Movie Capsules: Now showing

David Oyelowo portrays Joe 'Lightning' Little in a scene from the film 'Red Tails.'

20th Century Fox

David Oyelowo portrays Joe "Lightning" Little in a scene from the film "Red Tails."

Capsule descriptions by The Commercial Appeal movie writer John Beifuss.

OPENING FRIDAY

Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG, 94 min.) See review 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, Majestic (in 3-D), Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Safe House (R, 115 min.) See review on Page 12.

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

Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace (PG, 133 min.) Jar Jar Binks: even more hilarious in three dimensions.

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).

The Vow (PG-13, 104 min.) Husband Channing Tatum must work to win the love of wife Rachel McAdams when she emerges from a coma with no memory of her marriage.

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

Sneak Preview Tuesday

This Means War (PG-13, 98 min.) Spies Chris Pine and Tom Hardy use CIA tactics to battle each other for the heart of Reese Witherspoon.

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

SPECIAL MOVIES

Black Indians: An American Story (Not rated, 60 min.) James Earl Jones -- himself a "black Indian" -- narrates this documentary that examines issues of racial identity among those with both Native American and African-American ancestry.

1 p.m. Tuesday, University Center, University of Memphis. Admission: free. Visit the "Media Room" link at memphis.edu.

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.

I Am Bruce Lee (Not rated, 94 min.) This documentary examines the life, legacy and continuing legend of Bruce Lee, the martial arts master and movie action hero who died in 1973.

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $10. Visit malco.com.

Lausanne International Film Festival: The program begins at 9:30 a.m. with the kid-friendly pairing of "Lil'A," a short from Brazil, and Germany's "Emil and the Detectives." The 3 p.m. movie is "Vitus," a Swiss film about a young piano prodigy who resists his parents' plans for his future. At 6 p.m., the film is "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India," in which an oppressed village in Victorian India stakes its future on a cricket match with its British rulers. Food will be available.

Saturday, Lausanne Collegiate School, 1381 W. Massey Rd. Tickets: $5 per film, or $10 for the festival. Click on the "Calendar" link at lausanneschool.com.

Metropolitan Opera: Götterdämmerung (Not rated, 385 min.) A new production of Wagner's Norse-inspired masterpiece is presented live via satellite from New York.

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

Opera in Cinema: Il Trittico (Not rated, 225 min.) A collection of three of Puccini's one-act operas, filmed live onstage at London's Royal Opera House.

1 p.m. Sunday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $15, or $12 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts: A program showcasing the five cartoons nominated this year for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film, including William Joyce's "The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore," which, like "The Artist," is essentially a silent film (with music).

1 p.m. Sunday, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art. Tickets: $15, or $12 for museum members. Visit brooksmuseum.org.

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.

Continues today, Saturday and Sunday, various venues, Oxford, Miss. Ticket prices vary; a film festival pass is $30. Visit oxfordfilmfest.com.

Re:Generation (Not rated, 100 min.) Five deejays and electronic-music acts -- Skrillex, DJ Premier, Pretty Lights, Mark Ronson and The Crystal Method -- work with five types of music -- classical, jazz, country, R&B and rock -- to create new tracks in this documentary/performance film, featuring appearances from Nas, Erykah Badu, Ralph Stanley and members of The Doors, among others.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Paradiso. Tickets: $10. Visit malco.com.

Two Who Dared: The Story of Martha and Waitstill Sharp (Not rated, 90 min.) A documentary about a Boston Unitarian minister and his wife who rescued some 2,000 people from the Nazis during missions to occupied Europe. Artemis Joukowsky, the great-grandson of the Sharps, will speak after the screening. The event is sponsored by Neshoba Unitarian Universalist Church, the First Unitarian Church (Church of the River) and Facing History and Ourselves.

7 p.m. Tuesday, Spain Auditorium, Christian Brothers University, 650 E. Parkway South. Admission: free. 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.

NOW SHOWING

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. 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, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic.

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.

Ridgeway Four.

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

Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D).

Big Miracle (PG, 107 min.) Drew Barrymore saves a family of whales in this fact-based drama.

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.

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, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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).

Studio on the Square.

The Darkest Hour (PG-13, 89 min.)

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.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Ridgeway Four, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Devil Inside (R, 87 min.)

DeSoto Cinema 16, Majestic.

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.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Forest Hill 8, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (R, 158 min.) Rooney Mara, Daniel Craig. .

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.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso.

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.

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.

Ridgeway Four.

Jack and Jill (PG, 91 min.) Adam Sandler.

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.

CinePlanet 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, 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?

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

Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Majestic, Paradiso.

The Muppets (PG, 109 min.) Kermit, Miss Piggy.

Bartlett 10.

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, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

Puss in Boots (PG, 90 min.)

Bartlett 10.

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

Bartlett 10.

Red Tails (PG-13, 125 min.) The pioneering fighter pilots known as 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.

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

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

Collierville Towne 16.

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

Bartlett 10.

Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (R, 127 min.) Gary Oldman.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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.

Underworld: Awakening (R, 89 min.) After skipping the third film, Kate Beckinsale returns.

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

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.

Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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

Collierville Towne 16.

The Woman in Black (PG-13, 97 min.) The fourth release from the revived Hammer Films is the first to return to the Gothic subject matter and Victorian decor that made the company famous in the 1950s and '60s, when it cranked out horror movies with Christopher Lee and Peter Cushing by the blood-filled bucketload. In his first post-"Potter" starring role, Daniel Radcliffe is an intense young lawyer and widower who -- like Jonathan Harker in the many retellings of "Dracula" -- journeys to a scary old home near an unwelcoming village that is cowering in the shadow of the supernatural; Eel Marsh House, the lawyer soon learns, is haunted by a vengeful ghost thirsty for the blood of children. Working from a 1983 novel by Susan Hill, director James Watkins conjures a spooky atmosphere (a long overnight sequence in the house is like "The Evil Dead," done straight), but relies too much on loud noises and other "Boo!" effects; the suspense is lessened by the lack of mystery and plot twists. With Ciarán Hinds and Janet McTeer.

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.

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