June 20--NO (Sony) After international pressure forces Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to hold a legitimate election in 1988, an ad executive for the opposition's campaign uses modern advertising methods to sell its message. Movie by Pablo Larrain, nominated for an Oscar for best foreign-language film, portrays a pivotal moment in a nation's turbulent history the same way the real-life ad campaign did: by serving a noble cause in entertaining fashion. With Gael Garcia Bernal. In Spanish with English subtitles. (R; language, political violence) ???1/2
THE CALL (Sony) Halle Berry plays a veteran at a 911 call center who -- after being on the other end of the line when another girl was murdered by a serial-killer intruder -- tries to save an abducted, cellphone-wielding teenager (Abigail Breslin) locked in a trunk by the same killer. (R; violence, some language) ??
THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE (Warner) Steve Carell as a lazy and arrogant Las Vegas stage magician who is forced to reinvent himself from the bottom up -- and to compete with his nemesis, a masochistic, David Blaine-like street magician played by Jim Carrey. Generally boring and uninspired comedy, but Carrey's stand-alone scenes steal the film. With Steve Buscemi, Alan Arkin, Olivia Wilde, James Gandolfini. (PG-13; sexual references, dangerous stunts, drugs, language) ??
A PLACE AT THE TABLE (Magnolia) This documentary about the high price of cheap calories may leave a bad taste in your mouth. It is the food-chain equivalent of the Trail of Tears, with a drumbeat of data and examples showing that, while 50 million Americans don't know where their next meal is coming from, obesity and diseases related to it are rampant among the poor, who cannot afford to eat healthy food and do not always have access to it. The meat of the film by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush comes from stories of families struggling to put food on the table, even as the government can't get its facts, and priorities, in order. (PG; thematic elements, mild language) ???
PHANTOM (Fox) The captain of a Soviet submarine battles his own demons while grappling with a rogue KGB official trying to seize control of his ship's nuclear warhead. Military thriller with Ed Harris, David Duchovny. (R; violence) Not reviewed.
UPSIDE DOWN (Millennium) Sci-fi romance about the ultimate star-crossed couple: They live on adjacent planets with opposite gravities. With Jim Sturgess, Kirsten Dunst, Timothy Spall. (PG-13; some violence) Not reviewed.
INTO THE WHITE (Magnolia) During World War II, a pair of British aviators meet German airmen in the frozen wastes of Norway, and must join forces to survive. Based on a true story. With Rupert Grint, David Kross, Florian Lukas. (R; language) Not reviewed.
AS LUCK WOULD HAVE IT (IFC) An out-of-work adman tries to make the most of a bad situation when a freak accident puts him at the center of a media circus. Dark comedy with Jose Mota, Salma Hayek. In Spanish with English subtitles. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
BLACK POND (Entertainment One) When a stranger dies at their dinner table, a British family buries him, and winds up accused of murder. Black comedy with Chris Langham, Simon Amstell (Not rated) Not reviewed.
THE HAPPY POET (Cinema Libre) A wannabe writer finds his inner passion when he decides to open a healthy-food cart. Indie comedy by writer-director Paul Gordon. (Not rated) Not reviewed.
PUSHER (Starz/Anchor Bay) A drug dealer frantically scrambles for a way to get out of debt to a ruthless drug lord. Remake of a film by director Nicolas Winding Refn. (R; pervasive drug content, pervasive language, sex, nudity, violence) Not reviewed.
CODY THE ROBOSAPIEN (Starz) A picked-on kid genius finds a rescue robot that is the target of an evil executive who has darker plans for the technology. Family comedy with Bobby Coleman, David Eigenberg, Kim Coates, Penelope Ann Miller. (PG; bullying, brief rude humor) Not reviewed.
LORD OF DARKNESS (Lionsgate) A journalist gets into trouble when he starts writing about a family of alleged cannibals. Horror movie based on a "legendary true story." (R; violence, gore, language, some sex, brief drug use) Not reviewed.
INESCAPABLE (IFC), THE GIRL (Virgil), VENUS & SERENA (Magnolia), THE HOUSE I LIVE IN (Virgil), DEATH BY CHINA (Area23a), TAI CHI HERO (Well Go USA)
ADMISSION (Universal), THE GATEKEEPERS (Sony), TYLER PERRY'S TEMPTATION (Lionsgate), THE HOST (Universal), DEAD MAN DOWN (Sony), SPRING BREAKERS (Lionsgate), CRAZY KIND OF LOVE (Phase 4), COMBAT GIRLS (Artsploitation)
21 & OVER A straight-A college student is taken out to celebrate his 21st birthday -- the night before a really important medical school interview. What can go wrong? How about everything? Wild-night-out, rite-of-passage comedy from the writers of "The Hangover." (R; crude and sexual content, pervasive language, nudity, drug use, drinking) ??
QUARTET Film that asks the musical question, "Is there such a thing as too much Maggie Smith?" and answers it with a resounding "No." Dustin Hoffman's directorial debut, about four opera singers -- Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly -- who reunite for a benefit concert for the retirement home where three of them live, is a lovingly cluttered and eccentrically populated portrait of aging egos and talent. The charm of the film is the idyllic, salon-like setting, where every room is filled with music, and a colorful supporting ensemble, many of whom are retired musicians and singers. (PG-13; language, sexual references) ???
STOKER Korean film master Park Chan-wook's first English-language film centers on a dark family including a flawlessly beautiful but emotionally cold mommy dearest (Nicole Kidman), her brooding, free-range daughter (Mia Wasikowska) and the charismatic brother (Matthew Goode) of the family's late patriarch. While the best genre films are about human monsters in whom we catch flashes of behavior we might recognize or relate to before things go terribly wrong, little in the behavior on display in Park's film qualifies as credibly human. (R; violence, sex) ??1/2
THE LAST EXORCISM PART II The girl from the first "Last Exorcism" can't remember much of the ordeal recounted in that movie -- but the evil that was within her definitely does. With Ashley Bell. (PG-13; violence, terror, brief language) Not reviewed.
JACK THE GIANT SLAYER A farmhand -- you remember Jack, don't you? -- gets caught up in a battle with giants, thanks to a few magic beans. An unrelentingly ugly 3-D fantasy movie, nominally based on the age-old fable, directed by Bryan Singer ("The Usual Suspects," " X-Men"). With hollow effects and an ending that doesn't make a lick of sense, it's definitely fee-fye ho-hum. (PG-13; fantasy violence, frightening images, brief language) ?1/2
MOVIE 43 A collection of crude comedy vignettes, vaguely connected with the thin tissue of a search for the world's most banned movie -- with likely the year's most star-studded cast: Emma Stone, Halle Berry, Naomi Watts, Terrence Howard, Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet and many more. (R; pervasive crude and sexual content, language, graphic nudity, some violence, drug use) 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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