Cinemark Denton 2825 Wind River Lane off I-35E. 940-535-2654. www.cinemark.com .
Movie Tavern 916 W. University Drive. 940-566-FILM (3456). www.movietavern.com .
Rave Motion Pictures 8380 S. I-35E, Hickory Creek. 940-321-2788. www.ravemotionpictures.com .
Silver Cinemas Inside Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. I-35E. 940-387-1957.
Cafe de Flore (**) Two supposedly parallel stories unfold at once in this French-Canadian muddle. A mother (Vanessa Paradis) in late 1960s Paris takes care of her preteen son with Down syndrome. Forty years later in Quebec, a recently divorced disc jockey struggles with his family and his new life. Somehow the two stories are meant to interconnect. Diffuse and uninvolving with little apparent insight. Not rated, 120 minutes. At the Angelika Dallas. — Boo Allen
Lincoln (****) This is more a wonky, nuts-and-bolts lesson about the way political machinery operates than a sweeping historical epic that tries to encapsulate the entirety of the revered 16th president’s life. That was a smart move on the part of Steven Spielberg and Pulitzer-winning screenwriter Tony Kushner. Talky and intimate but also surprisingly funny, Lincoln focuses on the final four months of Abraham Lincoln’s life, and Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits the role fully. With Tommy Lee Jones, James Spader, John Hawkes and David Strathairn. Rated PG-13, 150 minutes. In regional theaters. — The Associated Press
Argo (***1/2) Ben Affleck directed and takes the lead role in this true story of a CIA operative who goes to Iran in 1980 posing as the producer of a bogus science-fiction film in order to extract six Americans hiding in the home of the Canadian ambassador. Abundant dark humor smoothly combines with frightening sequences and ample action. With an excellent supporting cast, including John Goodman, Alan Arkin, Clea DuVall and Tate Donovan. Rated R, 120 minutes. — B.A.
Cloud Atlas (**) Cloud Atlas comes from the best-selling novel by David Mitchell that, in theory, might have seemed unfilmable, encompassing six stories over a span of 500 years and including some primitive dialogue in a far-away future. The A-list actors who comprise the cast (including Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent) play multiple parts across the various stories and in elaborate makeup that’s often laughable. Rated R, 172 minutes. — AP
Flight (****) Robert Zemeckis’ first live-action film since 2000’s Cast Away is thrilling, engrossing and even darkly funny at times. It’s anchored by a tremendous performance from Denzel Washington as Whip Whitaker, a veteran airline pilot and serious alcoholic. Major mechanical failure on a flight to Atlanta forces him to pull off a daring crash landing, and he’s hailed as a hero for saving so many lives. But the subsequent federal investigation also reveals his rampant substance abuse, which only fortifies his denial. Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman all give strong supporting performances as the people around Whip who keep him functioning in various ways. But Zemeckis tends to lay on a heavy-handed tone that keeps this from being a great film. Rated R, 135 minutes. — AP
Here Comes the Boom (**1/2) This comedy, with Kevin James as a tubby high school science teacher who becomes a mixed martial arts sensation, is every bit as ridiculous as it looks. That’s not such a bad thing for the movie, whose makers embrace the fact that they’re essentially doing a live-action cartoon. Rated PG, 104 minutes. — AP
The Man With the Iron Fists Director and co-writer RZA stars in a martial-arts epic about a winner-take-all battle for gold in China. With Russell Crowe and Lucy Liu. Co-written by Eli Roth. Rated R, 96 minutes.
Pitch Perfect (****) Cheeky and snarky but with an infectious energy, this comedy set in the world of competing college a cappella groups makes us fall in love with the very thing it’s making fun of. The debut feature from director Jason Moore (Broadway’s Avenue Q) and writer Kay Cannon (30 Rock), based on the nonfiction book by Mickey Rapkin, feels like a mash-up of Glee and Revenge of the Nerds. Starring Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson and Hana Mae Lee. Rated PG-13, 112 minutes. — AP
Wreck-It Ralph Disney’s new animated film mixes retro eye-candy for grown-ups and a thrilling, approachable storyline for the tykes. Short-tempered, sledgehammer-fisted bad guy Ralph (voiced by John C. Reilly) is a reluctant villain and is ready for a change. Traveling through the arcade's power cords and surge protectors, Ralph journeys to Game Central Station, the gateway to every game in the store, to prove he can be a hero. Director Rich Moore (The Simpsons) ably manipulates the action by tantalizingly shifting the characters between game worlds. With Jack McBrayer, Jane Lynch and Sarah Silverman Rated PG, 93 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter
Sinister A true-crime author stumbles onto something beyond his beat in Scott Derrickson’s Sinister, which follows Ethan Hawke’s Ellison Oswalt as he grows increasingly obsessed with a missing-girl case he hopes will lead to a best-selling book. Occasionally stupid (stretching even fright-flick conventions) but scary nonetheless, the pic should please horror fans. With Juliet Rylance, Fred Thompson and Vincent D’Onofrio. Rated R, 109 minutes. — HR
Taken 2 (**1/2) In this repetitive sequel, Liam Neeson again plays former CIA agent Bryan Mills. The father (Rade Serbedzija) of the men Mills killed in the original now seeks revenge, which results in more of the same: Mills using his detecting and tracking skills to ferret out locations, beating up and killing an army of men, and taking part in endless car chases, this time through Istanbul. The main difference is that mother (Famke Janssen) and daughter (Maggie Grace) get to participate. Lucky them. Rated PG-13, 91 minutes. — B.A.