Jennifer Lopez stars in this time-wasting erotic thriller about a divorced teacher who has a torrid affair with the new boy across the street. Things get complicated when he turns up as a student in her high school class and then goes all Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction on her. Oops. 91 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/22)
Jennifer Aniston gets all actorly all of a sudden to play a drug-addicted suburbanite who becomes fascinated by the suicide of a woman in her chronic pain support group. It's her best "change of pace" work since 2002's The Good Girl, but the film is too slow and morose to fully gel as either a comedy or a tragedy. 102 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/23)
Shot in Gallup, NM, by hometown boy and first-time filmmaker Sydney Freeland, this gritty ensemble drama follows three young Native Americans--an adopted Christian girl, a rebellious father-to-be and a promiscuous transsexual--as they strive to escape the hardships of life on an Indian reservation. The script was developed through the Sundance Director's Lab, and the finished product was executive produced by Mr. Sundance himself, Robert Redford. 92 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 1/23)
James Stewart, John Wayne, Gregory Peck, Henry Fonda, Debbie Reynolds, Carroll Baker, Eli Wallach, Robert Preston, Karl Malden and just about everybody else in Hollywood in 1962 star in this multigenerational, multisegment saga about the Gold Rush, the Civil War and pretty much anything else Wild West-related. It was originally shot in 70mm, and John Ford directed the Civil War stuff. This is definitely the kind of epic Western you wanna see on the big screen. 164 minutes Unrated. (Opens Sunday 1/25)
Barry Levinson (Diner, Rain Man) directed and Buck Henry (The Graduate, Catch-22) adapted the screenplay for this comedy-drama based on the not-very-well-regarded novel of the same name by Philip Roth. Al Pacino plays an aging theater actor who's lost his talent for the stage. He finds motivation, however, by sleeping with his lustful, lesbian goddaughter (indie doll Greta Gerwig). It's some major, dirty-old-man wish fulfillment--but Pacino sure commits to it. Think half Birdman, half Woody Allen sex farce. 112 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/23)
Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow and Paul Bettany star in this oddball adaptation of Kyril Bonfiglioli's P.G. Wodehouse-esque comic thrillers (published between 1973 and 1978). Depp plays the title character, a charming, debonair art dealer and part-time rogue who gets caught up in a caper involving Mi5, some angry Russians and a stolen painting rumored to contain a code that leads to lost Nazi gold. 106 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 1/22)
Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Strictly Ballroom, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet) cuts loose with an all-out fantasy musical set in 19th-century century Paris' most infamous nightclub, the Moulin Rouge. Nicole Kidman stars as the club's most famous showgirl. Ewan McGregor plays an amorous writer in love with the bewitching performer. John Leguizamo pops up as McGregor's mentor, famed painter Toulouse Lautrec. The music is a lyrical blur of everything from Nat King Cole to Madonna. Astonishingly, this heady anachronistic cocktail works thanks to the sheer moxie of writer/director Luhrmann, who creates a lurid, candy-colored fever dream of a film that just might make musicals cool again. 127 minutes PG-13. (Thursday 1/22)
Basement Films co-presents a multi-projector performance by experimental filmmaker/curator/professor Roger Beebe. This "best of" collection features several of Beebe's most famous shorts, including "the six-projector show-stopping space jam 'Last Light of a Dying Star'." Among the topics up for discussion are black athletes with Irish surnames ("Famous Irish Americans"), Las Vegas suicides ("Money Changes Everything") and companies jockeying to be at the front of the phone book ("AAAAA Motion Picture"). 120 minutes (Opens Wednesday 1/28)
Before he sold the farm, George Lucas spent several years working on this secret project. It's an animated musical about goblins, elves, fairies and imps, all battling over a powerful magical potion. Evan Rachel Wood, Alan Cumming, Maya Rudolph and Kristen Chenoweth provide some of the voices. Popular tunes by Whitney Houston, Heart, The Four Tops and ELO make up of the musical numbers. 99 minutes PG. (Opens Thursday 1/22)
Writer-director Jaume Balagueró returns for the fourth film in the claustrophobic zombie series [REC]. This time around, the demonic virus has busted out of the apartment building in Barcelona and is going international. Ángela Vidal (Manuela Velasco), the spunky young television reporter who somehow survived the first film, is back. Quarantined on a offshore oil tanker by a medical team, she discovers that the hellish zombie infection has followed her out to sea. Death and dismemberment ensue. In Spanish with English subtitles. 95 minutes R. (Opens Friday 1/23)
Reliable but rarely more than workmanlike director Clint Eastwood helms this biopic based on the biography of Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle. Bradley Cooper is excellent, running through all the emotions of our main character as he goes from front-line shellshocked to home-front rehabilitated. But Eastwood waffles too much between gung-ho patriotism and a more reasoned examination of the horrors our modern military men and women are asked to endure. It wants to tackle some big moral issues, but unlike Eastwood's Unforgiven, it just can't break the Hollywood formula long enough to find the metaphorical weight behind the story. 132 minutes R.
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.
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.
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 Fri-Sat 1:55, 4:45, 7:35, 10:25; Sun 4:45, 7:35, 10:25; Mon-Wed 1:55, 4:45, 7:35; Thu 1:55 High Ridge Fri-Sun 1:00, 4:05, 7:25, 10:20; Mon-Thu 1:00, 4:05, 7:25
An evil and mysterious computer hacker sabotages a nuclear reactor in China, so naturally the FBI breaks another computer hacker (Chris Hemsworth) out of jail so he can battle the bad guy, mano a mano. Our hero, like all computer nerds, is a muscle-bound hunk whose an expert on weapons and hand-to-hand combat. Director Michael Mann (Manhunter, Heat, Ali, Miami Vice) takes on the unenviable task of making typing on a computer look exciting. If you like lots of technobabble in your thrillers, this preposterous action flick is right up your alley. 135 minutes R.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson tackles elusive author Thomas Pynchon's psychedelic detective novel from 2009. If you're familiar with both of those gentlemen (one of whom directed Boogie Nights, one of whom wrote Gravity's Rainbow), you should be suitably intrigued by the team-up. This '70s-set California noir finds a stoned-out private investigator (Joaquin Phoenix) asked by an ex-girlfriend to untangle a mystery he can barely comprehend while battling Nixon-era paranoia. 148 minutes R.
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.
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.
The beloved British picture book character gets the requisite CGI makeover for the movies. Ben Whishaw (Skyfall) voices the raincoat-wearing Peruvian bear who ends up lost and alone at a London train station. He gets adopted by a kindly family (led by Hugh Bonneville and Sally Hawkins) and has some episodic adventures. Nicole Kidman plays the villain, an evil taxidermist. Because there has to be a villain in these sorts of things. 95 minutes PG.
This serious, dutiful biopic chronicles Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s campaign to secure equal voting rights via a groundbreaking march from Selma to Montgomery, Ala., in 1965. David Oyelowo (Lee Daniels' The Butler) is perfect as King. Cuba Gooding Jr., Tim Roth, Giovanni Ribisi, Carmen Ejogo, Alessandro Nivola, Martin Sheen, Tom Wilkinson and Oprah Winfrey round out the important cast. 128 minutes PG-13.
Four Hispanic high school students form a robotics club. With no experience, no money and a bunch of old car parts, they challenge the country's reigning robotics champions at MIT. Marisa Tomei, Jamie Lee Curtis, Esai Morales, George Lopez and Steven Michael Quezada star. Yup, it was shot here in Albuquerque, and it's based on one of those inspiring true stories you hear so much about. 83 minutes PG-13.
It really does not pay to be friends or family with ex-government agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson). Everybody he knows has been killed or kidnapped by bad guys, whom he is then obliged to stalk and kill using his "particular set of skills." This time around his wife has been killed, and he's framed for murder. Oh, somebody's in for an old man ass-kicking! As before, French action king Luc Besson pens it, and the awesomely named Olivier Megaton directs it. 109 minutes PG-13.
'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.
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.
Josh Gad (Frozen) plays a well-meaning, friendless schlub who hires a fake best man (comedian Kevin Hart) in order to impress his fiancée (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting) at their wedding. As one does in contrived romantic comedies. 101 minutes R.
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.
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.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Sun 11:35am, 2:20, 5:05, 7:50, 10:40; Mon-Wed 11:35am, 2:20, 5:05, 7:50; Thu 11:35am, 2:20 Century Rio Fri-Thu 12:15, 3:25, 6:40 High Ridge Fri-Sun 12:50, 4:15, 7:35, 10:25; Mon-Thu 12:50, 4:15, 7:35
This loose sequel to the old-fashioned ghost story starring Daniel Radcliffe takes place 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House. It's the eve of World War II, and a group of London schoolchildren has been evacuated to the English countryside. Unfortunately, it's to a sprawling estate full of dead people. Good luck with that, kids. 98 minutes PG-13.
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.
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.
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.
High Ridge Fri-Sun 1:15, 6:50, 10:25; Mon-Thu 1:15, 6:50
Universal has decided to reboot all of its classic "Universal Monsters" films, starting with their chief bloodsucker. Unfortunately somebody at the studio thought he needed one of those "boring superhero origin story" movies. Here we find out how good-guy Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans from Fast & Furious 6) became a vampire to fight off invading Turks. This one's perfect for people who felt Bram Stoker's classic tale needed to look a lot more like 300. 92 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:50am, 2:30, 5:00, 7:40, 10:20 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:35, 10:10
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.
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.
Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko, Brokeback Mountain) stars in this grim crime thriller-cum-satire as a sleazy hustler who worms his way into the underground world of freelance crime reporting. Armed with a video camera and a total lack of ethics, he prowls LA's dark streets looking for any stories that bleed so he can sell them to content-hungry local networks. The film has a lot of scathing things to say about today's voyeuristic culture, but it's also a tense, Taxi Driver-ish thriller. 117 minutes R.
Hasbro and Universal Pictures have already made Transformers and Battleship into mind-numbing multimillion-dollar action movies. So why not turn Ouija into a cheap ghost drama? A bunch of teens use an "ancient spirit board" to "awaken the dark powers." You know what happens next. 90 minutes PG-13.
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.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:30am, 2:00, 4:30, 7:00, 9:30 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:00, 2:30, 5:00, 7:30, 10:00