Our critics recommend...
Coming This Week
By Steven Rea
The Family A mob-connected clan go into the witness-protection program and wind up in France, where a comic clash of cultures and crooks ensues. Robert De Niro and Michelle Pfeiffer are the Mr. and Mrs. on the lam, with teens in tow. From La Femme Nikita director Luc Besson. R
Insidious: Chapter 2 "Nothing's going to bother us any more," Patrick Wilson assures Rose Byrne in the opening minutes of the sequel to the 2010 horror hit about a couple and their possessed child. Ha! Cue the creepy whispering voices, bring on the ghostly apparitions, let the screams begin. PG-13
Salinger The secret documentary project, years in the making, is finally here, promising revelations about the famously reclusive Catcher in the Rye scribe and the writing he continued to do long after his last story was published - in 1965. He died in 2010. With Tom Wolfe, Martin Sheen, Edward Norton, and Philip Seymour Hoffman among the talking heads. PG-13
Also Opening This Week
The Little Mermaid 3D The 1989 animated family tale returns to theaters in 3D.
Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.), Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.), David Hiltbrand (D.H.), and Dan DeLuca (D.D). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
Fruitvale Station Michael B. Jordan gives a deeply nuanced performance as Oscar Grant, the 22-year-old Oakland, Calif., man shot and killed by a transit cop in the early hours of New Year's Day 2009. Ryan Coogler's film reconstructs - and in some instances reimagines - the events of the day and night leading up to that tragic episode. 1 hr. 25 R (violence, profanity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.
Also on Screens
Elysium *** Matt Damon is a 22d-century factory worker on a "diseased, polluted, and vastly over-populated" Earth, trying to crash the gated community in the sky where the rich live in smug splendor. A rabble-rousing sci-fi allegory from the director of District 9. 1 hr. 49 R (intense action, violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Lee Daniels' The Butler *** Based on the true story of an African American who served in the White House under eight presidents from Truman to Reagan, with Forest Whitaker, full of dignity and humility, in the title role as pivotal events in the history of the civil rights movement swirl around him. With Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., and David Oyelowo. 2 hrs. 12 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
One Direction: This is Us *** Being the world's most popular boy band has a short shelf life. And Harry, Louis, Niall, Zayn, and Liam are making the most of theirs. Morgan Spurlock directed this lively documentary, a tribute to the boys' irresistibility. 1 hr. 32 PG - D.H.
Planes * Dusty the crop duster pursues his crazy dream of racing elite aircraft around the globe. Dane Cook, Stacy Keach, and Brad Garrett lend their voices to a dismal kids' film that exists mostly as an excuse for a toy line. 1 hr. 32 PG - D.H.
Riddick * Vin Diesel reprises his role as the glowering space criminal, this time marooned on a lethal planet. Fun cast (Jordi Molla, Katee Sackhoff, and Dave Bautista) and bountiful action, but absolutely no redeeming values. 1 hr. 59 R (violence, profanity, nudity, adult themes, drugs) - D.H.
We're the Millers **1/2 A pot dealer and a stripper - Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston - pose as an all-American, RV-driving couple who recruit two misfit teens to play their kids so they can smuggle a huge shipment of marijuana across the Mexican border. Innocuously smutty, intermittently funny road comedy. R (profanity, nudity, drugs, violence, adult themes) -S.R.
Reviewed by David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.) .
New This Week
Didn't Your Father Have This Talk With You? (Act II Playhouse) Tony Braithwaite recalls teaching sex-ed at the Prep. Previews Tuesday-Thursday, opens Friday.
In the Heights (Walnut Street Theatre) West Philly's own Quiara Alegria Hudes wrote the book for this Tony-winning musical set in a tough, changing New York neighborhood. Preview Tuesday opens Wednesday.
Miles and Ellie (Montgomery Theater) First love, second chance? A rolling world premiere. Previews Wednesday and Thursday, opens Friday.
2013 Fringe Festival (All over the place) The Live Arts Festival/Philly Fringe-that-was moves into the first full week of its 18-day run, with openings of the Nature Theater of Oklahoma's epic five-episode Life and Times, the gravity-defying Leo, Geoff Sobelle's The Object Lesson, So Percussion, the visual project This Is Not a Theater, All the Sex I've Ever Had, On the Concept of the Face Regarding the Son of God, plus continuing shows and a gazillion madcap "Neighborhood Fringe" outliers. Find the copious details at www.fringearts.com.
Any Given Monday (Delaware Theatre Company) Bruce Graham's horrifying, hilarious tale of football and manship. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.
Star Trek Into Darkness ***1/2 J.J. Abrams' reboot sequel is as good as, if not better than, the 2009 Star Trek. James T. Kirk is in trouble with the admiralty, Spock and Uhura are having a lovers' spat, and a new bad guy (Benedict Cumberbatch) threatens to wreak havoc across the universe. Smart, fun, with exhilarating action and spectacular visual effects. Beam us up, Scotty. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (violence, interspecies sex, adult themes) - S.R.
Philadelphia Orchestra on the Radio
Simon Rattle is on the podium during Sunday's 2 p.m. WRTI (90.1FM) rebroadcast of a Philadelphia Orchestra concert from late May. It begins with Webern's Passacaglia and three fragments from Alban Berg's shattering opera Wozzeck, both of which received their U.S. premieres in Philadelphia under Leopold Stokowski. After intermission, soprano Barbara Hannigan, in her Philadelphia Orchestra debut, performs scenes from Ligeti's thrilling opera Le Grande Macabre, in character as the chief of the secret political police. And last is Beethoven's Symphony No. 6 ("Pastoral").