Yes, 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, though, the film is comfortingly real and quietly observational. We simply watch as young 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. A wonderful, empathetic film. 165 minutes R. (Opens Friday 8/15)
A certified cult phenomenon before it even came out, this gothic revenge tale from 1994 still holds up well. The late Brandon Lee stars as a musician who rises from the grave to hunt down his girlfriend's killers. This haunting and action-packed favorite is celebrating its 20th anniversary. 102 minutes R. (Friday 8/15)
This 1970 shot-in-Las-Vegas concert special features white-jumpsuited EP performing his greatest hits. Backstage footage gives a brief glimpse into the man behind the music. 97 minutes PG. (Opens Sunday 8/17)
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. (Opens Friday 8/15)
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. (Opens Friday 8/15)
Susan Abod's documentary travels the Southwest to examine people who claim to suffer from Multiple Chemical Sensitivity--an ailment that makes them allergic to the modern world. Abod will be at the screening for a post-film Q&A. 56 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 8/16)
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. (Opens Wednesday 8/13)
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. (Opens Friday 8/15)
Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, The Science of Sleep, The Green Hornet) writes and directs this weirdly whimsical/strangely grim fantasy romance about a wealthy, inventive bachelor (Romain Duris) who tries to find a cure for his lover (Audrey Tautou) after she is diagnosed with an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs. It's based on Boris Vian's novel L'Écume des Jours. If Pee-wee Herman were a French postwar surrealist, he might make a movie like this. 94 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 8/15)
This medical-minded documentary looks at the history of antibiotics and how their creation (and subsequent overuse) led to a world filled with deadly, drug-resistant superbugs. 72 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 8/17)
Swedish auteur Lukas Moodysson (Show Me Love, Lilya 4-Ever, Together) directs this spirited musical pic based on his wife Coco's semi-autobiographical comic book about growing up in early-'80s Stockholm. The film concentrates on a trio of working-class 13-year-old girls who decide to form their own punk band (despite a lack of musical skill). With naturalism and charm, the film captures that age when everything was either life-changingly awesome or earth-shatteringly tragic. A pitch-perfect ode to friendship, girl power and loud music. 102 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 8/15)
A group of schoolkids, spending their summer at a woodland camp, rescue a cute, dog-like space alien. As a reward, the alien offers to take them anywhere they like. So begins a colorful journey to the moon and beyond. This Japanese animated sci-fi film tries to combine the space-spanning action of Star Wars with the all-ages appeal of a Miyazaki film. 136 minutes (Opens Tuesday 8/19)
Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter himself) and Zoe Kazan (Ruby Sparks) star in this contempo, indie variation on When Harry Met Sally... Wallace (Radcliffe) is a romantically burned-out twentysomething who befriends spunky (and spoken for) animator Chantry (Kazan). But can men and women be platonic pals? I think you already know the cinematic answer. 102 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 8/15)
A crotchety old realtor (Michael Douglas) enlists the help of his neighbor (Diane Keaton) when he's suddenly left in charge of the young granddaughter he never knew existed. I think you can see where this is going, heart-melting-wise and romance-wise. 94 minutes PG-13.
Keira Knightley and Mark Ruffalo star in this music industry dramedy for writer-director John Carney (Once). Knightley plays a young singer-songwriter who gets dumped by her famous boyfriend (Adam Levine) and begins a promising collaboration with a disgraced record company executive (Ruffalo). 104 minutes R.
Jon Favreau (now famous as the director of Iron Man) returns to his indie film roots, writing, directing and starring in this humble comedy about a famous chef who loses his fancy restaurant job and starts over with a food truck. John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Sofía Vergara, Amy Sedaris and Robert Downey Jr. drop by to help out their pal. 115 minutes R.
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.
Chadwick Boseman (42) stars in this musical biopic chronicling musician James Brown's rise from poverty to stardom. The plot is your basic "Behind the Music" episode, but Boseman is terrific. Dan Aykroyd, Viola Davis, Jill Scott, Octavia Spencer and Craig Robinson fill out the cast list. 138 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.
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.
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.
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. But if 2001: A Space Odyssey encapsulated mind-blowing cinema for drug-addled hippies in 1968, then this will surely melt the synapses of filmgoers currently using only 10 percent of their brains. 90 minutes R.
The spy novels of John le Carré make for gripping reading, but they rarely translate well into film. The deglamorized, workaday espionage world le Carré portrays is in direct conflict with action-heavy modern cinema. Dutch director Anton Corbijn (Control, The American) gives it the old college try, though. Philip Seymour Hoffman, in his last starring role, is a world-weary German counterterrorism agent tracking a Russian Muslim refugee through Hamburg. It's a smart, well-acted jigsaw puzzle, but a bit too slow-paced for its own good. 121 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Sat 1:55, 5:05, 7:55, 10:45; Sun 5:05, 7:55, 10:45; Mon-Tue 1:55, 5:05, 7:55 Century Rio Fri-Sat 3:55, 7:10, 10:15; Sun-Thu 7:10, 10:15 High Ridge Fri-Thu 12:35, 3:50, 7:35, 10:35
Against the better judgments of the Pixar folks, Disney released a chintzy, aerial knockoff of the Cars franchise last year. Despite the obvious lack of effort and the presence of Dane Cook, the film made money. So here's a sequel, which at least comes with better animation and adds the excitement of firefighting. Most kids like firefighting. 83 minutes PG.
Universal scored a surprise hit with last year's horror thriller/political satire The Purge. The near-future, right-wing libertarian fantasy continues as Uncle Sam gets out of our hair and suspends all laws for another 24 hours. Wouldn't you know it, some nice family runs out of gas on the streets of Los Angeles, just as the murder-filled lawlessness begins? 103 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.
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.
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.
The once-edgy Adam Sandler continues his sad, slow decline into "family" comedy. In this "Brady Bunch"-inspired sitcom, he reunites with Drew Barrymore, his costar in the long-forgotten 2004 rom-com 50 First Dates. The two play single parents who hate one another but are obliged--by wacky circumstance--to spend their family resort vacation together. Hijinks and romance ensue. 117 minutes PG-13.
Mel Gibson tries to get back in the good graces of the mainstream public by starring in this remake of a BBC mini-series. His role--a Dirty Harry-esque cop getting revenge for his daughter's murder--is familiar enough territory. But the script offers up a few complications, and director Martin Campbell (Casino Royale) gives it a touch more class than the average cop drama. 117 minutes R.
Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in this Independence Day-meets-Groundhog Day sci-fi flick. Cruise plays an ordinary dude who gets drafted to fight off an alien invasion. Unfortunately he dies--just like everybody else on Earth. Fortunately he gets stuck in a time loop--which sends him back to the beginning of the day every time he kicks the bucket. With the help of a tough female soldier, he decides to use his endless regenerations to learn from his mistakes and become the ultimate alien-fighting machine. Based on the book All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. 113 minutes PG-13.
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.
That 1998 thing with Matthew Broderick never happened. Are we agreed? Good! Now we can move on to this proper reboot directed by Gareth Edwards (of the excellent indie Monsters). This time around the King of Monsters is pitted against a couple of malevolent creatures bent on destroying humanity. Also, he's being hunted by a vengeance-minded military dude (Aaron Taylor-Johnson from Kick-Ass) and his shell-shocked dad (Bryan Cranston from "Breaking Bad"). Edwards is a smart director, giving the film tension and drama and playing it all quite seriously. The monsters are more interesting than the people, sure--but these are still the most interesting humans in any Godzilla movie ever. And the epic destruction? It's a thing of beauty. 123 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.
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are a couple of suburban parents who find out their new neighbors are a bunch of drunken frat boys. Oddly enough no one else in the neighborhood seems to notice the all-night parties and the lawn full of beer cans. That leaves our unhappy couple to feud it out with the frat boys. There are some epically raunchy jokes here, but none of the characters are very sympathetic, and the plot is merely an excuse for a string of mean-spirited pranks. 96 minutes R.
Kevin Hart, Gabrielle Union, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson and the rest of the cast from the 2012 comedy hit (based loosely on Steve Harvey's tongue-in-cheek marriage advice book) return for more wacky romance. This time around they're all in Las Vegas for a weekend wedding. As you can reasonably expect from the premise, "various misadventures get them into some compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event." Or as I like to say, "hijinks ensue." 106 minutes PG-13.
The swingin' '60s X-Men of X-Men: First Class (James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, Nicholas Hoult) unite with the older, more grizzled X-Men of X-Men: The Last Stand (Patrick Stewart, Ian McKellen, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry) in order to prevent a future in which fascist robots have taken over the United States and hunted mutants to near-extinction. The story lacks a clear villain and there are too many characters to keep track of, but it still amounts to some breathless popcorn movie fun. 131 minutes PG-13.