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22 Jump Street

The 2012 comic reboot of teen cop series "21 Jump Street" worked almost entirely thanks to the efforts of its game cast (Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, chiefly). The simple script and low-impact direction certainly didn't add much to the proceedings. This rude follow-up (set in college) tries a little harder, crafting a bigger-stakes story and a perfect storm of self-mocking jokes. It ain't smart, but it does have drug content, brief nudity and a Benny Hill reference. Also, it's been shoved back into theaters for a week so it can make more money. 112 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

As Above/So Below

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.
Movies 8

Boyhood

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.
Movies 8

Fright Night (1985)

William Ragsdale ("Justified") is the suburban teen with a new, very likely vampiric next-door neighbor. Roddy McDowell is the old-school horror movie host who gets roped into helping defeat the evil bloodsucker. This popular horror flick (with comedy touches) was remade (not badly) in 2011. But the original is still more fun. 106 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

Get On Up

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.
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The Giver

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.
Movies 8
Movies West

The Hundred-Foot Journey

After the untimely death of their matriarch, a brokenhearted Indian clan wanders Europe looking for a place to open up a 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.
Movies 8
Movies West

Lucy

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.
Movies 8

Maleficent

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.
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Maleficent 3D

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The Purge: Anarchy

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.
Movies West

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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.
Movies 8
Movies West

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3D

Movies 8
Movies West

This Is Where I Leave You

Middle-of-the-road talent Shawn Levy (Cheaper By the Dozen, Night at the Museum, Date Night, Real Steel) directs this dramedy about a dysfunctional family (Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Adam Driver, Corey Stoll) brought together by their secret-stealing author of a mother (Jane Fonda) to sit shiva in their childhood home after their father passes away. The story (based on a novel by Jonathan Tropper) doesn't plow any new ground. It's your standard "crazy clan gets the skeletons out of the closet, cries, hugs and makes up" tale--right down to the requisite pot-fueled confessional scene. But the cast is filled with comic ringers, and script generates its emotions in a mostly organic manner. 103 minutes R.
Movies 8
Movies West

When the Game Stands Tall

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.
Movies West
Times and listings are for Friday 10/31 through Thursday 11/6
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