reel to reel | Week of Nov. 24, 2011

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Hanna and Simon, a couple in their early 40s, live together in Berlin. With their 20th anniversary looming, they both become restless. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Arthur Christmas

Arthur Christmas is not a perfect gift, but it does feature enough holiday cheer and silly fun to make it more entertaining than 10 lords a-leaping. It helps that the film also has a warm message about how tradition should never be sacrificed for efficiency’s sake. Rated PG. At Century and Colony Square. — Rick Bentley/MCT

Azur and Asmar

From legendary animator, writer, and director Michel Ocelot (Kirikou and the Sorceress) comes a shimmering, fairy talelike story of two brothers on a dangerous quest to find and free a Djinn Fairy. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey

The Muppet Elmo is one of the most beloved characters among children across the globe. Meet the unlikely man behind the puppet — the heart and soul of Elmo — Kevin Clash. At Boedecker Theater and Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Boedecker Theater

The Descendants

From Alexander Payne, creator of the Oscar-winning Sideways, comes The Descendants, a sometimes humorous, sometimes tragic journey for Matt King (George Clooney), a distracted husband and back-up parent to two girls who is forced to re-examine his past and embrace his future when his wife suffers a lifethreatening boating accident off of Waikiki.

At Century and Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Dolphin Tale

This heartwarmer, based on a true story, follows the tailless dolphin Winter (played by Winter) through all sorts of adversity alongside its human protectors. Rated PG. At Colony Square. — Michael Phillips/TMS


Breakout Danish director Nicolas Winding Refn (Bronson, the Pusher trilogy) throttles into the fast lane with the precision-crafted action caper Drive, winner of the Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival. At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Happy Feet Two

See full review Page 39. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Hell and Back Again

In 2009, U.S. Marines launched a major helicopter assault on a Taliban stronghold in southern Afghanistan. Within hours of being dropped deep behind enemy lines, 25-year-old Sergeant Nathan Harris’s unit is attacked from all sides. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres


If you’re intrigued by the prospect of Martin Scorsese directing his first children’s film — in 3D, no less! — then run, don’t walk, to see Hugo. But to write off this dreamy, overwhelmingly beautiful movie as mere kids’ stuff would be an injustice. This adaptation of Brian Selznick’s illustrated children’s book The Invention of Hugo Cabret (John Logan wrote the screenplay) is as much of a personal Scorsese picture as Raging Bull or Taxi Driver. Rated PG. At Century. — Rene Rodriguez/MCT


I AM is an utterly engaging and entertaining non-fiction film that poses two practical and provocative questions: what’s wrong with our world, and what can we do to make it better? Featuring Desmond Tutu, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky, and Coleman Barks. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


When a power-hungry king rampages across ancient Greece in search of a legendary weapon, a brave young stonemason assembles a band to stop him. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

In Time

In a future where time is the universal currency and the wealthy live forever, a poor young man stumbles into a fortune but is falsely accused of murder. Rated PG-13. At Century. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Into the Abyss

In his fascinating exploration of a triple homicide case in Conroe, Texas, master filmmaker Werner Herzog probes the human psyche to explore why people kill — and why a state kills. Rated PG-13. At Chez Artiste. — Landmark Theatres

J. Edgar

Director Clint Eastwood’s film, featuring a valiant performance from Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar), is a subtle and muted portrayal of one of American history’s most mysterious figures. Molded by his smothering mother (Judi Dench), Hoover ran the FBI from 1935 until his death in 1972. Between Eastwood’s objective stance and DiCaprio’s bold acting, you’re in capable hands here. Rated R. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Michael Phillips/TMS

Jack and Jill

A successful advertising executive with a beautiful wife and kids dreads the annual Thanksgiving visit of his passive-aggressive twin sister. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

Janie Jones

Rocker Ethan Brand (Alessandro Nivola) and his band are on the comeback trail when a former flame (Academy Award nominee Elisabeth Shue) drops a bomb in his lap: their 13-year-old daughter, Janie Jones (Academy Award nominee Abigail Breslin). At Denver FilmCenter/Colfax. — Denver Film Society

Like Crazy

A love story is both a physical and emotional tale, one that can be deeply personal and heartbreaking for an audience to experience. At Century and Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Martha Marcy May Marlene

A young woman rapidly unravels amidst her attempt to reclaim a normal life after fleeing from a cult and its charismatic leader. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

Mary Lou

Meir, a young man searching for his mother in Tel Aviv, learns about love with the help of the gay community and Israeli pop music. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


In this beautiful movie about the end of the world, Justine (Kirsten Dunst, Best Actress Award winner at the Cannes International Film Festival) and Michael (Alexander Skarsgård of True Blood and Straw Dogs) are celebrating their marriage at a sumptuous party in the home of her sister Claire (Charlotte Gainsbourg), and brother-in-law John (Kiefer Sutherland). Despite Claire’s best efforts, the wedding is a fiasco, with family tensions mounting and relationships fraying. Meanwhile, a planet called Melancholia is heading directly towards Earth. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

Mia and the Migoo

Created from an astounding 500,000 handpainted frames of animation, Mia and the Migoo is a work of art, breathtaking to behold, with backgrounds that invoke Van Gogh, Monet, and Cezanne. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris, a new romantic comedy from writer/director Woody Allen, tells the story of a family that travels to the picturesque French capital on business. Rated PG-13. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres

The Mill and the Cross

Rutger Hauer and Michael York star in this story of Pieter Bruegel’s epic painting “The Way To Calvary.” From among the more than 500 figures that fill Bruegel’s remarkable canvas, The Mill and the Cross focuses on a dozen characters whose life stories unfold and intertwine in a panoramic landscape populated by villagers and red-caped horsemen. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater


Director Bennett Miller’s Moneyball is based on the true story of Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane, played remarkably by Brad Pitt. Somewhat of a renegade, Beane bucked the norm and employed a new statistical way of analyzing players. Rated PG-13. At Colony Square. — Michael Phillips/TMS

The Muppets

The oddest, sweetest movie you’re likely to see this season is The Muppets, a quirky little musical fantasy about plush frogs, diva pigs, friendship and dreams. Those who fondly remember The Muppet Show will get a kick out of seeing old friends again; those who don’t just might realize what they missed. Rated PG. At Century and Colony Square. — Moira Macdonald/MCT

My Week With Marilyn

The year is 1956 and Marilyn Monroe, at the height of her pin-up popularity, is making a movie in London with master actor Laurence Olivier. Behind the scenes she is a complete mess — doped up, paranoid and suffocating in insecurities. Monroe finds solace in one of Olivier’s young assistants, Colin Clark (the film is based on his memoir). It’s an unlikely pairing as Monroe is in the midst of her third marriage, this time to Arthur Miller. Told through the kid’s eyes, My Week With Marilyn is burdened with an unnecessary narration.

Rated R. At Century. — Los Tom Horgen/ MCT

Opera: Adriana Lecouvreur

Based on the play by Eugène Scribe and Ernest Legouvé, this opera offers a fictional story surrounding a real-life French actress in the 18th century. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Paranormal Activity 3

Now that Saw has run its course, a new horror franchise steps in to spawn a sequel every Halloween. This third install ment

promises to be an origin tale — where did that demon come from, anyway? Rated R. At Twin Peaks. — Rene Rodriguez/MCT

Puss in Boots

This is no mere Shrek sequel. There is sex appeal in every syllable, swagger in every line. And even kids get the joke of a voice that sensual and grand coming out of a kitty so small. Rated PG. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Roger Moore/TMS

The Revenge of the Electric Car

In 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than five years later, the electric car is back — with a vengeance. At Esquire. — Landmark Theatres

The Secret of Kells

Magic, fantasy and Celtic mythology come together in a riot of color and detail that dazzle the eyes in this sweeping story about the power of imagination and faith to carry humanity through dark times. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

The Skin I Live In

Ever since his wife was burned in a car crash, Dr. Robert Ledgard (Antonio Banderas), an eminent plastic surgeon, has been obsessed with creating a new skin with which he could have saved her. At Mayan. — Landmark Theatres


Stranger-than-fiction, in 1977 Joyce McKinney, former “beauty queen” with a genius IQ, made the front pages of the British tabloid newspapers in a surreal tale of gun-point abduction, manacled Mormons, oddball accomplices, bondage modeling, magic underwear and dreams of celestial unions. At Boedecker Theater. — Boedecker Theater

Tower Heist

After the staff workers at an upscale Central Park condo discover the billionaire in the penthouse has stolen their retirement money, they conspire to take back what’s theirs. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn

See full review Page 39. Rated PG-13. At Century, Colony Square and Twin Peaks. — Los Angeles Times/MCT

A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

Comic effrontery is the Bic that lights the bong in these H&K movies, but a third one? Really? Here, the now 30ish menboys hunt down a Christmas tree, mix it up with gangsters, briefly turn into animated versions of themselves, consort with virgins and meet Santa. Rated R. At Century. — Michael Phillips/TMS