Advertisement

Movies

Capsule reviews are by Kenneth Turan (K.Tu.), Betsy Sharkey (B.S.) and other reviewers. Compiled by Anthony Miller.

Openings

FRIDAY

After.Life A young woman caught between life and death and a funeral director with intentions on burying her alive. With Liam Neeson, Christina Ricci and Justin Long. Written and directed by Agnieszka Wojtowicz-Vosloo. R.

The Black Water of Echo’s Pond While on vacation on a remote island in Maine, nine close friends discover a long-hidden, archaic board game in a stately Victorian home that unleashes an ancient evil that brings out the worst in each of them. With Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris and James Duval. Written by Gabriel Bologna, Sean Clark and Michael Berenson. Directed by Bologna. R.

Breaking Upward A young, real-life New York couple, four years into their relationship and battling codependency, decide to intricately strategize their own breakup. The film loosely interprets a year in their lives exploring alternatives to monogamy and the madness that ensues. With Zoe Listen Jones and Daryl Wein. Directed by Wein. NR.

Advertisement

Date Night A suburban couple whose lives have become routine reignite the marital spark by visiting a trendy Manhattan bistro, where a case of mistaken identity turns their evening into the ultimate date night gone awry. With Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Written by Josh Klausner. Director by Shawn Levy. (1:28) PG-13.

Godspeed After his wife and family are murdered, a small-town faith healer falls into desolation until a mysterious girl leads him into a dark journey that will ultimately reveal the truth of his family’s killings and lead to tragic, violent consequences for all. With Joseph McKelheer and Cory Knauf. Directed by Robert Saitzyk. (1:38) NR.

La Mission The story of a reformed inmate and recovering alcoholic in San Francisco’s Mission District who disowns his gay son, sacrificing what means most in his life. With Benjamin Bratt, Erika Alexander, Jeremy Ray Valdez, Jesse Borrego and Talisa Soto Bratt. Written and directed by Peter Bratt. (1:47) R.

Letters to God Inspired by a true story, a young boy fighting cancer finds strength and hope through writing letters to God and, in doing so, changes the lives of those around him. With Jeffrey S. Johnson, Robyn Lively, Tanner Maguire and Michael Bolten. Screenplay by Patrick Doughtie. Directed by David Nixon and Doughtie. (1:50) PG.

Advertisement

Mid-August Lunch A middle-aged bon vivant must care for four lively grand dames in a tight quarters, keeping them well fed during Italy’s biggest holiday in a cinematic ode to the culture of food and family in Italy and the magical power of a shared meal. Starring and directed by Gianni Di Gregorio. (1:15) NR.

Phyllis and Harold In a frank journey through a disastrous 59-year marriage, a filmmaker draws on a lifetime of her family’s home movies and interviews made over 12 years, mixing reportage, cinema verité and animation to uncover family secrets and tell a story that could not be shown publicly as long as her father was alive. Directed by Cindy Kleine. (1:25) NR.

The Square An adulterous couple’s scheming leads to arson, blackmail and murder. With David Roberts and Claire van der Boom. Directed by Nash Edgerton. (1:45) R. Story on Page D8

When You’re Strange A documentary look at the Doors, the music and personalities of the entire band and the period they both reflected and influenced, a time of a rupture in the culture between the youth movement and the establishment. It’s also a great L.A. story, starting with band members meeting at UCLA film school, hanging out in Venice and Santa Monica, and becoming the house band at the Whisky a Go-Go on Sunset. Narrated by Johnny Depp. Written and directed by Tom DiCillo. (1:30) R.

Advertisement

Women Without Men The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during summer 1953, a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d'état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh and reinstalled the Shah to power. With Pegah Ferydoni and Arita Shahrzad. Directed by Shirin Neshat. (1:40) NR.

Critics’ Choices

An Education Invariably funny and inexpressibly moving in the way it looks at a young girl’s journey from innocence to experience, this film does so many things so well, it’s difficult to know where to begin cataloging its virtues. What’s easy is knowing where you’ll end up, which is marveling like everyone else at the performance by Carey Mulligan that is the film’s irreplaceable centerpiece. (K.Tu., Oct. 16) (1:35) NR.

The Art of the Steal An energetically entertaining if a bit one-sided documentary that shows how the Philadelphia establishment committed an act of cultural vandalism by engineering a move of the Barnes collection from its iconic home in suburban Merion, Pa. to a proposed new museum in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. It’s a move that illustrates as few other things how art and culture have become commodified into big money industries. (K.Tu., March 12) (1:41) NR.

Avatar Think of “Avatar” as “The Jazz Singer” of 3-D filmmaking. Think of it as the most expensive and accomplished Saturday matinee movie ever made. Think of it as the ultimate James Cameron production. Whatever way you choose to look at it, “Avatar’s” shock and awe demand to be seen. You’ve never experienced anything like it, and neither has anyone else. (K.Tu., Dec. 17) Also in Imax 3-D. (2:30) PG-13.

Advertisement

Cop Out There really is no good reason to recommend “Cop Out;” there are, however, about a dozen bad ones, starting with the fact that it’s the first gross-out comedy to come along since “The Hangover” that is actually a comedy and not just gross, although make no mistake, gross it is -- this is a Kevin Smith film after all -- so don’t say you weren’t warned. But there is enough ridiculous fun in the Tracy Morgan-Bruce Willis pairing as two of Brooklyn’s “finest” to get many of you past the squirm-inducing stuff. After some rough sledding, Smith seems like he’s come home in “Cop Out,” with his loose, easy style helping to take the edge off the R rating. It’s in the execution of high-concepts that Smith sometimes gets lost, but that doesn’t happen here. There isn’t a high concept in sight. (B.S., Feb. 26) (1:50) R.

Crazy Heart There’s a powerful symmetry at work here, a parallel between protagonist Bad Blake, a country singer whose entire life has led him to a nadir of disintegration, and star Jeff Bridges, whose exceptional film choices have put him at the height of his powers just in time to make Mr. Blake the capstone role of his career. (K.Tu., Dec. 16) (1:52) R.

The Ghost Writer Made by a filmmaker suddenly returned to the height of his powers, this is a thriller wrapped around a roman á clef about contemporary politics wrapped around director Roman Polanski’s trademark cynicism. An effortless blending of personal preoccupations with audience preferences that recalls the classic work of Alfred Hitchcock. (K.Tu., Feb. 19) (1:35) PG-13.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Everyone has secrets in the “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” a mind-bending and mesmerizing thriller that takes its time unlocking one mystery only to uncover another all to chilling and immensely satisfying effect. The film is based on the first crime novel in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, and Danish director Niels Arden Oplev has somehow found a way to adapt one of Europe’s most popular contemporary books, a bestselling sensation here as well, and still infuse it with surprise. (B.S., March 19) In Swedish with English subtitles. (2:32) R.

Advertisement

Green Zone As created by director Paul Greengrass, screenwriter Brian Helgeland and star Matt Damon, this risk-taking endeavor takes the narrative skills and drive Greengrass honed to perfection on “The Bourne Ultimatum” and “The Bourne Supremacy” and marries them to reality-based political concerns. More specifically, this is a red-hot action thriller that deals quite candidly and unapologetically with the situation in Iraq. (K.Tu., March 12) (1:35) R.

Hot Tub Time Machine Who doesn’t have fun in a hot tub? Or hasn’t tested, at least once, the more-bodies-more-fun principle? For anyone who has, or hasn’t but wished they had, there is “Hot Tub Time Machine,” which starts with four -- Adam, Lou, Nick and Jacob -- or for the literal minded among you, John Cusack, Rob Corddry and Craig Robinson as old friends, and Clark Duke as Adam’s nerdy nephew. But frankly, a literal mind is not something that should be brought anywhere near this raunchy party. So if everyone will just check theirs at the door, “Hot Tub Time Machine” will in turn deliver non-stop political incorrectness; completely illogical special effects; a story line that at times makes absolutely no sense; Crispin Glover in one running sight gag that gets better instead of old; a crush of very cool ‘80s references, Cusack chief among them; some gross-out moments that are genius, at least in the highly competitive world of R ratings. Oh and about a billion laughs. (B.S., March 26) (1:40) R.

How to Train Your Dragon has taken the age-old story of a teenage boy sorting through his fundamental life issues -- fit in, figure out self, get the girl, don’t disappoint Dad -- set it in ancient Viking times and still managed to give it a thoroughly modern spin. A millennium later and this kid would head an Internet start-up or have a reality show on cable. For now, he’s just a misfit in Ugg boots. Ingenious. “Train Your Dragon,” which stars Jay Baruchel as Hiccup, the boy in the boots, is also a study in how nuance can actually complement the spectacle we’ve come to demand of 3-D animation. Like Hiccup’s growing pains, the film has its rough spots too but, mostly, like the mythical creatures at the heart of this tale, the movie soars. (B.S., March 26) (1:38) PG.

Precious Nothing quite prepares you for the rough-cut diamond that is “Precious.” A rare blend of pure entertainment and dark social commentary, this shockingly raw, surprisingly irreverent and absolutely unforgettable story of an obese, illiterate, pregnant black Harlem teen named Precious is one that should not be missed. Newcomer Gabourey Sidibe is impressive as the 16-year-old, but it is the boldness of Mo’Nique’s performance as her soul-destroying nightmare of a mother, that sweeps you away. (B.S., Nov. 6) (1:49) R.

Advertisement

A Prophet Part prison film, part crime story, part intense personal drama, this masterful new film by French director Jacques Audiard is an answered prayer for those who believe that revitalizing classic forms with contemporary attitudes makes for the most compelling kind of cinema. (K.Tu., Feb. 26) In French, Arabic, and Corsican with English subtitles. (2:30) NR.

Shutter Island Director Martin Scorsese has created a divinely dark and devious brain tease in the best noir tradition with its smarter-than-you’d-think cops, their-tougher-than-you’d-imagine cases to crack, and enough nods to the classic genre for an all-night parlor game. It’s 1954 when Leonardo DiCaprio’s U.S. Marshal Teddy Daniels and his new partner, played by Mark Ruffalo, are dispatched to an asylum for the criminally insane to investigate a dicey disappearance. But there are deeper mysteries here and it turns out that Scorsese has a lot more on his mind than a crazy inmate on the loose. Meanwhile, Teddy has a few skeletons of his own. There are flaws, but none lethal and, in the end, Scorsese gives us a new noir classic with DiCaprio -- brilliant as Teddy -- races to solve the case and hang onto his sanity at the same time. (B.S., Feb. 19) (2:18) R.

Vincere One of the most surprising things about watching the wrenching “Vincere,” the story of Ida Dalser, Mussolini’s secret wife and his first-born son, Benito, is that when the relationship went sour and Ida just wouldn’t let it rest, that Il Duce, the sweet one, just didn’t have her killed. Though Ida’s life would become a torturous hell spent locked away in an insane asylum, the legacy left by her letters has made for an intense and intriguing, if at times uneven, film with Italian director Marco Bellocchio wringing every drop of emotion out of his actors and his audience before it is over. (B.S., March 26) (2:08) NR.

Waking Sleeping Beauty The decade between 1984 and 1994 saw animation at Disney go from an afterthought to a powerhouse. This tale of artistic reincarnation is a classic show business story, not lacking in temper tantrums and clashing egos, and this documentary tells it with a terrific inside-Hollywood sensibility plus an unblinking candor that lets the chips fall where they should. (K.Tu., March 26) (1:26) PG.

Advertisement

Also in Theaters

45365 A cinema-verité documentary about the inhabitants of the small town of Sidney, Ohio. Directed by Bill Ross IV and Turner Ross. (1:31) NR.

Alice in Wonderland The combination of director Tim Burton and Lewis Carroll’s fantasy classic sounds promising, but despite the presence of Johnny Depp the finished product is only mildly successful, more like a Burton derivative than something he actually did himself. (K.Tu., March 4) In Disney Digital 3D and Imax 3-D. (1:49) PG.

American Radical An intimate and revealing portrait of Norman Finkelstein, a devoted son of Holocaust survivors and ardent critic of U.S.-Israeli foreign policy, called a self-hating Jew by some and an inspired revolutionary by others. Directed by David Ridgen. (1:24) NR.

The Bounty Hunter The new action caper starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler as dueling exes plays to everything that turned one of the “Friends” six-pack into a lip-gloss superstar. First to be exploited is Aniston’s perk power. When that fails, the second line of defense is a close-up of that really great hair, which doesn’t so much make for a movie as a running photo op. (B.S., March 19) (1:46) PG-13.

Advertisement

Brooklyn’s Finest It’s an old-style potboiler about desperate cops in dire straits that overcooks both its story and its stars, with Ethan Hawke, Don Cheadle and Richard Gere the main ingredients left to stew. It’s also the latest compromised cop drama from director Antoine Fuqua, at best only echoing the electrifyingly unpredictable thrill of 2001’s “Training Day.” Instead, the complexity a drama like this demands gets lost amid the cliches, leaving “Brooklyn’s Finest” never able to live up to its name. (B.S., March 5) (2:20) R.

Chloe Envisioned as a psychosexual thriller about a woman scorned, director Atom Egoyan’s latest puzzle is just puzzling, little more than a messy affair with mood lighting, sexy lingerie, heavy breathing and swelling, um, music. Everyone here is dripping with money, lust and anxiety, all to bad effect. Julianne Moore is Catherine a successful ob-gyn who suspects husband David (Liam Neeson), of infidelity and hires a high-end hooker (Amanda Seyfried) to trap him in the act. Yet when things begin to go bad in ways that should twist the characters, and the rest of us, up into terrified knots, this master of tension and unease lets the moments go slack. (B.S., March 26) (1:36) R.

City Island A family’s bizarre and layered lies to one another come unraveled. With Andy Garcia, Julianna Margulies, Steven Strait, Alan Arkin and Emily Mortimer. Written and directed by Raymond De Felitta. (1:43) PG-13.

Clash of the Titans 3D Perseus volunteers to lead a dangerous mission to defeat Hades, the vengeful god of the underworld, before he can seize power from Zeus and unleash hell on earth. With Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Gemma Arterton, Alexa Davalos, Jason Flemyng and Ralph Fiennes. Screenplay by Matt Manfredi, Travis Beacham and Phil Hay. Directed by Louis Leterrier. (1:50) PG-13. Story on Page D6

Advertisement

The Crazies As epidemic scenarios go, “The Crazies” has solid underpinnings for going in any direction: bloody social commentary or nasty good time. But if George Romero’s chaos-fueled 1973 original, pockmarked with troops-versus-civilian shootouts and bureaucratic bickering, was intended to mirror a fractured society’s uneasy pulse (think: Vietnam), Breck Eisner’s loud, squishy and jokey redo simply reflects other movies. Nearly every scare in “The Crazies” is telegraphed, whether by suddenly too-tight photography or shrieky crescendos of sound. The movie’s attitude toward carnage, meanwhile, is the most schizoid, asking us to toggle between emotional loss, over-the-top giggles and -- in an ill-advised Holocaust allusion -- moral outrage. (Robert Abele, Feb. 26) (1:41) R.

The Cry of the Owl A troubled young man leaves the big city and his ex-wife for the tranquility of a small town only to be set-up as a suspect in a murder case. With Julia Stiles and Paddy Considine. Screenplay by Jamie Thraves, from the novel by Patricia Highsmith. Directed by Thraves. (1:40) R.

Dear John A young soldier home on leave falls in love with an idealistic college student during her spring vacation and over the next few years they meet only sporadically and correspond through love letters. With Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Henry Thomas,Scott Porter and Richard Jenkins. Screenplay by Jamie Linden, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks. Directed by Lasse Hallström. (1:48) PG-13.

The Diary of a Wimpy Kid The adventures of wise-cracking middle school student Greg Heffley, who must somehow survive the scariest time of anyone’s life: middle school. Based on the bestselling illustrated novel by Jeff Kinney. With Zachary Gordon, Robert Capron, Steve Zahn, Rachael Harris and Devon Bostick. Directed by Thor Freudenthal. (1:31) PG.

Advertisement

Don McKay Twenty-five years after abandoning his hometown, Don McKay gets a letter from his ex-girlfriend Sonny to tell him she is dying and wants him to come see her. When Don returns home, Sonny doesn’t seem quite as he remembers her and everything seems a little bit off. With Thomas Haden Church, Elisabeth Shue and Melissa Leo. Written and directed by Jake Goldberger. (1:27) R.

Dream Boy Two teen boys fall in love and must hide their feelings from the rural backwoods community. With Stephan Bender, Max Roeg, Thomas Jay Ryan, Diana Scarwid and Rickie Lee Jones. Based on the novel by Jim Grimsley. Written and directed by James Bolton. (1:29) NR.

The Eclipse A widower still reeling from the death of his wife is plagued by terrifying apparitions and finds himself drawn to an empathetic author of supernatural fiction. With Ciarán Hinds, Iben Hjejle, Aidan Quinn and Hannah Lynch. Screenplay by Conor McPherson and Billy Roche, based on Roche’s “Tales from Rainwater Pond.” Directed by McPherson. (1:28) NR.

The Exploding Girl Ivy, a college student home for break, finds herself negotiating a developing romance back at school and her feelings for a longtime friend who finds himself without a place to stay during the break, struggling to keep control over overwhelming emotions and her epilepsy. With Zoe Kazan, Mark Rendall, Hunter Canning and Maryann Urbano. Directed by Bradley Rust Grey. (1:15) NR.

Advertisement

Formosa Betrayed is a mostly pedestrian political thriller whose basis in true events adds little to the film’s excitement or entertainment value. Director Adam Kane, working from a talky script, tries to keep things moving apace but is undermined by the film’s jarring, time-hopping structure and a clunky use of Taiwanese archival footage and mind’s-eye flashbacks. (Gary Goldstein, Feb. 26) (1:48) R.

From Paris With Love A low-level CIA operative finds himself the target of a crime ring he’s trying to bust on his first real assignment. With John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak and Richard Durden. Screenplay by Adi Hasak, based on a Story by Luc Besson. Directed by Pierre Morel. (1:35) R.

The Greatest When a couple lose their teenage son, their fractured family is pushed to the edge but the appearance of a young woman helps everyone start to put the pieces back together. With Pierce Brosnan, Susan Sarandon, Aaron Johnson, Carey Mulligan, Michael Shannon, Johnny Simmons and Zoe Kravitz. Written and directed by Shana Feste. (1:39) R.

Greenberg Noah Baumbach’s favorite terrain is deconstructing life’s emotional ups and downs with characters so narcissistic and self-delusional they make everyone on-screen and off as uncomfortable as possible. With “Greenberg,” the writer/director who came to prominence with 2005’s “The Squid and the Whale,” has reached new highs or new lows, depending on your point of view. Baumbach’s latest stars Ben Stiller as 40-year-old Roger Greenberg, whose failed life is envisioned as a self-inflicted wound caused by a bad decision Roger made years ago. There is irony scattered all around him, but any comic relief it affords comes with such an undertow of repressed emotions and displaced anger that really it all starts to feel more depressing than dramatic. (B.S., March 19) (1:47) R.

Advertisement

The Harimaya Bridge Daniel Holder’s father was killed fighting the Japanese in the Second World War so when Daniel’s beloved artist son Mickey takes a job in Japan teaching English, it creates a rift between them and leads to unexpected discoveries for Daniel. With Ben Guillory, Saki Takaoka and Misa Shimizu. Directed by Aaron Woolfolk. (2 hours) NR.

Harmony and Me After a breakup, a hipster wallows in his unrewarding job, a family devoid of warmth, a circle of indifferent friends and sad songs in a series of comically deadpan episodes. With Justin Rice, Kevin Corrigan and Kristen Tucker. Directed by Robert Byington. (1:15) NR.

Hubble 3D In this documentary, moviegoers journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings and accompany space-walking astronauts as they attempt the most difficult and important tasks in NASA’s history. Narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio. Written and directed by Toni Myers. In Imax. (:45) G.

Just Say Love A stage play adapted into a feature-length film explores whether physical attractions appear to be the obvious explanation for two people to become a pair. With Robert Mammana and Mathew Jaeger. Written by David J. Mauriello. Directed by Bill Humphreys. (1:15) NR.

Advertisement

The Killing Jar The patrons of a roadside diner become hostages after suspecting a return of the disturbing murders of a family in a nearby county. Starring Michael Madsen,Harold Perrineau, Amber Benson, Danny Trejo and Jake Busey. Written and directed by Mark Young. (1:41) R.

The Last Song A reluctant teenager begrudgingly spends the summer with her estranged father and they bond over a love for music. With Miley Cyrus, Liam Hemsworth, Bobby Coleman, Hallock Beals, Nick Lashaway, Carly Chaikin, Nick Searcy, Kate Vernon, Kelly Preston and Greg Kinnear. Screenplay by Nicholas Sparks and Jeff Van Wie, based on Sparks’ book. Directed by Julie Anne Robinson. (1:47) PG.

Leaves of Grass An Ivy League classics professor returns to his hometown in Oklahoma for his twin brother’s funeral and becomes embroiled in a scheme against a drug dealer. With Edward Norton, Tim Blake Nelson, Susan Sarandon, Richard Dreyfuss, Keri Russell, Pruit-Taylor Vince and Melanie Lynskey. Written and directed by Nelson. (1:44) R.

Manuela and Manuel An effeminate man must reaquaint himself with his masculine side when he is asked to pose as a friend’s fiancee when she becomes pregnant. With Humberto Busto and Elena Iguina. Written by José Ignacio Valenzuela. Directed by Raúl Marchand Sánchez. (1:34) PG-13.

Advertisement

Mother When a mama’s boy is convicted of a young girl’s murder, his mother sets out to find the girl’s killer and prove her son’s innocence. With Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin. Written by Park Eun-kyo and Bong Joon-ho. Directed by Joon-ho. In Korean with English subtitles. (2:08) NR.

My Name Is Khan Karan Johar’s sweeping epic in the melodramatic Bollywood manner emerges as a potent, engaging and timely entertainment. Shahrukh Khan stars as Rizwan Khan, whose Asperger’s syndrome goes undiagnosed until the death of his loving mother sends him off to San Francisco to live with his younger brother. The film evolves from the story of a man with Asperger’s learning to live a successful, happy life to that of a man who embarks, in the wake of tragedy and violence, on an odyssey to declare to President Obama, “I am a Muslim and I am not a terrorist.” Khan and co-star Kajol, major Bollywood stars, are highly appealing and equal to the demand of their emotion-charged roles. (Kevin Thomas, Feb. 13) (2:25) NR.

Our Family Wedding Instead of invitations, they should be sending out apologies for “Our Family Wedding,” a cake-and-kisses comedy that has disaster written all over it. The film stars America Ferrera of “Ugly Betty,” and Lance Gross, a resident of Tyler Perry’s “House of Payne,” as the secretly betrothed Lucia and Marcus. Race as much as romance and a wedding on the fly is at the heart of the matter. But the filmmakers waste a chance to take a smart cut at the cultural clashes that are sure to follow. (B.S., March 12) (1:30) PG-13.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief As directed by the risk-averse and reliably commercial Chris Columbus, “Percy Jackson” has standard Hollywood product so written all over it that the fact that it is unadventurous and uninteresting can be figured out from the film’s advertising and promotion material alone. There’s clearly a lot of classical mythology to be learned from “The Lightning Thief,” but that’s the best that can be said of it. “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” is what the poet Dante put on Hades’ gates, and unwary adults tempted by this film should take that line very much to heart. (K.Tu., Feb. 12) Directed by Chris Columbus. (2 hours) PG.

Advertisement

Prodigal Sons Returning to her hometown in Montana for the first time since her sex change, a transgendered filmmaker sets out to document her reunion at the high school where she had formerly been a star quarterback and hopes to make peace with her classmate and long-estranged, brain-damaged adopted brother, Marc. Things do not go as planned. Directed by Kimberly Reed (1:26) NR.

The Red Baron Baron Manfred von Richthofen is, at the age of only 24, is the crack pilot of the German aerial combat forces over the skies of WWI Europe, a man both feared and respected by the enemy. With Matthias Schweighöfer, Joseph Fiennes, Lena Headey and Til Schweiger. Directed by Nikolai Mullerschon. (2 hours) PG-13.

Remember Me There’s only one thing that loves Robert Pattinson more than his legions of hysterical teenage fans and that’s the camera. Which helps but doesn’t quite save the earnest new romantic drama “Remember Me,” whose filmmakers hang everything on those chiseled cheeks and moody eyes. The “Twilight” star has definitely figured out how to look the part, wearing “brooding” like a James Dean leather jacket, what he hasn’t yet found is a way past those soulful eyes into the soul itself. (B.S., March 12) (1:42) PG-13.

Repo Men Set in the near future when artificial organs can be bought on credit, a heart transplant patient struggling to make payments on his recent purchase goes on the run before his ticker is repossessed. With Jude Law, Forest Whitaker and Liev Schriber. Written by Eric Garcia and Garrett Lerner, based on Garcia’s novel. Directed by Miguel Sapochnik. (1:41) R.

Advertisement

The Runaways The problem with “The Runaways,” a street-level snapshot of the creation of the groundbreaking ‘70s all-girl rock band, is that they went with the wrong girl. Instead of training the lens on The Runaways’ artistic rebel who hung around and became a legend, rocker Joan Jett, played with serious punk grrrl power by Kristen Stewart, the movie focuses on the one who actually ran away, lead singer Cherie Currie, a kohl-eyed and sullen Dakota Fanning. And as so often happens in music-based biopics, too much hangs on a song. (B.S., March 19) (1:45) R.

The Secret of Kells An animated feature about a boy named Brendan who lives in the Abbey of Kells, a remote medieval outpost under siege from raiding barbarians where one day a celebrated master illuminator arrives, carrying an ancient but unfinished book with secret wisdom and powers. To help complete the magical book, Brendan has to overcome his deepest fears on a dangerous quest that takes him into the enchanted forest. With the voices of Brendan Gleeson, Mick Lally, and Evan McGuire. Directed by Tomm More and Nora Twomey. (1:15) NR.

See What I’m Saying This documentary follows the journeys of four deaf entertainers through a single year as their stories intertwine and culminate in some of the largest events of their lives. With C.J. Jones, Robert DeMayo, T.L. Forsberg and Bob Hiltermann. Directed by Hilari Scarl. (1:31) PG-13.

She’s Out of My League There is one particular question that has long bothered and befuddled some of our greatest minds -- Freudians, Jungians, Judd Apatowians, Seth Rogenians and other noted R-rated auteurs alike: Can an attractive female fall in love with, and I use the scientific term here, a schlub? So props to “She’s Out of My League,” which stars Jay Baruchel, for wading into the fraught and frothy surf of the “I’m not worthy” genre of films. And more props for doing so with a disarming sentimentality and a certain decency along with the requisite raunch and repressed rage. (B.S., March 12) (1:45) R.

Advertisement

Surviving Crooked Lake A coming of age story about four 14-year-old girls who encounter death and overcome extreme adversity on a summertime canoe trip to the North Woods, where everything that can go wrong does. With Alysha Aubin, Candice Mausner, Stephanie Richardson and Morgan McCann. Written and directed by Sascha Drews, Ezra Krybus and Matthew Miller. (1:27) PG-13.

Tales From the Script A documentary about Hollywood screenwriters showcases first-person experiences from A-listers to newcomers and includes interviews with Allison Anders, Shane Black, John Carpenter, Frank Darabont, Bruce Joel Rubin and Paul Schrader. Directed by Peter Hanson. (1:45) NR.

Terribly Happy After a nervous breakdown, a Copenhagen police officer is transferred to a small provincial Jutland town to take on the mysteriously vacated marshal position and subsequently gets mixed up with a married femme fatale. With Jakob Cendergren, Kim Bodina and Lene Maria Christensen. Screenplay by Henrik Ruben Genz and Dunja Gry Jensen, based on a novel by Erling Jepsen. Directed by Genz. (1:40) NR.

The Tooth Fairy The poster’s the funniest thing about the project: Dwayne Johnson, sporting a pair of fairy wings larger than his forearms, glaring at the camera. Johnson’s a game and antic presence, but saddled with this material -- he comes perilously close to tiring out the audience with all the nervous activity and the mugging. Working in a lower key, Billy Crystal is good for a chuckle or two as an elder fairy statesman. (Michael Phillips, Jan. 22) (1:42) PG.

Advertisement

Tyler Perry’s Why Did I Get Married Too? The next chapter in the lives of eight college friends struggling with the challenges of marital life. With Janet Jackson, Jill Scott, Sharon Leal, Malik Yoba, Richard T. Jones, Tasha Smith, Lamman Rucker, Michael J. White, Louis Gossett Jr., Cicely Tyson and Tyler Perry. Written and Directed by Tyler Perry. (2:01) PG-13.

The Warlords A general joins a band of bandits that become embroiled in a web of political deceit and is involved in a love triangle during the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s. With Jet Li, Andy Lau, Takeshi Kaneshiro and Xu Jingli. Directed by Peter Ho-Sun Chan. In Mandarin with English subtitles. (2:07) R.

West of Pluto A day in the lives of 12 Quebec high schoolers captures the nature of their teenage years. Written and directed by Henry Bernadet and Myriam Verreault. In French with English subtitles. (1:35) NR.

The Wolfman Here’s the surprise of “The Wolfman,” starring Benicio Del Toro -- there isn’t one. No bite either, or humor, or camp. And the real killer . . . almost no spine-tingling dread, so I guess this is a horror story of a kind after all. Also starring, and squandering, the talents of Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt and Hugo Weaving, the film is built around the ancient myth of the cursed creature -- part man, part wolf, part of the time. (B.S., Feb. 12) (2:05) R.

Advertisement

All movies in release unless noted. Also included: the film’s running time and ratings. MPAA categories: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are 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 17 and younger admitted.


Advertisement