Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Capsule Reviews of Movies



**** Excellent *** Good

** Fair * Poor

Reviewers: C.R., Carrie Rickey; S.R., Steven Rea; D.D., Dan DeLuca; T.D., Tirdad Derakhshani; D.H., David Hiltbrand; W.S., Inquirer wire services.

New This Week

Chef See Steven Rea's review on Page 4.

For No Good Reason See Steven Rea's review on Page 8.

God's Pocket See Tirdad Derakhshani's review on Page 6.

Godzilla See Steven Rea's review on Page 4.

Million Dollar Arm See David Hiltbrand's review on Page 5.

Palo Alto See Steven Rea's review on Page 5.

Wolf Creek 2 See Tirdad Derakhshani's review on Page 8.

Also on Screens

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Schematic sequel to 2012's reboot of the Marvel Comics franchise starring a kid (Andrew Garfield) who morphs into a webslinging superhero is driven by adolescent heartache and indecision, and by gigantic, effects-driven fight scenes - against super-foes including Jamie Foxx's Electro and Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin. 2 hrs. 22 PG-13 (intense action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Belle Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars as the illegitimate daughter of a Royal Navy officer and an African slave, raised - alongside her white cousin - in the world of 18th century English aristocracy. With Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson, Sam Reid. 1 hr. 45 PG (adult themes) - S.R.

Blue Ruin A barbed-wire sharp and altogether surprising thriller, with Macon Blair as a bearded drifter looking to revenge a double murder. Along the way, writer/director Jeremy Saulnier finds time to explore a whole substratal world of homelessness, of a solitary soul scrounging for food, for shelter. This spare American indie examines how violence defines our lives in ways that feel jolting, and true. 1 hr. 52 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Brick Mansions Luc Besson produced this tediously felicitous remake of his thrilling 2004 action film District 13 starring the late Paul Walker as a Detroit cop who teams up with an anarchic civilian crime fighter (French parkour maestro David Belle) to take down a drug lord (RZA) who has hijacked a ticking nuclear bomb. 1 hr. 30 PG-13 (profanity, violence, drug use, drug selling, guns, sexuality) - T.D.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier The ninth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings Steve "Cap" Rogers (Chris Evans, sporting Popeye biceps) to modern-day Washington, where the old-school "super soldier" struggles to come to terms with a preemptive, paranoid government mind-set. 2 hrs. 16 PG-13 (action, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Devil's Knot Only a lawyer going through his own personal turmoil (Colin Firth) believes in the innocence of three teens accused of the ritualistic killing of three younger children. Reese Witherspoon co-stars as the mother of one of the victims. 1 hr. 54 No MPAA rating (violence, disturbing images, profanity, nudity, smoking) - T.D.

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, muscley warrior mentor. 2 hrs. 19 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Draft Day 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. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Fading Gigolo John Turturro wrote, directed and stars in this quirky comedy as an unlikely manwhore with an even unlikelier pimp (Woody Allen). Piquantly amusing until it bogs down in the second half. 1 hr. 38 R (profanity, nudity, sexual content) - D.H.

Fed Up A resoundingly scary and effective documentary about the nation's obesity crisis, the food industry's complicity, and what can be done about it. Narrated by Katie Couric. 1 hr. 32 PG (adult themes) - S.R.

Finding Vivian Maier A fascinating puzzle-piece mystery - and a revelatory portrait of an eccentic figure who worked as a nanny in Chicago from the '50s through the '90s - and who dragged her charges through the city, taking pictures. 1 hr. 23 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

Forces of Nature Get a close-up look at natural disasters in this Imax documentary.

The Galapagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden This impressive documentary looks at the unsolved disappearances of a German doctor, a self-styled baroness and her lover on the Galapagos Islands during the 1930s. 2 hrs. 06 No MPAA rating (adult themes, sexuality, profanity, smoking, some violence) - T.D.

God's Not Dead A young man's faith is put to the test by his philosophy professor. Shane Harper, Kevin Sorbo, and Willie Robertson star. Not Previewed

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. 1 hr. 40 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

A Haunted House 2 A lazy sequel to an already miserable film, this insulting, profane spoof of recent horror hits has Marlon Wayans reprise his role as Malcolm, a reluctant hero who battled a demon who possessed his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) in the first pic. 1 hr. 27 R (violence, graphic sexuality, pervasive profanity, ethnic slurs, drugs) - T.D.

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. 1 hr. 40 PG (thematic material including some medical situations) - W.S.

Ice Age ** Diverting if undistinguished animated feature the moral of which is that predators and prey can be in the same posse if they have a common goal. Shown in Imax. 1 hr. 21 PG (scenes of peril) - C.R.

Le Week-End Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, both terrific, are a long-married couple taking a getaway in that most romantic of cities, Paris. 1 hr. 33 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return Dorothy returns to her old stomping grounds to help out her friends in this subpar animated family feature. 1 hr. 28 PG (some scary images and mild peril) - W.S.

Locke A tour de force, and a tour down a British motorway in the dead of night, with Tom Hardy as Ivan Locke, a man in a car, on his Bluetooth, trying to keep the pieces of his life from flying apart. And that is the sum of writer/director Steven Knight's extraordinary movie. 1 hr. 25 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

The Lunchbox Exquisite and exciting, exotic and inviting, this tale of a romance that begins with a misdelivered meal will put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye. 1 hr. 44 PG (adult themes) - S.R.

Neighbors In this lewd comedy, Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne are young parents whose lives are massively disrupted when a rowdy fraternity lead by Zac Efron move into the house next door. Smutty? Oh, yes. 1 hr. 37 R (profanity, nudity, sexual content, violence, alcohol and drug abuse) - D.H.

Noah Darren Aronofsky's audacious, hallucinogenic reimagining of the Old Testament text is the movie equivalent of Christian death metal. 2 hrs. 18 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Oculus A woman tries to win her brother's freedom by proving the murder he was convicted of was committed by a supernatural force. 1 hr. 45 R (scenes of extreme bloody violence, profanity, sexual situations) - T.D.

Only Lovers Left Alive Jim Jarmusch's sly and seductive vampire movie, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two old (very old) lovers, is as much about the life-sustaining force of music as it is about any hankering for blood. With Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska and Johnh Hurt. 2 hrs. 03 R (profanity, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.

The Other Woman Leslie Mann - ditzy and gasping, Lucille Ball and Olive Oyl rolled into one, in panic attack mode - makes this formulaic sex farce tolerable, barely. PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

The quiet Ones A university professor assembles a team of students to conduct dark experiments at his estate outside of London. 1 hr. 49 PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes) - W.S.

The Railway Man Hang in through the stuffy start and you'll get an emotionally powerful (though graphic) film about the horrors of (world) war (II) and its aftereffects. With Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. 1 hr. 56 R (torture scenes) - D.H.

Ring of Fire This Imax documentary looks at the ring of volcanos in and around the Pacific Ocean.

Rio 2 Blue-feathered 3D computer-animated Spix's macaw Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and his mate, Jewel (Anne Hathaway), return for another life-, love-, family- and environment-affirming adventure in this muddled, mediocre sequel to the $485 million-grossing hit from 2011. 1 hr. 41 G - T.D.

Space Junk 3D This Imax documentary looks at the vast amount of space debris orbiting Earth and the extent to which it jeopardizes space exploration. Not Previewed

Transcendence Johnny Depp is a superstar in the field of artificial intelligence - you can tell by the glasses he wears - in this big idea thriller where the forces of technology and humanity collide. 1 hr. 59 PG-13 (violence, proafnity, adult themes) - S.R.

Under the Skin Scarlett Johansson, slightly robotic and definitely hypnotic, stars in this deeply creepy and mysterious noir, about a stranger who trolls around looking for men to seduce, and devour. From filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. 1 hr. 48 R (nudity, sexual violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Young & Beautiful Francois Ozon's 15th feature stars the long-limbed, sad-eyed Marine Vacth as a teenager who loses her virginity on summer vacation 1 hr. 35 No MPAA rating (nudity, sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

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