A long-married British couple (Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay) are preparing to celebrate their 45th wedding anniversary. That is until hubby receives a mysterious note from Switzerland about the discovery of a dead body, lost on a glacier for 50 years. The film (based on a short story by Lancashire poet David Constantine) is incredibly small and quiet--but like an earthquake, everything happens under the surface. Rampling and Courtenay five career-best performances, subtlety navigating their way through long-buried secrets, jealousies and truths. FULL REVIEW:Domestic drama about love and marriage keeps its tension deep under the surface by Devin D. O’Leary (2/4/2016). 95 minutes R. (Opens Friday 2/5)
This controversial documentary relates the story of departed British soul singer Amy Winehouse "in her own words." Archival footage and unheard tracks enliven the film's slow-motion car crash of a narrative. Fans will feel the loss most deeply, but even those who didn't listen to Winehouse may find themselves gripped by the unflinching account. 128 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 2/4)
SUB Theater Fri 6:00, 8:30; Sat 6:00, 8:30; Sun 1:00, 3:30
It's Valentine's Day weekend, surely somebody's got another sap-tacular Nicholas Sparks book we can throw up on the big screen for a couple of days. ... Ah, here we go. Travis (Benjamin Walker from Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter) and Gabby (Teresa Palmer from that Point Break remake) meet as neighbors in some picturesque, seaside North Carolina community. (It ain't Nicholas Sparks without rowboats.) Naturally, they fall in love. Naturally, there are roadblocks. Namely, the coma Gabby winds up in. No points will be awarded for guessing the outcome. 111 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 2/4)
In honor of Black History month, Guild Cinema presents two films starring actor/athlete/singer/cultural scholar/author/political activist Paul Robeson. In this 1933 drama (based on a play by Eugene O'Neill), Robeson stars as the "unscrupulously ambitious" Brutus Jones, who escapes from jail and unexpectedly finds himself the emperor of a Caribbean island. Double-featured with Song of Freedom. 72 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 2/6)
Julianne Moore and Ellen Page star in this earnest biopic about New Jersey police Lieutenant Laurel Hester, whose domestic partner battled to secure pension benefits after Hester was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The message is timely and well-meaning, but the execution is formulaic, leaving this well-staffed drama just a peg or two above your average Lifetime movie. 103 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 11/6)
The Coen brothers (The Big Lebowski, Fargo, No Country For Old Men) take us back to 1950s Hollywood where a studio "fixer" (Josh Brolin) enlists a bunch of goofy actors (Scarlett Johansson, Channing Tatum, Ralph Fiennes, Tilda Swinton) to help locate a famous movie star (George Clooney) who has been kidnapped and held for ransom. 106 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 2/4)
Martial arts star Donnie Yen returns to one of his most famous roles after five years. Here, Master Ip--the real-life martial arts instructor who taught Bruce Lee how to fight--is called upon to fight off a band of brutal gangsters led by a crooked property developer. The selling point for this third go-around is that Yen goes toe-to-toe with infamous American boxer Mike Tyson. In Cantonese and English with English subtitles. 105 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 2/5)
Josh Duhamel, Al Pacino, Anthony Hopkins, Malin Akerman and Julia Stiles star in this convoluted thriller about an ambitious young lawyer who takes on a big case against a ruthless executive of a large pharmaceutical company, only to get tangled up in blackmail and corruption. 106 minutes R. (Opens Friday 2/5)
Get a leg up on this year's Oscar pool by watching five Academy Award-nominated short films. This year's documentary selections include Liberia's "Body Team 12," Pakistan's "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness," the US' "Last Day of Freedom," Vietnam's "Chau, Beyond the Lines" and the US' "Claude: Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah." (Opens Tuesday 2/9)
Every year the Oscar-nominated animated shorts are a major treat. This year's collection crams in all the Academy Award nominees (including Don Hertzfeldt's mind-expanding "World of Tomorrow" and the lovely Pixar short "Sanjay's Super Team") as well as a selection of additional animated shorts from around the globe. Ten films in total will be shown. Unrated. (Opens Friday 2/5)
Seth Grahame-Smith's groundbreaking (and nonetheless silly) mash-up novel finally gets the big screen treatment. Grahame-Smith's version was nothing more than the text of Jane Austen's original novel with the word "zombie" occasionally inserted. This at least adds some grody special effects to the romantic Victorian tale of five sisters on the hunt for suitable husbands. Lily James ("Downton Abbey"), Bella Heathcote (Dark Shadows) and Suki Waterhouse (Insurgent) are among the stars. 108 minutes PG-13. (Opens Thursday 2/4)
In honor of Black History month, Guild Cinema presents two films starring actor/athlete/singer/cultural scholar/author/political activist Paul Robeson. In this 1936 drama he stars as a British dockworker who becomes a famous singer and learns he is the rightful king of the African island of Casanga. Double-featured with The Emperor Jones. 66 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 2/6)
Alfred Hitchcock's 1955 mystery romance casts Cary Grant as a suave cat burglar who must come out of retirement in the French Riviera when he's framed by a series of robberies committed in his particular style. Grace Kelly, meanwhile, gives good face. 106 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 2/7)
A country boy from India (Dileep) seeking love and money moves to Canada and marries a childhood friend (Mamta Mohandas) who "follows Canadian customs and language which he finds difficult to digest." In Malayalam with English subtitles. 102 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 2/5)
U.S. military-loving movie dude Michael Bay (Bad Boys, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, Transformers) just goes ahead and makes a recruitment film centering around conservative screeching point Benghazi. James Badge Dale ("Rubicon") and Jon Krasinski ("The Office") leads a bunch of monosyllabically named CIA security contractors (Brit, Oz, Bub, Rone, Boon, Tig) on a mission to rescue the American ambassador during an attack on a US compound in Libya. 155 minutes R.
Unable to decide on a single disaster on which to end the world, this teen-lit-inspired sci-fi flick finds a plucky teenage girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) facing down apocalyptic electromagnetic pulses, tidal waves, zombie plagues and alien invasions. Naturally, since this is aimed at today's young adults, our heroine must not only save the Earth but decide between two cute boys (Nick Robinson, Alex Roe). Don't hold your breath for a sequel. 112 minutes PG-13.
Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Marisa Tomei, Karen Gillan and Melissa Leo star in this cynical comedy-drama about four outsiders in the world of high-finance who predicted the credit and housing bubble collapse of the mid-2000s and set out to expose the greed and shortsightedness of the big banks. Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights) writes and directs, based on the nonfiction book by Michael Lewis. 130 minutes R.
Century Rio Fri-Thu 12:10, 3:25, 6:50, 10:10 High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:15, 3:25, 7:20, 10:25; Mon-Thu 12:15, 3:25, 7:20
In this eerie horror thriller, an American nanny (Lauren Cohan--Maggie from "The Walking Dead") is hired to look after an English family's unusual child. Instead of flesh-and-blood offspring, she finds a life-sized doll, fashioned to look like the couple's long-dead son. Nonetheless, the care of this inanimate child comes with a long list of "rules" that must not be violated or else ... well, as you can probably guess, bad things will happen. 97 minutes PG-13.
Sylvester Stallone (who neither directs nor writes this film) takes a clever turn in this seventh Rocky movie by mostly staying out of the center ring. Written and directed by the man who gave us the gritty Fruitvale Station, this sporting drama focuses on the troubled son of late boxer Apollo Creed, who turns to Creed's old frenemy, former Heavyweight Champion Rocky Balboa, to serve as his trainer and mentor. Michael B. Jordan, last seen (or not) in Fantastic Four, is our young boxer-to-be. 132 minutes PG-13.
Century Rio Fri-Sat 12:05, 3:25, 6:45, 10:00; Sun 6:45, 10:00; Mon-Thu 12:05, 3:25, 6:45, 10:00
Will Ferrell is a mild-mannered radio executive trying his best to connect with his two stepchildren. The task becomes harder when the kids' kick-ass biological father (Mark Wahlberg) comes home for a visit. If you loved Ferrell and Wahlberg in The Other Guys ... then your taste is questionable. 96 minutes PG-13.
Robert De Niro goes the way of various bad Santas, bad teachers, bad neighbors and the like as a perverted senior citizen who tricks his uptight grandson (Zac Efron) into going to Florida for spring break. From the maker of Borat, Brüno and The Dictator--which should tell you what you're in for. 102 minutes R.
King of the knock-off parody, Marlon Wayans (Scary Movie, Dance Flick, A Haunted House, Dungeons & Dragons ... no, wait, they were serious about that last one) writes and stars in this "who asked for it?" parody of the S&M drama Fifty Shades of Grey. 92 minutes R.
This sentimental but occasionally stirring disaster drama takes us to the high seas where, in 1952, the U.S. Coast Guard struggled to save an oil tanker foundering off the coast of Cape Cod. Chris Pine--in square-jawed, whitebread, Captain America mode--stars as the heroic mariner torn between a hand-wringing fiancée (Holiday Granger) and the men he needs to rescue. There are a few thrills to be had, but--special effects aside--the film reads like a 1950s studio melodrama. 119 minutes PG-13.
Welcome January's first cheap horror flick. Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell from "Game of Thrones") stars as a young woman searching for her twin sister who has gone missing in Aokigahara, a Japanese forest famed as a favorite spot for suicides. Supernatural weirdness ensues. 95 minutes PG-13.
Quentin Tarantio constructs a chatty, claustrophobic mystery smack dab in the middle of a violent spaghetti Western. In it, a bounty hunter (Kurt Russell) is trapped with a prisoner (Jennifer Jason Leigh) in a remote stagecoach stop in the middle of the Wyoming Wilderness by a raging blizzard. The only question is who of his fellow strandees (Samuel L. Jackson, Tim Roth, Bruce Dern and Michael Madsen among them) are fellow bounty hunters hoping to steal his prisoner and how many of them are the lady's compatriots trying to free her? This crazed, funny, vulgar, bloody mashup is like Stagecoach crossed with The Thing, written by Agatha Christie and directed by Sergio Leone. FULL REVIEW:Tarantino’s new Western is more than a little cold around the heart by Devin D. O’Leary (12/24/2015). 168 minutes R.
Jennifer Lawrence finally gets around to overthrowing the evil futuristic government in this, the fourth film of the Hunger Games trilogy. This surprisingly dark outing takes its time getting to the epic final seige. But fans will eat it up anyway. 137 minutes PG-13.
Natalie Portman stars in this shot-in-New-Mexico Western about a Frontier woman who recruits a gun-toting ex-lover (Joel Edgerton from Warrior and Black Mass) to rescue her former-outlaw husband from a bloodthirsty gang of killers. Gavin O'Conner (Miracle, Warrior, Pride and Glory) directs. 98 minutes R.
Writer-director David O. Russell rejoins a lot of his cast from Silver Linings Playbook for this chaotic comedy-drama about the life of real-life inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano, who created the Miracle Mop. The film--featuring the wonderful Jennifer Lawrence in the title role--is mostly an oddball American success story about the ins and outs of running a family business. Like all of Russell's films, the tone is off-kilter throughout. 124 minutes PG-13.
There's a surprising amount of life and laughter left in this lovable series. Jack Black is back as the roly-poly panda with the mad martial arts skills. This time around he's stuck between his adoptive father (James Hong as a gruff but loving goose) and his biological dad (Bryan Cranston, in fuzzy panda mode). Can he figure out who he is in time to defeat an evil yak turning kung fu masters into stone-faced slaves? FULL REVIEW:Family feud grounds martial arts fantasy in unexpected emotional reality by Devin D. O’Leary (1/28/2016). 95 minutes PG.
After a brief flirtation with humor in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) filmmaker Alejandro González Iñárritu returns to the painfully grim style of his early films (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel, Biutiful). Leonardo DiCaprio plays a frontiersman leading a fur-trapping expedition in 1820 who is abandoned and betrayed by the men who hired him. What follows is an extremely brutal tale of survival and (ultimately) revenge. It's extravagantly visual and hard to look away from--but rather punishing. 156 minutes R.
Ice Cube and Kevin Hart continue to do their best to remake 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop, Bad Boys, Rush Hour--basically every buddy cop comedy since 1982. Here cop Cube and annoying future brother-in-law Hart head to Miami to bust an evil drug dealer because ... premise. 101 minutes PG-13.
A young mother (Brie Larson, last seen in Trainwreck) and her 5-year-old son live in a 10-by-10-foot room, completely cut off from the outside word. Mom attempts to raise young Jack (incredible newcomer Jacob Tremblay) in the best way she can. But when things begin to change in Room, she concocts a plan for Jack to escape. What follows is a fascinating existential drama in which Jack's perception of the universe is suddenly and violently expanded beyond the four tiny walls he's known for his entire life. Director Lenny Abrahamson (who gave us the wonderfully weird musical drama Frank) infuses this claustrophobic drama about growth and change with a palpable tension. He's helped immensely by his two stars, who share a thoroughly believable mother-and-son chemistry. FULL REVIEW:Claustrophobic, mother-and-son drama traps the world between four walls by Devin D. O’Leary (11/19/2015). 118 minutes R.
"SNL" pals Tina Fey and Amy Poehler reunite for this rude 'n' crude comedy about two sisters who decide to throw one last, raging house party before their parents sell off their childhood home. Raucous and outrageous as it is at times, there's still a humane and heartfelt undercurrent to the story about growing up and moving on. 118 minutes R.
Actor/director Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor) writes and directs this serious, sweeping true story about how Boston Globe reporters uncovered a massive scandal of child molestation and cover-up within the local Catholic Archdiocese. This journalistic procedural lays as much blame on the media as the churches. The big cast (Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci) is in rare form, and the muckraking script is gripping (if a bit prosaic). 128 minutes R.
It's been 30 years since the Empire was crushed in Return of the Jedi. But something evil has risen from the ashes, forcing a new generation of heroes (John Boyega and Daisy Ridley among them) to team up with legendary freedom fighters Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Princess Leia (Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher, returning for another go-around). J.J. Abrams ( "Lost," Star Trek Into Darkness) directs this first new Star Wars film in 10 years. It's littered (both literally and figuratively) with references to the original film. By mirroring the Star Wars: Episode IV--A New Hope story almost beat-for-beat, the film lacks a level of narrative surprise. But it's smartly nostalgic and a hell of a lot of fun to watch--which is something Episodes I, II and III completely forgot. 140 minutes PG-13.
Computer-animated rodents/pop stars the Chipmunks mistakenly decide that their adoptive human father/band manager (yeah, I really don't understand any of this concept) is getting married. So they drive to Miami to stop the wedding. Jason Lee and Bella Thorne are the unfortunate humans in this fourth outing. 86 minutes PG.
Steven Spielberg, in full history-nerd mode (Saving Private Ryan, Schindler's List, Lincoln, Amistad, Munich), deftly dramatizes the notorious 1960 U-2 spy plane incident. Tom Hanks (looking, these days, like a sad pencil eraser from the neck up--but remaining America's best "everyman" actor) stars as an upstanding Constitutional lawyer who volunteers to defend a Russian spy (esteemed stage actor Mark Rylance). Years later, he's called upon to help "trade" the spy for downed American pilot Francis Gary Powers. Surprisingly--given the low-key script from Joel and Ethan Coen--this well-spoken drama about jurisprudence and diplomacy maintains a beautiful tension. 142 minutes PG-13.
Author R.L. Stine's iconic kiddy horror series Goosebumps gets a winkingly self-referential movie adaptation. Jack Black plays Stine, who teams up with his young daughter and a teenage boy after his imaginary monsters come to life in a tiny Maryland town. All your childhood favorites--from Slappy the Dummy to the Abominable Snowman of Pasadena--stop by for cameos. 103 minutes PG.
Genndy Tartakovsky ("Dexter's Laboratory," "Samurai Jack") returns to helm this cartoon sequel in which Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) tries to bring out the monster in his half-human. half-vampire grandson in order to keep his daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) from leaving his now famous hotel. 89 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:10, 9:40 Movies West Fri 12:10, 3:10; Sat-Sun 12:10, 9:10; Mon-Thu 12:10, 3:10
Thor himself, Chris Hemsworth stars in this historical survival tale directed by Ron Howard. The story is based on the true account of the Essex, a ship that was sunk by a gigantic whale in 1820 and served as the inspiration for Herman Melville's Moby Dick. Howard creates some evocative images of early 19th century New England. And the film's 3D special effects viscerally capture life aboard a whaling ship. The subject matter--the brutal, archaic whaling industry--might not be everyone's cup of tea, however. 121 minutes PG-13.
A boy who has had a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a traditional European Christmas demon (named Krampus, of course) to his family home. Adam Scott ( "Parks and Recreation"), Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), David Koechner (Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy) and Allison Tolman ("Fargo") are among the cast of this seasonal horror comedy. 98 minutes PG-13.
Matt Damon is an astronaut who gets left for dead on Mars after a manned mission goes horribly awry. Stuck on the red planet with only minimal supplies and his scientific mind, our hero must figure out a way to survive based on ingenuity, wit and spirit. Ridley Scott (Alien) directs. It's based, of course, on the best-selling book by Andy Weir. 141 minutes PG-13.
This computer-animated update of the Peanuts TV specials we all grew up watching does fairly reverent job of mirroring the classic 2D style of artist Charles M. Schulz' famous comic strip characters. The thin story revolves around eternal loser Charlie Brown's attempts to woo the newly arrived Little Red-Headed Girl in school. The rest is running gags, cribbed from the comic strips and assembled by Bryan and Craig Schulz. Purists will probably still grouse, but it's a great jumping-off point for new fans of Snoopy and the gang. 93 minutes G.
A mostly unknown cast (Édgar Ramirez? Luke Bracey?) takes over for Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves in this dudebro remake of the 1991 surfing bank robber cult classic. This time around, the filmmakers throw in a bunch more "extreme" sports to jack up the adrenaline levels to distract from the fact that the story is still silly as hell. 113 minutes PG-13.
A "cryptic message from his past" sends superspy James Bond (Daniel Craig) on the trail of the sinister organization secretly responsible for so many of his greatest battles. Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained) in on bad guy and "explaining stuff" duty. The action is extremely Bond-like. And this is a tidy (perhaps too tidy) wrap-up of Craig's run as 007. If you haven't memorized the last three films, however, this one's overly intricate script will lose you in minutiae. 148 minutes PG-13.
Writer-director M Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense, The Village, Lady in the Water, The Happening) dials back the preposterous plot twists for this simple, low-budget, "found footage" shocker. A pair of tweens (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Oxenbould) are shipped off to the rural farm of the grandparents they've never met. Unfortunately, Nana (Deanna Dunagan) and Pop Pop (Peter McRobbie) seem a little ... weird. This winking, modern riff on "Hansel & Gretel" is a fun, PG-13 horror-comedy that works far better than expected. FULL REVIEW:What’s the twist in M. Night Shyamalan’s new “old people are scary” thriller? ... That it’s a decent film. by Devin D. O’Leary (9/10/2015). 94 minutes PG-13.