(R) Clive Owen, Jennifer Aniston, Melissa George, Vincent Cassel, Robert "The RZA" Diggs. Suspense thriller about a successful ad exec and loyal family man (Owen) who meets an alluring and sexy woman (Aniston) on his morning commute. Flirtation quickly escalates into passion. But this casual fling quickly turns dangerous when a violent criminal pulls them into a dangerous plot. 110 minutes.
Get Rich or Die Tryin'
(R) Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, Joy Bryant, Viola Davis, Terrence Dashon Howard, Rhyon Nicole Brown. An orphaned street kid becomes a powerful drug dealer, then turns away from crime to pursue a promising music career. 50 Cent says that about 75 percent of the story is based on his real life story. 134 minutes.
Pride and Prejudice
4 Stars (PG) Keira Knightley, Matthew MacFadyen, Brenda Blethyn, Donald Sutherland, Jena Malone. The classic Jane Austen tale of love and values unfolds in the class-conscious England of the late 18th century. The five Bennet sisters - including strong-willed Elizabeth and young Lydia - have all been raised by their mother with one purpose in life: finding a husband. When a wealthy bachelor takes up residence in a nearby mansion, the Bennets are abuzz. Amongst the man's sophisticated circle of friends, surely there will be no shortage of suitors for the Bennet sisters. But when Elizabeth meets up with the handsome and - it would seem - snobbish Mr. Darcy, the battle of the sexes is joined. 127 minutes.
3 Stars (PG) Jonah Bobo, Josh Hutcherson, Dax Shepard, Kristen Stewart. Director Jon Favrea2 Stars (Elf) works wonders with this fantasy feature, from the author of Jumanji, about two young brothers who play a magical board game that sends them into outer space. The movie has a great retro look, the special effects - costumes and models mostly instead of computer graphics - are cool, the music is effective and the cast is talented. Unfortunately, Favreau's best efforts can't disguise the fundamental passivity of the story. A big part of the appeal of tales like this is experiencing the adventure vicariously through the lead players, but because of the way the story is structured, the boys don't do much of anything. You can't have a real adventure without derring-do and Zathura derring-doesn't. 95 minutes. - EJO
2.5 Stars (NR) Joachim Krol, Stefano Dionisi, Ben Becker, Erica Marozsan. Gloomy Sunday is as lyrical and discordant as the music on which it is based and titled. The romantic film, set in Budapest in the 1930s, intertwines the lives of four people who risk death, fall in love and endure a series of treacherous events all while the haunting "Gloomy Sunday" melody plays in the background. Legend has it that the music, written in 1935 by Resco Seress with lyrics by Laszlo Javor, triggered suicides by young people. German with English subtitles, 114 minutes. Free screening Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Ann Katz Festival of Books, held at the Arthur M. Glick Jewish Community Center, 6701 Hoover Road.
4 Stars (NR) Sean Blodgett, Tiffany Wilson, Todd Richard Lewis, Adam Lash. Indianapolis debut of a film, created in the vein of Carrie and The Shining, by Richmond, Ind., native Zack Parker. Maury has a problem. He is a college freshman who is taken advantage of, picked on and ignored. But then he makes an agreement and his problems begin to be eliminated one by one. The press notes describe the film as a dramatic thriller that reveals the horrors and truths that lurk inside the human psyche. 90 minutes. The premiere is Sunday at 6 p.m. at Cinema Grill (86th and Ditch).
The Memory of a Killer
3.5 Stars (R) Koen De Bouw, Werner De Smedt, Jan Decleir, Jo De Meyere, Hilde De Baerdemaeker. An aging contract killer from Italy is suffering from the first signs of Alzheimer's. A double murder in Belgium is expected to become his last assignment. But, when he refuses to execute the second part of the contract, to kill a 12-year-old, a web of secret networks unspools. 127 minutes. At Key Cinemas for one week only.
The Talent Given Us
(NR) Allen Wagner, Judy Wagner, Emily Wagner, Maggie Wagner, Judy Dixon. Crossword puzzles, supermarket runs ... Judy and Allen fill in the small moments of their commonplace marriage as best they can. When they run into two former teachers of their son Andrew, they learn of a job opportunity for him. Unfortunately, Andrew is distant in location and in family relations. Suddenly realizing she must embark on a quest to repair that, Judy takes Allen on a cross-country trip to see Andrew and work things out. After they rope in their two unmarried daughters, the family is forced to come together, for better or worse. 97 minutes.
Aliens of the Deep
2 Stars (G) A follow up to James Cameron's IMAX Titanic documentary. Cameron is again ensconced in an underwater exploration vehicle. This time, he and his crew of marine biologists and NASA researchers are taking a look at the ocean floor in order to examine life that thrives without the benefit of the sun. Ploddingly slow at times, the pretty pictures are too few and too far between. - Lisa Gauthier
4 Stars (R) Philip Seymour Hoffman, Catherine Keener, Clifton Collins, Chris Cooper, Bob Balaban, Bruce Greenwood. Reviews have been very positive for this based-on-fact film, with Philip Seymour Hoffman receiving raves for his performance. On assignment to write an article for The New Yorker, Truman Capote (Hoffman) traveled to a small Kansas town, where he began to investigate and report on the gruesome murder of a local family. At first leery of the writer, the townsfolk come to trust Capote and allow him into their lives, giving him his story. But Capote gets more than he bargained for. 98 minutes. At AMC Castleton Arts.
2.5 Stars (G) Zach Braff, Garry Marshall, Joan Cusack, Steve Zahn, Amy Sedaris. Disney's first in-house all-CG animated feature since splitting with Pixar is a let-down. The cartoon about a young chick (Braff), a belief that the sky is falling and an alien invasion has some clever moments, but most of its 81 minutes are terribly, terribly ordinary. Chicken Little strains to appear bright, zippy and irreverent - parts of it are positively frantic - but the result feels more desperate than fun. This is strictly formula fare, with an anemic script filled with stereotypical characters and based on some very tired ideas. 81 minutes. - EJO
3.5 Stars (NR) Narrated by Pierce Brosnan. Routine but pleasant IMAX nature documentary, elevated by the tropical-influenced score by Sting and its likable subjects. A fair amount of information about dolphins is mixed in with the pretty pictures (did you know that dolphins are more intelligent than most conservatives? Just kidding - don't write.). The best scenes showcase the long-term friendship between naturalist Dean Bernal and JoJo, a reclusive bottleneck dolphin. 89 minutes. At the IMAX Theatre in the State Museum. - EJO
1.5 Stars (R) Karl Urban, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Rosamund Pike, Ben Daniels, Razaaq Adoti. Video game turned movie. Barely. Guys with guns chase mutant monsters on Mars. The film even shows the POV of weapon-toting Sarg4 Stars (Johnson), which looks a lot like the game, except you are watching someone else play it. And paying to do so. 100 minutes. - EJO
Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story
3 Stars (PG) Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, Freddy Rodriguez, Kris Kristofferson, Elisabeth Shue. No surprises in this family story, but the performances are good and the filmmakers know what they're doing. Fanning plays a young horse fancier who dreams of winning the Breeders' Cup Classic. Clearly hers is but a foolish dream ... or could she have the mix of pluck and determination required to make the impossible happen? Gulp! 98 minutes. - EJO
3 Stars (PG-13) Orlando Bloom, Kirsten Dunst, Susan Sarandon, Alec Baldwin, Bruce McGill, Judy Greer, Jessica Biel, Paul Schneider. Bloom comes to Elizabethtown, Ky., to collect the body of his father and must deal with family, friends and kooky flight attendant Dunst. The latest from writer/director Cameron Crow4 Stars (Say Anything, Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) has everything you would expect from the filmmaker: colorful characters, engaging conversations, bold gestures, laughter and tears, great music ... you get the idea. Unfortunately, the good stuff is contained within an awkwardly constructed, self-indulgent film that moves with the speed and finesse of an iceberg. 120 minutes. - EJO
The Exorcism of Emily Rose
3 Stars (PG-13) Tom Wilkinson, Laura Linney, Jennifer Carpenter, Colm Feore. Courtroom drama combined with exorcism thriller to form the subgenre of supernatural procedural. This story of a botched exorcism and the legal fallout is gripping and engrossing, but at times falls down on the job with the ham-handed delivery of its VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE of faith versus reason. It's a compelling idea and well worth exploring, but a little subtlety would have been nice. 118 minutes. - PFPP
3 Stars (PG-13) Jodie Foster, Peter Sarsgaard, Sean Bean, Marlene Lawston. The premise of this short, snappy Panic Room-style Jodie Foster thriller goes like this: During a flight from Berlin to New York, a mother claims that her young daughter has disappeared. But no one on the plane has actually seen the child. So did the girl ever get on the plane in the first place, or is everyone being drawn into the one woman's delusion? Foster is very good, no surprise there, and Flightplan works, even if the last few minutes are less like Alfred Hitchcock and more like Jerry Bruckheimer. Don't try subjecting logic to the premise, because that way lies madness. 88 minutes. - EJO
2 Stars (PG-13) Tom Welling, Maggie Grace, Selma Blair, DeRay Davis, Rade Serbedzija. Despite a couple of scary moments, this ho-hum thriller is a mist opportunit2.5 Stars (apologies for that). The story, a remake of the old not-so-hot John Carpenter flick, deals with a thick fog enshrouds a coastal town. The fog is reminiscent of one 100 years earlier that wrecked a ship and drowned the seamen aboard. You know what that means. 100 minutes. - EJO
(R) Richard T. Jones, Blair Underwood, Chenoa Maxwell, Andre Royo. A hip-hop re-imagining of F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. A young Great Gatsby-ish hip-hopper named Summer G (Jones) falls for a middle to upper class woman while in college. After she rejects him for a fellow social climber, Summer G spends 10 years building a hip-hop empire, then moves to the Hamptons where he finds the object of his affections. 97 minutes.
Good Night and Good Luck
4 Stars (PG) David Strathairn, George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Patricia Clarkson. Good Night and Good Luck, the second film directed by George Clooney, is about facing up to a bully. The bully in this instance is Joe McCarthy, a political thug on a power trip. The person standing up to the bully is Edward R. Murrow, a highly-respected television reporter for CBS. Don't come to the theater expecting a sprawling, richly textured film like All the President's Men. At just 90 minutes, Good Night and Good Luck is a taut, focused look at one pivotal moment. The film is in black and white and it looks absolutely great. The cast is outstanding, particularly David Strathairn as Murrow. Joe McCarthy appears as himself in perfectly integrated film clips. 90 minutes. - EJO
2.5 Stars (PG) Boris Kodjoe, Nona Gaye, Idris Elba, Clifton Powell, Aloma Wright. The gospel music is great, but nothing else is the least bit convincing in this tale of a young singer who returns home when his father, a revered bishop in the local church, falls ill, only to find his lifestyle at odds with everything around him. 103 minutes. - EJO
In Her Shoes
3 Stars (PG-13) Cameron Diaz, Toni Collette, Shirley MacLaine, Mark Feuerstein, Brooke Smith. The longest chick flick ever. OK, so that may not be a statement of fact, but at two hours and 10 minutes, a good editing could have improved the butt-numbing factor. The story of polar opposite sisters who come to realize they are two halves of a whole is sweet, and both Cameron Diaz and Toni Collette are likable, if a little over the top on the stereotype scale. Shirley MacLaine plays Grandma, a tough but fair older woman who has her own issue from the past that haunts her. 130 minutes. - Lisa Gauthier
4 Stars (R) Jake Gyllenhall, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx. This is a war movie that takes a bold approach: It doesn't have a lot of action. Instead, it focuses on examining the characters of a small group of Marines who spend most of their time waiting around for something that never happens. Based on a best-selling memoir from 2003, the movie feels like the truth. But don't expect it to uncover big secrets about the first Gulf War. What it does well is give the viewer a real idea of what it is like to be a Marine and to experience disappointment at its most devastating. Gyllenhall and Sarsgaard carry a tale that is both funny and heartbreaking. - Jim Walker
Just Like Heaven
2.5 Stars (PG-13) Reese Witherspoon, Mark Ruffalo, Donal Logue, Dina Waters, Ben Shenkman, Jon Heder. Harmless fluff about a perky docto3.5 Stars (Witherspoon) who collides with a truck. Her spirit returns to her apartment only to discover it's been subleased by a brooding male slob (Ruffalo). Of course, They Don't Like Each Other. Not psychotic or retarded. So that's something. This film is hopefully also a phase of Jon Heder's Napoleon Dynamite deconstruction. 94 minutes. - MS
The Legend of Zorro
3 Stars (PG) Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Adrian Alonso, Rufus Sewell. Sequel to the 1998 smash, there are wildly unrealistic and beautifully choreographed action scenes all over the place that are great fun to watch. My theory is that the stunts were created first and then the writers were given a few minutes to whip up a story to tie them together. The production moves along smoothly, there are many humorous moments and the new cast members are well-chosen. Banderas and Zeta-Jones remain appealing, though the screenplay keeps them apart for most of the movie. Though the film is too long by at least 20 minutes (as was the original), it offers fun for the whole family. Heck, Zorro and the missus even have a feisty 10-year-old son (Alonso). I guess I just wasn't prepared to see the rich, smart, sexy characters from the original movie plopped into a toothless family-friendly action comedy. 129 minutes.
Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D
3.5 Stars (G) Narrated by Tom Hanks. Hanks' IMAX 3D love letter to the space program has a clear agenda. He aims to create the kind of enthusiasm that was shown for the Apollo program back in the '60s, especially with young people. To that end, Hanks and company have crafted an impressive 40-minute feature centered on a series of walks across the lunar surface. Special effects, the IMAX cameras and a very effective 3D process combine to work magic; the moon walks are strikingly realistic. Throughout the production, imaginatively presented 2D footage covers the history of the Apollo program. The film wraps up with a tantalizing look at the future of space expeditions, including a lunar outpost. 40 minutes. At the IMAX Theater in the State Museum. - EJO
3 Stars (R) Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Sissy Spacek, Woody Harrelson, Sean Bean. North Country, based-on-true-life story, has all the makings of a made-for-TV movie. But its strong cast, historical approach to the important issue of women's rights, excellent non-tearjerker soundtrack loaded with Bob Dylan songs and beautifully shot exteriors of the bleak mining region of northern Minnesota lift North Country above the Lifetime Network fray. 123 minutes. - Jim Walker
4 Stars (PG-13) Meryl Streep, Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg, Annie Parisse, Ato Essandoh. Romantic comedy about mismatched lovers set in contemporary Manhattan. Thurman stars as Rafi, a 37-year-old photography producer reeling from a recent divorce, who meets David (Greenberg), a 23-year-old painter recently out of college. The film explores what happens when love at first sight meets the day-to-day realities of an adult relationship. Meryl Streep plays Rafi's therapist, Dr. Lisa Metzger. Lisa, who is working to help Rafi overcome her fears of intimacy, finds out that Rafi's new lover is - unfortunately for Lisa - her only son, David. Yikes. 106 minutes
1.5 Stars (R) Donnie Wahlberg, Franky G, Glenn Plummer, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Shawnee Smith. Jigsaw is back. The twisted mastermind who wreaked havoc in the first film is back for another round of horrifying life-or-death games. When a new murder victim is discovered with all the signs of Jigsaw's hand, Detective Eric Mason (Wahlberg) begins a full investigation and apprehends Jigsaw with little effort. But for Jigsaw, getting caught is just another part of his nefarious plan. Eight more of his victims are already fighting for their lives - and now it's time for Mason to join the game. 91 minutes.
4 Stars (R) Steve Martin, Claire Danes, Jason Schwartzman, Bridgette Wilson, Frances Conroy. Excellent screwball comedy about a starving artis3 Stars (Danes) working at a department store torn between a scruffy slacke3.5 Stars (Schwartzman) and an older, wealthy businessman (Martin). Standout performances from Danes and Martin. In the same league as Rushmore and Lost In Translation. 104 minutes. - MS
Two for the Money
2.5 Stars (R) Al Pacino, Matthew McConaughey, Rene Russo, Jeremy Piven, Jonathan Bruce. A star college football playe3.5 Stars (McConaughey), at the top of his game, blows out his knee, forcing him to choose a new profession. He winds up getting into the sports gambling business and is recruited by a man (Pacino) who runs one of the best sports-booking operations in the country. 122 minutes.
Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
2 Stars (G) Helena Bonham Carter, Peter Sallis, Ralph Fiennes, John Thomson, Peter Kay. For those of us spoiled by the likes of Toy Story, Monsters Inc. or The Incredibles, Wallace and Gromit is just too tame, lacking any layer targeted at adults. Throwing in a couple of double entendres about boobs and nuts doesn't cut it. And attempts at referencing other movies - like Harvey and King Kong - felt clichéd and fell flat. 94 minutes. - Jim Walker
4 Stars (R) Nicolas Cage, Hope Davis, Michael Caine, Gemmenne de la Pena, Nicholas Hoult. A good experience whose humor doesn't come cheap. Its philosophy isn't condescending and it is fittingly filled with beautiful shots of Chicago in winter. Cage shines in a role that would have been perfect for a younger Bill Murray. And Michael Caine is especially powerful as his ailing father. While The Weatherman doesn't venture into the absurd or the surreal to make its philosophical points, it is still full of very fun real-world oddities. 105 minutes. - Jim Walker