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 .

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 .

NEW THIS WEEK

Homefront — Homefront is hard not to like and impossible to respect. It was directed by Gary Fleder (Kiss the Girls, The Impostor), but the more meaningful credit here is that Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay. It has all the things you might expect from a routine Stallone effort: snappy dialogue, clearly drawn characters, tense situations — and that’s it. It has craft and humor behind it, but not much in the way of inspiration. Based on a novel by Chuck Logan, it’s the story of a Drug Enforcement Agency officer (Jason Statham) forced to move to remote Louisiana, in order to escape the wrath of the drug-dealing, motorcycle gang that he’s helped destroy. He’s a widower, trying not to bother a soul, but when people push him, he pushes back, and one thing leads to another. With James Franco and Winona Ryder. Rated R, 100 minutes. Now playing. — San Francisco Chronicle

Black Nativity — A child is born, a family is healed, and a sermon on forgiveness is delivered with sledgehammer subtlety in this bold but clumsy attempt to bring Langston Hughes’ popular 1961 musical to life onscreen. Writer-director Kasi Lemmons seeks a free-form cinematic equivalent of Hughes’ stage show-cum-worship service — a rousing fusion of pageantry, gospel music and 19th-century folk spirituals. But the film miscalculates by planting this African-American interpretation of the nativity story at the center of an angsty troubled-teen melodrama that fails to inspire belief. It’s days before Christmas when moody Baltimore teenager Langston (Jacob Latimore), named after the Harlem Renaissance writer-activist, learns that he and his recently laid-off mother, Naima (Jennifer Hudson), are about to be evicted. With Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett. Rated PG-13, 93 minutes. Now playing. — Variety

NOW PLAYING

The Book Thief — A slice of Holocaust history filters through a gauzy lens in this treacly rendering of Markus Zusak’s novel of the same name. In late 1930s Germany, an illiterate girl, Liesel (a bland Sophie Nelisse), is taken from her mother and placed with foster parents (Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson), then learns the joy of reading while having innocuous adventures with a friend. She also finds time to help hide a Jewish man. Overdone, often cloying, mawkish dramatization of familiar material interpreted with little new insight. Rated PG-13, 131 minutes. — Boo Allen

The Christmas Candle — As the dawn of the electric age threatens a centuries-old legend in a small English town, a progressive young minister finds himself at odds with a fiery candle maker. With Susan Boyle, Samantha Barks, Hans Matheson and Lesley Manville. Rated PG, 100 minutes. — Los Angeles Times

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

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire — The action roars along in this second film edition of Suzanne Collins’ popular novels. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) again face off against a team of rivals, but this time heavy intrigue at the capital looms large, particularly with President Snow (Donald Sutherland) and Plutarch Heavensbee (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Much looks familiar, but impressive special effects and outlandish costumes serve as visual distractions. With an excellent supporting cast: Jeffrey Wright, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Lenny Kravitz. Rated PG-13, 146 minutes. — B.A.


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