Movie Capsules: Now showing

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a scene from the action thriller 'Looper.'

AP Photo/Sony Pictures Entertainment

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in a scene from the action thriller "Looper."

Capsule descriptions and starred mini-reviews by John Beifuss.

OPENING Friday

Argo (R, 120 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.

Atlas Shrugged: Part II (PG-13, 112 min.) Paul Ryan, the wait is over: Here's the conclusion of producer and fitness-equipment magnate John Aglialoro's Ayn Rand adaptation.

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

Here Comes the Boom (PG, 105 min.) See review on Page 16.

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

Searching for Sugar Man (PG-13, 86 min.) See review on Page 15.

Studio on the Square.

Seven Psychopaths (R, 109 min.) Christopher Walken and Tom Waits are two of them. Directed by Martin ("In Bruges") McDonagh.

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

Sinister (R, 98 min.) See review on gomemphis.com.

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

SPECIAL MOVIES

Born To Be Wild: The latest IMAX film is "an inspiring story of love, dedication and the remarkable bond between humans and animals." Runs through Nov. 16.

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

Daylight Fades (Not rated, 90 min.) Director Brad Ellis' 2010 made-in-Memphis vampire chiller gets a final big-screen showing to coincide with its Blu-ray/DVD debut.

8 p.m. Thursday, Studio on the Square. Admission: $10, or free with $20 disc purchase. Visit daylightfades.com.

The Goonies (PG, 114 min.) Pirate treasure, "the truffle shuffle," a broken penis and John Matuszak as "Sloth" are among the elements of this Steven Spielberg-produced 1985 "Our Gang" update, now embraced as a cult classic.

7:15 p.m. Friday, the Orpheum, 203 S. Main. Admission: $7, or $5 for children 12 and under. Visit orpheum-memphis.com.

Led Zeppelin: Celebration Day (PG, 124 min.) A new concert film of the band's 2007 reunion performance in London (with Jason Bonham replacing his father, the late John Bonham, on drums).

7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $15. Visit malco.com.

Metropolis (Not rated, 153 min.) In person, the famous Alloy Orchestra — a Cambridge, Mass.-based three-man ensemble that includes woodwinds, percussion, synthesizers and more — performs an original score to accompany this rare screening of the restored version of Fritz Lang's 1927 silent science-fiction masterpiece.

8 p.m. Wednesday, Paradiso. Tickets: $15, or $12 for Indie Memphis members. Visit indiememphis.com.

The Metropolitan Opera: L'Elisir d'Amore (Not rated, 185 min.) A new season presented live via satellite from New York begins with this performance of Donizetti's comic masterpiece.

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

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Not rated, 100 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.

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.

Toll Booth (Gise Memuru) (Not rated, 96 min.) The "Global Lens" series concludes with this Turkish drama about a seemingly unemotional toll booth worker (Serkan Ercan) — nicknamed "Robot" — who begins cracking up after years of working inside his highway "coffin." Rescheduled from a canceled Sept. 15 screening.

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

Tornado Alley: Narrated by Bill Paxton, this IMAX film follows storm-chasing scientists as they track raging tornadoes. Through Nov. 16. Tickets: $8.25 ($7.50 for senior citizens), $6.50 for children ages 3-12; combo/group tickets available.

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

Vertigo (PG, 128 min.) Jimmy Stewart is an acrophobic detective and Kim Novak is a mysterious beauty in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 masterpiece of suspense and sexual obsession. The film will be introduced by Craig Brewer.

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

NOW SHOWING

The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13, 136 min.) Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone.

Bartlett 10.

Arbitrage (R, 100 min.) Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and indie beauty Brit Marling star in a drama about a desperate hedge-fund manager.

Ridgeway Four.

The Avengers (PG-13, 143 min.) Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans.

Bartlett 10.

Barfi! (Not rated, 152 min.) A Bollywood response to "The Artist"? Ranbir Kapoor is a Chaplinesque romantic deaf-mute who endears himself to an autistic rich girl (Priyanka Chopra) in this reportedly lively and colorful Indian production.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

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

Bartlett 10.

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

Bartlett 10, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

End of Watch (R, 109 min.) A sort of pulp-cinema Joseph Wambaugh, writer-director David Ayer ("Training Day," "Harsh Times," "Street Kings") returns with another vivid and gritty inner-city slice-of-life police drama; the gimmick this time is that much of the often-violent action and profane dialogue is presented as documentary footage shot by a South Central patrol officer (Jake Gyllenhaal) for a film class; Michael Peña is the auteur cop's best friend and squad car partner. The lo-fi visuals energize what otherwise would be a traditionally romantic saga of police sacrifice, heroism and tragedy, complete with subplots involving a new girlfriend (Anna Kendrick), drugs wars and murder contracts.

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

The Expendables 2 (R, 103 min.) Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Finding Nemo (G, 100 min.) The fishy Pixar classic returns in 3D.

CinePlanet 16 (in 3-D), Collierville Towne 16 (in 3-D), Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Paradiso (in 3-D).

Frankenweenie (PG, 88 min.) Director Tim Burton expands his comic, career-defining 1984 short horror-movie homage into a Disney feature film that retains the original's black-and-white palette but replaces its flesh-and-blood actors with the puppety figures of the painstaking stop-motion animation process. In theory, this technique — which, in essence, invests inanimate objects with apparent life — is ideal for a story about an earnest young boy and budding scientist (voiced by Charlie Tahan) who resurrects his beloved dead dog, Sparky; however, the "unreal" nature of stop-motion encourages Burton to indulge his more bizarre whims, so that almost everybody in the story's suburb of "New Holland" is some sort of flat-headed Frankenstein or hunchbacked Igor.

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, Paradiso, Stage Cinema (in 3-D).

Hotel Transylvania(PG, 91 min.) Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) opens a "human-free" castle hostelry in a computer-animated tribute to old-school ghouls that more or less pretends the past 50 years of horror movies never happened, even though it's aimed at kids who may be more familiar with Freddy, Jason and Chucky than Boris, Bela and Vincent. .

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, Paradiso (in 3-D), Stage Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

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 Thierot, whose parents were murdered in the scary house next door.

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

Last Ounce of Courage (PG, 101 min.) A war hero returns home to battle those who would deny America is a "Christian" nation in this drama aimed at conservative moviegoers.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Lawless (R, 115 min.) Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy.

Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Looper (R, 119 min.) Making the leap from indieland ("Brick") to commercial Hollywood, writer-director Rian Johnson delivers a stunner from start to finish — a smart, exciting time-travel action film that respects its audience, its genre and even its characters. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as a "Looper," an assassin in the future who kills targets delivered to him via illegal time machine from an even further future; when his latest victim proves to be his older self (Bruce Willis), a cat-and-mouse chase ensues.

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, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (PG, 93 min.) The computer-animated zoo crew — Alex the lion (voiced by Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) — joins a struggling traveling circus to elude a monomaniacal animal control officer (Frances McDormand) in this typically frenetic but wearying sequel, which lacks the Looney Tunes efficiency of its predecessors. Noah Baumbach, bard of educated unhappy white people ("The Squid and the Whale"), is the surprising co-screenwriter, along with co-director Eric Darnell; the other crediteed directors are Tom McGrath and Conrad Vernon.

Bartlett 10.

Madea's Witness Protection (PG-13, 114 min.) Tyler Perry, Eugene Levy.

Bartlett 10.

The Master (R, 138 min.) Does Paul Thomas Anderson intend the title of his new movie as a tribute to himself? The confident writer-director's first feature since the similarly methodical, mysterious and haunted "There Will Be Blood" (a 2007 film that generally is regarded as a modern masterpiece), "The Master" more or less divides the earlier film's increasingly wealthy, deranged and alcoholic Daniel Day-Lewis character into two entities: the charismatic, intellectual Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), founder of a Scientology-like cult philosophy called "The Cause," and the primitive, emotional, atavistic Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix).

Ridgeway Four, Studio on the Square.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG, 104 min.) CJ Adams is the title elfin urchin, a 10-year-old boy who mysteriously — magically — appears one stormy night in the spacious farm home of the Greens (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton), a sadly childless working-class couple who went to bed after burying a box filled with notes delineating the wonderful attributes they'd love their dream offspring to possess.

Palace Cinema, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

ParaNorman (PG, 92 min.) This second stop-motion 3D feature film from Laika, an Oregon-based animation studio, might be described as the little brother of its wonderful predecessor from 2009, "Coraline." Like most little brothers, it's ruder, rowdier, somewhat dumber and a good deal more gross and obvious than its sister; it's also funny, likable and smarter than the average movie.

Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Summer Quartet Drive-In, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

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, even if its post-Salinger stations of the cross — first kiss, first drug experience, first gay friend (Ezra Miller), first cool English teacher (Paul Rudd), first exposure to The Smiths and "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" — are almost entirely familiar. Directed by Stephen Chbosky, from his own 1999 novel.

Ridgeway Four.

Pitch Perfect (PG-13, 112 min.) Can freshman Anna Kendrick and her female singing group beat the men's team in the campus vocal competition?

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

The Possession (PG-13, 92 min.) Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article about a supposedly haunted antique "dybbuk box," director Ole Bornedal's atmospheric, relatively low-key thriller benefits from a sympathetic lead performance by Jeffrey Dean Morgan as a basketball coach unsure how to respond when the youngest (Natasha Calis) of his two daughters becomes obsessed with an old box she bought at a yard sale.

CinePlanet 16, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Premium Rush (PG-13, 91 min.) Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Shannon.

Bartlett 10.

Resident Evil: Retribution (R, 97 min.) "Regurgitation" might be a more appropriate subtitle for this redundant fifth go-round in director Paul W.S. Anderson's video game-inspired franchise, set in a post-apocalyptic future of corporate conspiracy and zombie plague. Deries regular Milla Jovovich kicks undead butt through a series of subterranean "simulation" environments (Tokyo, Moscow, etc.), accompanied by a deaf little girl (Aryana Engineer) who functions as Newt to her Ripley.

DeSoto Cinema 16 (in 3-D), Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Palace Cinema (in 3-D), Stage Cinema (in 3-D), Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Sparkle (PG-13, 116) Motown-inspired musical.

Bartlett 10.

Step Up: Revolution (PG-13, 99 min.) The third in the popular dance series.

Bartlett 10.

Taken 2 (PG-13, 91 min.) Those Albanians still haven't learned not to mess with Liam Neeson.

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, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Ted (R, 106 min.) Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis .

Bartlett 10.

Trouble with the Curve (PG-13, 111 min.) In the first scene, Clint Eastwood talks to a table, a can of Spam and his penis. Who could have predicted we'd miss that chair? Cantankerous old Clint is cast as a cantankerous old baseball scout with failing eyesight and a failed relationship with his grown daughter (Amy Adams) in this anti-"Moneyball" for the Honus Wagner fan base: The film equates computerized statistical analysis with evil, or at least smarminess (in the smirky person of Matthew Lillard, as Eastwood's Atlanta Braves clubhouse rival).

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

Unconditional (PG-13, 97 min.) A made-in-Nashville Christian film, produced by Memphian Jason Atkins, with Michael Ealy and Lynn Collins.

Cordova Cinema.

Won't Back Down (PG, 121 min.) Determined mother Maggie Gyllenhaal tries to transform a failing inner-city school.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

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