Movie Guide 1-31-14
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
“At Middleton” — Two strangers — an uptight surgeon and a free-spirited children’s retailer — connect on their children’s campus tour at an idyllic college and decide to play hooky together. With Andy Garcia, Vera Farmiga and Taissa Farmiga. Written by Adam Rodgers and Glenn German. Directed by Rodgers. (1:40) R.
“Brightest Star” — Heartbroken after being dumped by his girlfriend, a recent college graduate sets out to reinvent himself and win her back, only to cross paths with a songstress who likes him as he is. With Chris Lowell, Rose McIver and Jessica Szohr. Written by Matthew Mullen and Maggie Kiley. Directed by Kiley. (1:20) NR.
“California Scheming” — Three Malibu teens get mixed up with the new girl in town, who introduces them to drugs and misdemeanors and may have more in store for them. With Gia Mantegna, Devon Werkheiser and Spencer Daniels. Written and directed by Marco Weber. (1:39) R.
“Charlie Victor Romeo” — A theatrical documentary re-creating six real-life airline emergencies, based entirely on black-box transcripts. Directed by Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels and Karlyn Michelson. In 3-D. (1:20) NR.
“Let’s Ruin It With Babies” — A thirtysomething woman trying to make a success of her business venture, a mobile karaoke lounge housed in an RV, finds herself at a crossroads when her adoring husband wants to settle down and have kids. With Kestrin Pantera, Jonathan Grubb and Eva Kim. Written and directed by Pantera. (1:26) NR.
“May I Kill U?” — After getting knocked on the head, a London bicycle cop turns into a murderous vigilante and attracts a following online. With Kevin Bishop, Jack Doolan and Frances Barber. Written and directed by Stuart Urban. (1:27) NR.
“Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated” — A program showcasing this year’s Academy Award-nominated animated short films. Multiple actors, writers and directors. (1:50) NR.
“Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action” — A program showcasing this year’s Academy Award-nominated live-action short films. Multiple actors, writers and directors. (1:48) NR.
“Somewhere Slow” — After witnessing a fatal convenience store robbery, a woman makes a split-second decision to walk out on her unfulfilled life, and along the way she encounters a teenage drifter on his own journey of self-discovery. With Jessalyn Gilsig, Graham Patrick Martin and Robert Forster. Written and directed by Jeremy O’Keefe. (1:36) NR.
“Stranger by the Lake” — At a popular lakeside cruising spot in rural France, a middle-aged romantic falls for a mysterious man with a dangerous secret. With Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou and Patrick D’Assumcao. Written and directed by Alain Guiraudie. In French with English subtitles. (1:37) NR.
“That Awkward Moment” — Three best friends simultaneously find themselves questioning where their recent relationships are headed. With Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan and Imogen Poots. Written and directed by Tom Gormican. (1:45) R.
“The Wait” — An engimatic phone call from a psychic catapults the lives of two sisters grieving over their mother’s death into chaos. With Jena Malone, Chloe Sevigny and Luke Grimes. Written and directed by M. Blash. (1:36) R.
“12 O’Clock Boys” — A documentary following a bright adolescent boy in Baltimore who aspires to join a notorious urban dirt bike crew. Directed by Lotfy Nathan. (1:15) NR.
Also in theaters
“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.
“August: Osage County” — When a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, three sisters confront the dysfunctional woman who raised them. With Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper. Written by Tracy Letts. Directed by John Wells. (2:10) R.
“Devil’s Due” — After a mysterious lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple find themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy that begins to betray sinister origins. With Allison Miller and Zach Gilford. Written by Lindsay Devlin. Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin and Tyler Gillett. (1:28) 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.
“Her” — In near-future Los Angeles, a lonely writer trying to recover from a failed relationship downloads an advanced new operating system and begins to fall in love with his virtual companion. With Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson. Written and directed by Spike Jonze. (2:06) R.
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — The reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins continues his quest to face the fearsome dragon Smaug and help 13 dwarves reclaim their lost kingdom in this second installment of a film trilogy adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” With Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch. Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson. Directed by Jackson. In 3-D, HFR and Imax. (2:41) PG-13.
“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — The young warrior and reluctant revolutionary Katniss Everdeen returns to the arena for another battle to the death in this second film of a series adapting Suzanne Collins’ “Hunger Games” book trilogy. With Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth and Woody Harrelson. Written by Simon Beaufoy and Michael deBruyn. Directed by Francis Lawrence. (2:26) PG-13.
“I, Frankenstein” — Two centuries after his creation by Dr. Frankenstein, the creature Adam finds himself in the middle of a supernatural war over the fate of humanity. With Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski and Miranda Otto. Written and directed by Stuart Beattie. (1:32) PG-13.
“Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit” — A young CIA analyst uncovers an international terrorist plot to collapse the U.S. economy and heads into the field to prevent it from happening. With Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh and Keira Knightley. Written by Adam Cozad and David Koepp. Directed by Branagh. (1:46) PG-13.
“The Legend of Hercules” — Betrayed by his stepfather, the mythical Greek hero Hercules is sold into slavery because of a forbidden love and must fight for his life and his kingdom. With Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins and Liam McIntyre. Written by Sean Hood and Daniel Giat. Directed by Renny Harlin. (1:38) PG-13.
“Lone Survivor” — Four Navy Seals on a cover mission to take down a high-level al-Qaida operative are ambushed in the mountains of Afghanistan and face insurmountable odds. With Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster. Written and directed by Peter Berg. (2:01) R.
“The Nut Job” — In this animated film, a mischievous squirrel sets out to rob the town’s biggest nut shop in order to feed himself and his pals for the winter. With the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson and Katherine Heigl. Written by Lorne Cameron and Peter Lepeniotis. Directed by Lepeniotis. In 3-D. (1:26) PG.
“Philomena” — An Irish woman enlists a journalist to help her track down the out-of-wedlock son she was forced by her Catholic community to give away for adoption in this drama based on Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.” With Steve Coogan and Judi Dench. Written by Coogan and Jeff Pope. Directed by Stephen Frears. (1:35) R.
“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.
“Saving Mr. Banks” — A biographical drama about Walt Disney’s attempts to acquire the screen rights to “Mary Poppins” from the reluctant novelist P.L. Travers. With Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti and Jason Schwartzman. Written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Directed by John Lee Hancock. (2:00.) PG-13.
“The Wolf of Wall Street” — A biopic charting the rise and fall of the hard-living New York stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who founded the infamous boiler-room brokerage Stratton Oakmont and cheated investors out of as much as $200 million in the early 1990s. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie and Matthew McConaughey. Written by Terence Winter. Directed by Martin Scorsese. (2:59) R.