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.
A Royal Affair (****) Gripping and beautifully rendered tale set in the 1760s about Denmark’s King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Folsgaard), a half-witted buffoon who marries a foreigner and then comes under the influence of a Svengali-like court physician (Mads Mikkelsen). Before long, the doctor and the queen (Alicia Vikander) find refuge with each other while the king futilely battles with his rigid court counselors who fight against the Enlightenment. Engaging clash of old versus young, light versus darkness. Not rated, 137 minutes. At the Angelika Dallas and Plano. — Boo Allen
Holy Motors (***) A man (Denis Lavant) drives around Paris in a chauffeur-driven limousine. He makes about 10 stops, adopting a different disguise at each one — a hunched, grandmotherly beggar; a performer for action-motion photography; an unhinged street person, and so on. The beguiling oddity of the various mini-dramas overcomes the lack of a cohesive narrative in the latest from infrequent director Leos Carax. Not rated, 116 minutes. At the Magnolia in Dallas. — B.A.
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 (**) Perhaps it all worked better on the page. 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. Sibling directors Lana and Andy Wachowski (the Matrix movies), working with Run Lola Run director Tom Tykwer, have chopped up the various narratives and intercut between them out of order. 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. Don Cheadle, Bruce Greenwood and John Goodman all give strong supporting performances. 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. James plays a burned-out science educator who’s roused to action when the school principal (Greg Germann) announces huge cutbacks. With Salma Hayek. Rated PG, 104 minutes. — AP
Hotel Transylvania Overprotective daddy Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) constructs a refuge of an exclusive resort where he and his monstrous ilk can feel free to be themselves. But a party crasher turns up in the form of Jonathan (Andy Samberg), who catches the eye of Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez). Rated PG, 91 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter
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. It’s ridiculous and predictable but also just a ton of fun, so you may as well give up and give into your inner musical theater geek. 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
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
Skyfall (***1/2) Daniel Craig returns as James Bond in the 23rd film based on 007’s exploits. Britain’s MI6 comes under attack, with M (Judi Dench) as the chief target. Bond finds and brings back the villain (Javier Bardem), but that just sets the stage for furtheraction and adventure. Between the action sequences, director Sam Mendes takes time to build a personal drama that distinguishes this Bond film from its predecessors. Rated PG-13, 143 minutes. — B.A.
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.
This Must Be the Place (***) This mesmerizing film slowly takes its time drawing in viewers with its story of Cheyenne (Sean Penn), a retired American rock star living in seclusion in Ireland. After his father’s death, he returns to the U.S. for a cross-country road trip to find a former SS officer and avenge his father’s humiliation during the Holocaust. Both the beautiful cinematography and Penn’s stylized performance prove beguiling. Not for everyone. Rated R, 118 minutes. At the Magnolia in Dallas. — B.A.
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. — HR