Movie Capsules: Now showing

Psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon) flirts with a cooking class-mate (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Clint Eastwood's 'Hereafter.'

Ken Regan/Warner Bros.

Psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon) flirts with a cooking class-mate (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter."

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.

OPENING TODAY

Due Date (R, 95 min.) Todd Phillips, the director of "The Hangover," sets Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis loose on a wacky road trip.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Cine Planet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon) flirts with a cooking class-mate (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Clint Eastwood's 'Hereafter.'

Ken Regan/Warner Bros.

Psychic George Lonegan (Matt Damon) flirts with a cooking class-mate (Bryce Dallas Howard) in Clint Eastwood's "Hereafter."

For Colored Girls (R, 134 min.) See review on Page 12.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Heartbreaker (Not rated, 105 min.) Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis (longtime girlfriend of Johnny Depp) star in a French romantic comedy.

Ridgeway Four.

Megamind (PG, 96 min.) It's supervillain Megamind (voiced by Will Ferrell) vs. superhero Metro Man (Brad Pitt) in the latest from DreamWorks Animation.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D).

Nowhere Boy (R, 98 min.) See review on Page 16.

Ridgeway Four.

SPECIAL MOVIES

The Alps: Runs through Nov. 12. Tickets $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 are free.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Artois the Goat (Not rated, 109 min.) The "Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers" continues with this Austin-based quirky comedy about a TV-dinner chemist who must decide whether to commit himself to his girlfriend or to his quest to create the world's tastiest goat cheese. Producer Richard Reininger will discuss the movie after the screening.

6 p.m. Sunday, Buckman Arts Center at St. Mary's Episcopal School, 60 Perkins Ext. Tickets: $8, or $5 for seniors and students. Visit artoisthegoat.com.

Bon Jovi -- The Circle Tour (Not rated, 120 min.) A concert film shot during the New Jersey rocker's recent multi-night engagement at the Meadowlands stadium.

7:30 p.m. Monday, Paradiso. Tickets: $12.50. Visit malco.com.

Dolphins and Whales: Tribes of the Ocean: A new adventure from Jean-Michel Cousteau, narrated by Daryl Hannah. IMAX film runs through March 4. Tickets $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3 free.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

La France (R, 102 min.) The Tournées French Film Festival concludes with this inventive 2007 saga-with-songs about a soldier's wife (Sylvie Testud) who disguises herself as a man to experience first-hand the horrors and camaraderie of World War I.

7 p.m. Thursday, University Center Theater, University of Memphis. Visit frenchtennessee.org/filmfestival.

Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West: IMAX film follows Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they lead the Corps of Discovery on the first overland expedition into the newly expanded territory of the United States. Through Nov. 12. Tickets: $8, $7.25 senior citizens, $6.25 children ages 3-12; children under 3, free.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Metropolitan Opera: Boris Godunov (Not rated, 300 min.) An encore presentation of the recent New York production of the Mussorgsky masterpiece.

6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $20. Visit malco.com

Paris (R, 130 min.) Juliette Binoche is at the center of this 2008 ensemble drama set in the City of Lights. Part of the Tournées French Film Festival at the University of Memphis.

7 p.m. Tuesday, University Center Theater, University of Memphis. Frenchtennessee.org/filmfestival.

Shooting Robert King (Not rated, 79 min.) This British documentary follows Memphis photojournalist Robert King on assignment in some of the world's most dangerous war zones.

2 p.m. Saturday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

Winslow Homer: Society and Solitude (Not rated, 110 min.) University of Memphis film professor Steven John Ross' six-years-in-the-making documentary examines the life and art of one of America's most important and popular painters. Ross will introduce the film.

2 p.m. Sunday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

NOW SHOWING

Alpha and Omega (PG, 88 min.) A computer-animated film about young wolves.

Majestic, CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D).

Cairo Time (PG, 90 min.) A romantic film for adults, as married Patricia Clarkson has a whirlwind affair in Egypt with retired police officer Alexander Siddig.

Studio on the Square.

Case 39 (R, 115 min.) Renée Zellweger and Bradley Cooper star in this horror thriller about a scary child, shot in 2006 and just now reaching theaters.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Conviction (R, 107 min.) Two-time Oscar-winner Hilary Swank goes for the trifecta with this based-on-a-true-story tale of against-all-odds tear-jerking triumph that might have provided a juicy star turn for Joan Crawford or Sally Field in decades past. Swank is Betty Anne Waters, a young Massachusetts mother of two who earned her GED and then her bachelor's, master's and law degrees in order to become a lawyer and exonerate her brother, convicted in the 1983 stabbing-and-bludgeoning murder of an old woman. As the brother, Sam Rockwell seems more likely than Swank to earn Academy Award recognition: His supporting role requires him not only to simmer with righteous anger but to perform a drunken striptease to a bar-band rendition of "My Sharona." Obviously aware that this unlikely tale requires no dramatic juicing, Tony Goldwyn directs with tight-lipped efficiency.

Ridgeway Four.

Devil (PG-13, 80 min.) A man falls from the 35th floor of a skyscraper, a security guard is electrocuted, five people are trapped in an elevator: Is a lazy maintenance staff responsible, or could it be -- Satan? Working from an idea by producer M. Night Shyamalan, director John Erick Dowdle, screenwriter Brian Nelson and veteran ace cinematographer Tak Fujimoto ("The Silence of the Lambs") have crafted a modest and sometimes silly (a Latino building employee is quick to recognize the hand of "el diablo") but gripping thriller; the killings are ingeniously crafted so that the deaths occur offscreen, which doesn't lessen their impact. The opening credits identify the film as "The Night Chronicles 1," meaning it's the first in a planned series of "Twilight Zone"-esque productions from Shyamalan.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, DeSoto Cinema 16, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Easy A (PG-13, 92 min.) Emma Stone, Amanda Bynes.

Stage Cinema.

The Expendables (R, 103 min.) Sylvester Stallone, Jet Li.

Bartlett 10.

Grown Ups (PG-13, 102 min.) Old school buddies Adam Sandler (a successful Hollywood agent), Kevin James (an unemployed family man and slob), Chris Rock (house husband), David Spade (carefree bachelor) and Rob Schneider (weirdo) reunite for a weekend at a lake and rediscover the simple joys of rope-swinging, stone-skipping and friendship, or something like that. The expected middle-aged-boys-will-be-boys antics are amusing, but the shameless sentiment (a cute little girl wants to use the car GPS to locate heaven so she can visit her grieving dad's recently deceased friend, awww) and writer-producer-star Sandler's ego-tripping (not only is he married to Salma Hayek, he's a sure shot on the basketball court) interfere with the laughs. Directed by Dennis Dugan ("Happy Gilmore").

Bartlett 10.

Hereafter (PG-13, 129 min.) Director Clint Eastwood's globetrotting "Good Will Haunting" casts Matt Damon as a troubled San Francisco psychic whose ability to communicate with the dead ultimately brings him into contact with a tsunami survivor (Cécile De France) and an almost Dickensian London orphan longing for his dead twin (the boys are played by Frankie and George McLaren). Scripted by Peter Morgan ("The Queen"), this supernatural saga seems on its face to be a change of pace for Eastwood, but the director's movies long have been concerned with aspects of the "afterlife," including legend ("Unforgiven") and history ("Flags of Our Fathers"), while his heroes frequently have embraced death as an avenue to peace ("Million Dollar Baby") or redemption ("Gran Torino"). The appropriately dark lighting and funereal pace can't quite balance the sentimental muzziness of a film that nonetheless contains several sequences that affirm Eastwood's mastery of the medium; these range from the cute (a blindfolded taste-test flirtation between Damon and Bryce Dallas Howard) to the harrowing (the superbly staged and edited opening tsunami sequence, which never loses its intimate focus on De France despite the spectacle of the digital and practical effects).

Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso.

Inception (PG-13, 148 min.) Leonardo DiCaprio, Ellen Page.

Bartlett 10.

Jackass 3D (R, 94 min.) Now, THIS is what 3D was made for...

Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), CinePlanet 16.

The Last Exorcism (PG-13, 88 min.) Patrick Fabian, Ashley Bell.

Bartlett 10.

Life as We Know It (PG-13, 115 min.) This peculiarly ruthless romantic comedy kills off a perfectly nice set of parents and orphans an adorable infant so that the dead couple's best friends -- a respectable, somewhat uptight baker (Katherine Heigl) and a sloppy, irresponsible womanizer (Josh Duhamel) -- can realize their mutual loathing is just a cover-up for true love after they accept responsibility for the baby, as requested in the couple's unlikely will. The triplets who play the baby are cute, and the film may score some points with new parents, who will recognize the dangers of loaded diapers and the Wiggles; but the blood sacrifice demanded by director Greg Berlanti and the screenwriters seems like a pretty extreme set-up for a couple of hours of sitcom cuteness. And what to make the terrible title, which is meaningless except that it's arrogantly predicated on the assumption that "we" are attractive white people who live in huge houses and have few economic worries?

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Lottery Ticket (PG-13, 99 min.) The first project from the once-unlikely team of FedEx founder Fred Smith and ex-scowling rapper Ice Cube, this lively teen comedy is -- as its title suggests -- a winner. A collaboration between Smith's Alcon Entertainment and Cube's Cube Vision Productions, the movie casts Bow Wow as a good-natured high-school every-student who becomes the most popular and pursued kid in the Atlanta projects after word gets out that he's the owner of a lottery ticket worth $370 million. It's no dig to say the film depicts what might be called the fun side of public housing, which was presented as a grim dead end in Alcon's "The Blind Side"; debuting writer-director Erik White shows a real affection for and familiarity with the milieu, mining honest humor from sitcomish situations and what in less sympathetic hands might be reductive cultural stereotypes -- the pimped-out preacher, the golddigging "booty girl," the Jesus-praising grandmother, the drug-dealing thug, and so on.

Majestic, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

My Soul to Take (R, 107 min.) A typically ruthless and cynically comic horror thriller from writer-director Wes Craven, who -- in yet another iteration of the reality-warping Freddy Krueger -- sics "the Riverton Ripper" on a motley group of students at a loony high school where the caste system is more terrifying than the possibility of a murderous ghost (the bullying leader of the mean girls is nicknamed "Fang"). Despite the presence of a kid in a vomiting California condor costume, the 3D is weak.

CinePlanet 16.

N-Secure (R, 108 min.) If Tyler Perry had created an erotic thriller for Roger Corman's Concorde-New Horizon Pictures in the 1990s, the result might have been something like this made-in-Memphis independent feature, which almost begs the audience to talk back to the screen as a series of beautiful young women (including Essence Atkins and Denise Boutte) place themselves in jeopardy at the strong hands of a trigger-tempered, ex-Marine control freak (Cordell Moore) who lives in a suburban McMansion, drives a Hummer and even speaks Japanese. Directed by L.A. TV veteran David M. Matthews and financed and co-written by local music promoter Julius Lewis, the film is set within middle- and upper-class black Memphis and unambiguously aimed at African-American moviegoers; the cast includes Tempestt Bledsoe, who accusingly asks her unfaithful boyfriend (Lamman Rucker) "Why is your fly unzipped?" -- a line she never got to utter on "The Cosby Show." The movie won't win any Oscars or even BET Awards, but sympathetic audiences will get a kick out of its N-tertaining plot twists, unabashed dramatics and villainy -- if Moore's mustache were any longer, he might twirl it. Look for cameos by John Calipari and Willie Herenton.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Nanny McPhee Returns (PG, 109 min.) Emma Thompson, Maggie Gyllenhaal.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Other Guys (PG-13, 108 min.) Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg.

Bartlett 10, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Paranormal Activity 2 (R, 89 min.) More videocam hauntings.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Ramona and Beezus (G, 104 min.) Although director Elizabeth Allen's sitcom-bright film doesn't come close to the quality of the Beverly Cleary children's book series that introduced the public to "Ramona the Pest" and her teen sister, Beatrice Quimby, this is a sweet, frequently charming effort that doesn't betray its G rating. Joey King is cute but never cloying as the 9-year-old, trouble-prone Ramona, while Selena Gomez is quite likable as 15-year-old Beatrice, aka "Beezus"; their believably contentious yet loving relationship gives the movie plenty of heart. Although dad (John Corbett) gets downsized and the family home faces foreclosure, there's never any doubt that a happy ending is on the way, for the Quimbys as well as Aunt Bea (Memphis' Ginnifer Goodwin), whose eyes sparkle when she's reunited with a hunky former classmate (Josh Duhamel).

Bartlett 10.

Red (PG-13, 111 min.) Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren in a DC Comics adaptation about old CIA agents forced back into action.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (R, 97 min.) With its zombie hordes, inexplicable ax-wielding ogre, monster Dobermans and both Milla Jovovich and Ali Larter looking sexy while kicking much postapocalyptic undead butt, this fourth installment in the videogame-inspired sci-fi action series is a dream-come-true for 12-year-old boys with ADD. By this time, only aficionados will be conversant with the series mythology involving Raccoon City, the Umbrella Corporation, the T-virus, and so on; the rest of us will have to accept or reject this sequel as an exercise in unbridled, surreal, nonsensical cool -- as much a head trip, in its way, as "Koyaanisqatsi." The director is Paul W.S. Anderson, who helmed the 2002 original.

Palace Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Salt (PG-13, 100 min.) Angelina Jolie.

Bartlett 10.

Saw 3D (R, 90 min.) The seventh "Saw" opens with a man cauterizing the bloody stump of his severed leg against a steaming-hot pipe, followed by a massacre in a department store window in which a bisected young woman's entrails plop onto the floor. This public execution suggests director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI") plans to expand the scope of the series, but no such luck: The film quickly retreats to the usual claustrophic and booby-trapped interiors, where the acting is as lethal as the contraptions. The presence of Sean Patrick Flanery as a "Jigsaw survivor" turned celebrity self-help guru provides some welcome satire of the series' pretentiousness, but the movie -- the bloodiest and most violent episode yet -- mostly offers a series of inventively shocking Chuck Jones-meets-Herschell Gordon Lewis set pieces. More proof that the MPAA's ratings system is useless: If this level of gore doesn't demand an NC-17 designation ("Patently Adult -- Children Are Not Admitted"), what does?

Stage Cinema, Majestic (non-3D), Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Raleigh Springs Cinema (non-3D), Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Palace Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In (non-3D).

Secretariat (PG, 123 min.) The more-or-less true story of a steel-magnolia housewife who follows her heart and defies the odds to build an athletic champion, this inspirational film could be described as "The Blind Side" with a horse (a comparison that works only because of the earlier movie's reductionist presentation of football star Michael Oher). Diane Lane stars as Penny Chenery, who risks her marriage to take over her aging father's horse farm and transform the stallion, Secretariat, into a Triple Crown winner and probably the greatest racehorse that ever lived; John Malkovich is the horse's flamboyant trainer. Directed by Randall Wallace, this is good, old-fashioned entertainment, marred only by the de rigueur motivational pronouncements ("You never know how far you can go unless you run") and the bizarre use of the gospel hit "Oh Happy Day" during the Belmont Stakes, as if the sound of the Edwin Hawkins Singers proclaiming that Jesus has washed their sins away really has much to do with the sight of one horse beating the hooves off several others.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

The Social Network (PG-13, 120 min.) Working from Ben Mezrich's nonfiction best-seller, director David Fincher ("Zodiac," "Fight Club") and scripter Aaron Sorkin ("The West Wing") have delivered perhaps the best studio film of the year, a "Citizen Kane" for the impatient digital era, with that masterpiece's decades-spanning morality tale of loss, greed, ambition, hubris, betrayal, loneliness and revenge compressed into a few years, and with an ex-girlfriend named Erica instead of a sled named Rosebud functioning as the explanation-that-explains-nothing catalyst for the depredations of a world-changing ego. A typically deadpan-affectless Jesse Eisenberg stars as Mark Zuckerberg (now "the world's youngest billionaire"), whose creation of Facebook at Harvard led to riches and lawsuits, including one from his best and apparently only friend (Andrew Garfield). With its pitch-perfect pacing and framing, rapier-sharp conversations and witty performances (Justin Timberlake is superb as reckless, motormouthed Sean Parker, the seductive creator of Napster), this is a riveting, thoroughly entertaining work that functions as an agile college comedy, a gripping legal thriller and a wily creation myth for the global social-network phenomenon of Facebook, a digital Xanadau that -- according to the film -- seems to delight everyone but its master.

Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema, Majestic, Collierville Towne 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Studio on the Square, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (PG, 109 min) Jay Baruchel, Nicolas Cage.

Bartlett 10.

Step Up 3 (PG-13, 107 min.) Rick Malambri, Adam G. Sevani.

Bartlett 10 (non 3-D).

Takers (PG-13, 107 min.) Chris Brown, T.I. and Hayden Christensen try to rob a bank; Matt Dillon tries to stop them.

Majestic, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

The Town (R, 125 min.) The second movie directed by Ben Affleck is loud with gunfire and the crunch of metal, but its words hit hardest: The profane, stylized, typically menacing speeches delivered by the story's preening Boston bank robbers, gangsters and federal agents are scary, poetic and even beautiful in their way, and they help elevate the film to the top rank of recent thrillers. Affleck stars as a second-generation career criminal who falls for the bank manager (Rebecca Hall) he should be intimidating; Jeremy Renner is Affleck's loose-cannon friend; Jon Hamm is a federal agent; and Pete Postlethwaite is a frightening mob boss. As a director, Affleck may not be a great stylist, but he's an assured storyteller, and "The Town" -- despite an overblown, "Heat"-inspired finale -- confirms the promise of his feature directorial debut, "Gone Baby Gone," another Boston-lowlife crime story adapted from a respected novel. It may be premature and even foolhardy to evoke the name, but one thinks of Clint Eastwood, another once-unappreciated actor who evolved into a top filmmaker.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, CinePlanet 16.

Toy Story 3 (G, 109 min.) Voices of Tom Hanks, Tim Allen.

Bartlett 10.

Waiting for 'Superman' (PG, 102 min.) This documentary cry for education reform, which explores the role of teachers' unions, charter schools and other aspects of American public education, has become a national cause célèbre.

Ridgeway Four.

Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (PG-13, 135 min.) Michael Douglas, Shia LaBeouf.

Forest Hill 8.

You Again (PG, 105 min.) Kristen Bell, Jamie Lee Curtis.

Collierville Towne 16.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger (R, 98 min.) The title phrase typically signals romantic promise, but this is another angst-ridden all-star ensemble comedy of despair from writer-director Woody Allen, so the words are less than hopeful. In fact -- and how's this for an invite? -- Allen is asking us to patronize a movie with a title that translates to: "You Are Going To Die." As a struggling novelist (Josh Brolin) hostilely asserts after his mother-in-law (an Oscar-worthy Gemma Jones) reports that a fortune-teller has spied a new man in her future: "You will meet the same tall dark stranger that we all eventually meet." Shot in London (the caramel glaze of Vilmos Zsigmond's cinematography offers a tasty contrast to the sour proceedings), the film follows several fearful, resentful and angry characters as they struggle against the deadlines imposed by career (Naomi Watts needs money to start a new art gallery), romance (Freida Pinto is about to be married) and biology (afraid of dying, Anthony Hopkins marries a decades-younger nitwit call girl, played by Lucy Punch). Even the movie's incongruously jovial narrator apparently doesn't expect much; he describes the film as a "little tale of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

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