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. (Opens Friday 7/18)
Cinemark Theatres is bringing three digitally restored musicals back to the big screen for two days only. There's 1969's Hello, Dolly!, 2001's Moulin Rouge! and 1955's Oklahoma! You can buy individual tickets or get a pass for all three. Visit bestmoviefestever.com for more details. (Opens Saturday 7/26)
Century Rio Moulin Rouge Sat 2:20; Tue 4:15 Hello Dolly Sat 11:15 Tue 1:00 Oklahoma Sat 5:00 Tue 7:00
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. 98 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 7/25)
Computer programming prodigy and "information activist" Aaron Swartz is profiled in this tragic, thought-provoking documentary. Swartz helped develop the RSS format and founded Reddit before taking his own life at 26. At the time he was about to stand trial for his "hacktivism." Director Brian Knappenberger previously helmed We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, and his newest high-tech doc contemplates whether computer geniuses should use their skills for the monetary benefit of corporate America or for social good. 105 minutes Unrated. (Opens Monday 7/28)
Salman Khan (Dabangg, Bodyguard) stars in this remake of a popular 2009 Telugu film of the same name about a thrill-seeker who becomes a badass, mask-wearing superthief. As in most Indian films, the explosive action is rounded out with lots of wacky romantic comedy and plenty of musical numbers. In Hindi with English subtitles. 146 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 7/25)
Famed film critic Roger Ebert speaks his mind in this biographical documentary based on his bestselling memoir of the same name. Director Steve James (Hoop Dreams) started filming mere months before Ebert passed away from complications of thyroid cancer. Despite the loss of his voice (he answers questions via email), Ebert remains a vivid, colorful character. The film splits its time between Ebert's unapologetic life story and his rough final days--but it's hard not to leave with the impression that the guy lived exactly the sort of life he wanted. 120 minutes R. (Opens Monday 7/28)
French filmmaker Luc Besson (La Femme Nikita, Leon: The Professional, The Fifth Element) gets back into the swing of action filmmaking after a directing hiatus in which he wrote seemingly every other action film Hollywood came out with (The Transporter, Taxi, Revolver, Taken, From Paris With Love, District B13, Lockout, Colombiana, 3 Days to Kill). Scarlett Johansson stars as Besson's titular character, a woman tricked into becoming a mule for an experimental drug. When the bags of illegal chemicals in her stomach break open, she suddenly and mysteriously gains all the superpowers in the universe. We're talking Jackie Chan, all of the X-Men and Neo at the end of The Matrix combined. Naturally she uses these powers to get revenge on the bad people. 90 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/25)
It's really just a wacky collection of surreal bits featuring the members of Monty Python dressed up in medieval outfits acting out the story of Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table. But damned if this isn't a nonstop riot. You know most of the punch lines. You can sing most of the songs. You know the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow. You've got to see it! 90 minutes PG. (Sunday 7/27)
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. (Opens Friday 7/25)
This feature-length documentary chronicles the meteoric rise of video games from the high-tech phenomenon of the late '70s to the multibillion-dollar industry of today. This eye-candy-filled love letter isn't exactly an in-depth history. But if you grew up on video games--whether it was Space Invaders or Halo--you'll appreciate the geeky enthusiasm. 100 minutes (Opens Saturday 7/26)
Zach Braff follows up his 2004 writing/directing/starring effort Garden State with this equally twee indie. In it he plays a 35-year-old unemployed actor who finds himself at a major crossroads when his father (Mandy Patinkin) announces he has cancer. Not everyone will appreciate the mix of humor and drama or the expectedly emo soundtrack. But it does feel like a slightly more grown-up version of Garden State, which had more than a few fans. 106 minutes R. (Opens Friday 7/25)
Guild Cinema gives us 10 days of classic crime movie double features. Ten films spanning the years 1940 to 1956 have been pulled from the Warner Archive and programmed exlusively for the Guild by Elliot Lavine, curator of the nationally known annual film noir extravaganza "I Wake Up Dreaming." On July 25 a gang of armed robbers spreads terror in Highway 301, and a vicious killer hides hostages in a Nevada ghost town in Split Second. On July 26 and 27 the festival closes out with a Fritz Lang double-feature. Sex and murder rock a big-city newspaper in While the City Sleeps and a writer frames himself for murder to expose inequalities in the death penalty in Beyond a Reasonable Doubt.
Guild Cinema Fri Highway 301 5:15, 8:45 Split Second 7:00; Sat-Sun While the City Sleeps 4:30, 8:45 Beyond a Reasonable Doubt 7:00
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. 112 minutes R.
If you're feeling extra jingoistic and xenophobic around Independence Day, why not check out the latest right-wing hootenany from writer-director Dinesh D'Souza (2016: Obama's America)? In this ... let's charitably call it a "documentary," D'Souza calls out all the Americans who hate America (read: "democrats") and imagines an alternate reality in which America lost the Revolutionary War. The point of all this? Liberals are stupid, and slavery wasn't all that bad. (It was character-building, black people!) Also, Saul Alinsky was Satan, Matt Damon is a poo-poo head, and Mexicans are destroying our country. Good night. Sleep tight. 103 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.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Thu 11:20am, 1:50, 4:35, 7:30, 10:25 Century Rio Fri 10:55am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:40; Sat 10:40; Sun-Thu 10:55am, 1:55, 4:50, 7:45, 10:40 High Ridge Fri-Thu 1:05, 4:05, 7:30, 10:30
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.
"Inspired by a true story" script? Check. Women and children contorting and doing their best Linda Blair imitation? Check. Commercials featuring real audience members flinching and screaming in the dark? Check. Looks like we're set for this month's low-budget Exorcist clone. 118 minutes R.
This well-meaning but entirely uninspired family sci-fi flick glues the entire plot to E.T. the Extraterrestrial onto the handheld, found-footage style of Chronicle. The result is a cheap, nostalgic imitation of mid-'80s Steven Spielberg-inspired wonderment. J.J. Abrams' Super 8 did the exact same (and I mean, exact same) thing 50 times better. 91 minutes PG.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A crusading evangelist (James Remar) finds himself framed for murder and on the run after he refuses to back an evil senator's proposition calling for sweeping religious reform in America. Hey, if the "War of Christianity" isn't actually happening in real life, paranoid religious conservatives can at least pretend it is at the movie theater. This was a big hit when it screened at the Conservative Political Action Conference earlier this year. If your name is Ralph Reed, you'll love it too. Writer-director Daniel Lusko (500 MPH Storm) grew up in Albuquerque, the son of a local megachurch pastor. 93 minutes PG-13.
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.
Jason Segel and Cameron Diaz are a bored suburban couple who make a raunchy sex tape only to wake up and find the footage has gone missing. Segel and Diaz try hard, but the film is heavy on shenanigans and light on anything else (including, sadly, sex). 94 minutes R.
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.
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 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.
Andrew Garfield returns as your friendly neighborhood web-slinger for the second film in Sony's impatient reboot of the Spider-Man series. Things are looking crowded here as supervillains the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan), Electro (Jamie Foxx) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti) all fight for screen time and a shot at the title hero. This one ranks right up against Batman & Robin in terms of rickety scripting and ridiculous characters. 142 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.
The First Avenger is back and still trying to acclimate to life outside his native World War II era. Things have changed a bit since the 1940s, and superspy Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) brings in S.H.I.E.L.D. head honcho Alexander Pierce (Robert Redford) to spell out today's tricky, post-Cold War realities. But just when our man Cap (Chris Evans) thinks he's got a handle on it, the past comes knocking in the form of Soviet supervillain the Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). This Bourne Identity-esque sequel manages to balance action-packed thrills and tense political conspiracy. 128 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.
There's a real industry these days preaching to the converted. Here Todd Burpo's questionable but incredibly popular "nonfiction" book heads to the big screen. Greg Kinnear stars as a mild-mannered midwest preacher whose son "dies" on the operating table and returns to life, only to describe Heaven. Clouds and Jesus, you say? Who would have guessed? No one outside the Christian faith will care about this feel-good sermon, but it scores points for at least acknowledging that not all members of the congregation agree on the more abstract points of their religion. 100 minutes PG.
In this Indian drama, a middle-aged woman (Manju Warrier) "rediscovers her lost charisma for the good of the society overcoming strong odds from a patriarchal society." Whatever that means. In Malayalam with English subtitles. 122 minutes
This genial, family-friendly, Disney-produced sports drama doesn't deviate very far from the inspirational formula laid out by Invincible, Remember the Titans, Miracle and countless others. But the curious story and smart casting make for a very likable outing. Jon Hamm ("Mad Men") plays a typical money-hungry LA sports agent who comes up with a last-ditch effort to save his career: He'll sponsor a fast-pitch competition in India to recruit the world's first India baseball player. What he ends up with is a couple of naive kids whose first trip to America results in a lot of culture shock. This one's less about teamwork and hard work and more about friendship and personal responsibility. And damned if it doesn't actually "feel good." 124 minutes PG.
When a woman (Cameron Diaz) learns that her boyfriend (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau from "Game of Thrones") has a wife (Leslie Mann) and another girlfriend (Kate Upton), she joins forces with the other ladies to exact revenge. Expect lots of madcap slapstick and female bonding rom this anti-rom-com. 109 minutes PG-13.
Movies West Fri 1:30, 4:15; Sat 12:45; Sun 12:45, 7:00, 9:45; Mon 1:30, 4:15; Tue-Thu 1:30, 4:15, 7:00, 9:45
Perhaps I'm wrong to do so, but I distrust any film in which George Lopez voices a tiny, wisecracking animal (Beverly Hills Chihuahua, Marmaduke, Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2, the upcoming Speedy Gonzales movie). Here, he's a computer-animated toucan or something, trying to assist a wayward pet macaw from small-town Minnesota who ends up lost in Samba-crazed Rio de Janeiro. Jessie Eisenberg, Wanda Sykes, Jane Lynch, Jamie Foxx and Will i Am fill out the rest of the voice cast. 96 minutes G.