Writer-director Fede Alvarez (the remake of Evil Dead) isn't the first horror film director to be inspired by Terence Young's 1967 thriller Wait Until Dark (about a blind woman stalked by thugs in her own house). Still, he does a nifty job of flipping the script in this nail-biting entry. Stephen Lang (Avatar) is the blind old man targeted by a group of amateur thieves. Little do they know he's a murderously resourceful vet perfectly capable of trapping them inside his home, cutting off the lights and slaughtering them one by one. It's basically a gimmicky home invasion thriller, but Alvarez keeps the action quick, brutal and relentless. 88 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 8/25)
Comedian Mike Birbiglia writes, directs and costars in this ensemble comedy-drama about the members of a long-struggling NYC improv comedy troupe. When the most popular member of the group (Keegan-Michael Key) gets headhunted for a popular TV sketch comedy show (a thinly disguised "Saturday Night Live"), the other members (including Kate Micucci and Chris Gethard) offer up congratulations and thinly masked jealousy. Hit hardest of all is his girlfriend/fellow performer (played by Gillian Jacobs), who is torn between a longing for success and a genuine love for grassroots comedy. Birbiglia knows the territory well and beautifully balances comedy with the melancholy of middle-aged failure. FULL REVIEW:Tragedy is easy, comedy is hard in Mike Birbiglia’s self-reflexive look at the humor industry by Devin D. O’Leary (8/25/2016). 92 minutes R. (Opens Friday 8/26)
In this low-budget Wall Street thriller, a senior investment banker (Anna Gunn from "Breaking Bad") must untangle a web of corruption after being threatened with financial scandal. We've seen this sort of thing before, but this one has the distinction of being written and directed by women, it features women in lead roles and was financed by actual women on Wall Street. 100 minutes R. (Opens Friday 8/26)
Samuel Beckett, the celebrated author of Waiting for Godot, made exactly one work of cinematic art--this 22-minute, silent collaboration with Buster Keaton from 1965. Surreal and existential, it consists largely of Keaton sitting in a dismal room, trying not to be seen while staring at a parrot and covering mirrors with a black tarp. Newly restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive in cooperation with the British Film Institute. Double-featured with the documentary Notfilm. 22 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 8/30)
Robert De Niro, now too old to step into the ring (after Raging Bull and Grudge Match), takes on the role of a boxing coach, training the legendary Panamanian boxer Roberto Duran (Edgar Ramirez) for his bout with Sugar Ray Leonard (Usher Raymond). This solid if conventional biopic is based, of course, on true events. 105 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 8/25)
Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr star in this classic 1956 muscial about a live-in governess tending to the King of Siam's many children. Feel free to sing along to "Getting to Know You" and "Shall We Dance." 133 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 8/28)
The Jim Henson-directed, Terry Jones-written musical fantasy from 1986 returns to the big screen. The late, great David Bowie is the unforgettable Goblin King, who has kidnapped poor Sarah's baby brother and spirited him to another world. Now Sarah (Jennifer Connelly in one of her early roles) must brave the perils and pitfalls of the labyrinth to rescue him. See also:I Like to Watch (Instantly): The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth by Devin D. O’Leary (09/14/2010). 101 minutes PG. (Opens Thursday 8/25)
If you think really hard, you might recall that Jason Statham made a Mechanic movie in 2011, in between making Crank, Expendables and Transporter sequels. It was actually a remake of a 1972 Charles Bronson thriller, but you'll be forgiven if the image of it just blurs into those other action flicks. Here Statham is back as an ex-hitman trying to put his violent past behind him until some baddie kidnaps his girlfriend (Jessica Alba, slowly losing all ambition) and forces him to kill some more people. Stuff sure does blow up here, all right. 99 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 8/25)
This cinema-minded documentary takes us back to 1964 when absurdist author Samuel Beckett set out to make an avant-garde film with silent era comedian Buster Keaton. The resulting short, "Film," has been the subject of praise, condemnation and controversy ever since. Filmmaker Ross Lippman sets out to explain the origins and impact of this unusual artistic collaboration. Double-featured with Beckett's "Film." (Opens Tuesday 8/30)
In 1959 Bombay, a decorated naval commander is accused of murdering his wife's lover. Akshay Kumar and Ileana D'Cruz star in this based-on-a-true-story crime thriller. In Hindi with English subtitles. 148 minutes (Opens Friday 8/26)
A group of college kids (led by Sarah Hyland from "Modern Family") take a supernatural tour of Los Angeles' old "satanic panic" landmarks. They end up following the creepy owner of an occult store home, only to find themselves saving a mysterious girl from an apparent human sacrifice. That's when things get really weird, leading our characters on a one-way trip to Hell. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 8/26)
This odd, but undeniably well-crafted romance essentially takes the plot to Richard Linklater's Before Sunrise and recasts its first-date meeting in Southside Chicago between young Barack Obama and his wife-to-be Michelle Robinson. The low-key vibe and small-scale scope fit the disarmingly charming nature of this simple walk, talk and flirt film. 84 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 8/25)
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Sun 12:30, 2:45, 5:00, 7:15, 9:30; Mon-Thu 12:30, 2:45, 5:00, 7:15 Century Rio Fri-Thu 11:15am, 1:50, 4:25, 7:00, 9:35 High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:50, 3:20, 7:20, 10:00; Mon-Thu 12:50, 3:20, 7:20
In this CGI toon, a family of space dogs blasts off for an out-of-this-world adventure to find an astronaut lost on the moon. Alicia Silverstone, Ashlee Simpson and Sam Witwer provide voices. It's actually a sequel to the 2010 Russian cartoon Space Dogs 3D, which I'm assuming you never saw. 85 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 8/27)
Italian director Matteo Garrone (Gomorrah) recruits Salma Hayek, Vincent Cassel, Toby Jones, John C. Reilly and Shirley Henderson to act out a collection of bizarro 16th-century European fairy tales. Blackly comic, beautifully wrought and definitely not for kids, this is grotesque fantasy in the most traditional sense of "decorative art characterized by fanciful or fantastic human and animal forms often interwoven with foliage or similar figures that may distort the natural into absurdity, ugliness or caricature." Think The Company of Wolves, Immoral Tales and Monty Python all smashed into one surreal stew. 133 minutes R. (Opens Friday 8/26)
In Vienna, 1930, a bored vampire, unhappily married to his bloodless bride for centuries, goes looking for marital advice from Dr. Sigmund Freud. The good doctor suggests having a portrait commissioned as a gift. Unfortunately, the vampire's wife soon takes a shine to the lusty painter, and the vampire starts to believe the painter's girlfriend is the reincarnation of his one true love. Hijinks (of the bloody and sexual type) ensue. This seductive supernatural comedy won the Audience Choice Award at this year's Fantasia International Film Festival. In German with English subtitles. 87 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 8/26)
Jamie Dornan (50 Shades of Grey) and Cillian Murphy (Batman Begins) star in this true-life historical thriller about Operation Anthropoid, a World War II mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind Hitler's Final Solution. 120 minutes R.
We've had Bad Santas, Bad Teachers, Bad Judges, Bad Neighbors and Bad Grandpas, so it was just a matter of time before we got saddled with Bad Moms. Mila Kunis, Kathryn Hahn and Kristen Bell are among the overworked and underappreciated moms who are pushed beyond their limits, and "ditch their conventional responsibilities for a jolt of long overdue freedom, fun and comedic self-indulgence." Expect hijijnks including--but not limited to--drugs, alcohol and full frontal nudity to ensue. 101 minutes R.
Jack Huston ( "Boardwalk Empire") takes over for Charlton Heston (no pressure) in this actionized new adaptation of Lew Wallace's acclaimed novel about a Jewish prince enslaved by the Romans. Director Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Wanted, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) goes full-on Gladiator with this 3D spectacle. There's a bit more Christ (played by Rodrigo Santoro from 300) in this go-around ... and a lot more chariot racing. At least Morgan Freeman's around to do the wise mentor thing. 124 minutes PG-13.
Why the hell not? Hollywood pariah Mel Gibson gives it another shot with his own version of Taken. Gibson plays an ex-con who reunites with his estranged 16-year-old daughter, only to find she's the target of murderous drug dealers. French director Jean-François Richet (Mesrine, Part 1: Killer Instinct, Assault on Precinct 13) directs this trashy, lurid and semi-credible B-movie throwback. 88 minutes R.
Viggo Mortensen (The Lord of the Rings trilogy) is an iconoclastic hippie survivalist, raising his six kids in the isolated physical and intellectual environment of the rural Pacific Northwest. But when his wife commits suicide, he's forced to consider integrating his counterculture brood into modern society. This smartly philosophical and emotionally sentimental comedy-drama comes from actor Matt Ross ("Big Love," "Silicon Valley"), who's slowly transforming himself into an indie film writer-director. 118 minutes R.
Thirteen years after we went looking for Nemo, the CGI toonsters at Pixar take us on a quest to find Dory. Actually, Dory (the bubble-headed blue tang voiced by Ellen DeGeneres) is looking for her long-lost parents. Naturally, there's a lesson about family to be learned along the way. Albert Brooks, Ed O'Neill, Diane Keaton, Idris Elba and Bill Hader provide vocal support. FULL REVIEW:Simple but satisfying sequel follows its own motto and just keeps swimming by Devin D. O’Leary (6/23/2016). 97 minutes PG.
Century Rio Fri-Wed 11:45am, 2:35; Thu call for showtimes
Nobody remembers her now, but in the 1920s, Florence Foster Jenkins was something of a pop culture icon. A New York heiress with dreams of grandeur, she set herself up as an opera singer, recorded a number of records and built her own personal music venue--despite having a truly terrible singing voice. Meryl Streep (as Jenkins) and Hugh Grant (as her oddly loyal "husband") star in this mostly comic, ultimately touching biopic from director Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, The Grifters, The Hi-Lo Country, High Fidelity). 110 minutes PG-13.
Century Rio Fri-Sat 12:45, 4:00, 7:05, 10:10; Sun 10:10; Mon 12:45, 4:00, 7:05, 10:10; Tue 12:45, 4:00, 10:10; Wed 12:45, 4:00; Thu call for showtimes High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:25, 3:20, 7:00, 10:15; Mon-Thu 12:25, 3:20, 7:00 Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema Fri-Thu 11:00am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20 Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX Fri-Sun 10:40am, 1:35, 4:25, 7:20, 10:10; Mon-Thu call for showtimes
Yes, this reboot to the endlessly quotable 1984 supernatural comedy does feature four female leads (Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones). If that's a problem, you should just stay home and complain about "feminazis" all you want on the internet. Everybody else can judge this one on its own merits. Is it innovative? No. Is it funny? Pretty much. Basically, if you grew up on the original films, this (much like the recent Star Trek movies) is just a watered-down remake with different actors. If you're fresh to the franchise, it's a perfectly servicable action comedy. 114 minutes PG-13.
In this modern-day Western, a divorced dad (Chris Pine) and his ex-con brother (Ben Foster) become bank robbers in order to save their family's farm in West Texas. This sets them on a collision course with dogged, soon-to-retire Texas Ranger Jeff Bridges. The tropes are familiar, but the cast is loaded with charisma and chemistry, and the film moves with the speed of a dust storm. The entertaining screenplay comes from Taylor Sheridan, who wrote the equally taut, shot-in-New-Mexico crime drama Sicario. 102 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Sun 12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:05, 10:40; Mon-Thu 12:20, 2:50, 5:30, 8:05 Century Rio Fri-Wed 11:15am, 2:05, 4:55, 7:45, 10:35; Thu call for showtimes High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:30, 3:45, 7:15, 10:15; Mon-Thu 12:15, 3:15, 7:15
Jeez, how many of these movies have they made? So many, apparently, that the Pleistocene Age animals (voiced again by Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah) are now reenacting the plot to Armageddon. Yup, a giant meteoroid is heading towards Earth threatening to wipe out mammal-kind--and it's up to a mammoth, a sloth and a saber-toothed tiger to stop it. Hey, kids gotta learn history somehow. 94 minutes PG.
After sitting out a movie (2012's mediocre The Bourne Legacy), Matt Damon returns as everybody's favorite amnesiac superspy. Now that our hero is finally remembering who he truly is, he's got a lot of revenge to dish out against the people who betrayed him. This will involve lots and lots of car chases, foot races, gunfights and explosions. Also, he's got to contend with an evil CIA director (Tommy Lee Jones), an opportunistic agent (Alicia Vikander) and a very angry assassin (Vincent Cassel). Expect serious, no-holds-barred action, followed by more of the same. 123 minutes PG-13.
This glorious, stop-motion animated cartoon comes to us from the company behind 2002's Coraline and 2012's ParaNorman. Inspired by Asian mythology, the film takes us into the fantasy-filled world of a young, would-be warrior who must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past. Aiding him on his quest are Monkey (Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Matthew McConaughey). Since it's not based on any specific myth, the story gets a bit generic. But the animation is impeccable. 101 minutes PG.
A ghost haunts a mentally unstable mother and her emotionally traumatized kids. This ghost, though, is afraid of the light. So, naturally, everybody arms themselves with faulty flashlights and goes creeping around in the dark. The slightly clever gimmick (based on a short film by the same director) is stretched thin over the course of the film's sub-90-minute runtime. If you're a big fan of "jump out and go boo!" ghost movies (Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Conjuring), this inexpensive fright film is for you. FULL REVIEW:Under-illuminated ghost story is too dim to really be scary by Devin D. O’Leary (7/21/2016). 81 minutes PG-13.
Century Rio Fri-Wed 12:30, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:35; Thu call for showtimes
Barring the discovery of some youthful gay porn outing, this will undoutedly go down as the most embarrassing thing on Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey's resumé. Like some knockoff '70s live-action Disney movie, the plot to this French-funded family comedy finds Spacey cast as a stuffy business tycoon who puts work over family. Thanks to the intervention of magical pet shop owner Christopher Walken (no, really), Spacey is transformed into a cat named Mr. Fuzzypants. Now he has just one week to learn his lesson and reconcile with his family (as a cat, mind you) or he'll be a feline forever. 87 minutes PG.
Disney tries a more realistic approach to this remake of it's semi-popular 1977 live action/animation hybrid. In it, a young boy runs away from his hillbilly foster family and ends up living in the woods for six years--allegedly with the help of a friendly, fuzzy dragon--before being rescued by a kindly forest ranger (Bryce Dallas Howard) and her father (Robert Redford). Problems arise, of course, when Pete's old family come looking for him. 102 minutes PG.
Seth Rogen and pals (Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Michael Cera, James Franco, Bill Hader) star in this raunchy, computer-animated cartoon about a curious, anthropomorphic hotdog and his grocery store pals who discover the horrifying truth behind food and try to escape their fate (being cooked, eaten and digested, that is). Think Pixar, but with a whole lot of wiener jokes. Seriously. Not for kids. 89 minutes R.
From the makers of the Despicable Me films comes this manic, animated comedy about a New York City terrier named Max who regularly invites his animal friends to hang out at his place while their owners are away at work. Max's happy life is interrupted one day, though, when his owner adopts a stray mutt whom Max instantly dislikes. The slim story is borrowed from any number of Warner Bros. cartoons in which evil dogcatchers chase innocent animals around the city. But the characters are funny and engaging. A who's who of comedians (Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Jenny Slate, Albert Brooks, Ellie Kemper, Steve Coogan, Hannibal Buress, Dana Carvey) are on talking animal duty. 90 minutes PG.
The "Kelvin Universe" timeline (previously known as "J.J. Abrams' Star Trek reboot series) finally gets around to telling an original story. The Enterprise has actually set off on its original "five year mission" and is exploring the edge of the known universe. Naturally, the crew manage to tick off the wrong space villain, who declares war on the Federation. For this outing, directing duties fall to by Justin Lin (who directed four of the last seven Fast and Furious films). That means, of course, that this is the explodiest, most fast-paced Star Trek movie ever. 120 minutes PG-13.
Well, it's not the oppressive, monotone "grimdark" look of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but this chaotic action flick replaces that with a story and tone that is literally all over the damn place. This hot mess has the unenviable task of introducing audiences to a dozen or so unknown characters, then blending them into a team we're supposed to root for. The gimmick here is that all of our superheroes are actually supervillains, sprung from prison if they'll take part in a suicidal mission to ... accomplish something or other. Most of the key players (Will Smith as Deadshot, Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Jai Courtney as Boomerang) seem to be having fun. Despite lots and lots of frantic CG action, this exercise in attitude can't decide if it's a winking superhero parody, an over-the-top war movie, a horror-survival video game or what. See also:What Warner Bros. did wrong with Suicide Squad by Devin D. O’Leary (8/11/2016). 123 minutes PG-13.
Jonah Hill (Superbad, Moneyball) and Miles Teller (Whiplash, Divergent) star in this loosely-based-on-a-true-story comedy/drama about two young hustlers who somehow landed a $300 million Pentagon contract to supply arms to America's allies in Afghanistan. What follows is a bleak comedy of errors involving a lot of guns and a lot of bad people. 114 minutes R.
Disney's re-jiggered, live-action Alice in Wonderland returns in another eye-boggling fantasy outing produced by (but not directed by) Tim Burton. This time around, Alice (Mia Wasikowska) is forced to travel back in time to save the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and defeat the evil machinations of Time himself (Sacha Baron Cohen). 113 minutes PG.
British humorist Roald Dahl's beloved bedtime fable about a kindly giant who refuses to eat children comes to life courtesy of director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter Melissa Mathison (who teamed up on a little film called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial). Oscar winner Mark Rylance (Bridge of Spies) gives voice to the titular (CGI-rendered) Big Friendly Giant. 117 minutes PG.
Big, muscular Dwayne Johnson and tiny, motormouthed Kevin Hart are a couple of old high school pals reunited through Facebook for one of them buddy action-comedy adventures. Hart is a mild-mannered accountant and Johnson is an international superspy. Hijinks ensue. 114 minutes PG-13.
It's been 20 years since those national monument-destroying space aliens got destroyed by an Apple laptop computer virus. Now it seems they're back--and rather embarrassed for having gone out like such punks. They've brought some even more humongous spaceships with them this time, capable of causing even more CGI destruction. It's up to a new generation of freedom fighters (Liam Hemsworth, Jessie T. Usher among them) as well as a few familiar faces (Bill Pullman, Brent Spiner, Vivica A. Fox) to kick alien ass once again. 120 minutes PG-13.
Unlike Disney's recent live-action Cinderella , Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz revamps, this family fantasy sticks pretty close to the original cartoon version. John Favreau (Elf, Iron Man) does an admirable job directing one kid and a whole bunch of CGI animals. Star Neel Sethi is a ball of energy, leaping and tumbling his way from one action sequence to the next. A string of celebrity voices (Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Bill Murray, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken) take on the familiar characters. The action is a bit intense at times for the littlest of tykes. The decision to include two of the songs from the original Disney cartoon is odd, but doesn't upset the overall balance of the adventurous film. FULL REVIEW:Fancy computer animation brings Kipling classic to life by Devin D. O’Leary (4/21/2016). 105 minutes PG.
Alexander Skarsgard ("True Blood") is our Tarzan and Margot Robbie (The Wolf of Wall Street) is our Jane, returned to Africa after several years to investigate the suspicious goings-on at a mining encampment in Congo on the part of colonizing Belgian King Leopold II. David Yates (director of the last four Harry Potter movies) helms this original story, loosely based on the books by Edgar Rice Burroughs. It could have used a few more epic set-pieces and a slightly pulpier tone, but this one gets a lot right, balancing action and drama and giving audiences one of the best on-screen Tarzans. 109 minutes PG-13.
This raunchy comedy is (very) loosely based on the (sorta) true story of two brothers who advertised for wedding dates on Craigslist. Zac Efron and Adam Devine are the bozo bros. Anna Kendrick and Aubrey Plaza are the skanky ladies who pretend to be "nice girls" in order to score a free trip to Hawaii. There's a lot of nudity and cursing. 98 minutes R.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:10, 4:50, 7:30, 10:30; Movies West Fri-Thu 12:40, 3:50, 7:10, 10:10;
The gang of gonzo magicians-turned-criminals led by Jesse Eisenberg returns for more unlawful shenanigans. This time around they're being blackmailed by a tech genius into pulling off their most impossible heist yet. Daniel Radcliffe and Lizzy Caplan join the already stuffed cast (Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine). 129 minutes PG-13.
The increasingly timely series of sci-fi-esque thrillers returns for a third outing. This time around it seems a United States Senator (Elizabeth Mitchell) is the front-runner to become the US President. Her first order of business? Eliminate the Purge, which allows Americans to commit any crime they want for one day each year. Naturally, this makes her a major target of anarchy-loving killers during this year's bloody Purge. Can Sergeant Barnes (Frank Grillo, a survivor from The Purge: Anarchy) keep her alive? 105 minutes R.
The X-Men timeline (rebooted all to hell by 2014's X-Men: Days of Future Past) heads into the 1980s with a handful of familiar faces (James McAvoy's Professor X, Jennifer Lawrence's Mystique) and a bunch of unfamiliar ones (Sophie Turner's Jean Grey, Alexandra Shipp's Storm). This time around an immortal mutant from ancient Egypt (The Force Awakens' Oscar Isaac) is back and trying to wipe out all of humanity. There's plenty of action to be had, but the script feels far too cliché-filled and retrograde explodey in today's post-Civil War MCU world. 144 minutes PG-13.