Movie Capsules: Now showing

Andrew Garfield takes over as Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the reboot.

Photo courtesy of Marvel Enterprises

Andrew Garfield takes over as Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the reboot.

Capsule descriptions by John Beifuss.


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.

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

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.

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema (in 3-D), Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Resident Evil: Retribution (R, 97 min.) Milla Jovovich's fifth go-round as a kicker of post-apocalyptic undead butt.

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

The Romance of Loneliness (Not rated, 70 min.) See review.

Studio on the Square.

Sleepwalk with Me (R, 90 min.) See review.

Ridgeway Four.

Turn Me On, Dammit! (Not rated, 76 min.) A Norwegian coming-of-age sex comedy about a 15-year-old girl (Helene Bergsholm).

Studio on the Square.


The Artist (PG-13, 100 min.) The annual Tournées French Film Festival this year moves from the University of Memphis to Rhodes College, and opens with a crowd-pleaser: The 2011 black-and-white "silent" film that won Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director.

Reception at 6:30 p.m., screening at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Blount Auditorium, Buckman Hall, Rhodes College. Admission: free. Call 901-843-3587.

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 901-636-2362 for show times, tickets and reservations.

Damsels in Distress (PG-13, 99 min.) Writer-director Whit Stillman returns to filmmaking after 13 years with this witty, eccentric and ingenious comedy about four articulate college women (led by Greta Gerwig) and their dim boyfriends.

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

Ferris Bueller's Day Off (PG-13, 103 min.) High-school wise guy Matthew Broderick battles steam-from-ears principal Jeffrey Jones in this 1986 class-cutting John Hughes cult classic.

3 p.m. Friday, Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library, 3030 Poplar. Admission: free. Call 901-415-2726.

Glen Beck's Unelectable 2012 Live (Not rated, 120 min.) The talk-radio personality presents an election-season comedy special, presented live via satellite from the Majestic Theater in San Antonio.

7 p.m. Thursday, Paradiso. Tickets: $15. Visit

Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest '86 (Not rated, 120 min.) The late Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May and the other members of the classic British band, in concert on July 27, 1986, in Hungary.

7:30 p.m. Thursday, Cordova Cinema. Tickets: $12.50. Visit

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 100 min.) The 1975 cult classic sci-fi musical screens twice.

8:15 p.m. Friday, the Orpheum (tickets: $7, or $5 for children 12 and under); and 11:30 p.m. Friday, Evergreen Theatre, 1711 Poplar (tickets: $10). Visit and

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 home. 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 Memeru) (Not rated, 96 min.) The 2012 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 a highway "coffin."

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

Tornado Alley: Narrated by Bill Paxton, this IMAX film follows storm-chasing scientists who travel in rugged high-tech vehicles as they hunt 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.


The Amazing Spider-Man (PG-13, 136 min.) HH Andrew Garfield is high-school science nerd turned web-slinging superhero Peter Parker in this too-soon Marvel Comics reboot that contains little of the comic-book snap and Pop Art pop that made director Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" (2002) and "Spider-Man 2" (2004) such, um, marvels.

Bartlett 10, Palace Cinema (in 3-D).

The Apparition (PG-13, 104 min.) H The desert subdivision setting is the only interesting aspect of this wan riff on "Poltergeist" and "Paranormal Activity," minus the former's Spielbergian spectacle and the latter's "found footage" conceit. "Twilight Saga" regular Ashley Greene and "Gossip Girl" graduate Sebastian Stan are a young couple haunted by a malevolent entity freed from limbo by parapsychology student Tom "Draco Malfoy" Felton; plants wither and furniture is rearranged, as if the demon were an inconsiderate housesitter. In a sign of true marketing desperation, the film's climactic scary image is revealed not just in the trailer but on the poster. .

DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

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

Bartlett 10.

Beasts of the Southern Wild (PG-13, 93 min.) HHHH Lifted by a flood tide of festival awards and critical hosannas, this unexpected and unforgettable post-Katrina eco-fable — shot on location, with untrained actors, by filmmakers living "off the grid" — is unlike almost any movie you've seen.

Forest Hill 8.

The Bourne Legacy (PG-13, 125 min.) HH This is the "Curse of the Pink Panther" of Jason Bourne films: An attempt to expand a franchise even after the departure of its star, in this case Matt Damon, who portrayed the title superspy in three previous action-conspiracy movies inspired by the novels of Robert Ludlum. The story's events run parallel to and sometimes intersect those of the previous film, "The Bourne Ultimatum" (2007), so we occasionally hear references to Jason Bourne even as director/co-writer Tony Gilroy tries to interest us in new protagonist Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), another genetically enhanced covert agent on the run from his handlers/manufacturers.

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

Branded (R, 106 min.) Advertising is used to control the world in a dystopian science-fiction adventure.

Hollywood 20 Cinema, Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

The Campaign (R, 85 min.) HHH Backed by the sinister billionaire Motch Brothers (John Lithgow and Dan Aykroyd), A naive weirdo Republican (Zach Galifianakis, never better) challenges an entrenched but vulnerable North Carolina horndog Democrat (Will Ferrell) for his longtime seat in Congress in this initially biting but ultimately toothless election-year comedy. The movie begins as a cartoonish yet explicit portrait of political greed and hypocrisy; even the invocation of the name of Jesus on the campaign trail is presented as a sign of candidate rascality and electorate gullibility. Unfortunately, the filmmakers decide they need a "likable" hero, so they embrace the pandering appeals to home and family they spoof in the campaign scenes

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

The Cold Light of Day (PG-13, 93 min.) The family of a Wall Street trader (Henry Cavill) is kidnapped.

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

Cosmopolis (R, 109 min.) HHHH Shrewdly cast "Twilight" vampire Robert Pattinson is a less romantic type of bloodsucker for a less compassionate world in the latest chilly masterpiece of cold dread and collapsing reason from David Cronenberg, the cerebral yet intuitive filmmaker who after almost 40 years in the director's chair continues to craft movies of awe-inspiring compositional elegance, purposeful design and psychological resonance. A black comedy as dry and deadpan as a bleached skull (to this end, the movie opens with a sort of death's-head grin: an in-your-face close-up of the grille of a stretch limousine), the movie introduces Pattinson as a smug, "berserkly rich" 28-year-old asset manager on a seemingly simple cross-town mission that degenerates into an absurdist, glacial crawl of self-gratification and self-destruction. Almost the entire film takes place inside the seemingly vast, eroticized interior of the billionaire's limo, a soundproofed spaceship of a vehicle that serves as home base for a rotating case of business associates and lovers, who contemplate "the interaction between technology and capitalism"; meanwhile, outside, the 99 percent is in revolt. Adapted by Cronenberg from a 2003 novel by Don DeLillo.

Ridgeway Four.

The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13, 165 min.) HHH½ Staking its claim as "The Godfather" of superhero cinema, Christopher Nolan's Bat-trilogy concludes with a confused but powerful nightmare vision of stock-exchange armed invasion, villain-imposed martial law and literal underground revolt — Occupy Gotham City, led by a muscle-bound madman, Bane (Tom Hardy), whose mouth-hugging, pain-abating mask covers the part of the face that Batman (Christian Bale) exposes. (Perhaps Batman should borrow the line spoken to him by the Joker in "The Dark Knight" in 2008: "You complete me.") Inspired by Fritz Lang's "Metropolis" (also a tale of a resentful underclass incited to violence by a sort of monster) and Dickens' "A Tale of Two Cities" (Cillian Murphy's Scarecrow leads a French Revolution-style kangaroo court), the movie — operatic, imposing, built to awe rather than seduce — barrels over its plot holes with the massive tread of one of Lucius Fox's Bat-vehicles; thank goodness for the light-footed and light-fingered Catwoman (Anne Hathaway), who steals scenes as well as pearls.

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

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG, 94 min.) The third "Wimpy" comedy, inspired by the popular books by Jeff Kinney.

Collierville Towne 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema.

The Expendables 2 (R, 103 min.) HH½ If every member of "The Avengers" had the personality, vocabulary and grace of the Hulk, the result might be like "The Expendables," Sylvesters Stallone's blood-soaked, meat-headed franchise homage to the pulpy men's adventure series novels of the 1970s ("The Destroyer," "The Executioner") and to the action movies of the 1980s that made many of his co-stars famous. The over-the-top violence in this sequel is more coherent than in the first film, thanks to director Simon West ("Con Air"), who takes the reins from co-writer Stallone; yet the movie is presented for the most part as a tongue-in-cheek, knife-in-gut comedy, with only Stallone — the leader of this mercenary group, in more ways than one — playing it straight.

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

Hit and Run (R, 100 min.) A chase film with Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard.

Palace Cinema, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

Hope Springs (PG-13, 100 min.) HH½ An ultimately timid portrait of matrimonial hell inhabited by two of moviedom's more slyly charming devils, Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones, this is like a Hollywoodized version of an Ingmar Bergman film — "Scenes from a Marriage" with a case of the cutes, and a truly dreadful soundtrack that holds the audience's hand to lead it to the "correct" emotional response. (One intense scene is disrupted by Rachel Yamagata.) Streep and Jones are Kay and Arnold Soames, who have been sleeping in separate bedrooms for most of their 31 years together; "I want a marriage again," pleads Kay, who convinces her grouchy Golf Channel-watching spouse to accompany her to the quaint Maine town of Great Hope Springs (oh brother), to learn to "cultivate intimacy" at the "Center for Creative Couples Counseling."

CinePlanet 16, Collierville Towne 16, Cordova Cinema, Forest Hill 8, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

The Hunger Games (PG-13, 142 min.) HHH Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson. .

Bartlett 10.

Ice Age: Continental Drift (PG, 94 min.) More computer-animated prehysteria.

Stage Cinema.

Lawless (R, 115 min.) HH½ This rural Prohibition gangster film from director John Hillcoat and screenwriter Nick Cave is a disappointment, considering the quality of their previous collaboration, the merciless 2005 Aussie Western "The Proposition," but it benefits from its tangly kudzu-draped backwoods setting (Georgia fills in for Virginia) and a certain bloodthirsty glee. Based on a fact-based family-history novel by Matt Bondurant, the film presents Shia LaBeouf as Jack Bondurant, a young would-be white-lightning bootlegger intended as an audience surrogate; we're more captivated, however, by "invincible" older brother Forrest (Tom Hardy), who even before he survives an ear-to-ear throat-slashing grunts his dialogue like "Toby Keith choking on a Cheeto" (the New York Times). The film seems to have been cut on a tight deadline: As a "nance"-like big-city sadist of a special deputy with black gloves, Brylcreemed hair and no eyebrows, Guy Pearce devours every scene; but gangster Gary Oldman all but disappears after his Tommy gun-blazing entrance, and Jessica Chastain has little to do as an unlikely refugee stripper turned Bondurant waitress-mascot.

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

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (PG, 93 min.) The computer-animated zoo crew joins a traveling circus.

Bartlett 10.

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

Bartlett 10, CinePlanet 16.

Magic Mike (R, 110 min.) HHHH Channing Tatum, Matthew McConaughey.

Bartlett 10.

Men in Black 3 (PG-13, 106 min.) HH½ Will Smith, Tommy Lee Jones.

Bartlett 10.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG, 104 min.) HH½ 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.

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

ParaNorman (PG, 92 min.) HHH 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, with a delightfully askew and Caligariesque production and character design.

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

The Possession (PG-13, 92 min.) HHH Christian paranoiacs, I know you've got your plates full worrying that the one-world secularists are trying to take Christ out of Christmas, but have you seen any exorcism movies lately? Once the exclusive genre territory of priests armed with crucifixes, "The Possession" is the third movie in as many years to feature a malevolent spirit from Jewish folklore, a dybbuk. (Addmittedly, one of those films was a horror movie of a different kind, the Coen Brothers'"A Serious Man.") Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article about a supposedly haunted antique "dybbuk box," director Ole Bornedal's atmospheric, relatively lowkey 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. Is it the stress of her parents' separation and impending divorce that is causing the little girl to stab daddy with a fork and spit moths from her mouth, or could it be... Satan?

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

Premium Rush (PG-13, 91 min.) HHH Not since Kevin Bacon pedaled a Raleigh Champion to the pulse-pounding music of Giorgio Moroder in "Quicksilver" (1986) has the daredevil heroism of the unsung big-city bicycle messenger been celebrated with the breathless enthusiasm of this amusing chase movie, which is perhaps less fast and less furious than its internal-combustion competition, but also less injurious to the environment (if not to pedestrians). Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Wilee ("like the coyote"), who lives by a code as minimalistic as his buzz cut and his "fixed gear, steel frame, no-brakes" bicycle: "Can't stop. Don't want to, either." If only writer-director David Koepp's two-wheeled action epic were equally stripped-down: The film has too many subplots and too many diversions, even if the focus always returns to Wilee's Road Runner-like attempt to elude the movie's true coyote, a scenery-chewing corrupt cop played by Michael Shannon who pursues his quarry through skyscraper canyons as conducive to slapstick danger as the Monument Valley of Chuck Jones' classic cartoons. Beyond Looney Tunes, the key influence is Howard Hawks' "Only Angels Have Wings" (1939), which provides a model for the film's bike messenger ensemble, a band of reckless friendly rivals who define themselves by their ability to excel at their job.

Cordova Cinema, Majestic.

The Queen of Versailles (PG, 100 min.) HHH½ The "very rich," F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, "are different from you and me." Nine decades later, this irresistible comic shocker of a documentary — one of the most entertaining and perhaps distressing movies of the year — demonstrates that Fitzgerald's observation no longer may be adequate. As pneumatically embodied in the absurd, astonishing person of Jackie Siegel, the fortysomething ex-beauty queen wife of seventysomething self-made billionaire David Siegel, "the time-share king," the very rich are both alien and familiar, exalted and lost. A comedy that aspires to tragedy and a metaphor for a nation collapsing beneath the incompatible, intolerable pressures of excess and inequity, the movie begins as a wry, almost reality-TV-style study of the Siegels' decision to build the largest private home in the U.S., a 90,000-plus square foot monstrosity in Orlando, with a backyard view of the fireworks at Disney World; however, the less celebratory market-meltdown pyrotechnics of 2008 change the tenor of the film and the humor of the Siegels, who downgrade from billionaires to millionaires (I know, boo-hoo, right?), and have to watch their step, literally: Director Lauren Greenfield's cameras find dog waste on the luxury tile, unattended after the departure of most of the staff. Collecting McDonald'' drive-thru meals in a stretch limousine and showing off her $17,000 Gucci crocodile boots, Jackie remains irrepressible, even in crisis — a true movie star, unmarred by the stress fractures cracking her unfinished dream house and her increasingly grouchy husband.

Studio on the Square.

Robot & Frank (PG-13, 90 min.) HHH A curmudgeonly career criminal bonds with an amusingly deadpan robot sidekick in this enjoyable vehicle for venerable Frank Langella.

Ridgeway Four.

Ruby Sparks (R, 104 min.) HHHs "Ruby Sparks" named for the fiery static generated by Dorothy's slippers when the talons of the Wicked Witch come near? As in 1939's "The Wizard of Oz," dreams and reality overlap here, and magic can hurt. Paul Dano stars as Calvin Weir-Fields, a boy-wonder "genius" novelist with a years-long case of writer's block whose improbably pretentious name offers a clue to the Calvinist themes ahead: predestination vs. free will, and coercion vs. independence.

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Savages (R, 131 min.) HH Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively.

Bartlett 10.

Snow White and the Huntsman (PG-13, 127 min.) HHH Kristen Stewart, Charlize Theron.

Bartlett 10.

Sparkle (PG-13, 116) Whitney Houston makes her final screen appearance in this Motown-inspired musical.

Cordova Cinema, DeSoto Cinema 16, Hollywood 20 Cinema, Majestic, Palace Cinema, Paradiso, Stage Cinema.

Step Up: Revolution (PG-13, 99 min.) The third in the popular dance series is the second in 3D.

Hollywood 20 Cinema.

Ted (R, 106 min.) HH½ "Family Guy" creator Seth MacFarlane wrote and directed this live-action fantasy about a Boston underachiever named John (Mark Wahlberg) whose lifelong companion is his foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, hooker-hiring teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane), a sort of less-lethal Chucky, magically brought to life by a childhood wish (and some impressive digital animation).

Wolfchase Galleria Cinema 8.

Total Recall (PG-13, 118 min.) HH Colin Farrell, Jessica Biel.

Summer Quartet Drive-In.

2016: Obama's America (PG, 90 min.) Dinesh D'Souza, author of "The Roots of Obama's Rage," directed this alarmist documentary that depicts President Obama as an "anti-colonial" threat to America's security and status.

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

The Watch (R, 98 min.) HH Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn.

Bartlett 10, Summer Quartet Drive-In.

The Words (PG-13, 96 min.) Love and plagiarism, with Bradley Cooper and Olivia Wilde.

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

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