Movie Capsules: Now Showing

Opening Friday

Hitchcock (PG-13, 98 min.) See review on Page 12.

Ridgeway Four.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13, 170 min.) See story on Page 16.

CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D), Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic, Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in HFR 3-D and 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Studio on the Square, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Opening Wednesday

The Guilt Trip (PG-13, 95 min.) Seth Rogen (son) and Barbra Streisand (mother) take a cross-country comedy road trip.

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

Monster, Inc. (G, 92 min.) The Pixar classic is reissued in 3D.

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

Special Movies

Beloved (Not rated, 139 min.) Catherine Deneuve and her real-life daughter with Marcello Mastoianni, Chiara Mastroianni, are a mother and daughter in London in this musical romantic comedy-drama from French writer-director Christophe Honoré, presented here in its Memphis premiere.

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

City Lights (G, 87 min.) Charlie Chaplin's 1931 comedy masterpiece is presented at a low price as part of a holiday "art-and-a-movie" event that begins at 6:30 p.m., with hot chocolate and make-your-own-felt-mustache activities in the museum rotunda.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $5. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

The Light Before Christmas: Stop-Motion animated holiday film tells the story of The Candleman, an old sage who imparts wisdom, hot chocolate and stories to two lost children. Through Dec. 31. Tickets $8.25, $7.50 senior citizens, $6.50 children ages 3-12.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 901-636-2362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Metropolitan Opera: Aida (Not rated, 240 min.) A live-via-satellite New York production of one of the most famous of all operas, Verdi's masterpiece about an ancient Egyptian love triangle.

11:55 a.m. Saturday, Paradiso. Tickets: $20. Visit malco.com.

Metropolitan Opera: La Clemenza di Tito (Not rated, 154 min.) An encore presentation of a recent New York production of Mozart's opera about the Roman emperor Titus.

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Not rated, 154 min.) The monthly screening of the ultimate audience-participation sci-fi rock-and-roll cult classic.

11:30 p.m. Friday, Evergreen Theatre, 1711 Poplar. Admission: $10. Visit rockyhorrormemphis.com.

To the Arctic: Narrated by Meryl Streep, this journey to the top of the world follows a polar bear family as it adapts to its changing environment. Runs through March 8, 2013. Tickets $8.25; $7.50 senior citizens, and $6.50 for ages 3-12.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call 901-636-2362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

NOW SHOWING

Alex Cross (PG-13, 102 min.) Tyler Perry trades Madea drag for the shoulder holster and scowl of a genius police psychologist-detective, but this movie couldn't be any sillier if the title sleuth pursued the story's sadistic professional killer in a gray wig and granny panties.

Bartlett 10, Majestic.

Anna Karenina (R, 130 min.) Director Joe Wright transforms Leo Tolstoy's 900-page doorstop of a 19th-century Russian masterpiece into something intended to be playful and light on its feet.The stylization distances us from the plight of love-tormented Anna (Keira Knightley) and her dashing cavalry officer lover (an inappropriately cuddly Aaron Taylor-Johnson). The supporting characters — Jude Law as Anna's husband and Matthew Macfadyen as Anna's roguish brother — capture our sympathy and interest.

Ridgeway Four.

Argo (R, 120 min.) Inspired by the unlikely true story of the secret rescue of six U.S. diplomats from Tehran in 1980 (while 52 of their less-fortunate colleagues were held hostage by militants in the American embassy), this is an entertaining and intelligent suspense film.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Bourne Legacy (PG-13, 125 min.) Jeremy Renner, Rachel Weisz.

Bartlett 10.

Brave (PG, 101 min.) The latest from Pixar.

Bartlett 10.

The Collection (R, 82 min.) Somehow, the 2009 horror movie "The Collector" (worldwide gross: $9 million) earns a sequel.

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

The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13, 165 min.) Christian Bale, Anne Hathaway.

Bartlett 10.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG, 94 min.) The third "Wimpy" comedy.

Bartlett 10.

Flight (R, 139 min.) Returning to live action after a decade of disappointing experimentation with performance-capture animation, director Robert Zemeckis provides Denzel Washington with one of the more complex roles of the actor's career as an airline pilot whose skill and heroism are matched by his alcoholism and drug addiction.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

House at the End of the Street (PG-13, 101 min.) Ignoring the concerns of mom Elisabeth Shue, teen Jennifer Lawrence befriends sensitive, soft-spoken Max Thieriot, whose parents were murdered in the scary house next door.

Bartlett 10.

Ice Age: Continental Drift (PG, 94 min.) The climate change of cliché has melted most of the charm and novelty from this computer-animated comedy-adventure series that showcases an ever-expanding prehistoric ensemble headed by now-boring Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), dull Diego the sabertooth (Denis Leary) and reliably funny Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo, who, with the artists, has created a character worthy of the classic Looney Tunes cartoons).

Bartlett 10.

Killing Them Softly (R, 97 min.) This recession-era crime saga unfolds like a lethal game of tag, as one bad turn leads to another; the vivid ensemble cast includes Brad Pitt as a hit man, Scott McNairy as a low-level hood, Ben Mendelsohn as a smart-aleck Aussie junkie, Richard Jenkins as an accountant-like syndicate functionary and James Gandolfini as an alcoholic contract killer.

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Life of Pi (PG, 127 min.) Like its source novel, director Ang Lee's adaption of Yann Martel's 2001 best-seller is captivating as long as it sticks to literalizing this notion of man's relationship to nature and the animal kingdom. Suraj Sharma stars as 16-year-old Pi, a zookeeper's son shipwrecked in a lifeboat in the Pacific with a zebra, an orangutan, a hyena and a Bengal tiger.

Collierville Towne 16 (in 3D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D).

Lincoln (R, 150 min.) Director Steven Spielberg delivers his most actor-centric and word-heavy film.The movie is a remarkably timely depiction of the backroom finagling and ethically dubious deal-making required to gain even the most virtuous political result, in this case House passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, which abolished slavery. The cast (including Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln, David Strathairn as Secretary of State William Seward and Tommy Lee Jones as Pennsylvania abolitionist Thaddeus Stevens) is terrific, but Daniel Day-Lewis' wise, rustic, gnarled Lincoln truly seems a creature from another age.

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Studio on the Square. Opens Wednesday at the CinePlanet 16 and Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Looper (R, 119 min.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Bartlett 10.

Paranormal Activity 4 (R, 88 min.) A pair of young teenagers, Alex (charming Kathryn Newton) and her computer-savvy boyfriend (likable Matt Shively) place secret surveillance cameras in Alex's possibly haunted but otherwise bland suburban home after strange occurrences accompany the arrival of a "weird" little neighbor boy (Brady Allen).

Bartlett 10.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13, 103 min.) Hogswart graduate Emma Watson plays the free-spirited crush of an emotionally troubled high-school freshman (Logan Lerman) in suburban Pittsburgh, in this dewy, sympathetic early 1990s coming-of-age tale that is remarkable for its sensitivity and earnestness.Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Pitch Perfect (PG-13, 112 min.) Too-cool-for-school freshman Anna Kendrick learns to love college when she joins a wacky female a cappella singing group in this spry B-film aimed at Generation Glee. With Anna Camp as the blond prom queen-esque leader of the group, Brittany Snow as the realist Everygirl and Rebel Wilson as "Fat Amy."

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Playing for Keeps (PG-13, 95 min.) Sexy soccer moms pursue the hunky new kids' coach (Gerard Butler) while his ex-wife (Jessica Biel) glares. Prediction: Before the end credits, True Love will cry "Gooooooaaaaaaaallllll!"

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

Red Dawn (PG-13, 94 min.) Shot in 2009 but not released until three years later (probably to piggyback on star Chris Hemsworth's fame as the Marvel superhero Thor), stunt coordinator-turned-director Dan Bradley's remake of the 1984 camp cult "classic" is as idiotic as its inspiration.The unintentionally funny dialogue isn't enough to compensate for the poorly edited fight scenes.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Majestic, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Rise of the Guardians (PG, 97 min.) Inspired by the "Guardians of Childhood" chapter books by William Joyce, this DreamWorks Animation action-fantasy imagines that Santa Claus (voiced by Alec Baldwin), the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), the Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher), the mute Sandman and newcomer Jack Frost (Chris Pine) are the members of a sort of bedtime-story Justice League, dedicated to protecting the kids of the world from the sinister Pitch Black, aka The Boogeyman (voice cast MVP Jude Law). First-time feature director Peter Ramsey (a longtime storyboard artist) delivers a series of absolutely stunning set pieces and painstakingly detailed tableaux that make the movie a visual feast, but its willfully blinkered secular message is a mess.

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

A Royal Affair (R, 137 min.) Denmark's official entry in the Academy Awards category for Best Foreign Language Film is a sumptuous, intelligent dramatization of the real-life 18th-century adulterous affair between a progressive royal physician (Mads Mikkelsen) and an English princess (beautiful Alicia Vikander), wed as a teenager, for reasons of statecraft, to the immature and possibly demented king of Denmark, Christian VII (Mikkel Flsgaard). The decor and costumes are stunning, but despite the presence of illicit sex, a smallpox epidemic and a climactic double beheading, this is a somewhat bloodless "Affair." Directed by Nikolaj Arcel, the movie is more tasteful than rousing, which is somewhat surprising: The exectuive producer is the enfant terrible of Danish cinema, Lars von Trier.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Silver Linings Playbook (R, 122 min.) David O. Russell updates the screwball comedy genre in this charming film Bradley Cooper is Pat Solitano Jr., an "undiagnosed bipolar" history teacher who moves back home with his working-class Philadelphia parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro, both wonderful); Jennifer Lawrence (never more adult, or hotter) is the neighbor who seems determined to catch Pat.

Ridgeway Four.

Sinister (R, 98 min.) A desperate true-crime writer (Ethan Hawke) moves his unwitting family into a "murder house" that may be haunted.

Bartlett 10.

Skyfall (PG-13, 143 min.) Like "The Dark Knight Rises," this is not so much a stand-alone adventure as the concluding episode in a trilogy (following "Casino Royale" and "Quantum of Solace") that transforms an overexposed pulp hero into a battered and weary warrior against anarchy and terror, but one with mythic overtones (both Batman and Bond are required essentially to rise from the dead before they can save mankind). A certain pretentiousness accompanies this redesign, but if our 21st-century spies must be dark instead of Pop, let them be presented with as much conviction, professionalism and entertainment value as in this 23rd MGM 007 feature film, the best yet with Daniel Craig as a particularly vulnerable bruiser of a Bond for a cynical post-Cold War era. The first shot of the movie introduces Bond blurred and at a distance; as he moves toward us, he comes into focus. This visual précis informs us that prestige director Sam Mendes ("American Beauty") plans to reveal more about Bond — his origins and motivations — than we've ever known before, even if Agent 007 will remain an enigma and an operative of what his boss, M (Judi Dench), calls "the shadows." This time, M might stand for mother, as the spy chief's favorite son, Bond, battles a villainous rejected prodigal son (Javier Bardem) and deflects the barbs of a young new Q (Ben Whishaw) who brags — accurately — that his laptop can do more damage to bad guys than can Bond's arsenal. CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Forest Hill 8, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Studio on the Square.

Taken 2 (PG-13, 91 min.) Auspiciously named director Olivier Megaton ("Colombiana") delivers a real dud: a sequel to the 2008 action-thriller that is so absurd and moronic we'd assume it was a spoof if not for its insistent score.

DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 (PG-13, 116 min.) An increasingly risible parody of not just itself but the multitude of supernatural-romance series that have followed in its alternately preening and mopey wake, the "Twilight" so-called saga comes to its overdue end with another kitschy "indie" pop-scored story of hemoglobin-hungry eternally young people (the actors' faces appear to have been digitally scrubbed of blemishes) and their coarser if sometimes hunky were-neighbors. The novelty this time is that Bella (Kristin Stewart) is not just newlywed to her hooded-eyed bloodsucking beau (Robert Pattinson) but a vampire herself, with a fast-growing daughter (Mackenzie Foy), cursed with not just the redneck name of "Renesmee" but the panting omnipresence of werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who, in one of author Stephenie Meyer's weirder conceits, has "imprinted" on the girl to be his mate. (This may be the most awkward way to resolve a love triangle since Luke discovered Leia was his sister.) The movie almost redeems itself with a wintry and surprisingly violent headzapoppin' Cullens-vs.-Volturi action climax that finds Michael Sheen (as the evil vampire overlord Aro) mincing and sinister-laughing all the way to the bank, reputation if not dignity intact. CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Wreck-It Ralph (PG) This arcade version of "Toy Story" imagines that when the lights are out and the players gone home, the avatars inside video games come to life with their own stories and personalities; if the premise is gimmicky, the execution is brilliant, as the title lovable lug of a villain (voiced to perfection by John C. Reilly) attempts to transcend his programming and become a hero, with the help of bratty Vanellope von Schweetz (Sarah Silverman), the "glitch" trapped inside the girlie go-kart game, "Sugar Rush." Witty and genuinely heartwarming, this Disney production is looser and less insistent on your emotional acquiescence than its Pixar counterparts; plus, the video game premise is ideally suited to the digital animation process that brings it to life. Directed by Rich Moore, a veteran of "The Simpsons" and "Futurama."

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

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