For his latest blood fest, Quentin Tarantino largely replays all of his other blood fests, specifically his last flick, ‘‘Inglourious Basterds.’’ In Tarantino’s new tale of wickedly savage retribution, a black man (Jamie Foxx) gets to rewrite Deep South history by becoming a bounty hunter on a killing spree of white slave owners and overseers just before the Civil War. Granted, there’s something gleefully satisfying in watching evil people get what they have coming. Tarantino always gets good actors who deliver, though, and it’s the performances by Foxx, Leonardo DiCaprio, Christoph Waltz and Samuel L. Jackson that make the film intermittently entertaining amid moments when the characters are either talking one another to death or just plain killing each other. (R, 165 minutes)
Director Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech) brings the beloved stage musical to the screen, with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Helena Bonham Carter and an Oscar-bound Anne Hathaway singing their hearts out.
"Les Miserables also summons the mighty tonsils of Hugh Jackman, the multitasking Australian, in the role of Jean Valjean. A prisoner hounded for decades by Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe, another Aussie!), Valjean undergoes a spiritual transformation — and a change of identity — becoming a successful factory owner and all-round benevolent guy.
When one of his workers, Fantine (the scene-stealing Anne Hathaway), loses her job and ends up on the street, and then in a brothel, Valjean belatedly tries to make amends, promising to watch over Fantine’s waif of a child, Cosette. (PG-13, 150 mins.)
—Steven Real, The Philadelphia Inquirer
Billy Crystal and Bette Midler star as a couple who agree to look after their grandkids for a spell, but their old-fashioned rearing methods clash with the kids’ parents (Marisa Tomei and Tom Everett Scott).
"Parental Guidance" is not just dull; it’s aggressively dull, as if the people who made it actually want to put you to sleep and then steal your wallet. It’s also badly overacted, syrupy, phony looking, implausibly scripted, formulaic and about 15 minutes too long.
Little more remains to be said about "Parental Guidance," except this caution: No one should be allowed in the theater, even with the accompaniment of a parent or adult guardian. (PG, 105 min.)
—Micheal O'Sullivan, The Washington Post
The Guilt Trip
As inventor Andy Brewster (Seth Rogen) is about to embark on the road trip of a lifetime, a quick stop at his mom's (Barbra Streisand) house turns into an unexpected cross-country voyage with her along for the ride. (PG-13, 95 minutes)