2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY
Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant meditation on man and his place in the mysterious universe concerns two astronauts (Keir Dullea, Gary Lockwood) who become imperiled by their hyper-intelligent shipboard computer (HAL 9000) while on a mission in the depths of space. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres
Leo Tolstoy’s classic novel of love and infidelity comes to life thanks to director Joe Wright. A unique narrative device illuminates the theatrical behavior of the randy Russian nobles who can’t seem to help trying to sleep with each other’s spouses. Rated R. At Esquire. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
Ben Affleck’s latest directing project (in which he also stars) is based on true events from the Iranian revolution in 1979. Militants storm the U.S. embassy and take 52 Americans hostage. Rated R. At Esquire.
THE AVIATION COCKTAIL
Three World War II veterans learn that life back home can also be hell. When a girl is kidnapped by a serial killer in the Nebraska Sandhills, Sheriff Henry Fisher asks his pilot brother, Jack, to fly to the scene, where the kidnapper has been discovered hiding in a barn. Jack complies, never guessing what will happen in his small aircraft and the devastating effect it will have on the lives around him. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD
In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a 6-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
The mayor of New York City (Russell Crowe) hires a former cop (Mark Wahlberg) to spy on his wife. The private eye uncovers a scandal much larger than an extramarital affair. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Acclaimed National Geographic photographer James Balog was once a skeptic about climate change. But through his Extreme Ice Survey (EIS), he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres
Quentin Tarantino does to slave owners what he did to Nazis in Inglourious Basterds, taking therapeutic cinematic revenge upon them with Django, a freed slave turned bounty hunter. He and his partner, Dr. King Schultz, attempt to rescue Django’s wife from the watchful eye of Calvin Candie and his head slave. Things do not end peacefully. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
In the violent underground of 1940s Los Angeles, Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) calls the shots with the police firmly in his pocket. But some cops can’t be controlled, and John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) and Jerry Wooters (Ryan Gosling) form a group of tough, civic-minded police determined to protect their city from crime. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
THE GUILT TRIP
Before setting off on one of the biggest trips of his life, Andy Brewster makes a quick stop at his mom’s house and unexpectedly picks her up to join on his personal adventure. Rated PG-13. At Twin Peaks.
A HAUNTED HOUSE
In the vein of the Scary Movie series he helped create, Marlon Wayans stars in this parody of found-footage haunted house films like Paranormal Activity and The Devil Inside. Rated R. At Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Lurking behind Alfred Hitchcock — cinema’s “master of suspense” — was a hidden side: his creatively explosive romance with his steadfast wife and filmmaking collaborator, Alma Reville. At Mayan. –– Landmark Theatres
THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY 3D
Peter Jackson goes back for an Unexpected Journey that produces expected results, as this adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s original tale of hobbits and wizards is every bit as good as the Lord of the Rings series (and is, in some ways, even better). Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
French bad-boy Leos Carax re-imagines the City of Light as the backdrop for nearly a dozen surreal adventures starring the filmmaker’s longtime collaborator Denis Lavant as a 21st-century man of a thousand faces, who transforms into various characters for strikingly different vignettes. Also starring Eva Mendes and Kylie Minogue. At Boedecker and SIE FilmCenter. — Boedecker Theater
HYDE PARK ON HUDSON
In June 1939 the King and Queen of England stay overnight at President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s country estate Hyde Park in upstate New York. This was the first-ever visit of a reigning English monarch to America. At Century and Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres
Maria (Naomi Watts), Henry (Ewan McGregor) and their three sons begin their winter vacation in Thailand, looking forward to a few days in tropical paradise. But as the family relaxes around the pool, a huge wall of black water races across the hotel grounds. At Century and Mayan. — Landmark Theatres
IN ANOTHER COUNTRY
Legendary French actress Isabelle Huppert stars in the first English-language film from South Korean master Hong Sang-soo. In overlapping stories, three different French women visit a small Korean resort town and encounter a flirtatious director, a lovestruck lifeguard and far too much soju in an effortless, laugh-out-loud comedy that plays like a lost French New Wave classic. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater
Tom Cruise plays Jack Reacher, a six-foot-five monster of a man who made a career in the military as an investigator, as created by novelist Lee Child. While many feared the wee Cruise too small for the role, his expansive personality proves capable of mitigating the size difference in this somewhat cliched but unquestionably fun diversionary detective fare. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
THE LAST STAND
The most wanted drug kingpin in the country has escaped jail and is headed straight for the border with Mexico. But first he’s got to get through Summerton Junction, where the sheriff is waiting for him. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
See full review. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
LIFE OF PI 3D
A storm ravages a boat carrying a zookeeper’s family and menagerie, and the only survivors are the family’s son, Pi, and a Bengal tiger, Richard Parker. Shot in 3-D, the film is a visual feast and is almost certain to receive a Best Picture nomination. Rated PG. At Century and Colony Square. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
This is all about the creation of the penny. OK, kidding. This is Daniel Day-Lewis proving he’s the best there is (maybe ever) at embodying the emancipatory president as he works to get the 13th Amendment through a divided Congress in the midst of war. Rated PG-13. At Century and Colony Square. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
Five years after they disappeared, sisters Victoria and Lilly are found in a half-collapsed cabin in the woods. But when they come back to civilization to live with their uncle and his girlfriend, the girls don’t come alone. Based on a short film by the director, Andres Muschietti. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
NOT FADE AWAY
Inspired by the Rolling Stones, three friends form a rock band in what is both a coming of age story and a tribute to romanticized images of the ’60s. Not rated. At Colony Square.
OPERA: LOHENGRIN — LA SCALA
Rene Pape, Jonas Kaufmann and Anja Harteros star in Wagner’s deeply romantic and chivalrous opera. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater
A grandfather and his wife face new challenges when they babysit their three grandchildren while the parents are away, and they find they must adjust their methods when faced with the problems of a younger generation. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
Matt Damon plays a slick corporate salesman sure he can snag the drilling rights from a small town in economic decline, but meets surprising resistance from a grassroots campaign. Rated R. At Century.
REFLECTIONS OF EVIL
Cult filmmaker Damon Packard wrote, directed, and stars in this bizarre independent feature about a sugar-addicted, obese watch seller. Packard plays Bob, a man whose penchant for sweets is threatening to send him to an early grave. His dead sister’s ghost attempts to help him while he seeks out a mysterious woman he saw in a vision. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
The highly politicized Texas State Board of Education periodically rewrites teaching and textbook standards for its nearly 5 million schoolchildren, influencing the whole nation’s textbooks. Don McLeroy, a dentist, Sunday school teacher and avowed young-earth creationist, leads the Religious Right charge, challenged by a group of academics who see this as the front line in a crucial “culture war.” At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater
RUST AND BONE
Academy Award-winning actress Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose, The Dark Knight Rises) gives a tour-de-force performance in Rust and Bone that rivals anything she has done before. She plays Stéphanie, a free-spirited whale trainer at a marineland on the French Riviera, who suffers a devastating injury. Rated R. At Century and Mayan. — Landmark Theatres
“Samsara” is a Sanskrit word that means “the ever turning wheel of life” and it is the point of departure for filmmakers Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson as they search for the elusive current of interconnection that runs through our lives. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
Based on the autobiographical writings of journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined — at age 38 — to lose his virginity. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres
SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
When Pat (Bradley Cooper) is released from court-mandated institutionalization friends after beating his wife’s lover, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow struggling with grief. Great set-up for a romantic comedy, right? Although the film has the trappings of drama, everything is sanitized and clichéd enough for this to be little more than a feel-good romance between attractive people. Rated R. At Century and Colony Square. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
Skyfall is a return to form for 007. Action, beautiful dames, interesting gadgets and snappy one-liners abound in this thriller. No surprises there. Rated PG-13. At Century. — The Reader of Omaha, Neb.
SOUL FOOD JUNKIES
Filmmaker Byron Hurt explores the upsides and downsides of soul food, a quintessential American cuisine. Soul Food Junkies explores the history and social significance of soul food to black cultural identity and its effect on African American health, good and bad. At SIE FilmCenter — Denver Film Society
STRUCK BY LIGHTNING
What if you were struck by lightning and died before you even finished high school? That’s the starting point of this hilarious black comedy written by and starring Chris Colfer (Glee) and directed by Brian Dannelly (Saved!, Weeds). At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
Three-time Oscar winner about a hack screenwriter who writes a screenplay for a former silent-film star who has faded into Hollywood obscurity. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater
Tchoupitoulas is a lyrical documentary that follows three adolescent brothers as they journey through one night in New Orleans, encountering a vibrant kaleidoscope of dancers, musicians, hustlers and revelers parading through the lamplit streets. At SIE FilmCenter. — Denver Film Society
TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D
This film takes up the narrative from the earlier Texas Chainsaw tales. A young woman inherits a house that once housed a vicious killer. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.
THIS IS 40
Judd Apatow’s latest writing and directing effort depicts the marriage of two of the characters from Knocked Up. Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann play a couple struggling through marriage in this emotional comedy. Rated R. At Century and Twin Peaks.
WHEN THE IRON BIRD FLIES
Follow the path of one of the world’s great spiritual traditions from the caves of Tibet to the mainstream of Western culture. Along the way, the film tackles the provocative exchanges between Buddhist practitioners and scholars and Western scientists, psychologists and educators. At Boedecker. — Boedecker Theater
ZERO DARK THIRTY
See full review. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks.