Also in Theaters
100 Voices: A Journey Home It’s hard to imagine a more profound expression of the healing power of music than Matthew Asner and Danny Gold’s deeply affecting work. The 72 cantors gathered from around the world perform at the Warsaw Opera House were on a mission to help the revival of Jewish culture in their ancestral land, in which Jews were all but eradicated in the Holocaust. “100 Voices” would be glorious simply as a concert film but is immeasurably more. (Kevin Thomas, Sept. 22) (2 hrs) NR.
Ahead of Time The journey of 99year-old American writer and journalist Ruth Gruber. Directed by Bob Richman. (1:13) NR.
Alpha and Omega Two mismatched young wolves must work together to make the long journey home to prevent war in their wolf packs. With the voices of Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover, Dennis Hopper and Larry Miller. Written by Steve Moore and Christopher Denk. Directed by Anthony Bell and Ben Gluck. (1:28) PG.
Bran Nue Dae Honestly, if you’re not at least tempted to hum along with the cheeky refrain “There’s nothing I would rather be, than to be an A-borig-i-ne” in Rachel Perkins’ adaptation of this Aussie musical theater hit, then please proceed to the nearest doctor to have your pulse checked. Because if the ol’ ticker’s still ticking, it’s almost impossible not to be swept up by the exuberant fun of this singing, dancing, irony-laced ode to the repression, reeducation and resistance of Australia’s indigenous tribal peoples circa 1969. (B.S., Sept. 10) (1:28) PG-13.
Buried A truck driver wakes up six feet underground with only a cell phone, a lighter and 90 minutes to save himself. With Ryan Reynolds, Stephen Tobolowsky and Samantha Mathis. Written by Chris Sparling. Directed by Rodrigo Cortes. (1:34) NR.
Catfish What happens when Facebook-to-Facebook becomes face to face? This film eludes simple categorization but it’s a good bet that those who succumb to its loose-lips-sinkships marketing campaign will discover that talking about or arguing over “Catfish” is very easy once its secrets are opened. But “Catfish” was built to charm, not indict, and on that front it makes for a diverting seriocomic wade into the pitfalls of Internet-based immediacy, and by extension, the manipulative mysteries of documentary assemblage. (Robert Abele, Sept. 17) (1:28) PG-13.
Chosin Survivors of the Chosin Reservoir Campaign journey through one of the most savage battles of the Korean War. Directed by Brian Iglesias. NR.
Devil is uber-confident chiller impresario M. Night Shamalyan’s latest — as story-creator and producer — and the first in a projected directed-byothers trilogy of spook-outs called “The Night Chronicles.” By the time the patented Shyamalan ExtraStrength Third Act Twist is revealed, being asked to care about fate, redemption and forgiveness when a Satan-in-an-elevator gimmick hasn’t delivered is like getting medicinal aftertaste from what should have been a box of delectably fiery Red Hots. (Robert Abele, Sept. 20) (1:20) PG-13.
Easy A The story of a smart, funny girl who becomes a self-styled Hester Prynne, this is neither as smart nor as funny as it wants to be. With the verbal-cleverness dial set at 11, the teen comedy wears its glib cultural references — pop and 19th-century literary — in boldface embroidery. As the movie loosens up, the humor hits home more frequently. Thomas Hayden Church brings a weary soulfulness as a teacher and Lisa Kudrow is scalding and pathetic as the misguided guidance counselor. But it’s
Emma Stone’s girlish strength and comic gifts that anchor the film. (Sheri Linden, Sept. 17) (1:32) PG-13. El Superstar: The Unlikely Rise of Juan Frances ABeverly Hills-born orphan is adopted by his Mexican nanny, raised with a love for ranchero music and becomes a singing sensation. With Lupe Ontiveros and Danny Trejo. Directed by Amy French. (1:30) NR.
Enter the Void After a drug-dealing teen is killed in Tokyo, he returns as a ghost to watch over his sister. With Nathaniel Brown, Paz de la Huerta, Cyril Roy, Emily Alyn Lind, Jesse Kuhn, Olly Alexander, Masato Tanno and Cary Hayes. Written and directed by Gaspar Noe. (2:42) NR (sexual content).
Going the Distance A bicoastal couple navigate the pitfalls of a long-distance relationship for the sake of their careers. With Drew Barrymore, Justin Long, Charlie Day, Ron Livingston, Jim Gaffigan and Christina Applegate. Written by Geoff LaTulippe. Directed by Nanette Burstein. (1:37) R.
Heaven’s Rain The true story and journey of children whose parents were murdered and a son who went on to sponsor victim’s rights legislation in Oklahoma. With Mike Vogel, Erin Chambers, Taryn Manning, Silas Wier Mitchell, Casey Sander and Marilyn McIntyre. Written by Paul Brown and Brooks Douglass. Directed by Brown. NR.
Hideaway One of Francois Ozon’s finest films, this is a seductively beautiful and subtle tale of the power of a friendship between a woman and her dead husband’s gay brother (singer Louis-Ronan Choisy in his film debut). This is a spellbinding film, and Ozon, perhaps best known for the much darker “Under the Sand” and “Swimming Pool,” continues to be an inspiring director of actors. (Kevin Thomas, Sept. 17) In French with English subtitles. (1:28) NR.
I’m Still Here A putative documentary about a year in the life of Joaquin Phoenix. Though it can be persuasive, by the time it’s over the feeling is inescapable that to one degree or another what we’ve been watching is a convincing hoax, a glum and dispiriting counterfeit of reality that turns out to be much more interesting to speculate about than to actually watch. (K.Tu., Sept. 10) (1:48) NR.
Jack Goes Boating Philip Seymour Hoffman’s slice-of-life directorial debut takes a while to build up, but the authentic New York vibe and the actors’ strong performances make the film mostly worthwhile. (1:29) R. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole A young owl must gather a mythic band of winged warriors to fight the evil army and save the owl kingdom. With voices of Helen Mirren, Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess, Hugo Weaving. Screenplay by John Orloff and Emil Stern, based on the book series by Kathryn Lasky. Directed by Zack Snyder. In IMAX 3D. (1:30) PG.
Legendary A teenage boy’s journey to reunite his family 10 years after the death of his beloved father, a state collegiate wrestling legend. With Patricia Clarkson, John Cena, Devon Graye, Danny Glover, Tyler Posey, Madeleine Martin and John Posey. Written by Posey. Directed by Mel Damski. (1:47) PG-13.
Lottery Ticket A young man living in the projects who wins millions in the lottery must survive a holiday weekend with his greedy neighbors before claiming his prize. With Bow Wow, Ice Cube, Keith David, Loretta Devine and Terry Crews. Screenplay by Abdul Williams. Directed by Erik White. (1:39) PG-13.
Lovely, Still An awkward encounter quickly blossoms into a new chance for romance for an elderly couple. With Martin Landau, Ellen Burstyn, Elizabeth Banks and Adam Scott. Written and directed by Nik Fackler. (1:32) PG.
Machete I’m talkin’ ’bout Machete! He’s the federale who’s a sex machine to all the chicks, and no friend of racist whitefolk. The character (played by authentic tough guy and character actor Danny Trejo) was introduced in a fake trailer in the 2007 Robert Rodriguez-Quentin Tarantino double-bill “Grindhouse.” Outlandishly gory, bluntly political, “Machete” is at least half an hour too long for its own good. If Rodriguez ever learns to move his camera around in interesting ways, his willingness to try anything may lead to more compelling escapism than this. (Michael Phillips, Sept. 3) (1:45) R.
Mao’s Last Dancer There’s no shortage of dramatic sweep in the story of Li Cunxin, a peasants’ child who became an international ballet star, but not before his 1981 defection from China to the United States sparked a diplomatic showdown and front-page headlines. In the film adaptation of his autobiography, that story comes to life only in fits and starts. Director Bruce Beresford (“Driving Miss Daisy”) knows how to tug heartstrings but is often hampered by awkward melodrama. (Sheri Linden, Aug. 20) (1:37) PG.
Mesrine: Killer Instinct Mesrine’s story is one of a thug’s life writ very large, so large it takes two French films and more than four hours of screen time to tell it. But then French gangster Jacques Mesrine was not just any thug, but a violent criminal with a gift for publicity and philosophical self-dramatization, “a gangster with marketing savvy” who came to realize his life was playing out like a movie and relished every bit of it. This first making-of-a-gangster film makes the most of Vincent Cassel’s bravura starring performance. (K.Tu., Aug. 27) In French with English subtitles (1:53) R.
Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1 Vincent Cassel picks up where he left off as celebrated French gangster Jacques Mesrine. His end may be inevitable, but he certainly doesn’t bore us along the way. (K.Tu., Sept. 3) In French with English subtitles. (1:34) R. A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to
Autism One woman’s quest across the globe to unlock her 10-year-old autistic son’s mind. With Margret Dagmar Ericsdottir, Temple Grandin, Soma Mukhopadhyay and Dr. Geraldine Dawson. Narrated by Kate Winslet. Music by Sigur Ros and Bjork. Directed by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson. (1:45) NR. Music Makes A City: A Louisville Orchestra Story The story of a smalltown orchestra and the ambitious and experimental commissioning series that brought it to worldwide acclaim. (1:43) NR.
Neshoba: The Price of Freedom A troubling documentary about fiery passions and murderous deeds in the
1960s South and their modern consequences that is disturbing in ways that go beyond what might be expected. (K.Tu., Sept. 10) (1:30) NR.
The Other City A look at Washington, DC’s high rate of HIV/AIDS. Screenplay by Jose Antonio Vargas. Directed by Susan Koch. (1:30) NR.
Picture Me Model Sara Ziff takes us behind the scenes in the world of high fashion, documenting both the glamour and the darker side of the industry. Directed by Ole Schell and Sara Ziff. (1:22) NR.
Prince of Broadway An illegal immigrant who hustles knock-off merchandise in NY’s fashion district must take care of his newly revealed toddler son. With Prince Adu, Karren Kargulian, Aiden Noesi. Written by Sean Baker and Darren Dean. Directed by Baker. (1:40) NR.
Resident Evil: Afterlife The search for survivors of a zombie transforming virus leads to a deadly trap in Los Angeles. With Milla Jovovich, Ali Larter, Kim Coates, Boris Kodjoe and Wentworth Miller. Written and directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. In 3D. (1:36) R.
The Romantics Anna Paquin and Josh Duhamel are the mismatched couple at the center of what is a largely unlikable cast of characters, though Katie Holmes adds some much-needed fire to a lackluster film. (1:35) PG-13.
The Sicilian Girl A fictionalization of the true story of a Mafia boss’ turncoat daughter is a mostly affecting look into the dark inner workings of a crime syndicate and its victims. In Italian with English subtitles. (1:50) NR.
Skirt Day Isabelle Adjani, too-rarely seen on screen these days, won the 2009 Cesar Award (France’s Oscar) for her flashy role as Sonia Bergerac, a kind of Howard Beale of literature instructors, who breaks school code by wearing a skirt and holds her unruly students at gunpoint. But what is writer-director Jean-Paul Lilienfeld’s endgame? Is it to truly explore the film’s dizzying array of issues — racism, sexism, cultural and religious identity, France’s broken educational system — or exploit them for cinematic gain? Answer: a little of both, but sadly not enough of the former. (Gary Goldstein, Sept. 17) In French with English subtitles. (1:28) NR.
Soul Kitchen This lively, easygoing farce filled with high-energy music and amusing complications sounds like the least likely film to be written and directed by Fatih Akin, but this German director is a filmmaker first and foremost, and that makes all the difference. (K.Tu., Sept. 3) In German and Greek with English subtitles. (1:39) NR.
Sweethearts of the Prison Rodeo This documentary goes behind prison walls to follow convict cowgirls on their journey to the 2007 Oklahoma State Penitentiary Rodeo. (1:30) NR.
Takers The new heist movie starring blah, blah, blah, and “T.I.” (who’s scary bad and just plain scary) would be a good snooze if it weren’t for all the noisy gunfire and explosions and the violins — which always signal a “special” shootout that will unfold in that ballet-of-death style that’s supposed to be arty but just feels tedious here. Paul Walker, Hayden Christensen, Chris Brown, Michael Ealy and Idris Elba play the bad guys, with Matt Dillon and Jay Hernandez as the cops on their tail. Even with all of the action, and a few plot twists that are kinda cool, there’s really not enough to “Takers” to make it worth your time. Cue violins. (B.S., Aug. 27) (1:47) PG-13.
Teza A story of hope, loss, and reminiscence is told through the eyes of an idealistic young intellectual, displaced from his homeland of Ethiopia. With Aaron Arefe. Directed by Haile Gerima. In Amharic, English and German, with English subtitles. (2:20) NR.
The Virginity Hit How effective is humiliation comedy anymore in our anything-for-YouTube world? This latest in the continuum of teenagers-in-heat romps, puts “Porky’s” into a social media scenario: scrawny high schooler Matt (Matt Bennett) isn’t just angling for his first time; Matt’s also a 24/7 viral-video project for his intrusive, camera-toting buddies. The boys come off mostly as crude, dopey louts —especially Zack Pearlman, a charmless Jonah Hill wannabe. That this was produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay is especially dispiriting. This Web-inspired “Superbad” rip-off is simply super bad. (Sept. 24) (1:24) R. Waiting for Superman A close examination of the U.S. public education system told through multiple interlocking stories. Written by Davis Guggenheim and Billy Kimball. Directed by Guggenheim. (1:42) PG.
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps An unfocused, erratic, downright messy sequel that comes alive when Michael Douglas is on screen and in those tooinfrequent moments when the bad people played by Josh Brolin and Eli Wallach take center stage. (K.Tu., Sept. 24) (2:11) PG-13. Who is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him)? The prodigiously gifted ’60s-’70s-era singer-songwriter gets a fairly thorough rockumentary treatment in John Scheinfeld’s heartfelt anecdotal tapestry, woven with remembrances by friends, colleagues and family. If it nags a little that the film spends so much time on Nilsson’s hard-partying self-destructiveness rather than his artistic ascendancy, it doesn’t diminish the overall effect, of a personal, generous tribute reel designed to keep a musical master’s legacy very much alive. (Robert Abele, Sept. 20) (1:57) NR.
The Winning Season An alcoholic deadbeat dad coaches a lousy girls’ high-school-basketball team. With Sam Rockwell, Emma Roberts, Rob Corddry, Shareeka Epps and Emily Rios. Written and directed by James C. Strouse. (1:59) PG-13.
A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is Chinese auteur Zhang Yimou’s whimsical and witty homage to “Blood Simple,” the Coen Brothers’ 1984 feature debut, itself a satire as much as murderous thriller. This version ratchets up the farce, tones down the blood, piles up the bodies and conjures up a very different experience in the process. In short, you won’t feel as if you’re watching a remake so much as a comical re-imagining that taps into Chinese operatic humor in that Larry, Curly and Moe sort of way — a rich brew for some, weak tea for others depending on your taste for slapstick over subtext. (B.S., Sept. 3) In Mandarin with English subtitles. (1:35) R.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Human foibles, in major and minor keys, are the chords that Woody Allen has been pounding for years. So it should come as no surprise that in this new frothy and fitful romantic black comedy, starring a sprawling ensemble that includes Naomi Watts, Josh Brolin, Gemma Jones and Anthony Hopkins, everyone takes a spin with the disillusionments, deceptions and dissatisfactions of life. But in using a lighter tough, Allen’s made it harder to root for — or against — anyone in particular. The filmmaker is still clever and the film itself is a confection tempting enough to consider a taste, just be ready for that emptycalorie letdown after it’s over. (B.S., Sept. 22) (1:38) R. All movies are in release unless noted. Also included: the film’s running time and ratings. MPAA categories: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one 17 and younger admitted.