A teenager wanders into the forest, gets shrunk down to tiny size and finds herself caught in a battle between good and evil in this eco-friendly 3D toon. The eclectic voice cast includes Amanda Seyfried, Colin Farrell, Jason Sudeikis, Christoph Waltz, Beyoncé, Pitbull, Steven Tyler and Aziz Ansari. From the makers of Robots, Rio and Ice Age. Meh. 102 minutes PG. (Opens Friday 5/24)
Bruce Campbell and the gang are back in the woods and battling even more nasty demons, possessed hillbillies and severed hands in this modern horror hallmark. Less of a sequel and more of a crazier, funnier, faster, gorier remake of Sam Raimi's 1981 original. 85 minutes Unrated. (friday)
Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson and Paul Walker all wear tank tops and drive really fast in his preposterous sixth outing in the F&F series. There's something about a British bad guy trying to steal something, but you don't go into these movies for the plot. The action often defies both physics (gravity doesn't work that way) and logic (when did the streets of central London get so deserted?). But it is fast, loud and frantic--giving fans plenty of what they're expecting. 130 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 5/24)
The Wolfpack (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Zach Galifianakis) is back. No wedding or bachelor party this time, though. Seems a nasty gangster (John Goodman) is looking for criminal weirdo Mr. Chow (Ken Jeong). Naturally he kidnaps Doug (Justin Bartha, the invisible member of the Wolfpack) and blackmails the other guys into finding Chow. In Vegas. More of the same, but you expected that. 100 minutes R. (Opens Friday 5/24)
Director Mira Nair (Salaam Bombay!, Monsoon Wedding, Mississippi Masala) adapts Mohsin Hamid's political novel about a young Pakistani man (Riz Ahmed, Four Lions) working on Wall Street who gets caught up in terrorism. The cast for this complex, ambiguous and occasionally sermon-heavy film includes Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber and Kiefer Sutherland. 130 minutes R. (Opens Friday 5/24)
This animated Irish fable was very quietly nominated for an Academy Award in 2010. It concerns Brendan, a young boy living in a remote medieval abbey in Ireland. He joins up with a monk to help complete a magical book of worldly wisdom--a quest that takes him outside the sheltering walls of the abbey and into contact with a mysterious fairy girl. Enchanting and beautifully illustrated. See also:I Like to Watch (Instantly): Ponyo, The Secret of Kells (07/17/2011). 75 minutes PG. (Opens Saturday 5/25)
TV actor Chadwick Boseman stars as baseball-playing barrier-smasher Jackie Robinson in this period biopic from writer-director Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential, Mystic River, A Knight's Tale). Harrison Ford is color-barrier-ending Baseball Commissioner Branch Rickey. 88 minutes PG-13.
Dad (Dennis Quaid) is a dyed-in-the-wool, midwestern corn farmer doing anything he can to survive in the world of genetically modified crops. But sonny boy (Zac Efron) just wants to be a NASCAR driver. If that sounds like a contrived plotline, you're correct. But up-and-coming indie director Ramin Bahrani (Chop Shop, Goodbye Solo) wrings some great performances from his stars, resulting in a surprisingly sincere melodrama about the modern farming industry, small-town entrapment and father-son dynamics. With race cars. 105 minutes R.
This lavish 1963 production starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton is certainly the definition of epic. The infamous Hollywood historical certainly deserves the digital restoration it gets here, but the film was a colossal flop at the time it came out and hasn't shed any of its campy excessiveness over time. 243 minutes
On the surface, this CGI toon is just "The Flintstones" with a sassy grandma and a bit of The Land Before Time tossed in for good measure. Nicolas Cage voices an overprotective caveman whose rebellious daughter (Emma Stone) befriends a primitive inventor (Ryan Reynolds) who brings warnings about the end of the world. Cloris Leachman plays the sassy grandma. Of course she does. Dreamworks Animation tried harder with Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, but the animation is colorful and occasionally amusing. 98 minutes PG.
Lurid Australian director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!) yanks the curtain back on his Jazz Age Disneyland version of F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic novella. Tobey Maguire is the World War I vet who gets lured into the fabulous lifestyle of his nouveau riche Long Island neighbor, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Carey Mulligan (An Education, Drive) is the contentious object of affection, Daisy Buchanan. Throw in some fantabulous fashions and an explosive soundtrack (Beyoncé, Jay Z, Lana Del Rey, Florence and the Machine, Jack White, will.i.am) and you've got one hell of a party. The pure over-the-topness of it all makes it hard to take the characters seriously, but Luhrmann's manic razzle dazzle ultimately fits the narrative quite snugly. 142 minutes PG-13.
Michael Shannon (Take Shelter, "Boardwalk Empire") stars in this true story of Richard Kuklinski, a notorious contract killer and family man. When the guy was finally arrested in 1986, neither his wife nor his daughters had the slightest clue as to his real profession. Crazy, no? It's grim stuff, but Shannon gives a gripping and restrained portrayal. 106 minutes R.
Industrialist/superhero Tony Stark's personal world is torn apart when he's attacked by an international terrorist known as the Mandarin (Ben Kingsley). Filmmaker Shane Black (writer of Lethal Weapon and The Last Boy Scout and director of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) keeps everything breezy, funny and, most of all, fast as a jet plane. 130 minutes PG-13.
In this Tom Sawyer-ish magical-realist melodrama, two teenage boys discover a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) hiding out on a tiny river island in Arkansas. Turns out this fugitive (nicknamed "Mud") is on the run from bounty hunters. But he's just an innocent (mostly) fellow trying to reunite with his ladylove (Reese Witherspoon), who's stuck living at a rundown local motel. A lovely, if overly allegorical anti-fable from Jeff Nichols (writer-director of 2011's equally metaphor-heavy Take Shelter). 130 minutes PG-13.
Michael Bay (yes, that Michael Bay) tries his hand at directing a (relatively) inexpensive action comedy. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson and Anthony Mackie play a trio of Miami bodybuilders who come up with a stupid scheme to kidnap a jerkbag businessman. Naturally this results in much chaos, gunplay and exploding things. It's based on a true story from 1999 involving kidnapping, extortion, torture and murder--which apparently wasn't very funny. 130 minutes R.
Director J.J. Abrams amps up the action even more than he did in the last frantic Trek reboot. Here, Captain Kirk (super-angry Chris Pine) leads a manhunt through a war zone to capture a space age terrorist bent on revenge (Benedict Cumberbatch, trying his best to add nuance to an underwritten role). The film is littered with in-jokes, but longtime fans might find themselves wishing Abrams had spread his wings a bit--rather than just rooting through "Star Trek" reruns looking for characters and catchphrases to recycle. 132 minutes PG-13.
Halle Berry continues her poor post-Oscar career decisions (Die Another Day, Catwoman, Perfect Stranger, Frankie & Alice, New Year's Eve, Dark Tide, Movie 43), starring in this cliché-laden thriller. Berry plays a 911 operator who gets a panic-stricken cell phone call from a young woman (Abigail Breslin) who has been kidnapped and stuffed into a car trunk. For various extremely contrived reasons, Berry must step in and rescue the girl--as opposed to, say, the police. 94 minutes R.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:40am, 2:10, 4:50, 7:20, 9:50 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:05, 2:35, 5:05, 7:35, 10:05
From the makers of Hoodwinked! and a whole bunch of CGI Barbie movies (whoopee) comes a generic family movie in which a pile of movies stars (Brendan Fraser, Ricky Gervais, Jessica Alba, Sofia Vergara, Sarah Jessica Parker, George Lopez, William Shatner) provide voices for some cute cartoon characters. The excuse for Burger King kids' meal toys this time around is that a bunch of friendly space aliens must escape from Area 51. 89 minutes PG.
After nearly a year's delay and a bunch of re-shoots, this live-action sequel to 2009's G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra finally hits theaters. Channing Tatum is back as Duke, but he's mostly supplanted by newcomers Dwayne Johnson as Roadblock and Bruce Willis as Joe Colton. (As fans in the know are aware, that's the name of the original 12-Inch G.I. Joe figure from 1964.) This time around, the baddies are blowing up the White House (a popular thing to do in movies these days) and framing the Joes for crimes they didn't commit (shades of the A-Team). 110 minutes PG-13.
Jason Bateman is a mild-mannered businessman who decides to hunt down the deceptively harmless-looking woman (Melissa McCarthy from Bridesmaids) who's been living it up on his stolen identity. The result is a predictably wacky road trip. 112 minutes R.
Bryan Singer (The Usual Suspects, X-Men: First Class) directs Hollywood's latest fairy tale fantasy in which a young farmhand (Nicholas Hoult from X-Men: First Class and Warm Bodies) gets caught in a war between humans and giants. There's even a princess to rescue. The effects are cool, but the whole fairy tale thing (Alice in Wonderland, Red Riding Hood, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, "Once Upon a Time") is kinda played out. 114 minutes PG-13.
Disney, still glowing from their actionized Alice in Wonderland sequel, launches a prequel to L. Frank Baum's famed Wizard of Oz. Actor/enigma James Franco stars as the smalltime magician who ends up in the fantasy land of Oz and must decide if he's got the stuff to battle a wicked witch. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams are on witch duty. Sam Raimi (The Evil Dead, Spider-Man) directs. FULL REVIEW:James Franco books a return trip to Oz in Sam Raimi’s fantasy prequel by Devin D. O’Leary (3/14/2013). 130 minutes PG.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's son gets arrested in a drug deal gone bad. Naturally, beefy super-dad volunteers to become an undercover agent for the DEA in order to free his son. Much punching, shooting and 'sploding follows. 112 minutes PG-13.
Harmony Korine, director of mostly unwatchable art house shockers like Gummo, Julien Donkey-Boy, Mister Lonely and Trash Humpers, delivers what is either a rank satire of raunchy teen comedies or the most bugfuck crazy mainstream film ever made. We've got four teenage girls (Disney Channel sweethearts Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez among them) who get recruited by a rapping drug dealer (James Franco at his most self-indulgently looped-out) into a life of crime. This monotonous, presumably mean-spirited porno-chic fantasy is like "Girls Gone Wild" on GHB and Red Bull (with a Skrillex score to boot). 94 minutes R.