Our critics recommend...
By Steven Rea
Haute Cuisine The true, mouthwatering, story of the woman hired as personal chef for French president Francois Mitterrand. Culinary and cultural clashes with the all-male kitchen staff ensue. Catherine Frot stars. PG-13
Runner Runner Ben Affleck, Justin Timberlake, and Gemma Arterton star in a crime drama that turns around an online poker match and an investigation by the feds. R
Also Opening This Week
Concussion A head injury spurs a bored lesbian mother to make changes to her life.
Gravity Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in this sci-fi thriller about a medical engineer and an astronaut who must fight to survive after an accident leaves them stranded in space.
Wadjda A young Saudi girl enters a school contest to raise money for a bike that she has her eyes on. Arabic with subtitles.
Wedding Palace Romantic comedy about a Korean-American executive whose family is pressuring him to get married.
Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.) and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
Enough Said Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini (in his final leading role) are divorced parents, each with a college-bound daughter, who meet, date and take a real liking to each other. And then the trouble begins. A smart, funny movie for grown-ups from the hugely talented writer director Nicole Holofcener. 1 hr. 33 R (sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Inequality for All A must-see documentary about America's widening income gap and shrinking middle class. If a movie crammed front-to-back with bad news, woeful statistics, and glaring injustices can be considered inspiring, well, then, this one - starring the diminuitive but indefatigable economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich - is that movie. PG (adult themes) - S.R.
The Trials of Muhammad Ali With splendid detail and focus, this documentary examines the momentous forces that led Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world, to refuse service in the Army during the war in Vietnam. 1 hr. 30 No MPAA rating - D.H.
Very Good (*** 1/2)
Short Term 12 A low-key, high-emotion indie set in a foster-care facility for at-risk teens, with a career-defining performance from Brie Larson as the supervisor who hides her own hurt with an outsized empathy. Full of heart and heartbreak, it's also funny and inspired. 1 hr. 36 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Rush Ron Howard's epic and exhilarating race-car miovie, about the legendary rivalry between 1970s Formula One champions James Hunt, a swaggering Brit, and Niki Lauda, a rigorously fussy Austrian. It's a ride. 2 hrs. 03 R (sex, nudity, violence, profanity, intense medical scenes, adult themes) - S.R.
Also on Screens
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 *** Intrepid and irrepressible young inventor Flint Lockwood has more problems with food in this charming animated sequel. With the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, and Will Forte. 1 hr. 35 PG - D.H.
Don Jon *** Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in this tale of a North Jersey Lothario who has his whole life under control - including his addiction to porn. Enter Scarlett Johansson. If there's a problem, it's that just about everybody - Jon included - gets this close to caricature. R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
The Family ** 1/2 The witness protection program secretes Brooklyn mobster Robert DeNiro and his family in France. Cultures clash and bullets fly in this oddly unsettling farce from Luc Besson. 1 hr. 50 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - D.H.
Insidious: Chapter 2 ** The terrified Lambert family returns to uncover the mysterious reason for their connection to the spirit world. 1 hr. 45 PG-13 (intense terror and violence, thematic elements) - W.S.
The Prisoners *** In this grim and unsettling film, a father (Hugh Jackman) becomes convinced that a detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) isn't doing enough to solve his daughter's abduction. Powerful but not for the faint of heart. 2 hrs. 26 R (disturbing violence, profanity) - D.H.
Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.),Jim Rutter (J.R.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.) .
New This Week
The Brothers Size (Simpatico Theater Project) Yoruba storytelling meets bayou rhythms in the first play of Tarell Alvin McCraney's "Brothers/Sisters Trilogy." Preview Wednesday, opens Thursday.
Parade (Arden Theatre) A powerful musical drama about prejudice and injustice. In previews, opens Tuesday.
Romeo and Juliet (Curio Theatre) Juliet's a lovely girl. So is Romeo. Previews Thursday-Oct. 10, opens Oct. 11.
Truth Values (Annenberg Center) Subtitle says it all: "One Girl's Romp Through MIT's Male Math Maze." Runs Tuesday through Sunday.
You Say Tomato, I Say Shut Up (Penn's Landing Playhouse) A cantankerous married twosome's tale opens this new venue at the Independence Seaport Museum. In previews, opens Tuesday.
Bunny Bunny (1812 Productions) Ex-Saturday Night Live writer Alan Zweibel's story of his 14-year friendship with laughable, lovable Gilda Radner. Through Oct. 27.
Didn't Your Father Have This Talk With You? (Act II Playhouse) Tony Braithwaite recalls teaching sex-ed at the Prep. This being Braithwaite, it is, not surprisingly, very funny. Extended through Oct. 11. - J.R.
Emma (Lantern Theater Company) Jane Austen's fetching little busybody just doesn't know when to stop. Through Oct. 27.
Evil Dead (Prince Theater) This refurbished venue opens its new season with this horror thriller, which bills itself as "the only musical with a "splatter zone." Through Oct. 20.
In the Heights (Walnut Street Theatre) West Philly's own Quiara Alegria Hudes wrote the book for this vibrant musical set in a tough, changing New York neighborhood. Great music and a winning cast. Through Oct. 20. - D.P.S.
Miles and Ellie (Montgomery Theater) First love, second chance? A rolling world premiere. Ends Sunday.
My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, and I'm Still in Therapy (Bristol Riverside Theatre) ". . . My wife and I stayed together for the kids . . . neither of us wanted custody!" Through next Sunday.
The Rainmaker (People's Light and Theatre) A con artist enchants a spinster during a dry, dry summer. Through Oct. 18.
Spamalot (Media Theatre) This Monty Python hommage won the best-musical Tony. Through Nov. 3.
Despicable Me 2 **1/2 The Anti-Villain League recruits Gru when a powerful new criminal emerges in this animated family sequel. 1 hr. 38 PG (mild scares, rude humor, use of flatulence guns) - T.D.
Philadelphia Orchestra on the Radio
Tune in to WRTI-FM (90.1) at 2 p.m. Sunday to hear Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducting the Philadelphia Orchestra with soloist Hilary Hahn performing Korngold’s Violin Concerto. The program also includes “Love Scene” from Richard Strauss’ 1901 opera Feuersnot and Mahler’s Symphony No. 1.