Movies

Comments () A Text Size

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

Ivory Tower — Andrew Rossi’s provocative documentary gives a decent examination — considering time restraints — of the sorry state of the nation’s higher education system. He covers long-term financial burdens of college, turmoil at a tuition-free college (Cooper Union), excessive partying (Arizona State University), and the shaky promises offered by online courses. Interviewees include Mark Zuckerberg, California Gov. Jerry Brown and many college presidents. Rated PG-13, 90 minutes. At the Magnolia in Dallas. — Boo Allen

Hellion — Kat Candler wrote and directed this gritty drama about a single father, Hollis (Aaron Paul), in the Beaumont-Galveston area. He drinks too much and has a bad temper, causing trouble with authorities as well as with his 13-year-old hellion son Jacob (Josh Wiggins). Candler and his capable cast capture the achingly real pain and agony involved when families tear apart. Not rated, 94 minutes. At the Texas Theatre in Dallas. — B.A.

Transformers: Age of Extinction — Three years after an epic battle has forced the shape-shifting robots known as Transformers into hiding, a garage inventor makes a startling discovery and gets caught up in a battle for the fate of Earth. With Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer and Sophia Miles. Rated PG-13. — Los Angeles Times

We Are the Best — Three girls in early 1980s Stockholm respond to normal adolescent angst of school and parents by embracing punk rock. Some of their opposition and their pranks may provide a few laughs, but the music rarely takes off. What’s left is an interesting but not always engaging observational exercise. Written and directed by Lukas Moodysson and based on the comic book by Coco Moodysson, his wife. Not rated, 102 minutes. At the Angelika Dallas. — B.A.

NOW PLAYING

Edge of Tomorrow — Military marketer Maj. William Cage (Tom Cruise) is thrown into battle against extraterrestrials by an unsympathetic general (the excellent Brendan Gleeson), and then finds himself stuck in a mysterious time loop. Cruise dies dozens of times over and over, often in comical ways. Dying again and again, Cruise has rarely been so likable. This is Groundhog Day with guns. Edge of Tomorrow entertains in its narrative playfulness — another entry in the burgeoning fad of puzzle-making sci-fi, as seen in Inception and Looper. With Bill Paxton and Emily Blunt. Rated R, 119 minutes. — The Associated Press

The Fault in Our Stars — Shailene Woodley, who can do no acting wrong, brings a welcome reality to The Fault in Our Stars, a perfectly serviceable teen date picture that teenage girls will have to bribe teenage boys to sit through. Sweet, cute to the point of cutesy, it’s a weeper about doomed teenagers (Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who played her brother in Divergent) who meet in a cancer patients support group and dare to fall in love. Rated PG-13, 125 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Godzilla — Godzilla, that tail-swinging menace from the deep, is back with a pair of friends. What’s particularly weird about this Godzilla is that for long stretches, all it shows is destruction. Brian Cranston plays a scientist in Japan, working in a nuclear plant, who notices something very wrong on his computer. A stony-faced Aaron Taylor-Johnson plays Cranston’s son, a lieutenant, and Elizabeth Olsen is his wife. Unfortunately, director Gareth Edwards concentrated too much on the action to worry about the performances. Rated PG-13, 123 minutes. — San Francisco Chronicle

How to Train Your Dragon 2 — The follow-up to the much-admired animated How to Train Your Dragon doesn’t play it safe, and that’s why it’s the rare sequel that doesn’t feel somewhat stale. Written and directed by Dean DeBlois, How to Train Your Dragon 2 returns us to Berk, where our young Viking hero, Hiccup (voiced by Jay Baruchel), lives and frolics with his devoted dragon, Toothless. Five years have passed, and now Berk is a virtual playground for dragons and Vikings alike. When Hiccup and his girlfriend Astrid (America Ferrera) discover a vicious villain (Djimon Hounsou) who’s building a dragon army, Hiccup resolves to stop him. With the voices of Cate Blanchett, Gerard Butler, Jonah Hill and Kristen Wiig. Rated PG, 102 minutes. — AP

Jersey Boys — The Broadway musical about Frank Valli and the Four Seasons delivers a few good numbers, but overall director Clint Eastwood fails to energize a film that needs it. At its core, it’s the story of the loyalty of Valli (John Lloyd Young) and his friends, who stay together despite themselves. With Christopher Walken, Mike Doyle and Vincent Piazza. Rated R, 134 minutes. — Boo Allen

Maleficent — It takes talent to walk around in a black leather-horned cap and not look silly. Angelina Jolie turns in a magnificent performance in Maleficent as the (now we are told) misunderstood villain of Sleeping Beauty. Jolie rules this film with a powerful acting grace accented by director Robert Stromberg’s film style that shifts from film noir to children’s comedy without a flinch. There’s just not enough fleshing out of the story to support these elements. As is, the film is fun but not memorable. Rated PG, 97 minutes. — The Fresno Bee

A Million Ways to Die in the West — Seth MacFarlane (Family Guy, Ted) wants to be a movie star in the worst way. He plays Albert, a timid sheep rancher in 1882 Arizona whose clumsiness and cowardice costs him his best girl (Amanda Seyfried). His pals Edward (Giovanni Ribisi) and Ruth (Sarah Silverman) worry he’ll never get over that — until Anna (Charlize Theron), the moll of a desperado (Liam Neeson), ducks into town. Rated R, 116 minutes. — MCT

Think Like a Man Too — The great appeal of 2012’s Think Like a Man is that it took four beautiful black actresses (Regina Hall, Taraji P. Henson, Meagan Good and Gabrielle Union) and put them right at the center of a film. It made for a comedy that was unexpected, refreshing and welcome. Kevin Hart is center-stage now, still funny like before, but alas, much of what made the earlier movie special is gone. This time they’re all in Las Vegas to celebrate the wedding of Candace (Hall) and Michael (Terrence Jenkins). The filmmakers’ efforts to be nonstop zany are misbegotten. — SFC

22 Jump Street — You’re pretty much going to have to see 22 Jump Street twice — just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss. This buddy cop parody hits its sweet spots with bromance gags carried to hilarious extremes by Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum, too-dumb-to-be-a-cop riffs by Tatum and a couple of vintage, sneering rants by Ice Cube. Undercover cops Jenko (Tatum) and Schmidt (Hill) are sent off to M.C. State University to track down a new designer drug that college kids are using to help them focus. A pack of writers, and the co-directors of the first film, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, conjure up good, quick-footed and foul-mouthed fun. Rated R, 112 minutes. — MCT

X-Men: Days of Future Past — In this latest episode of the mutant clan’s saga, Logan (Hugh Jackman) travels back to 1973 to stop the plans of an evil scientist (Peter Dinklage). Director Bryan Singer ably juggles past and present, with his team facing off against a new batch of robotic warriors with the help of the young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy). The young work with the old, integrating the special effects along with the era’s bad hair and wide lapels. Rated PG-13, 131 minutes. — B.A.


Comments
DentonRC.com is now using Facebook Comments. To post a comment, log into Facebook and then add your comment below. Your comment is subject to Facebook's Privacy Policy and Terms of Service on data use. If you don't want your comment to appear on Facebook, uncheck the 'Post to Facebook' box. To find out more, read the FAQ .
Copyright 2011 Denton Record-Chronicle. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.