Opening this week
“Alice in Wonderland” ★★★ – Director and subject matter make for a perfect marriage in Tim Burton’s version of the Lewis Carroll classic. With Johnny Depp, Anne Hathaway, Helena Bonham-Carter, Crispin Glover, Alan Rickman, Mia Wasilkowska, Stephen Fry, Michael Sheen, Timothy Spall. Directed by Tim Burton. Rated PG for fantasy action/violence involving scary images and situations, and for a smoking caterpillar. 108 min.
“Brooklyn’s Finest” ★1/2 – Burned-out veteran Eddie Dugan is just one week away from his pension and a fishing cabin in Connecticut. Narcotics officer Sal Procida has discovered there’s no line he won’t cross to provide a better life for his long-suffering wife and seven children. And Clarence “Tango” Butler has been undercover so long his loyalties have started to shift from his fellow police officers to his prison buddy Caz, one of Brooklyn’s most infamous drug dealers. With personal and work pressures bearing down on them, each man faces daily tests of judgment and honor in one of the world’s most difficult jobs. The film captures the volatile and deadly world of one of New York’s most dangerous precincts through the eyes of the men and women pledged to protect and serve, as they face the wrenching choices that make them Brooklyn’s Finest. With Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, Ethan Hawke, Wesley Snipes, Lili Taylor, Ellen Barkin. Directed by Antoine Fuqua. Rated R for bloody violence throughout, strong sexuality, nudity, drug content and pervasive language, 108 min.
“Avatar” ★★ – The story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. With Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Sigourney Weaver. Directed by James Cameron. Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and warfare, sensuality, language and some smoking. 162 min.
“The Blind Side” ★★★ – The remarkable true story of Michael Oher, a homeless African-American youngster from a broken home, taken in by the Touhys, a well-to-do white family who help him fulfill his potential. At the same time, Oher’s presence in the Touhys’ lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own. With Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, Kathy Bates, Quinton Aaron. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Rated PG-13 for one scene involving brief violence, drug and sexual references. 128 min.
“The Book of Eli” ★1/2 – A post-apocalyptic tale in which a lone man fights his way across America in order to protect a sacred book that holds the secrets to saving humankind. With Gary Oldman, Denzel Washington. Directed by Albert and Allen Hughes. Rated R for some brutal violence and language. 118 min.
“Cop Out” ★ – Features two longtime NYPD partners on the trail of a stolen, rare, mint-condition baseball card who find themselves up against a merciless, memorabilia-obsessed gangster. But before they can recover the prized ’52 Pafko, they must first rescue a Mexican beauty who holds the key to millions of dollars in off-shore bank accounts – and who has already witnessed one high-profile murder because of them. With Bruce Willis, Tracy Morgan, Michelle Trachtenberg, Jason Lee, Seann William Scott, Adam Brody, Fred Armisen. Directed by Kevin Smith. Rated R for pervasive language including sexual references, violence and brief sexuality.
“The Crazies” ★★★ – A reinvention loosely based upon the George Romero classic of the same name, “The Crazies” is about the inhabitants of a small Kansas town suddenly plagued by insanity and then death after a mysterious toxin contaminates their water supply. With Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Danielle Panabaker, Joe Anderson. Directed by Breck Eisner. Not rated. 101 min.
“Crazy Heart” ★★★★ – Jeff Bridges stars as the richly comic, semi-tragic romantic anti-hero Bad Blake. Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who’s had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can’t help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. With Jeff Bridges, Colin Farrell, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Robert Duvall. Directed by Scott Cooper. Rated R for language and brief sexuality. 112 min.
“Dear John” ★ – A young soldier falls for an idealistic college girl. For the smitten soldier, it was practically love at first sight. Though the love letters that Savannah sent John were one of the only things that kept him going over the course of the next seven years, when each deployment seemed more treacherous than the last, those loving and heartfelt correspondences would ultimately yield consequences that neither the brave soldier nor his one true love could have ever foreseen. With Channing Tatum, Amanda Seyfried, Richard Jenkins, Henry Thomas. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. 105 min.
“Edge of Darkness” ★★★ – Mel Gibson stars as Thomas Craven, a man who has spent years as a detective in Boston. When his own daughter is killed near the door of his home, Craven realizes that her death is only one piece of a puzzle filled with corruption and conspiracy, and it falls to him to discover who is behind the crime. With Mel Gibson, Ray Winstone, Danny Huston, Bojana Novakovic. Directed by Martin Campbell. Rated R for strong bloody violence and language. 117 min.
“From Paris with Love” Bomb – A personal aide to the U.S. Ambassador in France, James Reese has an enviable life in Paris and a beautiful French girlfriend, but his real passion is his side job as a low-level operative for the CIA. All James wants is to become a bona fide agent and see some real action. So when he’s offered his first senior-level assignment, he can’t believe his good luck - until he meets his new partner, special agent Charlie Wax. With John Travolta, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Kasia Smutniak and Richard Durden. Directed by Pierre Morel. Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, drug content, pervasive language and brief sexuality.
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” ★★1/2 – Director Terry Gilliam continues the trippy tradition he began with inventive films such as “Time Bandits” and “Brazuk.” This time, he reteams with Heath Ledger of “The Brothers Grimm,” Christopher Plummer of “12 Monkeys”, and Tom Waits of “The Fisher King.” With Heath Ledger, Christopher Plummer, Lily Cole, Andrew Garfield, Verne Troyer, Tom Waits, Johnny Depp, Colin Farrell, Jude Law. Directed by Terry Gilliam. Rated PG-13 for violent images, some sensuality, language and smoking. 123 min.
“Last Station” ★★★ – Focuses on the marriage between Tolstoy and his wife Sofya in its final years. James McAvoy stars as a young man who works for the couple, while Paul Giamatti plays an adviser to the writer who fights his wife over financial issues. With Helen Mirren, James McAvoy, Paul Giamatti, Christopher Plummer. Directed by Michael Hoffman. Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity. 112 min.
“Percy Jackson & The Olympians” ★★★ – Trouble-prone Percy Jackson is having problems in high school – but that’s the least of his challenges. It’s the 21st century, but the gods of Mount Olympus seem to have walked out of the pages of Percy’s Greek mythology texts and into his life. Percy has learned that his real father is Poseidon, god of the sea, which means Percy is a demigod - half human, half god. At the same time, the powerful gods on Olympus are feuding, which could launch a war enveloping our entire planet. With Logan Lerman, Uma Thurman, Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean. Directed by Chris Columbus. Rated PG Rated PG for action violence and peril, some scary images and suggestive material, and mild language. 119 min.
“Shutter Island” ★★★1/2 – Story of two U.S. marshals who are summoned to a remote and barren island off the coast of Massachusetts to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a murderess from the island’s fortress-like hospital for the criminally insane. With Leonardo Di Caprio, Ben Kingsley, Michelle Williams, Mark Ruffalo, Emily Mortimer, Jackie Earle Haley, Max Von Sydow, Patricia Clarkson. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Rated R for disturbing violent content, language and some nudity. 138 min.
“The Tooth Fairy” ★ – Dwayne Johnson returns to family comedy with this film that has the brawny ex-wrestler forced to be a tooth fairy. Kids and parents alike will surely giggle at the thought of “The Rock” in a tutu. With Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, Stephen Merchant, Julie Andrews. Directed by Michael Lembeck. Rated PG for mild language, some rude humor and sports action. 101 min.
“Valentine’s Day” ★ – An all-star ensemble cast comes together in “Valentine’s Day,” which follows the intertwining storylines of a diverse group of Los Angelenos as they navigate their way through romance and heartbreak over the course of one Valentine’s Day. Couples and singles experience the pinnacles and pitfalls of finding, keeping or ending relationships in a day in the life of love. With Julia Roberts, Emma Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Jessica Biel, Jennifer Garner, Shirley MacLaine, Bradley Cooper, Ashton Kutcher, Topher Grace, Eric Dane, Hector Elizondo, Patrick Dempsey, Jamie Foxx. Directed by Garry Marshall. Rated PG-13 for some sexual material and brief partial nudity. 125 min.
“The Wolfman” ★★★ – Inspired by the classic Universal film that launched a legacy of horror, “The Wolfman” brings the myth of a cursed man back to its iconic origins. Lawrence Talbot, a haunted nobleman lured back to his family estate after his brother vanishes. Reunited with his estranged father Talbot sets out to find his brother...and discovers a horrifying destiny for himself. As he pieces together the gory puzzle, he hears of an ancient curse that turns the afflicted into werewolves when the moon is full. Now, if he has any chance at ending the slaughter and protecting the woman he has grown to love, Talbot must destroy the vicious creature in the woods surrounding Blackmoor. With Benicio Del Toro, Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Hugo Weaving. Directed by Joe Johnston. Rated R for bloody horror violence and gore. 125 min.