him by week's end. While juggling the spiritual needs of the town's countless fallen souls, our righteous protagonist tries to solve the matter of his own impending murder. The cast--especially Gleeson--is on top of its game. But not everyone will adapt to the whiplash mood swings of this existential Agatha Christie variation. 100 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri 11:55am, 2:25, 4:55, 7:25, 9:55; Sat 11:55am, 2:25; Sun 11:55am, 2:25, 4:55, 7:25, 9:55; Mon-Thu 11:55am, 2:25, 4:55, 7:25 High Ridge Fri-Sun 4:15, 10:10; Mon-Thu 4:15
Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) was a not-half-bad attempt to reboot a classic film series without really rebooting it. The sci-fi actioner fits neatly in amongst the '60s and '70s Planet of the Apes films. Now things get a little more ... ape-like, with Caesar and his army of genetically modified apes threatening to wipe out the last surviving band of humans. Bottom line: Apes with machine guns riding horses=good times. 130 minutes PG-13.
Sylvester Stallone's retirement home for old action stars returns. The overcrowded cast list this time around includes Jason Statham, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel Gibson, Wesley Snipes, Dolph Lundgren, Randy Couture, Terry Crews, Antonio Banderas, Ronda Rousey, Kellan Lutz, Jet Li, Robert Davi and Kelsey Grammer. Mel is the bad guy. Go figure.
Lois Lowry's much-loved teen lit sci-fi novel finally makes it to the big screen. In a futuristic dystopia--seemingly without war, pain, suffering, differences or choice--a young man(Brenton Thwaites) is chosen to learn from an elderly man (Jeff Bridges) the true pain and pleasure of the "real" world. Note to all future dystopian leaders: Get rid of the teenagers. If YA literature is any indication (Hunger Games, Divergent, Matched, Delirium, Unwind, The Maze Runner), two photogenic teenagers in love will invariably bring down your society. 94 minutes PG-13.
Marvel Comics' superhero movies take off in a different direction, heading into outer space for this buoyantly comic, endlessly entertaining sci-fi romp. A band of misfits, criminals and brash adventurers is conscripted into saving the galaxy when a powerful alien warlord comes looking for a weapon of cosmos-threatening proportions. Cult filmmaker James Gunn (Tromeo and Juliet, Dawn of the Dead, Slither, Super) writes and directs. Chris Pratt ("Parks and Recreation"), Bradley Cooper (The Hangover), Zoe Saldana (Star Trek) and Lee Pace (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey) star. 121 minutes PG-13.
Wrestlin' thespian Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as legendary demigod Hercules, hired to protect the King of Thrace and his daughter from a tyrannical warlord. Ian McShane, John Hurt, Rufus Sewell, Peter Mullan and Joseph Fiennes mill around in the background trying to look Greek. Brett Ratner (Rush Hour, Rush Hour 2, Rush Hour 3) directs this musclebound fantasy based on the comic book Hercules: The Thracian Wars. The trailers are sort of false advertising, but the film does a semi-commendable job of bringing the mythical hero down to earth. 98 minutes PG-13.
After the untimely death of their matriarch, a brokenhearted Indian clan wanders Europe looking for a place to open up their family restaurant. They end up in an impossibly picturesque French town where Papa (Om Puri) decides to hang up his shingle across the street from a Michelin Star restaurant. Gifted young chef Hassan (Manish Dayal) falls in love with the rival sous chef (Charlotte Le Bon), while Papa starts up a love/hate relationship with the fancy French restaurant's uptight owner (Helen Mirren). This is exactly (exactly) the sort of semi-exotic foodie romance you would expect from the director of Chocolat. 122 minutes PG.
In this faith-based musical drama, impoverished twin brothers Drexel and Ryan are separated at birth during the Great Depression. Drexel grows up to become Elvis (or at least the low-budget, trademark-free equivalent), and Ryan is pressured to become a reverend by his devoutly Christian parents (Ray Liotta and Ashley Judd). But Ryan wants to be a hip-shaking Drexel impersonator. Craziness! When the two brothers (both played by real-life Elvis impersonator Blake Rayne) eventually cross paths, everybody comes to Jesus. 107 minutes PG.
Capitalizing on the beautiful tragedy of The Fault in Our Stars, this romantic drama adapts another weepy teen lit hit. Young Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) is on the edge of adulthood, about to go off to Juilliard to study music. But a tragic car accident kills off her parents and leaves her in a coma. An out-of-body experience leaves our gal wandering around watching friends and family gather at the hospital and drifting freely through her memories. Now she must decide if she should wake up and get on with her life or just kick the bucket. 106 minutes PG-13.
We've had found-footage horror films (The Blair Witch Project et al), found-footage monster movies (Cloverfield), found-footage cop movies (End of Watch), found-footage superhero films (Chronicle) and found-footage kids' films (Earth to Echo). So why not some found-footage disaster porn? Into the Storm takes the basic plot of Twister, throws in some handheld camera and adds a whole bunch more CGI destruction. It comes to us from the director of Final Destination 5 and the writer of Step Up All In. 89 minutes PG-13.
A pair of retired former brothers-in-law (one crude and loudmouthed, one polite and quiet) decide to embark on a last road trip through Iceland, of all places. Basically nothing happens in the circuitous tale--aside from eating, talking and taking in some local sights. But indie filmmakers Aaron Katz & Martha Stephens have crafted a credible, down-the-earth look at long-standing friendships and advancing age. 95 minutes R.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (still hanging out off the set of FOX's "New Girl") are a couple of struggling pals who decide to dress up as cops for a costume party. Mistaken for real police officers, and afforded respect for the first time in their lives, the two decide to keep up the charade. Unfortunately a collection of real-life mobsters and dirty detectives put our dressed-up do-gooders in mortal danger. Yes, it's as silly as you're thinking. 104 minutes R.
French filmmaker Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) gets back into the swing of action filmmaking with this monumentally strange, and epically silly sci-fi flick. Scarlett Johansson stars as a woman tricked into becoming a mule for an experimental drug. When the bags of illegal chemicals in her stomach break open, she instantly and mysteriously gains all the superpowers in the universe by using 100 percent of her brain. We're talking Jackie Chan, all of the X-Men and Neo at the end of The Matrix combined. Naturally she employs these powers to get revenge on the bad people. Given that she can control all of time and space, there's not a lot of tension. 90 minutes R.
Woody Allen's 44th film is a lightweight charmer. Colin Firth plays a professional magician and debunker who travels to Southern France (circa 1920) to expose a fraudulent spiritualist. Our hero is shocked to find the charlatan is a wide-eyed American cutie (Emma Stone). Even more shocking, he can't figure out her tricks. Could it be that she actually has the ability to speak to the dead? The outcome of this period romcom is never remotely in doubt, but the cast is quite likable, and the setting is lovely to look at. 97 minutes PG-13.
Pierce Brosnan stars as an ex-CIA operative who is brought back from retirement (of course he is) and pitted against a former protégé (Luke Bracey, who played Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation) in one of those deadly games of cat-and-mouse that spies/assassins love to play on screen. There's some decent action, but you've seen it all before. Based on the seventh book in the "November Man" series by author Bill Granger. 106 minutes R.
Überproducer Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Armageddon, Transformers) has his grubby fingerprints all over this unnecessary reboot of the classic comic book/cartoon series. The special effects are a major upgrade, but the story--scarred by all the usual overworked, underwritten tropes of modern screenwriting--takes a lot of liberties with the original. It's not a travesty, but it's probably not what fans want either. 101 minutes PG-13.
Thanks to legendary football coach Bob Ladouceur, De La Salle High School's football team went undefeated for 12 years--an unprecedented 151-game winning streak. Eventually, of course, the streak had to come to an end. This inspirational, based-on-a-true-story drama looks at what happened next. The script is incredibly sincere, and star Jim Caviezel (The Passion of the Christ) does stoic and soft-spoken quite well. But the film is produced by Sony offshoot Affirm Films and is aimed squarely at evangelical Christians. If you like your formulaic sports movies laced with a minimum of Bible quotes, this is not the film for you. 115 minutes PG.
This well-meaning but entirely uninspired family sci-fi flick glues the entire plot to E.T. the Extraterrestrial onto the handheld, found-footage style of Chronicle. The result is a cheap, nostalgic imitation of mid-'80s Steven Spielberg-inspired wonderment. J.J. Abrams' Super 8 did the exact same (and I mean, exact same) thing 50 times better. 91 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 7:00, 9:40 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00
Hollywood has finally realized there's more to Young Adult lit than sparkly vampires and post-apocalyptic romance. This comfortingly ordinary drama about two teenagers who meet and fall in love at a cancer support group is based on the smash hit book by John Green. Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (who just got done playing brother and sister in the post-apocalyptic romance Divergent) star. ... And you thought Love Story was a weeper. 125 minutes PG-13.
Viking teen Hiccup (Jay Baruchel) and his best dragon friend Toothless discover a hidden ice cave, home to hundreds of new wild dragon species. Having only recently made peace with their fire-breathing allies, the dragonriders must now deal with a whole new monstrous threat. This sequel to DreamWorks' surprisingly solid CGI hit from 2010 ups the ante, turning the original boy-and-his-dog variation into a full-blown fantasy war epic. 102 minutes PG.
The hit "jukebox musical" featuring all the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons makes the trip from Broadway to Hollywood with Clint Eastwood (of all people) behind the camera. Many of the Broadway stars (including Tony winner John Lloyd Young) come along for the ride. It sounds like a million bucks, but the standard rise-fall-rise story is basic "Behind the Music" stuff. 134 minutes R.
Disney reboots Sleeping Beauty with this live-action fairy tale concentrating more on the (apparently not-so-)evil sorceress (played by Angelina Jolie) and her tragic backstory. Elle Fanning (Super 8) is our soon-to-be-somnolent princess. Jolie is mesmerizing, and the film does a credible and ultimately quite likeable job melding Disney sentiment with certain aspects of the original fairy tale. But it's an odd fantasy that takes a long time to find its tone. 97 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:10am, 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:50 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20
Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are a bored suburban couple who make a raunchy sex tape only to wake up and find the footage has gone missing. Segel and Diaz try hard, but the film is heavy on shenanigans and light on anything else (including, sadly, sex). 94 minutes R.
If you're a massive fan of the Step Up series ... (I really feel I should stop there, but I'll forge on) then this fifth film in the "classically trained dancers vs. hip-hop street dancers" series should prove very exciting for you. "All-stars" from the previous Step Up installments (I'm unable to identify them, but I'm sure they're there) come together for one massive, ab-bearing dance-off-to-end-all-dance-offs in glitter-filled Las Vegas. 112 minutes PG-13.
Melissa McCarthy, riding high after Bridesmaids and The Heat, plays a white trash woman who loses her job and finds out her husband has been cheating. In response she hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking granny (Susan Sarandon). Hijinks ensue. 96 minutes R.
In his most restrained film to date, Michael Bay ... just kidding. This thing's 2 hours and 45 minutes' worth of exploding and screaming. The original cast has been ditched. (How will we ever survive without Shia LaBeouf?) Mark Wahlberg takes over human hero duties as a poor mechanic who buys a smashed-up semi, only to discover it's a Transformer. This would be more fun to watch at home where you can play the drinking game: Take a shot every time there's a giant fireball, an expensive piece of actual US military hardware races by or an American flag waves in slow motion. 165 minutes PG-13.