Academy Award-nominated documentarian Mark Mori (Building Bombs) takes an intimate look at one of the world's most recognized sex symbols, pinup idol/cult icon Bettie Page. Thanks to interviews Mori taped a decade before her death in 2008, this documentary is able, for the first time, to tell Bettie's life story in her own words. From her impoverished beginnings to her scandalous '50s career to her rediscovery in the 1990s, this film fleshes out the familiar story with a wealth previously unknown details. 101 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 12/13)
Marcel Carné's 1945 romantic drama is presented by the Albuquerque Film Club. Set during the 1820s, the film's multisided love polygon features Baptiste, a theater mime who is in love with a popular courtesan. She, in turn, is wooed by various actors, thieves and counts. The film was actually shot during the last days of World War II in German-occupied France and features many actual French resistance fighters. In French with English subtitles. 190 minutes (Opens Saturday 12/14)
Director Peter Jackson spent a goodly amount of time setting up the story for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit in the last film. Now the journey is well and truly underway, and we finally get some rousing action, some gorgeous set-pieces and one hell of a dragon. 161 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 11/13)
The 1946 classic starring James Stewart and Donna Reed returns to the big screen in a digitally restored print. The perfect movie about suicide to get you in the holiday mood. 130 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 12/15)
Every day dozens of decomissioned school buses make their way from the US to Guatemala. Repaired, repainted and resurrected as brightly colored Camionetas, they are responsible from taking the vast majority of Guatemalans to work. However, since 2006, nearly 1,000 camioneta drivers have been murdered for refusing to pay extortion money to Guatemalan gangs. This documentary follows one single bus on a transformative journey "between North and South, between life and death." In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 72 minutes Unrated. (Opens Tuesday 12/17)
After recreating/rebooting the entire "Puella Magi Madoka Magica" anime series in just two dazzling films, the storyline spins off in a whole new direction. Following the topdown rewrite that was Madoka Magica: Beginnings and Madoka Magica: Eternal, we focus on the story of Homura, who now lives in a world where witches are no longer born. Unfortunately predatory wraiths still haunt mankind. Suddenly Homura's compatriots Madoka and Sayaka--who shouldn't even exist in this world--return, giving hope that the Magical Girls will reunite to fight evil. 125 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 12/13)
Bruce Dern stars as an aging, booze-addled father who takes a road trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son (Will Forte) in order to claim a bogus sweepstakes prize. The duo makes a pit stop in a small town where dad grew up and still has a few old scores to settle. Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) directs this wry, melancholy character drama. 114 minutes R. (Opens Friday 12/13)
Shot over the course of seven winters in the Arctic, this documentary gives viewers a stunning look into the world of the Inuit who inhabit the Belcher Islands in Canada's Hudson Bay. Traditional life is juxtaposed with modern challenges as both Inuit and their prized prey--the eider duck--confront changing sea ice and ocean currents disrupted by the massive hydroelectric dams powering New York and eastern North America. (Opens Tueasday 12/17)
British director Steve McQueen has a penchant for brilliantly directed, magnificently acted films with subject matters that are unbelievably unpleasant to watch (see for example: Hunger, Shame). With the powerful weight of history behind this new effort, however, it becomes virtually impossible to look away. Chiwetel Ejiofor (Kinky Boots, Inside Man) is magnetic as Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York who is abducted and sold into slavery in the Deep South. As you can probably guess, he spent 12 years bouncing from one cruel plantation owner to another. Based on Northup's biography, this brutally honest film addresses slavery in a manner that's never been seen before on screen. It isn't easy to watch, but it's an incredible achievement. 134 minutes R.
This belated sequel to the 1999 comedy hit The Best Man finds the ensemble African-American cast of college pals reuniting after 15 years over the Christmas holidays. Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrence Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Monica Calhoun and Harold Perrineau all return, sparking long-forgotten rivalries and romances. 123 minutes R.
Woody Allen returns to America to direct his latest ensemble drama. Here he follows an aristocratic New York housewife "in the final stages of an acute crisis" to San Francisco where she reunites with her working-class sister and tries to start her life over. Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Peter Sarsgaard, Alec Baldwin, Louis C.K. and Andrew Dice Clay (!) are among the cast. 98 minutes PG-13.
This simple, tasteful adaptation of Markus Zusak's beloved novel finds Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson acting as foster parents to protect an orphaned girl from the horrors of World War II Germany. The stepparents also manage to hide a well-educated Jewish refugee under the stairs of their home--which is where our young heroine (Sophie Nélisee) learns about the power of books. Naturally she starts stealing them to protect them from the book-burning Nazis. 131 minutes PG-13.
Matthew McConaughey stars in this real-life, refreshingly schmaltz-free biopic about Ron Woodroof, a hard-living Texas rodeo rider who was diagnosed with AIDS in the mid-1980s. Unwilling to accept the (then) death sentence, Woodroof started a drug-running operation which brought the experimental (but effective) drug AZT up from Mexico. By partnering with an HIV+ transvestite (a surprising Jared Leto) and distributing the drugs Robin Hood-style, Woodroof had a major impact on the treatment of HIV and the subsequent FDA approval of AZT. 117 minutes R.
Vince Vaughn stars in this sappy remake of a French-Canadian comedy (Starbuck) about an underachieving man-child (Adam Sandler must have been busy) who finds out his old sperm bank donations have accidentally fathered 500 kids. After about 150 of the now young adults file a class-action lawsuit, our about-to-learn-a-valuable-life-lesson protagonist decides to become a loving father to all of them. This amounts to about two minutes of quality bonding with a whole string of random twentysomethings. Predictable, mildly heartwarming and not all that funny. 103 minutes PG-13.
This wonderful CG cartoon--a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen"--is Disney's most Disney film in ages. It's an unapologetic, old-school musical filled with funny sidekicks and not one but two princesses. Kristen Bell ("Veronica Mars") holds her own as the plucky Nordic princess trying to help her winter-conjuring sister. But Broadway baby Idina Menzel is a force to be reckoned with at the terrified young woman with the snow-throwing powers. Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) steals all the laughs as a talking snowman with a sunny disposition. 108 minutes PG.
Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) directs this heavy-duty thriller about a medical engineer and an astronaut (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney) working frantically to save themselves after an accident leaves them spinning hopelessly adrift through space. A technical jaw-dropper and a white-knuckle survival tale, this one will take your breath away in many ways. 90 minutes PG-13.
Jason Statham is a retired DEA agent and single dad who moves to a small southern town with his daughter and soon runs afoul of a local meth-dealing druglord. Yes, James Franco plays an evil redneck named Gator Beaudine. Sylvester Stallone wrote it, but was apparently too old to play the main character. It's even sillier than it sounds. 100 minutes R.
The book-series-turned-movie-series sensation goes for its second outing. Now that Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) have triumphed in the murderous Hunger Games, their victory is sparking a rebellion. That puts them in the crosshairs of The Capitol, which needs fake heroes to exploit--not real ones. Excitement and storytelling ramp up in this entertaining crowd-pleaser, leaving high hopes for the third film. 146 minutes PG-13.
Johnny Knoxville manages to squeeze out another "Jackass" film. This one borrows from Sacha Baron Cohen's Borat, with Knoxville dressed up in old man makeup and performing "insane hidden camera pranks" on real people in the middle of a faintly scripted screenplay. 92 minutes R.
Aren't old people just the cutest? if you agree, then Last Vegas is the laugher for you. Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline play a trio of senior citizens who reunite in Vegas for some bachelor party shenanigans after their old pal (Michael Douglas) announces he's getting married to his 32-year-old girlfriend. Cue the Viagra jokes! 105 minutes PG-13.
When his younger brother (Casey Affleck) disappears, a hardened steel worker (Christian Bale) infiltrates the world of underground fight clubs looking for revenge against a redneck criminal kingpin (Woody Harrelson). A shockingly down-and-dirty Rust Belt thriller from director Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart). 116 minutes R.
A world-weary political journalist (British comedian Steve Coogan) hunts down the story of a woman's search for her long-lost son, given up decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Director Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen, Dangerous Liaisons) adds a light comic touch to this road trip dramedy, while Judi Dench delivers a poignant performance in the title role. A lovely, surprisingly uplifting crowd-pleaser. 98 minutes PG-13.
Marvel's hammer-slinging space god Thor (Chris Hemsworth) is back for more mystical sci-fi action. This time around he's forced to team up with his archenemy/brother, Loki, when an entire race of world-destroying Dark Elves puts both Earth and Asgard in its sights. 112 minutes PG-13.
Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick-Ass) and Julianne Moore (Boogie Nights) replace Sissy Spacek and Piper Laurie in this update of Stephen King's 1976 shocker. Moretz plays a high school outcast whose telekinetic powers run rampant when she's pushed too far by school bullies and a crazy mom. Director Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don't Cry) adds some welcome female perspective to the story, but it's been done before. 99 minutes R.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:10 am, 1:50, 4:30, 7:10, 9:50 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20
Our main character, a supervillain-turned-foster-dad (voiced by Steve Carell), is considerably more toothless this time around, having given up his world-conquering ways. But the humor is infectious, and the story is sweet. Cartoons used to be about gags, not about plots, and this film really knows how to construct an old-school, animated gag. It lacks the edgy spark of the original, but the kids in the audience won't notice. 98 minutes PG.
Hoping we'll be even more impressed with him, actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in this R-rated romantic comedy. Gordon-Levitt plays the titular New Jersey mook, a friendly, loyal churchgoing guido who just happens to be addicted to porn. This creates a somewhat unrealistic expectation when it comes to intimate relationships--particularly when the latest object of his affection is the sexy Scarlett Johansson. 90 minutes R.
Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up to bust out of a futuristic jail. Stallone headlines as a "structural security expert" whose job it is to test out prison facilities. But when he's double-crossed and dumped in a freaky, high-tech facility, he's got to use all his skills to escape. It's silly B-movie exploitation, but like the boys' recent team-ups in The Expendables movies, this one's well aware of its tone. 116 minutes R.
Peter Jackson loads everybody back into the hobbit cart to adapt J.R.R. Tolkien's pre-Lord of the Rings novel. Martin Freeman ("Sherlock") plays the young Bilbo Baggins, sent on an epic quest by wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to stop a marauding dragon. The tone is notably more juvenile, and the story has been much inflated to fill out three whole films. Still, fans of Jackson's earlier work should be ecstatic to have more of it on the big screen. 169 minutes PG-13.
Cinemark is in a holiday mood, providing digitally restored versions of some Christmas classics throughout December. This week, it's the 1990 slapstick comedy Home Alone starring Macaulay Culkin when he was cute. 103 minutes PG.
An irresponsible playboy (Eugenio Derbez) must grow up quickly after a former lover gives him their daughter to raise. Yup, it's a cheap Mexican knock-off of Adam Sandler's Big Daddy. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 115 minutes PG-13.
Alleged standup comedian and definite acquired taste Dane Cook voices the lead character in this imagination-free spin-off/knockoff of Pixar's Cars. It's a virtual carbon copy about a would-be racer who gets mentored by an elderly machine, only this time the oddly anthropomorphic characters have wings instead of tires. Pixar had nothing to do with this one, allowing parent corp. Disney to perform the sacrilege. 92 minutes PG.
A smalltime pot dealer (Jason Sudeikis from "SNL") gets talked into smuggling a giant load of weed back from Mexico. In order to cover his tracks, he hires a fake family including stripper "mom" Jennifer Aniston and runaway teen "daughter" Emma Roberts. Hijinks ensue. The supporting cast for this raunchy laugher includes comedy vets Ed Helms, Nick Offerman and Kathryn Hahn. 109 minutes R.