Friday, December 12, 2014

Life, Life, Love

New and Noteworthy: Movies

Jenny Slate (left, with Jake Lacy) plays a Brooklyn comedian who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand in "Obvious Child." (Chris Teague)
Jenny Slate (left, with Jake Lacy) plays a Brooklyn comedian who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand in "Obvious Child." (Chris Teague)
Jenny Slate (left, with Jake Lacy) plays a Brooklyn comedian who finds herself pregnant after a one-night stand in "Obvious Child." (Chris Teague) Gallery: New and Noteworthy: Movies


By Steven Rea

Obvious Child Jenny Slate stars as a Brooklyn comedienne who finds herself pregnant following a messy, drink-fueled one-nighter, in this low-key indie set in a world of stand-up, breakups, and visits to Planned Parenthood. Philadelphia native Gabe Liedman costars. R

Jersey Boys The hit Broadway (and London and Toronto and national tour) musical gets movie-ized by Clint Eastwood, with Tony-winning John Lloyd Young reprising his stage role as Frankie Valli, front man of '60s chartbusters the Four Seasons. PG-13

Think Like a Man Too Kevin Hart oversees the couples therapy comedy, a sequel to the 2012 hit based on Steve Harvey's bestseller, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man. PG-13

More coverage
  • 'Supermensch': A remarkable right-place-right-time tale
  • Harrison Ford injured on 'Star Wars: Episode VII' set
  • 'How to Train Your Dragon 2': Sequel breathes excellent fire

    Also Opening


    A Coffee In Berlin A German college dropout struggles to find his place in Berlin society. German with subtitles.

     Lucky Them Toni Collette stars as a slacker music journalist whose last chance to save her job is to track down and profile a reclusive former rock star who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend.

     The Purge: Anarchy A couple attempt to survive after their car breaks down as the annual purge begins.

    The Rover In the not-too-distant future, an Australian (Guy Pearce) seeks out the gang that stole the last thing on earth that mattered to him.


    Excellent (****)

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

    Read complete reviews at

    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.


    Very Good (***1/2)

    Borgman An update of sorts to Pier Paolo Pasolini's subversive parable Teorema, Dutch helmer Alex van Warmerdam's cautionary tale is a terrifying, emotionally wrenching nightmare about a homeless vagabond and his feral followers who take over the lives of an affluent suburban family. It's a savage dramatization of the deepening rift betweeen the rich and the poor. 1 hr. 53 No MPAA rating (disturbing images, violence, sexuality, profanity) - T.D.

    How to Train Your Dragon 2 One of the most delightful surprises of the year, this DreamWorks Animation sequel is an intelligent, sensitive, and beautifully realized morality play that will fascinate children and parents alike. Five years after he ended the war between dragons and Vikings, young hero Hiccup and his fellow dragon-riders face off against a dreaded enemy named Draco, who subjugates dragons, using fear and torture to make them do his bidding. 1 hr. 42 PG (adventure action and some mild rude humor) - T.D.

    The Immigrant Marion Cotillard is nothing less than amazing as a destitute Pole who arrives at Ellis Island in 1921 and falls in with a smooth-talking pimp (Joaquin Phoenix). James Gray (Two Lovers, The Yards) directs this half-crazy, fascinating yarn. R (nudity, violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

    Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon Mike Myers directs, and narrates, this fast and affectionate portrait of the fabled music- and movie-biz mega-manager, who crossed paths with just about everybody (Jimi, Janis, Cary - as in Cary Grant) and whose personal journey goes from the sybaritic to the spiritual. A remarkable in-the-right-place-at-the-right-

    time tale of fame, fortune and finding peace. 1 hr. 25 R (profanity, sex, nudity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.

    We Are the Best! Pipsqueak misfits in early '80s Stockholm start a punk band - three girls slashing and thrashing against parents, teachers, and classmates in Lukas Moodysson's exuberant and compassionate coming-of-age gem. 1 hr. 42 No MPAA rating (profanity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.


    Also on Screens

    Edge of Tomorrow *** Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt star in a propulsive sci-fi war movie, about a cowardly military flack who gets Bill Murray's Groundhog Day syndrome - he's fated to relive the same day over and over again, and the day is a doozy: a battle against alien invaders that will determine the fate of humankind. PG-13 (intense action, violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

    The Fault in Our Stars *** A sweet, bittersweet tale of cancer-stricken lovebirds - played by Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort - facing love, and death, head-on. An adaptation of John Green's YA megaseller, from the writing team behind The Spectacular Now (also with Woodley) and (500) Days of Summer. PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

    Maleficent *** Angelina Jolie stars as the titular villain of the Sleeping Beauty tale in this imaginative, if somewhat labored, reinvention of the classic Disney cartoon. With Elle Fanning as the cursed Aurora, and District 9's Sharlto Copley alarmingly cast as her dad, the king. Flower-powered fairyland visual effects to die for! And Jolie, horns and cheekbones high, is magnificent as the villainous fairy godmother. PG (violence, scary images, adult themes) - S.R.

    A Million Ways to Die in the West * Seth MacFarlane writes, directs, and casts himself (a mistake) in the lead of this potty-brained and seriously unpleasant sagebrush spoof. Neil Patrick Harris, Liam Neeson, Amanda Seyfried, and Charlize Theron appear to be willing participants in this racist, misogynist "comedy." It's beyond bad taste. It's just bad. 1 hr. 56 R (profanity, crude humor, sex, nudity, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

    22 Jump Street **1/2 Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, not exactly the millennials' answer to Abbott and Costello but working a sympatico stupid-com groove, are back in the sequel to 21 Jump Street. This time the undercover cops go to college to bust a drug ring. Winkingly ironic dumb jokes - anatomical, scatalogocal, sexual - ensue. R (profanity, sex, drugs, cartoon violence, adult themes) - S.R.

    X-Men: Days of Future Past *** Time travel is of the essence in this entertaining seventh installment in the series based on the Marvel comics about a gang of misfit mutant superheroes and their respective mentors, Professor Charles Xavier and Magneto. Directed by Bryan Singer, with Hugh Jackman's Wolverine as the linchpin. Geeky, action-packed fun. 2 hrs. 11 PG-13 (intense action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

    Latest Videos:
    Also on
    Stay Connected