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OPENING THIS WEEK^ back to top


Annie

The classic stage musical (based on the Depression-era comic strip by Harold Gray) gets a modern update. Mostly that means a lot of references to Twitter, Google, Facebook, Vine and YouTube. Quvenzhané Wallis (from Beasts of the Southern Wild) makes for a cute Annie, and Jamie Foxx is acceptable as Daddy Warbucks (here renamed "Bill Stacks"). Unfortunately, writer/director Will Gluck (Easy A) seems to have no talent whatsoever for musicals. Everything is staged in a dull, clunky fashion with no cool costumes, big production numbers, splashy fantasy sequences or anything much in the way of choreography even. 118 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 12/19)
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Babadook

From Australia comes this gripping psychological horror thriller. Worn-out single mother Amelia (Essie Davis) is doing her best to raise her troubled young son Samuel (Noah Wiseman). One day the kid finds an unusual bedtime storybook about a monstrous intruder named the Babadook. Before long Samuel's imagination goes into overdrive, and he's convinced this literary boogeyman is coming for him. As dark coincidences begin to pile up around the house, mom starts to believe as well. The frights are powerful, but writer-director Jennifer Kent puts real-life emotions ahead of seat-grabbing scares. 93 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 12/14)
Guild Cinema

Being There

This 1979 comedy, based on a Jerzy Kosinski novel and directed by Hal Ashby (Harold and Maude, Coming Home), features one of Peter Sellers' best performances. Sellers is Chance, a simple-minded, socially sheltered gardener who inherits a fortune and becomes a trusted advisor to a powerful businessman. Politics, celebrity, media obsession and television are just a few of the topics this ahead-of-its-time film satirizes. Double-featured with another outsider comedy, The Brother From Another Planet. 130 minutes PG. (Opens Sunday 12/21)
Guild Cinema

Big Eyes

Director Tim Burton reunites with writers Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski from Ed Wood to present another back-to-form biopic. This oddly down-to-earth drama relates the martial and artistic relationship between painter Margaret Keane (Amy Adams) and her husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) who made millions in the 1950s and '60s on kitschy paintings of kids and puppies with big eyes. As it turns out, Margaret was the one doing all the work, and Walter was the one soaking up most of the credit. 105 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 12/25)
Cottonwood Stadium 16
High Ridge
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema

The Brother From Another Planet

This early indie effort by John Sayles (Lone Star, The Secret of Roan Inish, Eight Men Out) is a sly commentary on race relations in which an escaped alien slave (played by Joe Morton) ends up in 1984 Harlem. Double-featured with another outsider comedy, Being There. 108 minutes R. (Opens Sunday 12/21)
Guild Cinema

Dark Matters Presents: Horror Bites III

Dark Matters Film Festival returns with its annual salute to short films centered around the theme of darkness. Short shockers from around the world (America, Australia, Spain, Ireland, Canada, the Philippines) are grouped into three programming blocks. At 4pm is a collection of dark sci-fi and fantasy. At 6pm is a selection of cutting-edge animation. At 8pm it's the final block concentrating directly on horror. Blocks are approximately 80 minutes each. (Opens Saturday 12/20)
Guild Cinema

Foxcatcher

Steve Carell goes way against type here, playing (real-life) multimillionaire John E. du Pont, a blue blood weirdo who sponsored a couple of wrestlers (played by Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo) in the 1988 Olympic Games. Let's just say things did not end well. Director Bennett Miller, who knows a good nonfiction story when he hears it, also directed Capote and Moneyball. But in this increasingly dark crime thriller about male bonding gone horribly wrong, he's hit tragic gold. The cast (yes, even Tatum) is revelatory, and the details are pitch (black) perfect. 134 minutes R. (Opens Friday 12/19)
Century 14 Downtown
High Ridge

The Gambler

Mark Wahlberg is clearly miscast as a literature professor and gambling addict who gets in way over his head with a nasty loanshark (John Goodman). This one's actually a remake of the 1974 neo-noir starring James Caan. The Caan version is way better. 111 minutes R. (Opens Wednesday 12/24)
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Imitation Game

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. (Opens Wednesday 12/24)
Century 14 Downtown
High Ridge

Into the Woods

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. Compared to Annie, this is pure genuis. 124 minutes PG. (Opens Wednesday 12/24)
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
High Ridge
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

Is it possible that you've seen this holiday pic starring Jimmy Stewart less than a dozen times over the course of your life? Well, here it is in movie theaters. 131 minutes PG. (Opens Sunday 12/21)
Century 14 Downtown

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

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. (Opens Friday 12/19)
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

P.K.

Aamir Khan, Sanjay Dutt and Anushka Sharma star in this comedy-drama about an innocent stranger who appears in Delhi and starts asking questions that force people to reappraise their world. Eventually P.K.'s childlike curiosity transforms into a "spiritual odyssey for him and millions of others." In Hindi with English subtitles. 153 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 12/19)
Century 14 Downtown

Searching for Bobby Fischer

Learners Chess Academy presents a special screening and benefit of this heartwarming 1993 film about a prepubescent chess prodigy who learns the ropes of the game from New York City chess hustlers (Laurence Fishburne, Ben Kingsley among them). 109 minutes PG. (Opens Sunday 12/21)
Guild Cinema

Unbroken

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. (Opens Wednesday 12/24)
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Wild

Reese Witherspoon stars in this inspirational biopic about Cheryl Strayed, who lost her mother and slipped in 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 food. 115 minutes R. (Opens Friday 12/19)
Century 14 Downtown
High Ridge

STILL PLAYING^ back to top


20,000 Days on Earth

Cult fave writer and musician Nick Cave marks his 20,000 day on planet Earth by starring in this intimate documentary (for lack of a better word), chronicling a typical 24-hour period in the Australian-born artist's life. He drives around, stops in on friends, cooks dinner, gets psychoanalyzed and sings the occasional song even. Casual, eclectic and "staged" without being "stagey," this unusual portrait of an artist is a must for Cave fanatics. 97 minutes Unrated.
Guild Cinema

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

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.
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Movies 8
Movies West

Big Hero 6

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.
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

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
High Ridge

Dumb and Dumber To

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.
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Equalizer

The popular, but mostly forgotten 1980s TV series starring Edward Woodward as an elderly, ass-kicking former intelligence agent gets a reboot courtesy of actor Denzel Washington and director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Olympus Has Fallen). Washington is a tough guy with a mysterious past who volunteers to protect a young girl (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) from ultra-violent Russian mobsters. 131 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

Exodus: Gods and Kings

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.
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Exodus: Gods and Kings 3D

Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Fury

Who doesn't love a good tank movie? We haven't had a good tank movie in a long time. Tanks are cool. Brad Pitt stars as a veteran Sherman tank commander leading a five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines toward the end of World War II. Outnumbered, outgunned and limping along in a broken war machine, our heroes face overwhelming odds. Gritty, bloody and brutally paced, this down-in-the-trenches look at life during wartime mixes exaggerated movie violence and "ugly truth" history in almost equal measure. 134 minutes R.
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Movies 8
Movies West

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

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.
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
High Ridge
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Hobbit: The Battle of the FIve Armies 3D

Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
High Ridge
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies--An IMAX 3D Experience

Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Homesman

Following up on his feature directing debut, The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada, Tommy Lee Jones helms and stars in this alternately brutal, comic and sentimental Western. Lee plays a cantankerous drifter hired by a pious frontierswoman (Hilary Swank) to transport a trio of shell-shocked pioneer women back east. 122 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown
High Ridge

Horrible Bosses 2

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.
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay--Part 1

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. ... And now you only have an entire year to wait until the second half of the story. 123 minutes PG-13.
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
High Ridge
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Interstellar

Earth is dying, and it's up to intrepid astronaut Matthew McConaughey to find mankind a new planet to colonize. The clock is ticking, man, hurry up! Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight, Inception) directs this grand, galaxy-spanning space adventure--which manages to be both artistically dreamy and science-geeky smart. Ther are plenty of moments when it swings too far in both directions--but it's still a sight to behold on the big screen. 169 minutes PG-13.
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Penguins of Madagascar

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.
Century 14 Downtown
Cottonwood Stadium 16
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

The Pyramid

An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid, only to find themselves hunted by an insidious mummy. As one does. Denis O'Hare ("American Horror Story: Freakshow") and Ashley Hinshaw ("True Blood") star. This inexpensive, found-footage-style thriller marks the directing debut of the French dude who wrote Alexandre Aja's High Tension and The Hills Have Eyes. 89 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

St. Vincent

Newly divorced Maggie (Melissa McCarthy) moves with her young son next door to cranky old misanthrope Vincent (Bill Murray). Before long, the drinking, gambling war vet is baby-sitting her bullied, father-figure-seeking son. We've seen this kind of "innocent kid melts the heart of a mean, old codger" plenty of times before. But the cast really gives it their all, helping this prickly tragicomedy rise above the schmaltz. 102 minutes PG-13.
Cottonwood Stadium 16

The Theory of Everything

'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.
Century 14 Downtown
High Ridge

This Ain't No Mouse Music!

Musical detective Chris Strachwitz is profiled in this tune-filled documentary. Since 1960 Strachwitz has been the guiding force behind anti-corporate Arhoolie Records--the legendary indie label responsible for bringing Cajun music out of Louisiana, Tex-Mex out of Texas and blues from all over the country. Here, the man himself takes us along on his quest to find the musical soul of America. 92 minutes Unrated.
Guild Cinema

Top Five

Chris Rock writes, directs and stars in this hard-hitting satire about a popular comedian (Chris Rock) trying to make it as a serious actor who gets talked into broadcasting his wedding on TV by his reality star fiancée (Gabrielle Union). Pals Rosario Dawson, Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Whoopi Goldberg, Jerry Seinfeld, Tracy Morgan and Cedric the Entertainer all drop by to lend support. 101 minutes R.
Rio Rancho Premiere Cinema
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Whiplash

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.
High Ridge

SECOND RUN^ back to top


The Best of Me

This could be the Nicholas Sparksiest adaptation of a Nicholas Sparks novel to date. In this schmaltz-heavy romance, we've got a blandly photogenic couple (James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan) who tragically break up and then reunite after many years. Boat docks at sunset? Check. Quaint old country barns? Check. Kissing in the rain? Check. It's Nicholas Sparks all right. 117 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8
Movies West


The Book of Life

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.
Movies 8
Movies West

The Book of Life 3D

Movies 8
Movies West

Gone Girl

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.
Movies 8
Movies West
Winrock Stadium 16 IMAX & RPX

Guardians of the Galaxy

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.
Movies 8
Movies West

Guardians of the Galaxy 3D

Movies 8
Movies West

John Wick

In this hard-hitting, rather minimalist action flick, Keanu Reeves plays a retired hitman, an unstoppable force of nature, who goes gunning for some stupid criminals when they kill his dog and steal his car. The brutally efficient character borrows a lot from Richard Stark's Parker novels. But the action is a major blast. 101 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

The Maze Runner

More post-apocalyptic YA teen lit hits the big screen. In this adaptation of James Dashner's hit book trilogy, a mind-erased teen (Dylan O'Brien, "Teen Wolf") is dropped into a community of "runners" trapped inside a deadly, monster-filled, impossible-to-escape maze. Why? Just wait two more movies and you'll find out. 120 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8
Movies West

Scrooged

Bill Murray and a cast of funny characters (David Johansen, Carol Kane, Bobcat Goldthwait) take on Dickens in this modern-day retelling of "A Christmas Carol" from 1988. 101 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8
Movies West
Times and listings are for Friday 12/19 through Thursday 12/25
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