Terry Gilliam's epic sci-fi fantasy still holds up after all these years as one of the best cinematic explorations of a 1984-ish future. Jonathan Pryce is priceless as our hero Sam Lowry, a wishful bureaucrat who is labeled an enemy of the state after falling in love with a spunky rebel. Dark, witty and a wonder to behold. 131 minutes R. (Friday 9/19)
Richard Linklater's 1993 ensemble comedy looks back at the last day of high school in May, 1976. Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, Milla Jovovich, Adam Goldberg and Matthew McConaughey are among the bell-bottomed cast in this stoned-out version of American Graffiti. 102 minutes R. (Opens Tuesday 9/23)
After a flashy showing at Sundance, filmmaker Ned Benson took his films The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him and The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Her and cut them into a single, (slightly) more conventional narrative. In whatever incarnation, Rigby relates the story of a couple (Jessica Chastain and James McAvoy) who break up in the wake of their baby son's death. She tries to jump off the Brooklyn Bridge, moves in with her parents and goes back to school. He buries himself in his work at a struggling bar/restaurant. There's some serious ACTING (in all capitals) going on here. Supporting cast includes Isabelle Huppert, William Hurt, Ciarán Hinds and Bill Hader. But the whole affair seems a little too high-minded and "constructed" to really get to the heart of the matter. 122 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 9/19)
Stanley Kubrick's masterful 1964 Cold War satire about a misguided attack on Soviet Russia is still one of the most brilliant pieces of counterculture art ever assembled. Peter Sellers is simply brilliant in three different roles, and Kubrick's sense of dark humor is pitch perfect. 93 minutes (Sunday 9/21)
Daniel Radcliffe stars as Beatnik poet Allen Ginsberg in this biopic about the young author's first meeting with soon-to-be icons Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) at Columbia University in 1944. The men are united as much by their literary ambitions as a murderous act on the part of a sexually ambiguous pal. Radcliffe is stellar as the insecure writer navigating the usual coming-of-age tropes--alongside a double dose of homosexuality and homicide. 104 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 9/25)
From the key animator of Akira, Roujin Z and Ghost in the Shell comes this whimsical, hand-drawn animated feature about a girl who moves to a remote Japanese island with her mother after her father's tragic death. Young Momo soon discovers three yokai (friendly but mischievous monsters) living in her attic. Could these funny, troublesome creatures hold the key to her father's final words? In Japanese with English subtitles. 120 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 9/19)
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. (Opens Friday 9/19)
The microscopic secrets of birth are revealed in this documentary presented by Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center. The basic idea presented here is that "modern birth practices could be interfering with critical biological processes, potentially making our children more susceptible to disease later in life." Essentially, argue the hand-picked scientists and immunologists, a baby born via Caesarean section has an improperly "seeded" microbiome. A Q&A will follow the screening. 70 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 9/20)
Yeah, the title pretty much says it all. Parents and Teachers for an Educated Community and Stand4Kids present this documentary about the evils of standardized testing. 74 minutes Unrated. (Opens Saturday 9/20)
This documentary about American soul music purports to concentrate on the legendary recording artists of Stax Records. Unfortunately it largely ignores the Golden Age of the 1960s to focus on a modern-day genre-bending music project that saddles R&B vets (like Bobby "Blue" Bland) with modern-day rappers (like 12-year-old Lil P-Nut). 95 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 9/19)
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. (Opens Friday 9/19)
Kevin Smith (Clerks, Dogma, Red State) writes and directs this year's most WTF? film experience. This wildly uneven splatstick horror comedy finds an obnoxious podcaster (Justin Long, Live Free or Die Hard) kidnapped by an elderly Canadian seaman (Michael Parks, Kill Bill) who wants to do unspeakable things to the poor guy. Parks saves the day her with his quiet menace, but certain other cast members (who will remain nameless) are extremely freaking silly. If you've ever wondered what it would be like if someone combined The Human Centipede with a Bob and Doug McKenzie sketch, here's your answer. 101 minutes R. (Opens Friday 9/19)
Century Rio Fri-Sat 10:45am, 1:30, 4:25, 7:35, 10:20, 11:30; Sun-Tue 10:45am, 1:30, 4:25, 7:35, 10:20; Wed-Thu 4:45, 7:35, 10:20 High Ridge Fri-Sun 1:10, 3:55, 7:40, 10:40; Mon-Thu 1:10, 3:55, 7:40
In this simplified, overly sentimental look at immigration, a cute 'n' precocious kid named Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) leaves his hometown in Mexico on a quest to find his long-absent mom, slaving away as an undocumented worker in Los Angeles. Along the way, Carlitos meets lots of poor, saintly Mexicans and lots of rich, heartless Americans. The filmmakers at least know to concentrate on the emotional elements, turning this into a crowd-pleasing Hallmark movie by way of Telemundo. In English and Spanish with English subtitles. 110 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday)
Frank Cullen of the American Vaudeville Museum will host this collecition of classic vaudeville acts on film. Among the song, dance and comedy highlights are W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy, Eleanor Powell, Bert Lahr and the Ritz Brothers. Admission is a suggested $5 donation, and proceeds go to benefit the Albuquerque Film Club. (Opens Sunday 9/21)
Liam Neeson, still in tough old man mode, stars as Lawrence Block's literary private detective Matthew Scudder in this adaptation of the 10th Scudder novel. Jeff Bridges played the character once before in 1986's nonstarter 8 Million Ways to Die. In this one our alcoholic ex-cop hero is hired by a drug kingpin to find out who kidnapped and murdered the guy's wife. This is gritty, street-pounding. old-school noir. 113 minutes (Opens Friday 9/19)
Terry Gilliam (Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas) directs this candy-colored futuristic nightmare about a computer hacker who's been tasked by his authoritarian boss (Matt Damon) to figure out the mathematical meaning of life--even if it proves that life is utterly meaningless. Christoph Waltz (Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained) stars as our head-tripping scientist. 107 minutes R. (Opens Friday 9/19)
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.
Despite the fact that Atlas Shrugged and Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike absolutely bombed, both critically and financially, poker-playing investor/movie producer John Aglialoro is determined to make filmgoers love the proto-libertarian politics of Ayn Rand as much as he does. So here's the third (thankfully final) chapter in Rand's preposterous love letter to laissez-faire capitalism. Once again, the entire cast has been replaced with new, less mortified actors. Also, the production was funded off Kickstarter, so apparently capitalism doesn't work. PG-13.
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.
From the director of Waltz With Bashir comes this subversive, self-referential mind-bender. Actress Robin Wright plays an actress named Robin Wright, who decides to take on one final job--preserving her digital likeness for future Hollywood. Twenty years later, her computerized avatar is a superstar under the creative control of the studio's head animator. This trippy mix of live-action and animation features the voices and faces of Harvey Keitel, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm, Paul Giamatti and others. It's (very loosely) based on a novel by Polish writer Stanislaw Lem. If you know who that is, that should give you some idea of how out-there this sci-fi drama is. 122 minutes Unrated.
Winter, the handicapped dolphin who starred in the inspirational family film about her own life, returns in an even more fictionalized sequel. Here, marine biologists at an aquarium in Florida rescue an even cuter baby dolphin named Hope. Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd and Harry Connick Jr. are the non-dolphin stars. 107 minutes PG.
Tom Hardy, James Gandolfini and Noomi Rapace star in this gritty little crime drama about a good-natured mook working at his cousin's bar in Brooklyn. The place is secretly owned by the Chechen mob, though. And when some neighborhood idiots rob the joint, our protagonist (Hardy) and his cousin (Gandolfini) must find the money before the mob finds them. It's a slow-paced affair, but it builds to a shocking climax thanks to a smart script by author Dennis Lehane (Mystic River) and some indelible character work by Hardy. 106 minutes R.
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.
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.
After the untimely death of their matriarch, a brokenhearted Indian clan wanders Europe looking for a place to open up their 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.
Capitalizing on the beautiful tragedy of The Fault in Our Stars, this romantic drama adapts another weepy teen lit hit. Young Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz, Kick-Ass) is on the edge of adulthood, about to go off to Juilliard to study music. But a tragic car accident kills off her parents and leaves her in a coma. An out-of-body experience leaves our gal wandering around watching friends and family gather at the hospital and drifting freely through her memories. Now she must decide if she should wake up and get on with her life or just kick the bucket. 106 minutes PG-13.
We've had found-footage horror films (The Blair Witch Project et al), found-footage monster movies (Cloverfield), found-footage cop movies (End of Watch), found-footage superhero films (Chronicle) and found-footage kids' films (Earth to Echo). So why not some found-footage disaster porn? Into the Storm takes the basic plot of Twister, throws in some handheld camera and adds a whole bunch more CGI destruction. It comes to us from the director of Final Destination 5 and the writer of Step Up All In. 89 minutes PG-13.
Damon Wayans Jr. and Jake Johnson (still hanging out off the set of FOX's "New Girl") are a couple of struggling pals who decide to dress up as cops for a costume party. Mistaken for real police officers, and afforded respect for the first time in their lives, the two decide to keep up the charade. Unfortunately a collection of real-life mobsters and dirty detectives put our dressed-up do-gooders in mortal danger. Yes, it's as silly as you're thinking. 104 minutes R.
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.
Woody Allen's 44th film is a lightweight charmer. Colin Firth plays a professional magician and debunker who travels to Southern France (circa 1920) to expose a fraudulent spiritualist. Our hero is shocked to find the charlatan is a wide-eyed American cutie (Emma Stone). Even more shocking, he can't figure out her tricks. Could it be that she actually has the ability to speak to the dead? The outcome of this period romcom is never remotely in doubt, but the cast is quite likable, and the setting is lovely to look at. 97 minutes PG-13.
Taraji P. Henson ("Person of Interest," Think Like a Man) and Idris Elba ("Luther," Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) class up this twisty domestic thriller about a suburban wife and mother who finds her home invaded by a dangerous escaped convict. 84 minutes PG-13.
Pierce Brosnan stars as an ex-CIA operative who is brought back from retirement (of course he is) and pitted against a former protégé (Luke Bracey, who played Cobra Commander in G.I. Joe: Retaliation) in one of those deadly games of cat-and-mouse that spies/assassins love to play on screen. There's some decent action, but you've seen it all before. Based on the seventh book in the "November Man" series by author Bill Granger. 106 minutes R.
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.
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.
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.
A shoe-sales girl, disillusioned with love, meets a cook who can charm anybody with the aroma of his Biryani. This East Indian romantic comedy is described as a "clash of diametrically opposite but equally spicy cultures of Hyderabad and Lucknow." In Hyderabadi Urdu. 119 minutes Unrated.
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.
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.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:05am, 1:40, 4:20, 6:50, 9:30 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:10, 2:40, 5:05, 7:40, 10:10
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. The trailers are sort of false advertising, but the film does a semi-commendable job of bringing the mythical hero down to earth. 98 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:20am, 4:40, 7:20 Movies West Fri 12:00, 5:10, 10:20; Sat 12:00, 5:10; Sun-Thu 12:00, 5:10, 10:20
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.
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.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:10am, 4:30, 7:10 Movies West Fri-Sat 12:00, 2:35, 5:10; Sun-Thu 12:00, 2:35, 5:10, 7:45, 10:20
If you're a massive fan of the Step Up series ... (I really feel I should stop there, but I'll forge on) then this fifth film in the "classically trained dancers vs. hip-hop street dancers" series should prove very exciting for you. "All-stars" from the previous Step Up installments (I'm unable to identify them, but I'm sure they're there) come together for one massive, ab-bearing dance-off-to-end-all-dance-offs in glitter-filled Las Vegas. 112 minutes PG-13.
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.