Movie Capsules: Now showing

George Clooney (from left), Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller star in 'The Descendants.'

Fox Searchlight

George Clooney (from left), Shailene Woodley and Amara Miller star in "The Descendants."

Capsule descriptions by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.


Big Miracle (PG, 107 min.) See review.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

Chronicle (PG-13, 84 min.) Three teenage buddies gain superpowers in the latest "found footage" thriller.

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

The Woman in Black (PG-13, 97 min.) See review.

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


Born To Be Wild: The latest IMAX film is "an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals" that focuses on efforts to reintroduce rescued elephants and orangutans into the wild. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. Runs through Nov. 16.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call (901) 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Casablanca (Not rated, 90 min.) Oscars' Best Picture of 1942, a tale of love, Nazis and transit papers, with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, and Dooley Wilson on the piano.

7 p.m. Monday, Bologna Performing Arts Center, Delta State University, 1003 W. Sunflower Road, Cleveland, Miss. Admission: $5. Visit or call (662) 846-4626.

The Metropolitan Opera: Enchanted Island (Not rated, 195 min.) A repeat of a recent filmed version of a live performance of a new opera, in which the characters in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" are stranded on the island from "The Tempest." The musical sources include Handel and Vivaldi, and the all-star cast is topped by Plácido Domingo as Neptune.

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

MLK: The Assassination Tapes (Not rated, 60 min.) A preview screening of a new"immersive" documentary created for the Smithsonian Channel that uses mostly vintage Memphis news footage and radio reports to tell the story of the Memphis sanitation strike, the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and the aftermath of the slaying. Producer/director Tom Jennings will be present to discuss the film.

6 p.m. Wednesday, National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry. Admission: free. Call (901) 521-9699 or visit

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG, 91 min.) The 1974 cult classic, inspired by the legend of King Arthur (and later developed into the hit musical "Spamalot").

7 p.m. Thursday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $8, or $6 for museum members. Visit

Oxford Film Festival: More than 70 films -- including narrative and documentary features and shorts, many with Mississippi themes -- will screen during this event, which also includes concerts, parties, panels and more. The opening night feature at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the Lyric Oxford theater is "The Show Must Go On," in which a Southern community theater's murder-mystery production is interrupted by actual murder.

Thursday through Feb. 12, various venues, Oxford, Miss. Ticket prices vary; a film festival pass is $30. Visit

The Ultimate Wave Tahiti: Viewers will learn how waves influence and shape our planet while they ride alongside champion surfer Kelly Slater as he challenges Tahiti's toughest wave. Runs through March 2. Tickets $8.25, $7.50 senior citizens, $6.50 children ages 3-12 and children under 3 free.

IMAX Theater at Memphis Pink Palace Museum, 3050 Central. Call (901) 320-6362 for show times, tickets and reservations.


The Adventures of Tintin (PG, 107 min.) The action set pieces are spectacular, as Tintin (voiced/enacted by Jamie Bell), his fox terrier, Snowy, and new drunken ally, Captain Haddock (the performance-capture Man of a Thousand LED Faces, Andy Serkis), race against an evil adversary (Daniel Craig) to claim a sunken pirate treasure, but Tintin remains a dull if intrepid blank.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Albert Nobbs (R, 113 min.) Best Actress Oscar nominee Glenn Close -- who first played the role on stage in 1982, and worked to bring the story to the screen as the film's co-producer and co-writer -- is the title Edwardian-era butler, a strangely elfin and "kind little man" with a secret: "Albert" actually is a woman who has posed as a man since age 14, to earn a living and to avoid sexual violence and exploitation. Janet McTeer, nominated for the Supporting Actress Oscar, is the brawny and self-confident cross-dresser known as Hubert who inspires the timid Albert to make a clumsy grab at happiness. The film should appeal to those who enjoy "Downton Abbey" and other period pieces as much for their costumes and decor as for their drama; meanwhile, its tale of painful closeted lifestyles remains highly relevant, a century after the events first depicted in a 1918 short story by Irish writer George Moore. Co-scripted by acclaimed novelist John Banville and directed with calm assurance by Rodrigo Garcia, the movie, like its hero, dreams of a better world in which the impromptu epitaph delivered by a hotel doctor (Brendan Gleeson) might never need to be spoken: "Dear Jesus, I don't know what makes people live such miserable lives."

Studio on the Square.

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G, 90 min.) Another "squeakquel."

CinePlanet 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Palace Cinema, Stage Cinema.

The Artist (PG-13, 100 min.) Already famous and perhaps overhyped as the first wide-release black-and-white silent film of the modern era (its old-fashioned squarish screen ratio is an even more extreme retro formal choice), writer-director Michel Hazanavicius' salute to the romance of the movies is novel, funny and refreshing -- it's terrific entertainment. Dashing Jean Dujardin, a Gene Kelly/Douglas Fairbanks type, stars as George Valentin, a silent screen idol who feels threatened by the rise of the "talkies"; Bérénice Bejo is Peppy Miller, the chorus girl elevated to stardom by the coming of sound. The story is cribbed from "Singin' in the Rain" and "A Star Is Born," but the film's use of "silence" (in fact, Ludovic Bource's wonderful score is almost nonstop) is extremely clever; better still, the movie introduces the year's most undeniable star in Uggie, the Jack Russell terrier that is the hero's constant companion and eventual savior (as demonstrated in a thrilling sequence that harks back to the era of Rin Tin Tin). Nominated for 10 Oscars, "The Artist" is the likely winner of the Best Picture award; such acclaim perhaps explains why a mild backlash has developed against a fun movie that is perhaps most profitably viewed as an elaborate update of the type of old-movie spoofs that used to be featured on "The Carol Burnett Show."

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Ridgeway Four.

Beauty and the Beast (G, 91 min.) The 1991 Disney animated classic returns, converted into 3D.

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

Contraband (R, 110 min.) Mark Wahlberg and Kate Beckinsale in a race-against-the-clock crime thriller.

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

A Dangerous Method (R, 99 min.) Once lauded as the master of "gynecological horror," David Cronenberg applies his directorial speculum to the human cranium in this confident and fascinating film about the relationship between big brains Sigmund Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (a superb Michael Fassbender) and their shared patient, Sabina Spielrein (Keira Knightley), who followed her mentors to become a noted psychologist in her own right. The frightening and deforming intensity of Knightley's performance may strike some viewers as cartoonish, but the actress is unforgettable: She's like a whipped dog expecting a blow from an angry master, twisting her limbs in spastic contortions and jutting her toothy jaw forward so she resembles an electroshocked piranha. Scripted by Christopher Hampton from his play, the movie exmaines the birth of the "talking cure" that Freud would dub "psychoanalysis," but its inevitable wordiness doesn't thwart the director: Cronenberg has become a nonpareil filmmaker, and his movie offers a clinic in simple, direct, purposeful visual storytelling. At the same time, it pulses with ideas: The film presents both Jung and Freud as heroic explorers of "uncharted territory," but it also identifies them as heralds of a savage century in which unconscious urges find such destructive expression that even kids who've barely heard of Freud can identify bombs and missiles as phallic symbols.

Studio on the Square.

The Darkest Hour (PG-13, 89 min.) The kills are super-cool, as invisible energy "ghosts" from outer space flash-fry humans (and dogs) in dust-devil swirls of ash and spark; unfortunately, everything else is utterly perfunctory in this alien invasion mini-epic that presents trapped-in-Moscow twentysomethings Emile Hirsch, Max Minghella and Olivia Thirlby as the potential saviors of Earth. Poor Earth. Directed by Chris Gorak.

Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Majestic.

The Descendants (R, 115 min.) Nominated for five Oscars, including Best Picture, the first film in seven years from director Alexander Payne ("Sideways") casts George Clooney as Matt King, a haole (white person in Hawaii) lawyer with royal Hawaiian blood who is facing two terrible deadlines: As trustee, he must determine what to do with his family's "huge parcel of virgin land," worth millions; and as husband, he has to decide when to pull the plug on his comatose wife. Payne -- whose other films include "Election" and "About Schmidt" -- specializes in depictions of aging white males in crisis; he's a humanist director who favors people over style and confrontations and conversations over set pieces, but he relies too much on storytelling crutches (Matt's voiceover narration is annoying and redundant). Beautifully shot on location, the film becomes more enjoyable and somehow even looser as its plot tightens (Matt learns his wife was having an affair), and the focus expands to Matt's relationship with his two daughters, a troubled teenager (Oscar-worthy Shailene Woodley) and an eccentric youngster (Amara Miller).

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Ridgeway Four, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Devil Inside (R, 87 min.) The faux-documentary "Blair Witch"/"Paranormal Activity" format continues to pay off financially if not artistically: Acquired by Paramount for a measly $1 million, this shoestring production earned almost $35 million on its opening weekend in the U.S. The second fake "found footage" demon-possession thriller in less than three years (after 2010's "The Last Exorcism"), director William Brent Bell's film follows a young American (Fernanda Adrade) to Italy, where a pair of rogue priests (Simon Quarterman and Evan Helmuth) from her exorcism class (really) agree to help drive the devil from her insane mother (Suzan Crowley, who at least bears an appropriate surname). The few shocks don't make up for the implausibility of the story or the recklessness of the "heroes." To pad the running time, the end credits roll at a snail's pace; they do reveal the interesting fact that the possessed woman's "contortionist double" is one "Pixie Le Knot."

DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Palace Cinema.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (PG-13, 129 min.) From its wordy title to the impressive vocabulary and compulsive list-making of its possibly autistic young narrator hero, director Stephen Daldry's adaptation of the 2005 novel by Jonathon Safran Foer never liberates itself from the printed page. It's handsomely mounted and well-acted (Sandra Bullock and Tom Hanks are the boys' parents, and Max von Sydow is a mute and mysterious neighbor), but it doesn't justify its existence, except as a way of presenting this implausible story to that admittedly large audience that doesn't read books. Newcomer Thomas Horn stars as Oskar Schell, a traumatized but precocious boy who embarks on a "reconnaissance expedition" across Manhattan after discovering a mysterious key that may have been planted by his beloved father, who was killed in the terror attack of 9/11. Daldry ("The Hours") is a hammy and pretentious "quality" filmmaker, and his approach is sometimes as subtle as a plane crash: A news image of one of the World Trade Center towers collapsing on television is followed by a shot of Oskar crumbling to the floor.

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

Footloose (PG-13, 113 min.) Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough.

Bartlett 10.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R, 158 min.) Director David Fincher's adaptation of Stieg Larsson's phenomenally successful international best-seller is a movie of extreme length as well as unassailable technical polish and posh production values, but the gloss doesn't hide the gruesomeness: In its bid to be the first major-studio "mainstream" franchise worthy of its R rating, "Girl" is unflinching in its intermittent depiction of sexual exploitation and brutality. It's this injustice that motivates the series' indelible outsider avenger heroine, Lisbeth Salander, portrayed with a remarkable mix of confidence and vulnerability by Rooney Mara.

Studio on the Square.

The Grey (R, 117 min.) Rugged Liam Neeson leads a group of roughneck plane-crash survivors through the Alaskan wilderness while a complementary but more efficient pack of hungry wolves dogs their heels in this existentialist Man vs. Death/Man vs. Himself action drama. The final act is marred by too much unnecessary backstory and "characterization," not to mention a leap-from-a-cliff episode that shatters the integrity of the movie's relative realism; even so, this marks a solid comeback for director Joe Carnahan, who followed his excellent "Narc" (2002) with the idiocies of "Smokin' Aces" and "The A-Team." Stick around through the credits for a teasing final shot.

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

Happy Feet Two (PG, 103 min.) Memphis kid rapper Lil P-Nut supplies the voice of a scene-stealing fat-and-fluffy kid penguin named Atticus.

Bartlett 10, Majestic.

Haywire (R, 93 min.) Director Steven Soderbergh, who tends to alternate commercial projects with "art" films, conceived this starring vehicle for mixed martial arts champion and movie neophyte Gina Carano, who acquits herself well as a betrayed fugitive mercenary agent on the hunt for vengeance in a corrupt male-dominated world populated by such all-stars as Ewan McGregor, Antonio Banderas and Michael Douglas. Staged with realism and relatively few edits, out of respect for the viewer and for Carano's prowess, the fight and flight scenes that are the film's raison d'être are remarkable (Carano's smackdown of Michael Fassbender is an instant classic). Unfortunately, there aren't enough of them, and as with "Contagion," Soderbergh's detached arthouse cool does more to dampen the appeal of the genre material than to validate, elevate, critique or refresh it. Somebody show the auteur a Cynthia Rothrock movie, stat.

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

Hugo (PG, 127 min.) Nominated for 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Cordova Cinema (in 3-D), Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8 (in 3-D).

Immortals (R, 110 min.) Henry Cavill, Mickey Rourke.

Bartlett 10.

In Time (PG-13, 110 min.) Justin Timberlake.

Bartlett 10.

The Iron Lady (PG-13, 105 min.) This isn't a great movie, but Meryl Streep is great in it: As Margaret Thatcher, the United Kingdom's first and only woman prime minister to date, Streep is convincing and astonishing and eminently watchable -- she's no parody or waxwork, not even when she's done up in convincing old-age makeup to portray the doddering Thatcher as a lonely and somewhat tragic figure, isolated by fame and dementia, and carrying on conversations with her dead husband (Jim Broadbent). Directed by Phyllida Lloyd ("Mamma Mia!") and scripted by Abi Morgan ("Shame"), the movie, which jumps back and forth in time, lacks structure and a coherent political point of view; it touches on the tragic human cost of Thatcher's conservative cost-cutting and "warmonger" policies, but more insistently presents "the Iron Lady" as a heroic sort of right-wing feminist, rising to power within a condescending male-dominated government, inspired by the belief that a woman's life "must matter, beyond all the cooking and the cleaning and the children."

Cordova Cinema, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Ridgeway Four.

Jack and Jill (PG, 91 min.) Not since Max Baer donned ringlets and petticoats to portray Jethrine Bodine on "The Beverly Hillbillies" has a drag act been as ghastly as the one perpetrated by Adam Sandler in this alternately tasteless and schmaltzy comedy about a privileged Hollywood adman (Sandler) who ultimately learns to love his obnoxious, awkward sister (also Sandler, wearing a long black wig, so he resembles a Bronx Cher worthy of a Bronx cheer).

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

J. Edgar (R, 137 min.) Leonardo DiCaprio, Armie Hammer.

Bartlett 10.

Joyful Noise (PG-13, 118 min.) "Glee" meets God in director Todd Graff's lively gospel musical, set in a cheerful if economically depressed Georgia small town where Everywoman Queen Latifah and the surgically altered Dolly Parton (her new mouth is so distracting you won't even notice her chest) battle for control of the church choir. Produced by Fred Smith's Alcon Entertainment company in hopes of reaching the "faith" audience that made "The Blind Side" a hit, the film's Christian message is muffled somewhat by the faux gospel song selections, which include churchy renditions of Michael Jackson's "The Man in the Mirror" and Paul McCartney's "Maybe I'm Amazed," repurposed as a pro-Jesus song. Keke Palmer is Latifah's good-girl daughter; Broadway star Jeremy Jordan is the bad-boy prodigal son who shakes up the conservative gospel choir, demonstrating that "Sly Stone funk" is more likely to win a national gospel competition than traditional song fare (a sad if true moral). Even so, some of the musical numbers are knockouts, especially a show-stopping version of Billy Preston's "That's the Way God Planned It" belted out by the movie's great discovery, 14-year-old Lithonia, Ga., "children's choir" sensation Ivan Kelley Jr.

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

Man on a Ledge (PG-13, 103 min.) Is a seemingly suicidal "jumper" part of a diamond-heist scheme?

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

Mission: Impossible -- Ghost Protocol (PG-13, 133 min.) The first live-action film from director Brad Bird ("The Iron Giant," "Ratatouille") doesn't reach the giddy action heights of his incredible "The Incredibles," but it occasionally comes close, with a chase through a dust storm and an already famous sequence in which IMF agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise, increasingly cipher-like) attempts to scale the glassy exterior of the world's tallest manmade structure, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai.

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

My Week with Marilyn (R, 101 min.) Michelle Williams brings depth and compassion to her performance as Hollywood's tragic blond bombshell, and her sincerity invests the entire film with a sort of grandeur.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

New Year's Eve (PG-13, 119 min.) In the tradition of "Valentine's Day," an all-star romantic-comedy romp from director Garry Marshall.

Bartlett 10.

One for the Money (PG-13, 91 min.) Katherine Heigl, bounty hunter?

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

Puss in Boots (PG, 90 min.)

Bartlett 10.

Real Steel (PG-13, 127 min.) Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo.

Bartlett 10.

Red Tails (PG-13, 125 min.) The pioneering African-American fighter pilots of the Tuskegee Airmen deserve a more memorable and less cornball tribute than this George Lucas production, which seems inspired as much by old war movies as by the real-life heroism of the African-American flyers of World War II. As in a vintage wartime morale-builder from Warner Bros. or Republic Pictures, the Army Air Corps soldiers presented here are differentiated as much by their colorful nicknames as by their personalities: "Joker," "Smoky," "Coffee," and so on; the key relationship finds "Easy" (Nate Parker), the fighter group captain, butting heads with hotshot ace Lightning (David Oyelowo), described as "one craaaazy pilot!" As represented by Bryan Cranston as a white officer with a convenient Southern accent, bigotry here is more personal than institutional; the film's skin-deep exploration of racial issues makes it more a kids' movie than an adult war film. (With its message of tolerance, patriotism and courage, this might make a good movie outing for a father and young son.) The dogfights -- the movie's true raison d'être -- are occasionally thrilling but often unconvincing, thanks to the crystal-clear cartoonish sheen of the digital effects and the curiously flat direction of Anthony Hemingway.

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

Shame (NC-17, 101 min.) The genitals are exposed while the motivations are mysterious in director Steve McQueen's elegantly composed but overwrought film about a man who apparently wants to obliterate himself through sex -- to fornicate away the pain, so to speak. A fully committed Michael Fassbender (who previously collaborated with McQueen on "Hunger") stars as Brandon, a thirtysomething professional in New York whose fastidiousness is presented in ironic contrast to his "dirty" sexual addiction: He is a compulsive masturbater, an online porn obsessive, a patron of prostitutes, and a practiced stalker and seducer of women. Perhaps he is a Dorian Gray of the Internet age: His work computer is confiscated because "your hard drive is filthy," he's told. Carey Mulligan co-stars as Brandon's jazz-singer sister, and the siblings' unsettling relationship, with its disturbing if unacknowledged sexual intensity, is by far the most interesting part of the film; the sister's confession that she and Brandon "come from a bad place" seems to be the key line in the script by McQueen and Abi Morgan ("The Iron Lady"). McQueen favors looong takes (Mulligan's nightclub performance of "New York, New York" includes a two-minute closeup), but the formality adds to the film's borderline-risible humorlessness. It's hard to take Brandon seriously as a saint of sexual suffering; and, in this year of Perry and Santorum, it's regrettable that the filmmakers chose a homosexual tryst to be the ultimate symbol of Brandon's degradation.

Studio on the Square.

Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13, 129 min.) Robert Downey Jr., Jude Law.

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

The Sitter (R, 82 min.) Jonah Hill.

Bartlett 10.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (R, 127 min.) Swedish director Tomas Alfredson's adaptation of John le Carré's 1974 best-seller -- famously adapted in 1979 by the BBC with Alec Guinness in the lead -- is as deceptive, withholding and cerebral as its anti-James Bond hero, veteran British secret service agent George Smiley, played here by a gray and unreadable Gary Oldman. The complex story finds Smiley trying to sniff out the Soviet "mole" in the service's ranks; suspect spies are represented by such fine character actors as Colin Firth, Toby Jones and Ciarán Hinds.


Tower Heist (PG-13, 104 min.) Ben Stiller, Eddie Murphy.

Bartlett 10.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 (PG-13, 118 min.) Kristen Stewart.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Underworld: Awakening (R, 89 min.) After skipping the third film, 2009's "Underworld: Rise of the Lycans," Kate Beckinsale returns as S&M-garbed vampire action heroine Selene, who emerges here from forced hibernation into a future in which human beings have all but "cleansed" the world of bloodsuckers and shapeshifters. Possibly because this is their first English-language film, directors Mns Mrlind and Björn Stein all but ignore the hokey and increasingly busy mythology of past entries to serve up a nonstop bloodbath: The violence is surprisingly extreme, goofily absurd and gratifyingly coherent.

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

War Horse (PG-13, 146 min.) Inspired and forced, cornball and true, Steven Spielberg's sweeping saga of the unbreakable bond between unworthy man and noble animal may not be a masterpiece, but it's a welcome rarity: a quality "family" film with appeal for audience members of all ages, and a movie that suggests that people of decency and integrity are not an endangered species.

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Paradiso, Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

We Bought a Zoo (PG, 124 min.) Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Forest Hill 8, Stage Cinema.

© 2012 Go Memphis. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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