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 .
Carmike Hickory Creek 16 8380 S. I-35E, Hickory Creek. 940-321-2788. www.carmike.com .
Silver Cinemas Inside Golden Triangle Mall, 2201 S. I-35E. 940-387-1957. www.silvercinemasinc.com .
Thor: The Dark World — As Marvel’s latest 3-D behemoth, Thor: The Dark World isn’t so much a sequel as the latest plug-and-play into the comic book company’s blockbuster algorithm. It’s a reliably bankable formula of world-saving action sequences, new villain introductions and clever quips from women on the side. Thor has spent the last two years restoring order to the nine realms of the cosmos, but just as peace settles, a previously locked-away dark energy called the Aether seeps out. It leaks into an astrophysicist (Natalie Portman), awakening a previously vanquished species of Dark Elves, led by Malekith (Christopher Eccleston). To save Life As We Know It, Thor seeks help from his duplicitous adoptive brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston). With Kat Dennings, Stellan Skarsgard, Chris O’Dowd and Anthony Hopkins. Rated PG-13, 111 minutes. — The Associated Press
Captain Phillips — Tom Hanks stars as Capt. Richard Phillips, head of the Maersk Alabama, a huge container ship that is stopped in the Somali Basin by pirates. Director Paul Greengrass ratchets up the tension with his rapid pacing and lack of narrative filler. The compelling story brings constant surprises and discoveries. Rated PG-13, 134 minutes. — Boo Allen
Carrie — A re-imagining of the 1976 horror tale in which a shy girl ostracized by her peers and sheltered by her deeply religious mother is pushed too far and explodes in a telekinetic rage. With Chloe Grace Moretz, Julianne Moore, Judy Greer and Gabriella Wilde. Directed by Kimberly Peirce. Rated R, 99 minutes. — Los Angeles Times
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 — The original Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs was a sweet treat of an adaptation of the 1982 book by Judi and Ron Barrett. The sequel comes across like eating leftovers. Wide-eyed inventor Flint Lockwood (voiced by Bill Hader) is recruited by a mega-billionaire (Will Forte) to figure out why food items are evolving into living creatures such as Shrimpanzes and Flamangos. Directors Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn give the film the frantic pace and bright colors needed to keep the attention of kids. Rated PG, 95 minutes. — The Fresno Bee
Ender’s Game — In this heavily derivative science-fiction saga based on Orson Scott Card’s novel, with screenplay and direction from Gavin Hood, Asa Butterfield plays young Ender Wiggin. In a future showdown with Earth’s enemies, he is chosen for his skills and leadership qualities to learn fighting tactics and then lead his minions into battle. Harrison Ford and Viola Davis play two of the adults in charge. Impressive special effects and auditorium-shattering sound complement the familiar action sequences. Rated PG-13, 114 minutes. — B.A.
Escape Plan — An expert on structural security agrees to take on one last job — breaking out of a top-secret high-tech prison — but is then duped and wrongly imprisoned, spurring him to recruit a fellow inmate to help him escape. With Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jim Caviezel. Written by Miles Chapman and Arnell Jesko. Directed by Mikael Hafstrom. Rated R, 114 minutes. — LAT
Free Birds — In this animated film, two turkeys travel back in time to the first Thanksgiving to try to get their kind off the menu. With the voices of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Amy Poehler. In 3-D. Rated PG, 91 minutes. — LAT
Gravity — Alfonso Cuaron (Children of Men) directed this white-knuckle outer-space thriller about two astronauts (Sandra Bullock and George Clooney) who become detached from their spacecraft. Cuaron conveys what it feels like to be lost in space, vulnerable to the vast oblivion that lurks beyond. He uses his two-person cast to ratchet up the tension. Rated PG-13, 90 minutes. — B.A.
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa — An elderly man and his 8-year-old grandson embark on a series of misadventures in this hidden-camera comedy. With Johnny Knoxville and Jackson Nicoll. Rated R, 91 minutes. — LAT
Last Vegas — Four Oscar-winning actors (Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, Robert DeNiro and Kevin Kline) play childhood friends living in different parts of the country who reunite 58 years later in Las Vegas when one (Douglas) plans on marrying for the first time. In what has been called “Hangover for Seniors,” expect plenty of Viagra, death and prostate gags. Predictable, good-natured and yet harmless enough. Rated PG-13, 105 minutes. — B.A.