Now Playing

Today - Friday December 19, 2014

7:00pm

This is Where I Leave You

2014, USA, 103 MINS, 14A

Dir: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

9:15pm

Force Majeure

2014, France/Sweden/Norway, 118 MINS, 14A

Dir: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Sean William Scott, Clara Wettergren, Johannes Kuhnke, Kristofer Hivju, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren

The Swedish social satire Force Majeure initially seems to have a much more ingratiating leading man — Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), a strong, manly father-figure on a ski-trip with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two adorable blond preteens. But hit by the irresistible "force majeure" of the title, this rock-solid guy crumbles into adolescent anxiety.

It happens while the family's sitting on a balcony as one of the ski-slope's "controlled" avalanches, designed to prevent bigger avalanches, starts to seem not very controlled. It comes down the mountain straight at the resort (and at the camera), and well ... there's no other way to say it. Mom grabs the kids, Dad grabs his cellphone, and runs.

Though no one is hurt, Tomas' abandonment of his family festers. And later, in a bar, when he plays macho and pretends his wife was the one who was scared, she doesn't let him get away with it.

As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling. What so shocks Tomas' wife about her husband, and what, if we're honest, makes him unnerving to us in Force Majeure, is that he's a reminder that our first impulses don't always reflect our best selves.



Saturday December 20, 2014

2:00pm

Elf

2003, USA, 97 MINS, PG

Dir: Jon Favreau
Starring: Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan

Few contemporary comedies have the courage of conviction that Jon Favreau’s “Elf” does. In “Elf,” Will Ferrell plays Buddy, a rather tall human orphan who has been raised at Santa’s workshop, in the North Pole, to believe he’s an elf — forget that he has to fold himself in half to sit on an elf toilet seat and can’t get through a doorway without bumping his head on an elf lintel.

It begins to dawn on Buddy that something’s amiss when, at work on the Etch A Sketch assembly line with the other elves, he realizes that he’s just no good at making toys. His adoptive father, Papa Elf (played by Bob Newhart), breaks the bad news: Buddy’s real mom was very young when he was born (a fact that’s telegraphed to us by the black-and-white photo Papa Elf holds up, of a pair of ’60s folkie-student types with long hair and glowing, guileless expressions). She put him up for adoption and later died. Buddy’s father is still alive — he lives in New York and works, as all human beings in New York ought to work, in the Empire State Building — although, as Ed Asner’s Santa Claus warns Buddy, “He’s on the naughty list.” (He also happens to be played, with a very naughty degree of faux crabbiness, by James Caan.)

Still, an elf’s gotta do what an elf’s gotta do, and so Buddy steps, Rudolph-style, onto an ice floe and heads toward an uncertain future in which he’ll unravel his past. Stephanie Zacharek-Salon.com

4:00pm

This is Where I Leave You

2014, USA, 103 MINS, 14A

Dir: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

6:45pm

The Judge

2014, USA, 141 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

As hotshot Chicago attorney Hank Palmer, Downey is his usual onscreen type — the whip-smart wiseass who's cynical and selfish...until he's not. When his mother dies, he returns to his rural Indiana hometown and is forced to stay and defend his estranged, holier-than-thou father (Robert Duvall), a respected local judge, after he's arrested for the hit-and-run murder of an ex-con he once put away. What makes the film more than just a dusty Grisham retread is that the case (as compelling as it is) is merely the backdrop for a more emotionally engaging story about fathers and sons played, like a duet, by two virtuoso actors who give the film not only all they have but probably more than it requires.

9:30pm

Force Majeure

2014, France/Sweden/Norway, 118 MINS, 14A

Dir: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Sean William Scott, Clara Wettergren, Johannes Kuhnke, Kristofer Hivju, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren

The Swedish social satire Force Majeure initially seems to have a much more ingratiating leading man — Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), a strong, manly father-figure on a ski-trip with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two adorable blond preteens. But hit by the irresistible "force majeure" of the title, this rock-solid guy crumbles into adolescent anxiety.

It happens while the family's sitting on a balcony as one of the ski-slope's "controlled" avalanches, designed to prevent bigger avalanches, starts to seem not very controlled. It comes down the mountain straight at the resort (and at the camera), and well ... there's no other way to say it. Mom grabs the kids, Dad grabs his cellphone, and runs.

Though no one is hurt, Tomas' abandonment of his family festers. And later, in a bar, when he plays macho and pretends his wife was the one who was scared, she doesn't let him get away with it.

As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling. What so shocks Tomas' wife about her husband, and what, if we're honest, makes him unnerving to us in Force Majeure, is that he's a reminder that our first impulses don't always reflect our best selves.



Sunday December 21, 2014

1:30pm

White Christmas

1954, USA, 120 MINS, PG

Dir: Michael Curtiz
Starring: Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, Danny Kaye, Vera Ellen, Mary Wickes

Aww, can’t you convince him to let us work for half salary?’ Such drippy and frankly wrong-headed sentiments can only mean one thing: Christmas is upon us. Paramount’s first film in (lavender-hued) VistaVision was this pornographically soppy but, nonetheless, hearty and humorous 1954 festive romp in which Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye take their astonishingly popular two-man lounge-comedy-dance revue to rural Vermont. It’s a standard putting-on-a-show movie with swinging tunes (courtesy of Irving Berlin), harmless misogyny, and a nice line in bitching at Rogers and Hammerstein’s expense. It’s as sickly-sweet as an eggnog tsunami, but Bing’s brandy-butter baritone and Kaye’s incessant, proto-Jim Carrey clowning always manage to raise a smile. Eagle-eyed viewers might also be able to spot a US army recruitment video spliced into the final song and dance routine. David Jenkins-Time Out

4:00pm

The Judge

2014, USA, 141 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

As hotshot Chicago attorney Hank Palmer, Downey is his usual onscreen type — the whip-smart wiseass who's cynical and selfish...until he's not. When his mother dies, he returns to his rural Indiana hometown and is forced to stay and defend his estranged, holier-than-thou father (Robert Duvall), a respected local judge, after he's arrested for the hit-and-run murder of an ex-con he once put away. What makes the film more than just a dusty Grisham retread is that the case (as compelling as it is) is merely the backdrop for a more emotionally engaging story about fathers and sons played, like a duet, by two virtuoso actors who give the film not only all they have but probably more than it requires.

7:00pm

Force Majeure

2014, France/Sweden/Norway, 118 MINS, 14A

Dir: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Sean William Scott, Clara Wettergren, Johannes Kuhnke, Kristofer Hivju, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren

The Swedish social satire Force Majeure initially seems to have a much more ingratiating leading man — Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), a strong, manly father-figure on a ski-trip with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two adorable blond preteens. But hit by the irresistible "force majeure" of the title, this rock-solid guy crumbles into adolescent anxiety.

It happens while the family's sitting on a balcony as one of the ski-slope's "controlled" avalanches, designed to prevent bigger avalanches, starts to seem not very controlled. It comes down the mountain straight at the resort (and at the camera), and well ... there's no other way to say it. Mom grabs the kids, Dad grabs his cellphone, and runs.

Though no one is hurt, Tomas' abandonment of his family festers. And later, in a bar, when he plays macho and pretends his wife was the one who was scared, she doesn't let him get away with it.

As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling. What so shocks Tomas' wife about her husband, and what, if we're honest, makes him unnerving to us in Force Majeure, is that he's a reminder that our first impulses don't always reflect our best selves.



9:30pm

This is Where I Leave You

2014, USA, 103 MINS, 14A

Dir: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Monday December 22, 2014

6:45pm

The Judge

2014, USA, 141 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

As hotshot Chicago attorney Hank Palmer, Downey is his usual onscreen type — the whip-smart wiseass who's cynical and selfish...until he's not. When his mother dies, he returns to his rural Indiana hometown and is forced to stay and defend his estranged, holier-than-thou father (Robert Duvall), a respected local judge, after he's arrested for the hit-and-run murder of an ex-con he once put away. What makes the film more than just a dusty Grisham retread is that the case (as compelling as it is) is merely the backdrop for a more emotionally engaging story about fathers and sons played, like a duet, by two virtuoso actors who give the film not only all they have but probably more than it requires.

9:30pm

This is Where I Leave You

2014, USA, 103 MINS, 14A

Dir: Shawn Levy
Starring: Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver

When their father passes away, four grown siblings, bruised and banged up by their respective adult lives, are forced to return to their childhood home and live under the same roof together for a week, along with their over-sharing mother and an assortment of spouses, exes and might-have-beens. Confronting their history and the frayed states of their relationships among the people who know and love them best, they ultimately reconnect in hysterical and emotionally affecting ways amid the chaos, humor, heartache and redemption that only families can provide— driving us insane even as they remind us of our truest, and often best, selves.

Tuesday December 23, 2014

7:00pm

Force Majeure

2014, France/Sweden/Norway, 118 MINS, 14A

Dir: Ruben Östlund
Starring: Sean William Scott, Clara Wettergren, Johannes Kuhnke, Kristofer Hivju, Lisa Loven Kongsli, Vincent Wettergren

The Swedish social satire Force Majeure initially seems to have a much more ingratiating leading man — Tomas (Johannes Kuhnke), a strong, manly father-figure on a ski-trip with his wife (Lisa Loven Kongsli) and their two adorable blond preteens. But hit by the irresistible "force majeure" of the title, this rock-solid guy crumbles into adolescent anxiety.

It happens while the family's sitting on a balcony as one of the ski-slope's "controlled" avalanches, designed to prevent bigger avalanches, starts to seem not very controlled. It comes down the mountain straight at the resort (and at the camera), and well ... there's no other way to say it. Mom grabs the kids, Dad grabs his cellphone, and runs.

Though no one is hurt, Tomas' abandonment of his family festers. And later, in a bar, when he plays macho and pretends his wife was the one who was scared, she doesn't let him get away with it.

As odd as it sounds, director Ruben Ostlund manages to make Tomas's crisis of masculinity — his not having lived up to expectations that even he shares — as funny as it is appalling. What so shocks Tomas' wife about her husband, and what, if we're honest, makes him unnerving to us in Force Majeure, is that he's a reminder that our first impulses don't always reflect our best selves.



9:15pm

The Judge

2014, USA, 141 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Dobkin
Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Vera Farmiga, Robert Duvall, Billy Bob Thornton

As hotshot Chicago attorney Hank Palmer, Downey is his usual onscreen type — the whip-smart wiseass who's cynical and selfish...until he's not. When his mother dies, he returns to his rural Indiana hometown and is forced to stay and defend his estranged, holier-than-thou father (Robert Duvall), a respected local judge, after he's arrested for the hit-and-run murder of an ex-con he once put away. What makes the film more than just a dusty Grisham retread is that the case (as compelling as it is) is merely the backdrop for a more emotionally engaging story about fathers and sons played, like a duet, by two virtuoso actors who give the film not only all they have but probably more than it requires.

Friday December 26, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



7:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

9:15pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

Saturday December 27, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

6:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



9:30pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

Sunday December 28, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

6:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



9:30pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

Monday December 29, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

7:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

9:15pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



Tuesday December 30, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



7:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

9:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



Wednesday December 31, 2014

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

9:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

Thursday January 1, 2015

2:00pm

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

2014, USA, 81 MINS, PG

Dir: Miguel Arteta
Starring: Steve Carell, Jennifer Garner, Bella Thorne, Dylan Minnette, Ed Oxenbould

This may not be the simply told tale you remember from all those childhood bedtime readings, but in expanding and modernizing Judith Viorst's 1972 classic, Disney and director Miguel Arteta have fashioned a sweet, wholesome story about an awkward 11-year-old who endures a rotten 24 hours. Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner anchor the swiftly plotted movie as the (mostly) calm-under-pressure parents of Alexander (newcomer Ed Oxenbould). The grown-ups are just trying to temper the storms that hit their six-person clan, which also includes a baby, a too-cool teen (Dylan Minnette), and an eager theater kid (Kerris Dorsey, excellent). Whether it's a diaperless tot succumbing to nature's will, a bratty girlfriend, a disastrous driver's test, or a calamitous job interview, each extreme situation is handled with deft slapstick timing and surprisingly relatable humanity.Alexander is pleasantly devoid of the vulgarity and too-current pop culture references that are the default mode for many contemporary live-action kids' pics, and its earnest celebration of family gives the movie a comforting throwback vibe. Like the source material, this is one terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day that families just might find themselves revisiting often. Lindsey Bahr-Entertainment Weekly

4:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

7:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

9:15pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



Friday January 2, 2015

2:00pm

Penguins of Madagascar 3D

2014, USA, 92 MINS, G

Dir: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath

All those who loved those delightful “Madagascar” films from DreamWorks Animation undoubtedly will be charmed and entertained by the first spinoff from the original three movies — this one focused on the previously secondary penguin characters.

From the opening frame right up to the whirlwind finale, you will be treated to nonstop action, clever dialogue and quite a bit of zany energy. If I’d fault anything about this fun romp, it’s that the filmmakers tried to jam-pack too much into one movie.

It’s not surprising the action launches in Antarctica, where we see those adorable flightless birds waddling along in typical lock-step fashion — all being filmed for a documentary whose director is amusingly voiced by none other than famed director Werner Herzog, who made the Antarctica film “Encounters at the End of the World.”

We then are off on a fast-paced journey that leads to the world falling so much in love with penguins and their innate cuteness that they are targeted by Dr. Octavius Brine — really a once-famous octopus named Dave, bitterly upset for being supplanted by the penguins in zoo-goers’ affection. Bill Zwecker-Chicago Sun-Times



4:00pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



7:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

9:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



Saturday January 3, 2015

2:00pm

Penguins of Madagascar 3D

2014, USA, 92 MINS, G

Dir: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath

All those who loved those delightful “Madagascar” films from DreamWorks Animation undoubtedly will be charmed and entertained by the first spinoff from the original three movies — this one focused on the previously secondary penguin characters.

From the opening frame right up to the whirlwind finale, you will be treated to nonstop action, clever dialogue and quite a bit of zany energy. If I’d fault anything about this fun romp, it’s that the filmmakers tried to jam-pack too much into one movie.

It’s not surprising the action launches in Antarctica, where we see those adorable flightless birds waddling along in typical lock-step fashion — all being filmed for a documentary whose director is amusingly voiced by none other than famed director Werner Herzog, who made the Antarctica film “Encounters at the End of the World.”

We then are off on a fast-paced journey that leads to the world falling so much in love with penguins and their innate cuteness that they are targeted by Dr. Octavius Brine — really a once-famous octopus named Dave, bitterly upset for being supplanted by the penguins in zoo-goers’ affection. Bill Zwecker-Chicago Sun-Times



4:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

6:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



9:30pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

Sunday January 4, 2015

2:00pm

Penguins of Madagascar 3D

2014, USA, 92 MINS, G

Dir: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, Tom McGrath

All those who loved those delightful “Madagascar” films from DreamWorks Animation undoubtedly will be charmed and entertained by the first spinoff from the original three movies — this one focused on the previously secondary penguin characters.

From the opening frame right up to the whirlwind finale, you will be treated to nonstop action, clever dialogue and quite a bit of zany energy. If I’d fault anything about this fun romp, it’s that the filmmakers tried to jam-pack too much into one movie.

It’s not surprising the action launches in Antarctica, where we see those adorable flightless birds waddling along in typical lock-step fashion — all being filmed for a documentary whose director is amusingly voiced by none other than famed director Werner Herzog, who made the Antarctica film “Encounters at the End of the World.”

We then are off on a fast-paced journey that leads to the world falling so much in love with penguins and their innate cuteness that they are targeted by Dr. Octavius Brine — really a once-famous octopus named Dave, bitterly upset for being supplanted by the penguins in zoo-goers’ affection. Bill Zwecker-Chicago Sun-Times



4:00pm

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

2014, USA/France, 119 MINS, 14A

Dir: Alejandro González Iñárritu
Starring: Edward Norton, Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Naomi Watts

At the beginning of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), Michael Keaton's brooding, jittery Riggan Thomson, a Hollywood star faded from view, is in the lotus position, in his underpants, meditating. In his own mind at least (and isn't that what meditation is all about?), he is doing transcendent stuff.

But maybe it's not just in his mind.

Like its cross-legged protagonist - famous way-back-when as the titular superhero of a blockbuster franchise and now trying to reclaim his career, his legitimacy, and his soul by staging his adaptation of a Raymond Carver story on Broadway - Birdman operates on a whole other plane of existence.  With its improvisatory score (drummer Antonio Sanchez provides a hustling backbeat throughout), its seamless shots, its leaps into the surreal, and then back again into the excruciating, embarrassing real, Birdman ascends to the greatest of heights. - Steven Rea/Philadelphia Inquirer

6:30pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



9:30pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

Monday January 5, 2015

7:00pm

St. Vincent

2014, USA, 102 MINS, 14A

Dir: Theodore Melfi
Starring: Naomi Watts, Bill Murray, Chris O'Dowd, Melissa McCarthy, Terence Howard

Vincent is a character who’s not too unlike how we imagine the real Bill Murray to be. Boozing, smoking, gambling, indecorously dressed, always conniving for some extra bucks, and gliding eccentrically through life, Vincent is nevertheless well-liked by almost everyone except his bartender and bookie. Yet Murray drills down into the role and finds the soul at the heart of the caricature. The story kicks into gear when new neighbors – Maggie (McCarthy) and her son Oliver (Lieberher) – move into the house next door to Vincent in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Oliver is a puny kid who is bullied by the kids at his new school – a parochial school at which the saints are still studied under the jocular yet firm guidance of his teacher (O’Dowd). A newly single mom, Maggie works late hours, and the grouch next door quickly becomes Oliver’s after-school babysitter (for pay, of course). Among other things, Vincent teaches Oliver some self-defense moves, takes him to the track and his bar, and lets him hang out with Daka (Watts), Vincent’s pregnant, pole-dancing, thickly Russian-accented girlfriend and lady of the evening.

Newcomer Lieberher is a great foil for Murray, usually calling Vincent “sir” and never devolving into cute childlike maneuvers. McCarthy, for a change, gets to play a straightforward character instead of clown, and the shift pays off beautifully. Watts, who hasn’t always scored well with comedy, is quite funny as the over-the-top Daka.  Marjorie Baumgarten-Austin Chronicle

9:00pm

Gone Girl

2014, USA, 149 MINS, 14A

Dir: David Fincher
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Ben Affleck, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry

One Amy Dunne (Rosamund Pike) disappears from her suburban Missouri home on the morning of her fifth wedding anniversary. Her hapless husband, Nick (Ben Affleck), finds himself at the center of a media circus, his every move interpreted as a sign of guilt. While he hides out at the bungalow of his twin sister and business partner, Go (Carrie Coon), no-nonsense local detective Boney (Kim Dickens) rifles through his drawers and personal finances, uncovering a paper trail of bills, letters, and anniversary notes that suggest that he’s hiding something. Eventually, Nick is forced to seek out the services of Tanner Bolt (a superb Tyler Perry), a charismatic lawyer who specializes in defending “wife-killers.” And still, there’s no body or definitive proof that Nick had something to do with his wife’s disappearance.

Gone Girl starts with easy targets—pop psychologists, sensationalized newscasts, overbearing parents, dumb neighbors—and works its way inward; once a viewer accepts that Nick and Amy aren’t the people everyone else makes them out to be, they may begin to suspect that they aren’t the people they make themselves out to be, either.  Ignatiy Vishnevetsky-A.V. Club



December 2014

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14 15 16 17 18 19 20
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28 29 30 31 1 2 3

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