‘17 Again’ (PG-13) HHH
An unhappy man in his late 30s is transported back to his body at 17 and gets a chance to fix things with his alienated family. Zac Efron is a charmer as the teenager, and there is a completely unanticipated fanboy-fangirl romance that is comic genius. Pleasant, harmless. Language, some sexual material and teen partying.
‘Crank: High Voltage’ (R) N/A
Hitman Chev Chelios is kidnapped by a mysterious Chinese mobster. Three months later, he wakes up to discover his nearly indestructible heart has been surgically removed and replaced with a battery-operated ticker that requires regular jolts of electricity in order to work. After a dangerous escape from his captors, Chev is on the run again, this time from the charismatic Mexican gang boss El Huron. Starring Jason Statham, Amy Smart, Clifton Collins Jr., Efren Ramirez and Bai Ling. Frenetic strong bloody violence throughout, crude and graphic sexual content, nudity and pervasive language. Not reviewed.
‘Earth’ (G) HHH
A beautiful documentary of Earth’s climates and wild creatures, featuring spectacular photography. Distilled from the BBC/Discovery series "Planet Earth," and taking advantage of the big screen to make full use of its hi-def visuals. Younger audiences in particular will enjoy it. Narrated by James Earl Jones.
‘Fast & Furious’ (PG-13) N/A
When a crime brings them back to L.A., fugitive ex-con Dom Toretto reignites his feud with agent Brian O'Conner. But as they are forced to confront a shared enemy, Dom and Brian must give in to an uncertain new trust if they hope to outmanuever him. And from convoy heists to precision tunnel crawls across international lines, two men will find the best way to get revenge: push the limits of what's possible behind the wheel. Starring Paul Walker, Vin Diesel, Gal Gadot and Jordana Brewster. Intense sequences of violence and action, some sexual content, language and drug references. Not reviewed.
‘Fighting’ (PG-13) HHH
What’s advertised as a genre picture about New York professional street fighters turns out to be a lot more: The characters and actors bring uncommon interest to the story. Terrence Howard plays a mild-mannered boxing promoter who sidesteps all the cliches of such roles; Channing Tatum is a small-town Alabama kid in the big city, Zulay Henao is a sweetheart as a waitress in a rough club, and Altagracia Guzman steals her scene as the waitress’s protective older relative. Intense fight sequences, a sex scene and brief strong language.
‘Hannah Montana: the Movie’ (G) N/A
The Stewart family returns to Tennessee. With Billy Ray Cyrus, Miley Cyrus, Emily Osment, Jason Earles and Mitchel Tate Musso. Not reviewed.
‘The Haunting in Connecticut’ (PG-13) HH
Ghost story. Family moves into a big old mansion that hasn’t been inhabited since the 1920s, for what turn out to be excellent reasons. Good acting and technical credits, but so many scares they threaten to become monotonous. With Virginia Madsen, Martin Donovan and Elias Koteas. Some intense sequences of terror and disturbing images.
‘I Love You, Man’ (R) HHH1⁄2
Paul Rudd plays a clueless Realtor engaged to Rashida Jones. He gets along fine with women, but lacks a male friend to be his best man. He stumbles upon Jason Segel, who plays a best friend a lot of guys would like to have -- thoroughly comfortable within his own skin, an unapologetic hedonist who uses his intelligence as a comic weapon. A very funny movie. Pervasive language, including crude and sexual references.
‘Knowing’ (PG-13) HHHH
Among the best science fiction films I’ve seen — frightening, suspenseful, intelligent and, when it needs to be, rather awesome. Nicolas Cage plays an MIT astrophysicist whose son brings home a sheet of paper after a 50-year-old time capsule is opened at his grade school. The sheet is covered with numbers, which the scientist, despite all his training, becomes convinced mean something. Pluck this movie, and it vibrates. Disaster sequences, disturbing images and brief strong language.
‘Monsters vs. Aliens’ (Not in 3-D) (PG) HH1⁄2
Monsters from the 1950s are released from a secret federal prison to join the 49-foot, 11-inch Ginormica (voice by Reese Witherspoon) in saving Earth from hostile aliens. Probably fun for younger kids, but lacks the humor and personality of earlier DreamWorks films like "Shrek." The 3- D, not as bright as 2-D, is more a distraction than enhancement. Sci-fi action, some crude humor and mild language.
‘Observe and Report’ (R) N/A
At the Forest Ridge Mall, head of security Ronnie Barnhardt patrols his jurisdiction with an iron fist, combating skateboarders, shoplifters and the occasional unruly customer while dreaming of the day when he can swap his flashlight for a badge and a gun. His delusions of grandeur are put to the test when the mall is struck by a flasher. With Seth Rogan, Anna Faris, Michael Pena, Ray Liotta and Jesse Plemons. Pervasive language, graphic nudity, drug use, sexual content and violence. Not reviewed.
‘Obsessed’ (PG-13) N/A
Derek Charles, a successful asset manager who has just received a huge promotion, is blissfully happy in his career and in his marriage to the beautiful Beth. But when Lisa, a temp worker, starts stalking Derek, everything he's worked so hard for is placed in jeopardy. Starring Beyonce Knowles, Idris Elba, Ali Larter, Jerry O’Connell and Christine Lahti. Sexual material including some suggestive dialogue, some violence and thematic content. Not reviewed.
‘The Soloist’ (PG-13) HH1⁄2
Jamie Foxx stars as a homeless street musician who is written about by a Los Angeles Times columnist (Robert Downey Jr.) and becomes an overnight celebrity. He was a child prodigy, studied at Juilliard, plays violin and cello, but is haunted by the demons of mental illness. All the pieces are in place and the actors are convincing, but the film never really delivers on the promise of the story. Thematic elements, some drug use and language.
‘State of Play’ (PG-13) HHH
Russell Crowe is a seasoned newspaper reporter and Rachel McAdams is the paper’s plucky young blogger; together, they uncover an unholy political and corporate alliance. Smart, well-made, good work by Crowe, McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Helen Mirren as the editor. Mysteries are resolve a little too quickly at the end. Directed by Kevin Macdonald ("The Last King of Scotland"). Some violence, language including sexual references, and brief drug content.
Reviews by Roger Ebert unless otherwise noted.