May 09--CLOUD ATLAS (WARNER) ONE WAY -- not necessarily the best or only way -- to regard this film is as six short stories set during different time periods, from 1849 to a post-apocalyptic Hawaii, with a common thread. But the sprawling, non-sequential time poem by Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer, shuffles and folds elements of each of these stories together to create a nonlinear leitmotif of recurring thoughts, ideas, memories, dreams, premonitions, principles, acts of conscience and moral truths, in which different characters in each story are played by the same actors -- Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugo Weaving and Hugh Grant among them. Although some will find the nearly three-hour film bloated and pretentious, those who enjoy puzzles and bold thinking may feel differently. (R; language, violence, nudity, sexuality, drug use)
TEXAS CHAINSAW (Lionsgate) A young woman inherits an isolated Texas mansion, which comes with unexpected wealth -- and some really gory goings-on in the basement. Re-imagining/sequel of the slasher classic franchise, with Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Tremaine "Trey Songz" Neverson. (R; pervasive violence and language) Not reviewed.
A GLIMPSE INSIDE THE MIND OF CHARLES SWAN III (Lionsgate) An L.A. player's life unravels when his girlfriend abruptly dumps him. Slapstick-imitates life comedy starring Charlie Sheen, written and directed by Roman Coppola, with Jason Schwartzman, Bill Murray. (R; language, some nudity) Not reviewed.
IF I WERE YOU (Kino Lorber) A woman ends up befriending her husband's mistress and, at the young woman's urging, begins looking for an affair (or two) of her own. Relationship comedy with Marcia Gay Harden, Leonor Watlin, Aidan Quinn. (R; language) Not reviewed.
FRANKIE GO BOOM (Universal) A man, haunted by his family's persistently inappropriate behavior, gets in trouble when his brother secretly turns his one-night stand into online porn. Black comedy with Charlie Hunnam, Chris O'Dowd, Lizzy Caplan, Whitney Cummings, Ron Perlman, Chris Noth. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
BACK TO 1942 (Well Go USA) Historical epic about a man and his daughter struggling to survive during the great wartime famine in 1942 China. International drama with Zhang Guoli, Adrien Brody, Tim Robbins. In English and Mandarian, with English subtitles. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
ESCAPE (Entertainment One) In plague-ravaged 14th-century Scandinavia, a young woman escapes from a band of killers who murdered her family. Medieval fantasy in Swedish with English subtitles. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
FACE 2 FACE (Wolfe) Documentary by reality-TV director Katherine Brooks who, concerned about the lack of human interaction in her life, sets out to meet in person the first 50 people who responded to her plea on Facebook. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
THE LOCKER (Entertainment One) A woman, institutionalized after she claims she escaped from a masked man who kidnaps and tortures beautiful women, receives a book that tells her story in unnerving detail -- with an even scarier ending. (Not rated; violence ) Not reviewed.
STAND UP GUYS (Lionsgate), BEAUTIFUL CREATURES (Warner), SIDE EFFECTS (Universal), PARKER (Sony), THE LAST STAND (Lionsgate), HATING BREITBART (Freestyle Releasing), STRUCK BY LIGHTNING (New Video), DARK CIRCLES (Lionsgate), 23RD PSALM: REDEMPTION (Entertainment One), THE ABCS OF DEATH (Magnolia), ADVENTURES OF BAILEY: A NIGHT IN COWTOWN (Entertainment One)
DARK SKIES (Anchor Bay), GENERATION UM . . . (Phase 4), LORE (Music Box), THE NUMBERS STATION (Image), TOMORROW YOU'RE GONE (Image), DORFMAN IN LOVE (Virgil)
JACK REACHER Tom Cruise plays a former military investigator who's gone off the grid but is reeled back in when a former Army sniper is accused of murder. Action thriller based on the novel by Lee Child, with Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Robert Duvall. (PG-13; violence, language, some drug use)
SAFE HAVEN A young woman with a dark past seeks a new life for herself in a small coastal town and falls in love with a charming widower -- all the while looking over her shoulder, fearful her past will catch up with her. The latest melodrama based on a Nicholas Sparks novel stars Julianne Hough, who, as an actress, is a pretty good dancer, and Josh Duhamel; they may both look pretty, but their lack of chemistry doesn't lift the story above its cliches. With David Lyons, Cobie Smulders. (PG-13; violence, sexuality)
MAMA A couple take in their young nieces after the girls were left to fend for themselves in the woods for five years, but some creepy goings-on suggest that maybe they weren't alone after all. Moody horror-thriller with Jessica Chastain, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. (PG-13; violence, disturbing images, mature content) Not reviewed.
UPSTREAM COLOR Science-fiction romance involving a man, a woman and "an ageless organism." Big-buzz indie movie written and directed by and starring Shane Carruth, the writer-director-star of the terrific, low-low-budget, big-buzz sci-fi thriller "Primer." (Not rated) Not reviewed.
THE ORANGES Things get really complicated for longtime neighbors and friends when the husband in one couple starts an affair with the oldest daughter of the other couple. Suburban comedy with Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, Allison Janney, Leighton Meester. (R; language, brief drug use) Not reviewed.
REVENGE FOR JOLLY A loser goes on a violent quest to avenge the death of his beloved dog. Black comedy with Brian Petsos, Oscar Isaac, Elijah Wood, Adam Brody, Gillian Jacobs, Ryan Phillippe, Garret Dillahunt, Kristen Wiig. (R; violence, pervasive language, drug use, sex) Not reviewed.
MIGHTY FINE A girl with dreams of becoming a writer sees her life turned upside down when her father moves her family closer to his clothing company's manufacturing plant in New Orleans. Drama with Chazz Palminteri, Andie MacDowell, Jodelle Ferland. (R; language, brief nudity)
CITIZEN HEARST Documentary about press baron William Randolph Hearst, the power he wielded (and lost), the media empire he created, from the early days into the present. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
STARLET A 21-year-old drifter befriends an old woman after she discovers a hidden stash of cash in an object at the woman's rummage sale. Indie drama with Dree Hemingway, Besedka Johnson (who died earlier this year). (Not rated) Not reviewed.
IN THE HIVE Drama about an alternative school created to help lift up hard-case urban youths. Based on a true story. Directed by Robert Townsend, with Michael Clarke Duncan, Loretta Devine, Vivica A. Fox, Jonathan "Lil J" McDaniel. R; language, brief drug use) Not reviewed.
THE ASSASSIN'S BLADE Action movie, based on a Chinese legend, about a girl who disguises herself as a guy to get into an prestigious male-only martial arts academy. In Cantonese with English subtitles. (Not rated; violence) Not reviewed.
Compiled by Chris Foran.Star ratings are from reviews by film critic Duane Dudek and other reviewers for the Journal Sentinel. For more, see jsonline.com/movies.
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