Wednesday, August 27, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

New and Noteworthy: Movies

Scarlett Johansson is a dangerous woman in the eerie, experimental "Under the Skin" from Jonathan Glazer.
Scarlett Johansson is a dangerous woman in the eerie, experimental "Under the Skin" from Jonathan Glazer.


By Steven Rea

Under the Skin Scarlett Johansson is a mystery woman trolling Scotland for men to seduce and kill. Eerie experimental business from filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. R

Breathe In Felicity Jones and her Like Crazy director Drake Doremus reteam for this tale of a bright young exchange student who moves into a married couple's house, upending everything. With Guy Pearce and Amy Ryan. R

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  • Transcendence Johnny Depp uploads his mind to a computer system in this sci-fi thriller from ace cinematorgrapher Wally Pfister, in his directing debut. With Rebecca Hall, Morgan Freeman, and Kate Mara. PG-13


    Also Opening


    Alan Partridge Steve Coogan's comic creation, the cluelessly confident TV personality Alan Partridge, finds himself besieged at the station.

    Bears John C. Reilly narrates this documentary that looks at bears in the wilds of Alaska.

     A Haunted House 2 Malcolm (Marlon Wayans) moves into a new home with his girlfriend and her children with scary results.

    Heaven Is for Real Small-town parents attempt to come to grips with what their young son claims to have seen during a near-death experience. Opens Wednesday

    Jodorowsky's Dune Cult film director Alejandro Jodorowsky's struggle to bring the sci-fi classic Dune to the big screen is the focus of this documentary.

     Teenage This documentary looks at how the concept of the teenager, along with youth rebellion, came into being during the late 19th and mid-20th centuries.

    13 Sins A down-on-his-luck man is given the opportunity to win a huge jackpot if he completes 13 increasingly brutal tasks.


    Excellent (****)

    Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

    Finding Vivian Maier A fascinating puzzle-piece mystery - and a revelatory portrait of an eccentric figure who worked as a nanny in Chicago from the '50s through the '90s - and who dragged her charges through the city, taking pictures. The heretofore unknown street photographs are nothing less than brilliant; the documentary about this curious figure is a find in more ways than one. 1 hr. 23 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

    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.


    Very Good (***1/2)

    Child's Pose To what lengths will a mother go to save her son - her disaffected adult son - from ruin? In Romanian director Calin Peter Netzer's slow burn of a psychodrama, the answer is pretty much any length necessary. A dark piece of neorealism, and a searing indictment of Eastern Europe's newly moneyed classes. 1 hr. 52 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

    The Raid 2: Berandal Combine every film made by Bruce Lee and muay thai master Tony Jaa and you might get an approximation of the sheer level of martial-arts mayhem, gun- and knifeplay, car chases, explosions, murder, maiming, and general bloodletting in this extraordinary sequel. Indonesian actor, stuntman and silat fighter Iko Uwais returns as Jakarta cop Rama, the sole survivor of a police raid who goes undercover to destroy three gangs, including a group of dirty, deadly cops. R (strong bloody violence, sexuality, profanity) - T.D.


    Also on Screens

    Captain America: The Winter Soldier **1/2 The ninth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings Steve "Cap" Rogers (Chris Evans, sporting Popeye biceps) to modern-day Washington, D.C., where the old-school "super soldier" struggles to come to terms with a preemptive, paranoid government mindset. With Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Robert Redford in a sinister supporting role. 2 hrs. 16 PG-13 (action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

    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.

    Dom Hemingway *** Jude Law, with mutton-chop sideburns and a fierce swagger, chews up the scenery in this testosterone-fueled talkfest about a safecracker who's done his time in prison rather than rat out his boss. Twelve years later, Dom emerges from the slammer, looking for his reward. With Richard E. Grant and Demian Bichir. 1 hr. 33 R (violence, profanity, sex, nudity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.

    Draft Day **1/2 Kevin Costner is the beleaguered general manager of the Cleveland Browns, trying to make the right decision on that fateful spring day when the NFL teams go culling through the college rosters. Ah, professional football: The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. The teleconferencing. With Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary. PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

    Joe *** Nicolas Cage flexes his muscles (and flares his nostrils) in this bourbon-soaked character study of a soul-wracked Texas tree cutter and the "little drifter kid" he befriends. With Tye Sheridan, from the not-dissimilar Mud. 1 hr. 57 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) - S.R.

    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.

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