News Column

Movie Capsules [Buffalo News (NY)]

December 8, 2013

YellowBrix

about time. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. An awkward young man can travel back to moments in his own life and get a redo, helping his love life and teaching him about real happiness. 124 minutes. (Rated R for language and sexual content.) ***

All Is Lost. Robert Redford in the film about a man alone aboard his yacht in the Indian Ocean tries to survive a series of increasingly catastrophic disasters. 106 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for intense imagery and natural disaster.) ****

baggage claim. Starring Taye Diggs, Paula Patton and Jill Scott. Pledging to keep herself from being the only woman in her entire family never to wed, Montana embarks on a 30-day, 30,000-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiance. 96 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.)

The Best Man Holiday. Starring Monica Calhoune, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa and Taye Diggs. College friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, and discover how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited. 122 minutes. (Rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.) **o

Black Nativity. Starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson and Jacob Latimore. When a single mother sends her teenage son to live with her estranged parents, music and a Christmas miracle occur. 93 minutes. (Rated PG for thematic material, language and a menacing situation.) ***

Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Alec Baldwin and Bobby Cannavale in Woody Allen's comedy/drama about a Park Avenue diva forced to live with her struggling sister in San Francisco when her Wall Street crook of a husband is sent to jail. 98 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, language and sexual content.) ****

the Book Thief. Starring Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, a girl finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. 131 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material.) ***

Captain Phillips. Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Barkhad Abdirahman. The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama. 134 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use.) ****

The Counselor. Starring Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt. A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. 117 minutes. (Rated R for graphic violence, grisly images, sexual content and profanity.) **o

THE CROODS. With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman and Catherine Keener. A stone-age family discovers a new world after setting off on its first road trip in this animated family film. 93 minutes. (Rated PG for scary action.) ***

Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner and Griffin Dunne in Jean-Marc Vallee's film about a homophobic AIDS victim in the earliest neglectful days of the disease who becomes an effective medical activist. 117 minutes. (Rated R for rough language, nudity, strong sexual activity and drugs.) ***

Delivery Man. Starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders. An affable underachiever learns he's fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. 103 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language.) **

DESPICABLE ME 2. With the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove. Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. 98 minutes. (Rated PG for rude humor and action.) ***

Ender's Game. Starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle for Earth's future. 114 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci- fi action and thematic material.) **

enough said. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini and Catherine Keener. A divorced woman pursues a man only to learn he's her new friend's ex-husband. 93 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence and partial nudity.) ***

Free Birds. The voices of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler and Amy Poehler. Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences to travel back in time and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. 91 minutes. (Rated PG for some action/peril and rude humor.) *o

Frozen. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff. Animated tale about a fearless optimist who goes on an epic journey to find her sister, whose icy powers have trapped her kingdom in eternal winter. 108 minutes. (Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor.) ***

Gravity. Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris. A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. 90 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and strong language.) ****

Homefront. Starring James Franco, Jason Statham and Winona Ryder. A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord. 100 minutes. (Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality.) *o

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Plummer and Stanley Tucci in the new installment in the blockbuster fictional series about a starving future world where young people compete in survival games for everyone else's entertainment. 146 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for violence and action and frightening images.) ***

JAckass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Spike Jonze and Georgina Cates. An 86-year-old grandfather travels America with his 8-year-old grandson. 92 minutes. (Rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.)

Last Vegas. Starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Three 60- something friends throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. 105 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.) **o

Lee Daniels' The Butler. Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Robin Williams and Jane Fonda in the story of one African-American man's 30 years in service in the White House during the most tumultuous times of the civil rights movement. 132 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for language, brutal violence, thematic elements, sexual material, disturbing images and smoking). ****

MADOKA MAGICA 3 REBELLION. With the voices of Aoi Yuki, Chiwa Saito and Kaori Mizuhashi. In part three of the trilogy of Japanese animated films based on the 2011 television anime series, the "Law of Cycles" lead the magical girls to their fate. 116 minutes.

Oldboy. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson. When a man who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement is released without explanation, he begins an obsessive mission to learn who imprisoned him. 118 minutes. (Rated R for strong brutal violence, disturbing images, some graphic sexuality and nudity and language.)

Out of the Furnace. Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana. When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. 116 minutes. (Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content.)

Philomena. Judi Dench, Steve Coogan and Mare Winningham in Stephen Frears' tale from life about an Irish woman's search after 50 years for a child born out of wedlock and sold to Americans by the Irish convent that took her in. 88 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements and sexual references.) ***

Planes. The voices of Dane Cook, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, John Cleese and Cedric the Entertainer in Klay Hall's animated feature about a little cropduster named Dusty who wants to enter the "Wings Around the Globe" air race and compete with the bigger, faster planes. 92 minutes. (Rated PG for action intensity.) ***

Prisoners. Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano in Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed and superbly performed thriller about a couple of distraught fathers who take the law into their own hands when their daughters are kidnapped and the police investigation seems to have stalled. 153 minutes. (Rated R for violence, language and extremely brutal torture scenes.) ***o

The Smurfs 2. Starring Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays. The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel because she knows the secret spell to turn his newest creation, creatures called the Naughties - into Smurfs. 105 minutes. (Rated PG for some rude humor and action.)

THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Thor fights to protect his loved ones and the Nine Realms - including Earth - from the destruction of the Dark Elves. 111 minutes. (Rated PG-13 some suggestive content and intense sci-fi action/violence.) ***

12 Years a Slave. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, and Alfre Woodard in Steve McQueen's adaptation of 1853 narrative of a free black man in Saratoga who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. 133 minutes. (Rated R for a great deal of cruelty and violence, sex and nudity.) ***o

twenty feet from stardom. Documentary on backup singers focuses on Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love. Directed by Morgan Neville. 90 minutes. (Not rated, but contains sexual material and some strong profanity.)

we're the millers. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts. A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico. 110 minutes. (Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and graphic nudity.) ***

WIZARD OF OZ: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE. Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard of Oz who can help her return home. 101 minutes. (Rated PG for scary moments.)

about time. Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Rachel McAdams and Bill Nighy. An awkward young man can travel back to moments in his own life and get a redo, helping his love life and teaching him about real happiness. 124 minutes. (Rated R for language and sexual content.) ???

All Is Lost. Robert Redford in the film about a man alone aboard his yacht in the Indian Ocean tries to survive a series of increasingly catastrophic disasters. 106 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for intense imagery and natural disaster.) ????

baggage claim. Starring Taye Diggs, Paula Patton and Jill Scott. Pledging to keep herself from being the only woman in her entire family never to wed, Montana embarks on a 30-day, 30,000-mile expedition to charm a potential suitor into becoming her fiance. 96 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sexual content and some language.)

The Best Man Holiday. Starring Monica Calhoune, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa and Taye Diggs. College friends reunite after 15 years over the Christmas holidays, and discover how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and romances to be ignited. 122 minutes. (Rated R for language, sexual content and brief nudity.) ??o

Black Nativity. Starring Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Jennifer Hudson, Tyrese Gibson and Jacob Latimore. When a single mother sends her teenage son to live with her estranged parents, music and a Christmas miracle occur. 93 minutes. (Rated PG for thematic material, language and a menacing situation.) ???

Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett, Sally Hawkins, Andrew Dice Clay, Alec Baldwin and Bobby Cannavale in Woody Allen's comedy/drama about a Park Avenue diva forced to live with her struggling sister in San Francisco when her Wall Street crook of a husband is sent to jail. 98 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material, language and sexual content.) ????

the Book Thief. Starring Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, a girl finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. 131 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material.) ???

Captain Phillips. Starring Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi and Barkhad Abdirahman. The true story of Captain Richard Phillips and the 2009 hijacking by Somali pirates of the US-flagged MV Maersk Alabama. 134 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sustained intense sequences of menace, some violence with bloody images, and for substance use.) ????

The Counselor. Starring Michael Fassbender, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Brad Pitt. A lawyer finds himself in over his head when he gets involved in drug trafficking. 117 minutes. (Rated R for graphic violence, grisly images, sexual content and profanity.) ??o

THE CROODS. With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman and Catherine Keener. A stone-age family discovers a new world after setting off on its first road trip in this animated family film. 93 minutes. (Rated PG for scary action.) ???

Dallas Buyers Club. Matthew McConaughey, Jared Leto, Jennifer Garner and Griffin Dunne in Jean-Marc Vallee's film about a homophobic AIDS victim in the earliest neglectful days of the disease who becomes an effective medical activist. 117 minutes. (Rated R for rough language, nudity, strong sexual activity and drugs.) ???

Delivery Man. Starring Vince Vaughn, Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders. An affable underachiever learns he's fathered 533 children through anonymous donations to a fertility clinic 20 years ago. 103 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, sexual content, some drug material, brief violence and language.) ??

DESPICABLE ME 2. With the voices of Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig and Miranda Cosgrove. Gru is recruited by the Anti-Villain League to help deal with a powerful new super criminal. 98 minutes. (Rated PG for rude humor and action.) ???

Ender's Game. Starring Harrison Ford, Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld and Abigail Breslin. Ender Wiggin, a brilliant young mind, is recruited and trained to lead his fellow soldiers into a battle for Earth's future. 114 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for some violence, sci- fi action and thematic material.) ??

enough said. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini and Catherine Keener. A divorced woman pursues a man only to learn he's her new friend's ex-husband. 93 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, comic violence and partial nudity.) ???

Free Birds. The voices of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler and Amy Poehler. Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences to travel back in time and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. 91 minutes. (Rated PG for some action/peril and rude humor.) ?o

Frozen. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Josh Gad, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff. Animated tale about a fearless optimist who goes on an epic journey to find her sister, whose icy powers have trapped her kingdom in eternal winter. 108 minutes. (Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor.) ???

Gravity. Starring Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris. A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. 90 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for intense perilous sequences, some disturbing images and strong language.) ????

Homefront. Starring James Franco, Jason Statham and Winona Ryder. A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord. 100 minutes. (Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content and brief sexuality.) ?o

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Amanda Plummer and Stanley Tucci in the new installment in the blockbuster fictional series about a starving future world where young people compete in survival games for everyone else's entertainment. 146 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for violence and action and frightening images.) ???

JAckass Presents: Bad Grandpa. Starring Johnny Knoxville, Jackson Nicoll, Spike Jonze and Georgina Cates. An 86-year-old grandfather travels America with his 8-year-old grandson. 92 minutes. (Rated R for strong crude and sexual content throughout, language, some graphic nudity and brief drug use.)

Last Vegas. Starring Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline. Directed by Jon Turteltaub. Three 60- something friends throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. 105 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for sexual content and language.) ??o

Lee Daniels' The Butler. Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard, David Oyelowo, Robin Williams and Jane Fonda in the story of one African-American man's 30 years in service in the White House during the most tumultuous times of the civil rights movement. 132 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for language, brutal violence, thematic elements, sexual material, disturbing images and smoking). ????

MADOKA MAGICA 3 REBELLION. With the voices of Aoi Yuki, Chiwa Saito and Kaori Mizuhashi. In part three of the trilogy of Japanese animated films based on the 2011 television anime series, the "Law of Cycles" lead the magical girls to their fate. 116 minutes.

Oldboy. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen, Sharlto Copley and Samuel L. Jackson. When a man who is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement is released without explanation, he begins an obsessive mission to learn who imprisoned him. 118 minutes. (Rated R for strong brutal violence, disturbing images, some graphic sexuality and nudity and language.)

Out of the Furnace. Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana. When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. 116 minutes. (Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content.)

Philomena. Judi Dench, Steve Coogan and Mare Winningham in Stephen Frears' tale from life about an Irish woman's search after 50 years for a child born out of wedlock and sold to Americans by the Irish convent that took her in. 88 minutes. (Rated PG-13 for language, thematic elements and sexual references.) ???

Planes. The voices of Dane Cook, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Stacy Keach, Teri Hatcher, Brad Garrett, John Cleese and Cedric the Entertainer in Klay Hall's animated feature about a little cropduster named Dusty who wants to enter the "Wings Around the Globe" air race and compete with the bigger, faster planes. 92 minutes. (Rated PG for action intensity.) ???

Prisoners. Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Maria Bello, Viola Davis, Melissa Leo and Paul Dano in Denis Villeneuve's acclaimed and superbly performed thriller about a couple of distraught fathers who take the law into their own hands when their daughters are kidnapped and the police investigation seems to have stalled. 153 minutes. (Rated R for violence, language and extremely brutal torture scenes.) ???o

The Smurfs 2. Starring Hank Azaria, Neil Patrick Harris and Jayma Mays. The Smurfs team up with their human friends to rescue Smurfette, who has been kidnapped by Gargamel because she knows the secret spell to turn his newest creation, creatures called the Naughties - into Smurfs. 105 minutes. (Rated PG for some rude humor and action.)

THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Starring Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. Thor fights to protect his loved ones and the Nine Realms - including Earth - from the destruction of the Dark Elves. 111 minutes. (Rated PG-13 some suggestive content and intense sci-fi action/violence.) ???

12 Years a Slave. Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Brad Pitt, Sarah Paulson, and Alfre Woodard in Steve McQueen's adaptation of 1853 narrative of a free black man in Saratoga who was kidnapped and sold into slavery in Louisiana. 133 minutes. (Rated R for a great deal of cruelty and violence, sex and nudity.) ???o

twenty feet from stardom. Documentary on backup singers focuses on Merry Clayton, Lisa Fischer, Judith Hill and Darlene Love. Directed by Morgan Neville. 90 minutes. (Not rated, but contains sexual material and some strong profanity.)

we're the millers. Starring Jason Sudeikis, Jennifer Aniston and Emma Roberts. A veteran pot dealer creates a fake family as part of his plan to move a huge shipment of weed into the U.S. from Mexico. 110 minutes. (Rated R for crude sexual content, pervasive language, drug material and graphic nudity.) ???

WIZARD OF OZ: AN IMAX 3D EXPERIENCE. Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard of Oz who can help her return home. 101 minutes. (Rated PG for scary moments.)

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