Movie guide | 032114


Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one younger than 17 admitted.

Opening in Hollywood this week

“Anita” — A documentary portrait of law professor Anita Hill, who became a national figure in 1991 when she accused then-Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment. Directed by Freida Mock. (1:17) NR.

“A Birder’s Guide to Everything” — A 15-year-old bird-watching fanatic embarks on a road trip with a ragtag crew led by a legendary ornithologist to solidify a place in birding history. With Ben Kingsley, Kodi Smit-McPhee and Katie Chang. Written by Luke Matheny and Rob Meyer. Directed by Meyer. (1:26) PG-13.

“Blood Ties” — After serving several years in prison for a gangland murder and getting out on good behavior, an ex-con reconnects with his reluctant younger brother, a cop with a bright future, but is pulled back into a life of crime. With Clive Owen, Billy Crudup and Marion Cotillard. Written by Guillaume Canet and James Gray. Directed by Canet. (2:08) R.

“Cheap Thrills” — A struggling family man who has just lost his low-wage job gets roped into an escalating series of dares with his friend thanks to a wealthy couple with a twisted sense of humor. With Pat Healy, Ethan Embry and David Koechner. Written by David Chirchirillo and Trent Haaga. Directed by E.L. Katz. (1:25) NR.

“The Den” — After receiving a grant for her thesis, a grad student studying the users of a video-chat website witnesses what appears to be a murder but is dismissed by police as a prank. With Melanie Papalia, Adam Shapiro and David Schlactenhaufen. Written by Lauren Thompson and Zach Donohue. Directed by Donohue. (1:21) R.

“Divergent” — In a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities, a young woman who doesn’t fit into a single group discovers a conspiracy to destroy those like her. With Shailene Woodley, Theo James and Jai Courtney. Written by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor. Directed by Neil Burger. (2:20) PG-13.

“Enemy” — A glum history professor spots his exact double in a movie and decides to track him down, causing their lives to become irrevocably intertwined. With Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent and Isabella Rosellini. Written by Javier Gullon. Directed by Denis Villeneuve. (1:30) R.

“Falcon Song” — A guitar-playing drifter helps a rancher’s granddaughter find her true calling against the backdrop of a land war. With Rainey Qualley, Gabriel Sunday and Hart Turner. Written by Michelle Poteet Lisanti and Jason Corgan Brown. Directed by Brown. (1:49) PG.

“Jodorowsky’s Dune” — A documentary about cult director Alejandro Jodorowsky’s ambitious but ill-fated efforts to adapt the science-fiction novel “Dune” into a film. Directed by Frank Pavich. (1:30) PG-13.

“John Doe: Vigilante” — Frustrated by the legal system, an ordinary man begins taking the law into his own hands by killing criminals and soon becomes a media sensation. With Jamie Bamber, Lachy Hulme and Gary Abrahams. Written by Stephen M. Coates. Directed by Kelly Dolen. (1:33) R.

“Maladies” — When an unstable former soap opera star in 1960s New York tries to reinvent himself as a writer and takes up with his eccentric sister at the seaside home of their best friend, he begins to retreat further into his own mind. With James Franco, Catherine Keener and Fallon Goodson. Written and directed by Carter. (1:37) NR.

“McCanick” — Upon learning that a seemingly harmless young criminal has been released from prison, a Philadelphia narcotics detective mercilessly hunts the ex-con down. With David Morse, Cory Monteith and Ciaran Hinds. Written by Daniel Noah. Directed by Josh C. Waller. (1:36) R.

“Muppets Most Wanted” — While performing on an international tour, the Muppets gang find themselves unwittingly embroiled in an international crime caper. With Ricky Gervais, Ty Burrell and Tina Fey. Written by James Bobin and Nicholas Stoller. Directed by Bobin. (1:52) PG.

“Nymphomaniac: Part One” — Taken in by an older bachelor after being beaten and left in an alley, a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac recounts her adolescence and young adulthood. With Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Stacy Martin and Shia LaBeouf. Written and directed by Lars von Trier. (1:50) NR.

“On My Way” — Jilted by her lover and left to deal with her family’s struggling restaurant, a sixtysomething ex-beauty queen steps out to buy cigarettes and winds up on a road trip. With Catherine Denueve, Nemo Schiffman and Gerard Garouste. Written by Emmanuelle Bercot and Jerome Tonnerre. Directed by Bercot. In French with English subtitles. (1:56) NR.

“Stay” — In the Irish countryside, a former professor and his younger live-in girlfriend find themselves at a crossroads over a disagreement about an unplanned pregnancy. With Taylor Schilling, Aidan Quinn and Michael Ironside. Written and directed by Wiebke von Carolsfeld. (1:39) NR.

“Teenage” — A documentary about the genesis of youth culture from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th, based on Jon Savage’s 2007 book. Directed by Matt Wolf. (1:17) NR.

Also in theaters

“About Last Night” — Two couples navigate the ups and downs of modern love and romance in this remake of the 1986 film of the same name. With Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall and Joy Bryant. Written by Leslye Headland. Directed by Steve Pink. (1:40) R.

“American Hustle” — Two con men are compelled to work with a wild federal agent to concoct a sting targeting New Jersey power brokers and the mafia in this drama based on the FBI’s Abscam operation of the 1970s. With Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell. Directed by Russell. (2:17) R.

“Frozen” — An optimistic princess sets off on a journey with a rugged mountain man to find her sister, whose icy powers have trapped their kindgom in an eternal winter. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. Written by Jennifer Lee. Directed by Lee and Chris Buck. In 3-D. (1:48) PG.

“The Grand Budapest Hotel” — At a European hotel between the wars, a concierge and a lobby boy get mixed up in the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. With Ralph Fiennes, Tony Revolori, Edward Norton and Saoirse Ronan. Written and directed by Wes Anderson. (1:40) R.

“The Lego Movie” — In this animated film, an ordinary Lego figure is mistaken for the person meant to save the world and drafted into a quest to stop an evil tyrant. With the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett. Written and directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. In 3-D. (1:41) PG.

“The Monuments Men” — A fact-based drama about an unlikely World War II platoon tasked by FDR with going to Germany to save rare antiques, art and architecture from theft and destruction by the Nazis. With George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray and John Goodman. Written by Clooney and Grant Heslov. Directed by Clooney. (1:58) PG-13.

“Mr. Peabody and Sherman” — In this animated film, a genius dog and his mischievous boy set out to undo the damage caused when the latter takes their time machine for a joy ride to impress a girl. With the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter and Allison Janney. Written by Craig Wright. Directed by Rob Minkoff. In 3-D. (1:22) PG.

“Need for Speed” — After serving two years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit, a blue-collar mechanic seeks revenge against his rival and former partner via a high-stakes underground street race. With Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots and Ramon Rodriguez. Written by George Tatins. Directed by Scott Waugh. (2:10) PG-13.

“Non-Stop” — During a flight from New York City to London, a U.S. air marshal receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding a $150 million ransom, or a passenger on the flight will be killed every 20 minutes. With Liam Neeson and Julianne Moore. Written by John W. Richardson, Chris Roach and Ryan Engle. Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. (1:45) PG-13.

“Pompeii” — In the year 79 A.D., a slave turned unstoppable gladiator races against time to save his true love from a corrupt Roman senator and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius. With Kit Harington, Emily Browning and Carrie-Anne Moss. Written by Janet Scott Batchler, Lee Batchler and Michael Robert Johnson. Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. (1:45) PG-13.

“Ride Along” — In an effort to prove himself worthy, a fast-talking security guard goes for a ride-along with his girlfriend’s brother, a hot-headed Atlanta cop, and gets mixed up in his latest case. With Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo and Bruce McGill. Written by Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay and Matt Manfredi. Directed by Tim Story. (1:40) PG-13.

“RoboCop” — In 2028, a controversial corporation specializing in military drones turns a critically injured Detroit cop into a part-man, part-robot police officer. With Joel Kinnaman, Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton and Abbie Cornish. Written by Joshua Zetumer. Directed by Jose Padilha. In Imax. (1:58) PG-13.

“Son of God” — A film portraying the life of Jesus, from birth through his preaching, crucifixion and resurrection. With Diogo Morgado, Greg Hicks and Adrian Schiller. Written by Nic Young. Directed by Christopher Spencer. (2:18) PG-13.

“3 Days to Kill” — A spy who is determined to give up his dangerous life and reconnect with his estranged family must complete one last mission — hunting down a ruthless terrorist — while also looking after his teen daughter for the first time in years. With Kevin Costner, Hailee Steinfeld and Amber Heard. Written by Luc Besson and Adi Hasak. Directed by McG. (1:57) PG-13.

“300: Rise of an Empire” — The Athenian general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge against the invading Persian King Xerxes and his navy. With Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Lena Headey. Written by Zack Snyder and Kurt Johnstad. Directed by Noam Murro. In 3-D and Imax. (1:43) R.

“Tyler Perry’s The Single Moms Club” — Brought together by an incident at their children’s school, a group of single mothers from different walks of life bond and form a support group to help one another overcome their personal challenges. With Nia Long, Amy Smart, Cocoa Brown and Terry Crews. Written and directed by Tyler Perry. (1:51) PG-13.

“Veronica Mars” — On the eve of graduating law school and while interviewing at high-end law firms, the former PI Veronica Mars is drawn back into sleuthing when she learns her ex-boyfriend has been accused of murder. With Kristen Bell, Krysten Ritter and Gaby Hoffman. Written by Diane Ruggiero and Rob Thomas. Directed by Thomas. (1:48) PG-13.

By wire sources