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.

NOW PLAYING

America: Imagine the World Without Her (1.5 stars) Dinesh D’Souza’s America sets itself up as a piece of documentary counter-history, opening with George Washington not surviving the 1777 defeat at the Battle of Brandywine, which causes Mount Rushmore and the Statue of Liberty to dissolve. Where would the world be if America wasn’t here? But D’Souza abandons that as he posits his main thesis — that a conspiracy by academics and activists has created a culture of “shame” about American history. Rated PG-13, 100 minutes. — McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Begin Again (2.5 stars) In writer-director John Carney’s shallow follow-up to his similar 2006 Once, Mark Ruffalo stars as Dan, a newly fired, dysfunctional record executive who meets Greta (Keira Knightley) and immediately begins the process of making an album with her — even if he has to do it on the streets guerrilla-style. Hailee Stanfield plays Dan’s daughter and Catherine Keener his ex-wife, while Adam Levine appears as Greta’s erratic boyfriend. — Boo Allen

Deliver Us From Evil A serial-killer mystery in which the culprit turns out to be one of Satan’s minions, Scott Derrickson’s Deliver Us From Evil adapts the detective genre to an exorcism tale that is very serious about the prospect of demonic possession. Though based on claims made by real-life NYPD officer-turned-paranormal investigator Ralph Sarchie (played here by Eric Bana), the picture is stolen by a fictional character — a composite religious figure played with a predictable level of smolder by Carlos star Edgar Ramirez. Catholics will find Evil very respectful of their faith, though its nods to religion are genre-appropriate and never preachy enough to alienate the average horror fan. With Joel McHale and Olivia Munn. Rated R, 118 minutes. — The Hollywood Reporter

Earth to Echo (2 stars) Earth to Echo would love to be the E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial for the 21st century. But the new movie is to E.T. what Reese’s Pieces is to lumps of sugar. They share an ingredient, but one is far more satisfying. The lack of interesting characters and a patchwork plot leave Earth to Echo more of a Cloverfield for kids. Alex (Teo Halm), Tuck (Astro) and Munch (Reese Hartwig) are three best friends being forced apart by a freeway being built through their neighborhood. They spend their last night together following some weird electronic signals that show up mysteriously on their cellphones. Their quest becomes a close encounter when they find a tiny robotic figure in the desert. Through what seems like an endless series of questions — and with the help of Emma (Ella Wahlestedt) — the group figure out the alien they have named Echo is trying to put together the ignition key for his spacecraft. Rated PG, 100 minutes. — The Fresno Bee

Edge of Tomorrow (3.5 stars) 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. Directed by Doug Liman. Based on the 2004 Japanese novella All You Need Is Kill. With Bill Paxton and Emily Blunt. Rated R, 119 minutes. — The Associated Press

How to Train Your Dragon 2 (4 stars) 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 (2.5 stars) 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. — B.A.

Maleficent (3 stars) 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

Tammy (2 stars) When Tammy (Melissa McCarthy) loses her husband and job, she heads out on the road with her oversexed, drug-taking, alcoholic grandmother (Susan Sarandon). A succession of formulaic road-trip sequences follows. McCarthy fans will be pleased even if the script, written by her and her director-husband Ben Falcone, relies almost solely on her personality and unique delivery for laughs. With Kathy Bates, Sandra Oh and Gary Cole. Rated R, 96 minutes. — 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. Written by Ehren Kruger. Directed by Michael Bay. Rated PG-13. — Los Angeles Times

22 Jump Street (3.5 stars) 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


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