British comedian Steve Coogan returns to his beloved (if largely hated) sitcom character, insensitive radio talk show host Alan Partridge. In this feature film takeoff, a disgruntled fellow DJ (Colm Meaney from "ST:TNG") decides to hold the radio station hostage at gunpoint after getting sacked by a new management team. Can our clueless hack Alan talk his way out of this dangerous situation? 90 minutes R. (Opens Thursday 4/10)
Chris Evans (who did previous hero duty as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four movies) stars as skinny Steve Rogers who is rejected for Army duty during World War II. Drafted into a secret government experiment, though, he becomes the buffed-up super soldier Captain America. After that, it's off to Europe to battle evil Germans and a creepy-looking dude called the Red Skull (Hugo Weaving, The Matrix's Agent Smith). Joe Johnston (who gave us similar historical hero action with 1991's The Rocketeer) offers fans of the character exactly what they're looking for--loads of old-fashioned, star-spangled fisticuffs. 125 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 7/22)
Kevin Costner stars in this largely sports-free sports movie. In it he plays the financially savvy general manager of a pro football franchise, desperate to rebuild his team. But will he keep the number one draft pick or trade the guy to another team for several first-round draft picks spread over the course of the next three seasons? It's the sort of insider dilemma only the most hardcore of football fans might actually care about. In other words: If a cameo by real-life Cleveland Browns CEO Joe Banner doesn't get your juices flowing, just move along. 109 minutes PG-13. (Opens Friday 4/11)
Albuquerque's world-famous, homegrown experimental film festival returns for a ninth (I think) year. From April 14 through 21, various venues around Albuquerque will fill with the sights and sounds of cutting edge media-manipulators from as far away as Iran and South Korea. In addition to the "uncomfortable, unfamiliar and always challenging screenings," programmers have dragged in Greg DeCuir Jr. and Miodrag Milosevic from the Alternative Film/Video Festival in Belgrade, Stephen Kent Jusick of The MIX NY Queer Experimental Film Festival and Spanish filmmaker/curator Antoni Pinent to host their own special presentations. Head to experimentsincinema.com for a compete list of films, workshops, parties and more. (Opens Monday 4/11)
A longtime husband-and-wife team (Lindsay Duncan and Jim Broadbent) try to rekindle their old flame by going on an anniversary trip to Paris where they once honeymooned. Things don't work out so well with the couple alternately fighting and commiserating. The result is the bitter, older flipside to Richard Linklater's walk-and-talk romance Before Sunrise. 93 minutes R. (Opens Friday 4/11)
This hilarious, surprisingly emotional documentary follows lovable slacker and self-described "metalhead" Tom Berninger as he accepts an invitation to become a roadie on tour with his older brother, Matt Berninger, lead singer for the world-famous alternative rock band The National. While the band tours Europe, Tom shoots this documentary, gets generally abused as a lowly crew member, confronts his unfulfilled creative ambitions and tries to reconcile the rocky relationship between himself and his famous brother. 92 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 4/11)
Karen Gillan ("Doctor Who") and Brenton Thwaites (Blue Lagoon: The Awakening) star as a brother and sister who have spent their lives searching for a haunted mirror that allegedly possessed their father and resulted in the murder of their mother. They find it, but instead of destroying it , they set out to scientifically prove the crimes of the past were committed by supernatural phenomenon. That's probably a bad idea. This quiet, slow-burning indie earns its scares and increases the number of "haunted mirror" movies to at least six (including Dead of Night, From Beyond the Grave, The Boogey Man, Haunted by Her Past and Mirrors). That's almost big enough for a new category on Netflix. 105 minutes R. (Opens Friday 4/11)
Silent film star Louise Brooks made her most striking impression in this 1929 drama from director G.W. Pabst. This masterpiece of early German cinema casts Brooks as a brash yet innocent showgirl whose uninhibited sexuality leads to her dark downfall. An Albuquerque Film Club presentation. (Opens Saturday 4/12)
The nonstop, balls-out Indonesian action flick The Raid was simply begging for a sequel. Three years later writer-director Gareth Evans and star Iko Uwais have capitulated to fans, delivering another insanely action-packed martial arts juggernaut. This time Jakarta cop Rama (Uwais) goes undercover to bust a crime syndicate. Eventually, of course, our hero is required to fight every single person in the city. 150 minutes R. (Opens Friday 4/11)
The mostly forgettable 2011 CGI babysitter about a domestic parrot winging his way to Rio de Janeiro gets a harmless sequel about wisecracking and/or singing animals lost in the Amazon. 101 minutes G. (Opens Friday 4/11)
Turner Classic Movies' just-aired documentary tracing the history of the Academy Awards heads to movie theaters. Traveling from 1927 until today, the film stops in on Oscar winners Steven Spielberg, George Clooney, Helen Mirren, Ben Kingsley, Liza Minnelli, Cher, Jon Voight, Tom Hanks and countless others. Vintage clips include interviews with Janet Gaynor, James Stewart, Vivien Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Elizabeth Taylor and plenty more. 100 minutes (Opens Sunday 4/13)
Academy Award-winning documentarian Errol Morris (Gates of Heaven, The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War) points his camera square in the face of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Instead of interviewing him, Morris has the infamous politician recite and expound on his voluminous "memos." The result is a frustrating yet illuminating look into one man's attempt to elucidate, rationalize, obfuscate and control history. 102 minutes Unrated. (Opens Friday 4/11)
The oil-abbed 2006 hit gets a sequel, complete with different cast and different director. This one's even more fantastical and over-the-top. In this digital-effects-heavy go-around, we've got an epic sea battle waged between an evil/sexy Persian lady (Casino Royale's Eva Green) and some Greek general named Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton, whoever he is). There's also plenty of flashbacks explaining how weird, bald villain Xerxes came to be in the first movie, but it's rather tangential to all the computer video game-style carnage at hand. 103 minutes R.
This "inspiring" biopic relates the story of New Mexico-trained racehorse Mine That Bird, who defied some big odds to win the 2009 Kentucky Derby. Skeet Ulrich plays the horse's trainer, a misfit cowboy who finds himself on "the journey of a lifetime." This sporting drama was filmed right here in the state where most of the story took place. 110 minutes PG-13.
Jason Bateman ("Arrested Development") turns director for this raunchy comedy about a middle-aged loser who exploits a loophole in the national spelling bee rules to enter as an adult and exact long-simmering revenge. The story isn't particularly deep, and the main character isn't exactly lovable, but the whole thing is beautifully foul-mouthed and perfectly mean-spirited. 89 minutes R.
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.
Michael Peña (End of Watch, "The Shield") stars as the noted civil rights activist and labor organizer. This dutiful biopic is obviously a passion project for actor-turned-director Diego Luna (Y Tu Mamá También, Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights), but like the recent Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, the workmanlike direction and credible acting seems overshadowed by the sheer weight of the man himself. 98 minutes PG-13.
Here's another glum, futuristic love story hoping to beat the YA lit curse (which says if your source material isn't Twilight or Hunger Games, you're going to bomb). Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) stars as a young girl living in near-future Chicago where the population is divided, Hogwarts Sorting Hat-style, into different factions. But our heroine doesn't fit into any of society's five predetermined categories and is labeled a dangerous "Divergent." Rebellion against authority and kissing cute boys ensue. 139 minutes PG-13.
On the first day of college, devout Christian freshman Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper from Disney Channel's "Good Luck Charlie") finds his faith challenged when a dogmatic, smug and argumentative (not to mention atheist) philosophy professor (former Greek god Kevin Sorbo) orders his students to disprove the existence of God or face a failing grade. It's based on Rice Broocks' "how to debate atheists" textbook of the same name. Plus, there's a special appearance by Willie Robertson from "Duck Dynasty"! If you're a member of the choir in the mood for a little preaching to, this is the one for you. 113 minutes PG.
There are stories within stories here, but at the heart of it all, Ralph Fiennes stars as the very particular concierge of a famed European hotel between the wars. He takes on a young apprentice (the wonderfully naive Tony Revolori), sleeps around with a bunch of elderly women (a heavily made-up Tilda Swinton among them) and gets caught up in a crackpot caper involving a dead woman and a stolen painting. Writer-director Wes Anderson's fingerprints are all over this impossibly twee chocolate box painting of a film--but it's also his most mature work, alternately naughty and knowing. F Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Harvey Keitel, Jude Law, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman and Owen Wilson round out the ensemble cast. 99 minutes R.
Century 14 Downtown Fri-Thu 1:15, 3:45, 6:20, 7:35, 8:50, 10:05 Century Rio Fri-Sat 1:55, 4:50, 6:25, 7:45, 10:35, 12:01 am; Sun-Thu 1:55, 4:50, 6:25, 7:45, 10:35 High Ridge Fri-Thu 12:20, 1:00, 3:30, 4:20, 7:00, 7:45, 10:00, 10:45
After pumping out some fantastically fun video games (LEGO Star Wars, LEGO Batman, LEGO Lord of the Rings) and TV shows ("LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles"), the Danish brick-maker sets its sights on the big screen. In this blissfully fun stop-motion/CGI cartoon, an ordinary LEGO minifigure (the ubiquitous yet still not overused Chris Pratt) is mistaken for the "Masterbuilder" and must save the universe from the evil LEGO tyrant Lord Business. The guest voices are insane (Will Arnett, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie, Charlie Day, Will Ferrell, Will Forte, Morgan Freeman, Jonah Hill, Keegan-Michael Key, Liam Neeson, Shaquille O'Neal, Nick Offerman, Cobie Smulders, Channing Tatum). A surprisingly smart, irreverent and incredibly funny flick for toy-lovers of all ages. 100 minutes PG.
The classic Jay Ward cartoon "Peabody's Improbable History" (featured on the old "Rocky & Bullwinkle Show") gets its own CGI spin-off. Ty Burrell (from "Modern Family") voices the brilliant canine inventor while Max Charles (from "The Neighbors") voices his nerdy adopted son. In order to impress a neighbor girl, Sherman "borrows" dad's time machine and accidentally unleashes chaos throughout history. Leonardo da Vinci, Mona Lisa, Albert Einstein and Agamemnon drop by, giving guest stars Lake Bell, Stanley Tucci, Mel Brooks and Patrick Warburton something to do. 91 minutes PG.
The Muppets are back in a blissfully funny, cross-continental caper. Seems that the World's Most Dangerous Frog has escaped from jail and switched places with our beloved "Muppet Show" host, Kermit the Frog. While Kermit tries his best to escape from a nutty Russian gulag, his evil doppleganger uses the Muppet's European tour as cover for a series of daring art heists. There are dozens of cameos and tons of nostalgic humor perfect for young and old. 112 minutes PG.
The video game series about driving insanely expensive European sports cars really fast gets transformed into a movie about ... you guessed it. Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") is our leading man, a mostly taciturn mechanic/driver who gets framed for a crime by his archenemy, NASCAR stud Dominic Cooper ("Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond"). The plot revolves mostly around our hero's attempts to drive across the country in less than two days in order to compete against his rival in a secret underground road race. How will that prove his innocence? Eh, Need For Speed will work that out later. It's definitely speedy, aping Smokey and the Bandit, Vanishing Point and countless other '70s car chase films. Sadly the script makes next to no sense. 130 minutes PG-13.
Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan) employs Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins to tackle the biblical story of Noah. You know, the one with the marauding four-armed giants, the massive invading armies, the scheming supervillains and the apocalyptic visuals. (OK, that last one might actually be in The Bible.) Like all Aronofsky films, it looks amazing, filled with cosmic craziness and symbolic potency. But the polarizing story takes a lot of liberties with the original narrative, crash-landing it somewhere between The Last Temptation of Christ and The Lord of the Rings. 137 minutes PG-13.
Bad guys, when are you going to learn that you shouldn't piss off Liam Neeson? Here he's a federal air marshal who springs into action during a transatlantic flight after an unknown criminal threatens to kill one passenger every 20 minutes unless $150 million is delivered to an offshore account. Can our gruff, old tough guy smoke out the culprit before it's too late? My money's on yes. 106 minutes PG-13.
An evil drug kingpin kidnaps elite DEA task force leader Arnold Schwarzenegger's wife and kids. Hasn't he learned from ... oh, every Arnold movie ever made not to do that? Written and directed by David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch), this tough crime drama is a bit darker and more serious than your average '80s action film. But the trappings look mighty familiar. 109 minutes R.
History Channel's mini-series "The Bible"--produced by Roma Downey ("Touched by an Angel") and Mark Burnett ("Survivor")--gets hacked from 10 hours to 2 hours so that evangelicals without cable can watch it in theaters. Think The Passion of the Christ, only with less blood and anti-semitism. 138 minutes PG-13.
By ironing out the thorny, antisocial edges he still displayed in Silver Linings Playbook, writer-director David O. Russell delivers his best, most accessible film to date--a sexy, hilarious, quintessentially American black comedy. This mesmerizing period piece has fun with the (real life) ABSCAM scandal of the late-'70s. Christian Bale and Amy Adams play a couple of con artists recruited (blackmailed more like it) by a cocky FBI agent (Bradley Cooper) into helping entrap politicians in a multimillion-dollar bribery case. For all the manic fun, though, there's a tough emotional nugget at the center of it all--the idea that sometimes even con artists, liars and hustlers would really like to be the person they're pretending to be. 138 minutes R.
This wonderful CG cartoon--a loose adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen"--is Disney's most Disney film in ages. It's an unapologetic, old-school musical filled with funny sidekicks and not one but two princesses. Kristen Bell ("Veronica Mars") holds her own as the plucky Nordic princess trying to help her winter-conjuring sister. But Broadway baby Idina Menzel is a force to be reckoned with at the terrified young woman with the snow-throwing powers. Josh Gad (The Book of Mormon) steals all the laughs as a talking snowman with a sunny disposition. 108 minutes PG.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 11:00 am, 1:50, 4:40, 7:30, 10:20 Movies West Fri-Thu 11:55 am, 2:40, 5:25, 8:10
Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También, Children of Men, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban) directs this heavy-duty thriller about a medical engineer and an astronaut (Sandra Bullock, George Clooney) working frantically to save themselves after an accident leaves them spinning hopelessly adrift through space. A technical jaw-dropper and a white-knuckle survival tale, this one will take your breath away in many ways. 90 minutes PG-13.
Movies 8 Fri-Thu 12:20, 3:00, 5:30, 8:00, 10:30 Movies West Fri-Thu 12:10, 2:40, 5:10, 7:40, 10:10
Director Peter Jackson spent a goodly amount of time setting up the story for J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit in the last film. Now the journey is well and truly underway, and we finally get some rousing action, some gorgeous set-pieces and one hell of a dragon. 161 minutes PG-13.
George Clooney directs this based-on-a-true-story action drama about a World War II platoon assigned the unlikely task of rescuing great works of European art from the hands of Nazi thieves. Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, Cate Blanchett, John Goodman and Jean Dujardin star. If only the script were more "movie"-like and less "history lecture"-like. 118 minutes PG-13.
Bruce Dern stars as an aging, booze-addled father who takes a road trip from Montana to Nebraska with his estranged son (Will Forte) in order to claim a bogus sweepstakes prize. The duo makes a pit stop in a small town where dad grew up and still has a few old scores to settle. Alexander Payne (Election, Sideways, The Descendants) directs this wry, melancholy character drama. 114 minutes R.
A bunch of city park-dwelling squirrels plot an Ocean's Eleven-style caper to rob a nut store. Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias are among the voicecast of this CGI feature. It comes to us from the makers of the Canadian-South Korean cartoon series "Bolts and Blip." It's the most expensive South Korean co-produced animated film in history. So there's that. 86 minutes PG.
This grim-faced reboot of Paul Verhoeven's hyperbolically violent, wonderfully subversive action movie parody from 1987 loses the original's sense of humor and most of its reason for being. Brazilian director José Padilha (Elite Squad) works up some decent tension, but the script is less of an adrenalized cop movie and more of a mouthy rumination on the ethics of allowing multinational security firms to turn dead cops into superpowered cyborgs. 108 minutes PG-13.