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 .

OPENING FRIDAY

Ernest and Celéstine (4 stars) — Perfectly charming Oscar-nominated animated film from France based on Gabrielle Vincent's book. A young mouse, Celéstine (voiced by Pauline Brunner), contrary to her nature and against the warnings of friends, befriends a mischievous bear, Ernest (Lambert Wilson). They both come from creatively rendered worlds run entirely by, respectively, mice and bears. Warm, inventive, funny, and always beautiful film filled with impressionistic pastels. Rated PG, 80 minutes. Playing at the Dallas and Plano Angelika. — Boo Allen

Breathe In (2 stars) —  Felicity Jones starsin this slight melodrama that hints and suggests of going somewhere but never does. She plays Sophie, a British exchange student who travels to upstate New York to live with Megan and Keith Reynolds (Amy Ryan and Guy Pearce). Sophie, a budding concert pianist, and Keith, a musician and music professor, flirt, become close, and verge on causing a scandal. And that's about it. Co-writer and director Drake Doremus never completes a theme or draws any conclusions. Rated R, 98 minutes. Playing at the Dallas and Plano Angelika. — BA

Cesar Chavez Cesar Chavez is a Mexican-American 42, a quietly inspiring and well-acted tale of a civil rights icon whose story isn’t nearly as familiar as Jackie Robinson’s. Union organizer Chavez wasn’t a dynamic speaker or necessarily that charismatic. So it’s appropriate that director Diego Luna’s film stumbles a little with the sweeping moments in this intimate biography passed off as larger-than-life epic. Michael Pena (End of Watch) stars as Chavez, whose struggles to unionize exploited farm workers — his long marches, his hunger strike — make for moving moments, but rarely achieve grandeur. It’s the commonplace organizational struggles, the Gandhi-like obsession with nonviolence and the stubborn refusal to be bullied that stand out in Cesar Chavez. With America Ferrara, Rosario Dawson and John Malkovich. Rated PG-13, 100 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Sabotage — Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character has an urgent mystery to solve when members of his elite, cartel-busting drug task force are killed, one by one. Rated R, 109 minutes. — The Dallas Morning News

NOW PLAYING

Bad Words — Jason Bateman directs and stars in this biting comedy about a 40-year-old man (Bateman) who uses a loophole to enter children’s spelling bees. Why he does so remains hidden until the end, after he has insulted and alienated everyone. Funny, brutally cynical work in the vein of Bad Santa. With Kathryn Hahn and Allison Janney. Rated R, 90 minutes. — Boo Allen

Divergent — Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) lives in a postwar future in the semi-ruined city of Chicago, where society still functions thanks to “factions.” When teens hit a certain age, they go through “The Test” and are told where their strengths lie. Tris is confused; empathetic but fearless, smart but earthy. The tester (Maggie Q) tells her she’s “Divergent,” and that the other factions fear Divergents. Based on Veronica Roth’s book series. Directed by Neil Burger (The Illusionist, Limitless). With Theo James, Kate Winslet, Tony Goldwyn and Ashley Judd. Rated PG-13, 135 minutes. — MCT

God’s Not Dead — College freshman Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) finds his Christian faith challenged when Professor Radisson (Kevin Sorbo) demands his philosophy students disavow, in writing, the existence of God, or face a failing grade. When Josh refuses, he and Radisson come to a compromise: Josh must prove God’s existence by presenting well-researched, intellectual arguments and evidence, then engage the professor in a head-to-head debate. With David A.R. White, Dean Cain and Duck Dynasty’s Willie and Korie Robertson. Rated PG, 113 minutes.

The Lego Movie — There are so many things to like about The Lego Movie: a great voice cast, clever dialogue and a handsome blend of stop-motion and CGI animation that feels lovingly retro, while still looking sharp in 21st-century 3-D. Set in a world built entirely of Legos, the story revolves around construction worker Emmet Brickowski (voice of Chris Pratt), who must join forces with a group of rebels to stop the evil Lord Business (Will Ferrell). With the voices of Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks and Will Arnett. Rated PG, 94 minutes. — The Washington Post

The Monuments Men — George Clooney stars in this World War II drama that he also directed and co-wrote, with Grant Heslov, from Robert Edsel and Bret Witter’s nonfiction book. Clooney heads a team of aging art experts who identify and then attempt to recover art treasures stolen by the Nazis. Segmented film never gathers momentum but plods along with little building dramatic engagement. The fine cast includes Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Jean Dujardin and Hugh Bonneville. Rated PG-13, 118 minutes. — B.A.

Mr. Peabody & Sherman — Dreamworks Animation sets its “Wayback Machine” to the early 1960s and charmingly revives one of the most popular features of the old Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. This winning, witty and warm cartoon captures the flavor, the tone and some of snappy pace of the TV shorts about Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell), a Nobel Prize-winning pooch who adopted Sherman (Max Charles), a 7-year-old boy. The animated details are a 3-D feast for the eyes. With Patrick Warburton, Stephen Colbert, Leslie Mann and Stanley Tucci. Rated PG, 88 minutes. — MCT

Muppets Most Wanted — A strange sense of doom hangs over the rebooted Muppets, and it’s not from the Swedish Chef’s cooking. The Muppets (2011) may have been an earnest and largely successful relaunch for Jim Henson’s troupe, but it also had a hangdog melancholy. Muppets Most Wanted, thankfully, soon enough dispatches the previous film’s mopey nostalgia and sets things on a more madcap course: a European caper, not unlike 1981’s (alas superior) The Great Muppet Caper. But Muppets Most Wanted fails to whip up the kind of furry frenzy that makes the Muppets special. With Tina Fey, Ty Burrell, Ricky Gervais and a parade of celebrity cameos. Rated PG, 106 minutes. — The Associated Press

Need for Speed — Based on the hit EA Entertainment racing game, Need for Speed is loaded with beautiful cars, winding roads and racers in leather coats. Following a prison sentence for a crime he didn’t commit, mechanic and street racer Tobey Marshall (Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul, flexing his machismo) is determined to get revenge on Dino Brewster (Dominic Cooper), the man who framed him. With Michael Keaton, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi (a.k.a. Kid Cudi) and Dakota Johnson. Rated PG-13, 130 minutes. — AP

Non-Stop — U.S. air marshal Bill Marks (Liam Neeson) is a drinker and a smoker, a sad-eyed man who doesn’t like to fly, in this solid, workmanlike action picture that builds slowly. Somebody is threatening the 150 passengers and crew on Marks’ cellphone, and framing Marks with the dirty work to his superiors back on the ground. In the wee hours of this red eye from New York to London, that first text arrives on his “secure” phone: “In exactly 20 minutes, I’m going to kill someone on this plane.” Directed by Jaume Collet-Serra (Orphan). With Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery and Linus Roache. Rated PG-13, 104 minutes. — MCT

300: Rise of an Empire – A more visually stunning but less thrilling epic with bloodier slow-motion sword fights, this time at sea. It lacks the heroic proportions and poetry of 2006’s 300, mainly thanks to a less impressive cast and murky, forgettable script. With Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green and Lena Headey. Directed by Noam Murro (Smart People). — MCT


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