New and Noteworthy: Movies
COMING THIS WEEK
By Steven Rea
Captain America: The Winter Soldier Marvel's World War II superdude has de-cryogenicized in modern-day D.C., where he's caught in an epic battle between the forces of SHIELD, led by the eye-patched Samuel L. Jackson, and HYDRA, the sinister secret syndicate headed by, well, SPOILER ALERT. With Chris Evans as the do-gooding Steve "Cap" Rogers and Scarlett Johansson as the super-slinky SHIELD spy Natasha Romanoff, a.k.a. Black Widow. The Marvel Universe in full-throttle synergistic cross-marketing mode. PG-13
Frankie & Alice Halle Berry stars as a go-go dancer with dissociative identity disorder in this psychological drama (what else could it be?), which garnered its star a Golden Globe best actress nomination. R
Goodbye World A couple who have chosen to live an isolated, self-sustainable lifestyle find their home turning into an oasis for old friends when a cyber-attack cripples much of the country.
In the Blood A new bride with deadly skills sets out to find the people responsible for kidnapping her husband during their honeymoon.
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar This nature documentary looks at lemurs living on Madagascar.
Jinn A man with a seemingly idyllic life is desperate for help when a dark force that has haunted his family for generations asserts itself.
Nymphomaniac: Volume II Charlotte Gainsbourg again stars as Joe, whose life is dictated by her sexual desires.
On My Way A sixtysomething woman with personal and business troubles hits the road for a trip with her grandson. French with subtitles.
The Unknown Known The career of former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld is the topic of this documentary.
Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
The Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson's eighth, and most teeming, film is a between-the- wars comic caper set in a fictitious central European land, where Ralph Fiennes is the concierge of an elegant alpine hostelry. When a wealthy guest dies, and the will is read, a mad dash for money and a prized painting ensues. With Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, F. Murray Abraham, Saoirse Ronan, and newcomer Tony Revolori. Sublime. R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
The Lego Movie It took 65 years, but finally those little Danish construction toys get their own movie. If the Smurfs can do it, why not these interlocking little bits of plastic? 1 hr. 40 PG (mild action, rude humor) - W.S.
Particle Fever Shot over seven years, this brilliant, majestic, and remarkably accessible science documentary coproduced and narrated by particle physicist David Kaplan chronicles how 10,000 scientists and engineers came together to build what in effect is the ultimate test tube for particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland. Kaplan explains with quiet authority, patience, and great wit how the LHC, one of the largest machines every built, is can help clarify some of the most fundamental questions about the universe: How was matter created, what is the deep foundational theory of nature? 1 hr. 39 No MPAA rating (accessible for all ages) - T.D.
The Wind Rises A love song about flight, about childhood obsessions realized, Hayao Miyazaki's latest and possibly last feature (he has announced his retirement, but he's done that before), has the same dreamlike sense of magic that imbues all of the cartoon maestro's work - even though it's a story rooted in fact: the story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi. 2 hrs. 06 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Very Good (***1/2)
Bethlehem Former Israeli intelligence officer and philosophy scholar Yuval Adler delivers a veritable masterpiece with his feature debut, a taut, edge-of-your-seat espionage thriller about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict cowritten by noted Muslim Palestinian journalist Ali Waked. At once a deeply moving, violent tragedy, a rich character study, and a lacerating critique of both sides in the armed struggle, the film centers on the ambivalent relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and a Palestinian teen he cultivates as an informant. It's sure to haunt you. In Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. 1 hr. 39 No MPAA rating (intense battle scenes, violence, profanity, smoking) - T.D.
Ernest & Celestine The unlikely friendship between a mouse and a bear is at the heart of this winning animated feature, nominated for an Academy Award, adapted with wit and grace from Gabrielle Vincent's beloved series of children's books. On view in both original French (subtitled) and dubbed English versions. 1 hr. 20 PG (scary images, cute talking animals in jeopardy) - S.R.
Tim's Vermeer Fascinating, illuminating documentary about inventor Tim Jenison's obsessive project to prove that the 17th century Dutch master Johannes Vermeer, long hailed for his photorealistic style, used optical devices to get the job, and the art, done. Narrated by Penn Jillette, directed by his less gabby show biz sidekick, Teller. 1 hr. 20 PG-13 (adult themes) - S.R.
Also on Screens
Divergent *** Dystopian teen drama, with Shailene Woodley as a Katniss Everdeen type, defying the 22d-century postapocalyptic social order, and Theo James as her mysterious, muscle-y warrior mentor. Adapted from the Veronica Roth novel, and directed, surefootedly, by Neil Burger (Limitless, The Illusionist). 2 hrs. 19 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Enemy ** Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a gloomy-Gus college prof, and as a struggling Toronto actor, in this dour doppelganger psycho-thriller from Prisoners director Denis Villeneuve. With Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, and Isabella Rossellini. 1 hr. 30 R (nudity, sex, profanity, violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman *** A time-travel movie, a father-and-son movie, a boy-meets-girl movie, a movie that doggedly celebrates the art of the pun. But most significantly, this snappy adaptation of the '60s Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon segments is a movie about the smartest creature on Earth - who just happens to be a beagle - and his adopted human boy. The bowtied canine and his bespectacled kid find themselves ricocheting through the centuries, exploring history firsthand, and firstpaw. PG (cartoon violence) - S.R.
The Muppets Most Wanted **1/2 An evil frog is masquerading as Kermit while the real thing is in a Russian gulag, hopping mad. The premise doesn't matter once the songs and gags start flowing. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey, and Ty Burrell costar in this light entertainment. 1 hr. 52 PG (cartoonish action) - D.H.
Noah *** Darren Aronofsky's audacious, hallucinogenic reimagining of the Old Testament text is the movie equivalent of Christian death metal. It's an antediluvian Lord of the Rings, fist-pumping, ferocious, apocalyptic and wet - very wet. With a brooding, burly Russell Crowe in the title role, and CG-generated rock monsters on hand to help build the fabled ark. 2 hrs. 18 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Sabotage ** Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the head of a DEA squad that is half outlaw. Good cast (including Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Mireille Enos, and Olivia Williams) and lots of bang-bang spectacle. Just don't expect to make sense of what's going on. 1 hr. 49 R (graphic violence, nudity, sex, pervasive profanity, drug abuse) - D.H.