Movies

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THEATERS

 

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 Cinemas 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. www.silvercinemasinc.com .

 

OPENING FRIDAY

 

The Croods (***) Cavemen — they’re just like us! — or so The Croods seems to be saying. The animated adventure features a strong, star-studded cast and dazzles visually in wondrously colorful, vibrant 3-D, although the script doesn’t pop off the screen quite so effectively. It’s the prehistoric era, and while her family prefers the comforting safety of hiding fearfully inside a cave, teenager Eep (voiced by Emma Stone in her usual charming rasp) longs to see what’s outside those stone walls. The themes aren’t exactly groundbreaking, but the oohs, a**s and scattered laughs come from the various creatures the Croods discover along their journey. With the voices of Ryan Reynolds, Nicolas Cage, Catherine Keener and Cloris Leachman. Rated PG, 92 minutes. — The Associated Press

Ginger and Rosa (***) In the early 1960s, two teen girls (Elle Fanning and Alice Englert) spend time together around London, mostly to avoid their fractured home lives. A longing for maturity by hanging out with the wrong adults and committing stupid actions ends up damaging the friendship. A sub-theme of the Cuban missile crisis and possible nuclear annihilation lurks in the background. With Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks and Oliver Platt. Rated PG-13, 90 minutes. At the Angelika Dallas and Cinemark West Plano. — Boo Allen

Olympus Has Fallen A disgraced Secret Service agent is called back to duty when the White House is taken over by terrorists. With Gerard Butler, Morgan Freeman and Melissa Leo. Directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day). Rated R, 119 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

 

NOW PLAYING

 

The Call A 911 operator who takes a call from an abducted teenager must confront a killer from her own past to save the girl’s life. With Halle Berry, Abigail Breslin and Morris Chestnut. Directed by Brad Anderson. Rated R, 98 minutes. — LAT

Dark Skies As an escalating series of disturbing events torments a young suburban family, the husband and wife try to stop the mysterious force targeting them. With Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton, Dakota Goyo and Kadan Rockett. Written and directed by Scott Stewart. Rated PG-13, 97 minutes. — LAT

Escape From Planet Earth In this animated film, a nerdy blue alien endeavors to rescue his brother, a famous astronaut, from the notoriously dangerous planet Earth. With the voices of Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Alba and George Lopez. Rated PG, 89 minutes. — LAT

Identity Thief (**) Identity Thief strands ordinarily enjoyable comics Melissa McCarthy and Jason Bateman in the middle of nowhere with no help for miles. Bateman’s mild-mannered accounts processor, Sandy Patterson, discovers that a con artist (McCarthy) has stolen his identity and racked up thousands of dollars in charges. Sandy schleps to Florida to track down the perpetrator and drag her back to Denver to face charges. Rated R, 107 minutes. — AP

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (**) The only incredible thing here is the way this comedy makes Steve Carell so thoroughly and irreparably unlikable. In a film about magic tricks, this is the most difficult feat of all. Carell plays Burt Wonderstone, a selfish and flashy Las Vegas magician who once ruled the Strip alongside his longtime friend and partner (Steve Buscemi), but now finds his act has grown outdated and unpopular. Even within the confines of a comedy sketch, Burt would seem one-dimensional and underdeveloped with his hacky jokes and tacky clothes. Stretched out to feature length, the shtick becomes nearly unbearable. Jim Carrey gives it his all as an up-and-coming gonzo street magician, but Olivia Wilde gets little more to do than serve as Burt’s assistant. Rated PG-13, 101 minutes. — AP

Jack the Giant Slayer (***1/2) A big-budget, 3-D retelling of the Jack and the Beanstalk legend may seem like the unlikeliest pairing yet of director Bryan Singer and writer Christopher McQuarrie (The Usual Suspects, Valkyrie), but this ends up being smart, thrilling and a whole lot of fun. It actually ends up being pleasingly old-fashioned. Shot in 3-D — rather than one of those muddled 2-D re-dos — the film looks crisp and clean. Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci and Bill Nighy star. Rated PG-13, 117 minutes. — AP

Oz the Great and Powerful (**1/2) This prequel aims for nostalgia in older viewers who grew up on The Wizard of Oz while simultaneously enchanting a newer, younger audience. It never really accomplishes either successfully. Director Sam Raimi also is trying to find balance between creating a big-budget, 3-D blockbuster and placing his stamp of kitschy, darkly humorous horror. The results are inconsistent. At its center is a miscast James Franco as the circus huckster who becomes the reluctant Wizard of Oz. Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams play the three witches he meets. Rated PG, 130 minutes. — AP

Safe Haven Newly arrived in a small town in North Carolina, a guarded young woman begins opening up to a widowed store owner and father of two, but soon her dark past begins to catch up with her. Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks. With Josh Duhamel, Julianne Hough and David Lyons. Directed by Lasse Hallstrom. Rated PG-13, 115 minutes. — LAT

Snitch When his teenage son is wrongfully accused of a drug-distribution crime, a desperate father cuts a deal with the U.S. attorney to infiltrate a drug cartel on a risky mission. With Dwayne Johnson, Susan Sarandon and Benjamin Bratt. Directed by Ric Roman Waugh. Rated PG-13, 112 minutes. — LAT

Spring Breakers (***) Harmony Korine seems to want it both ways, all day, in this super-stylized descent into a sun-baked hell where bikini-clad, gun-toting college babes serve as our guides. As writer and director, Korine wants us to be appalled and aroused, hypnotized and titillated. He wants to satirize the debauchery of girls gone wild while simultaneously reveling in it. And he pulls it off. The corruption of formerly squeaky-clean Disney superstars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens may be Korine’s cleverest trick of all: They get to show some range, we get to gawk. But James Franco steals the whole movie away when he arrives about halfway through as a wanna-be gangster rapper named Alien. Rated R, 92 minutes. — AP

21 and Over When his two best friends pay him a surprise visit for his 21st birthday, a straight-A college student throws caution to the wind for a wild night, despite having an important medical school interview the next morning. With Miles Teller, Justin Chon and Skylar Astin. Rated R, 93 minutes. — LAT

Warm Bodies The latest permutation of the zombie screen phenomenon places heart over horror and romantic teen angst over sharp social commentary. The story’s dystopian versions of Romeo and Juliet are Nicholas Hoult’s R — he can’t remember his full name — and Teresa Palmer’s Julie, whose meet-cute involves a shoot-’em-up that ends badly for her boyfriend (Dave Franco). Writer-director Jonathan Levine (The Wackness, 50/50) works from Isaac Marion’s young-adult novel. For those open to the idea of a gently goofy mash-up, the film is strong on atmosphere and offers likably low-key, if somewhat bland, charms. Rated PG-13, 97 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter


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