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Here is a mildly ef­fec­tive heist film about six ar­mored-truck guards pulling off the so-called per­fect heist— un­til one of them changes his mind. Un­for­tu­nately, af­ter a fairly sus­pense­ful set-up, it dis­in­te­grates into a typ­i­cally goofy action film. The high-pow­ered male cast, which in­cludes Colum­bus Short, Matt Dil­lon, Lau­rence Fish­burne, and Fred­Ward, helps stave off the te­dium, but with tighter writ­ing it could have been so much bet­ter. (And even bet­ter still if it had been made in 1949 with Robert Mitchum, Robert Ryan, and Charles McGraw). Rated PG-13. 88 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Robert Nott)

AR­MORED

This crowd pleaser re­counts the story of Michael Oher (Quin­ton Aaron), a home­less Mem­phis teen who, af­ter be­ing taken in by the wealthy Tuohy fam­ily, went on to be­come a first-round NFL draft pick. It’s a feel-good yarn that would be nau­se­at­ing if it weren’t true, but it scores the ex­tra point for not go­ing long into melo­dra­matic ter­ri­tory. San­dra Bul­lock, Tim McGraw, and Ray McKinnon give solid per­for­mances. Rated PG-13. 128 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

THE BLIND SIDE

Di­rec­tor Jim Sheri­dan has made a classy but emo­tion­ally un­der­done re­make of Su­sanne Bier’s 2004 Dan­ish drama about two broth­ers. One is a war hero and fam­ily man; the other is an ex-con. Broth­ers deals with the hid­den mor­tal­ity of war— the deaths that go un­recorded be­cause the de­ceased are still alive and out­wardly func­tion­ing. Rated R. 104 min­utes. Re­gal

BROTH­ERS

Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Jonathan Richards)

DIS­NEY’S A CHRIST­MAS CAROL

Some peo­ple might groan at yet an­other ver­sion of the Dick­ens tale, but those who still love it will find this one to be a prize goose. Di­rec­tor Robert Zemeckis ap­plies the same ap­proach that he used in The Po­lar Ex­press to grimy old Lon­don and all those ghosts, in a ren­di­tion of the story that is gen­uinely and de­light­fully scary. Jim Car­rey per­forms Scrooge at var­i­ous ages as well as the three spir­its. Rated PG. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker)

Lynn Bar­ber, a Bri­tish jour­nal­ist with a rep­u­ta­tion for the jugu­lar, fell in with a shady older man when she was 16, and 40 years later she wrote a mem­oir. Carey Mul­li­gan plays the teenage Jenny, Bar­ber’s al­ter ego, and a star is born. Peter Sars­gaard is the charm­ing, preda­tory David, and the top-notch cast in­cludes Emma Thomp­son, Al­fred Molina, and Do­minic Cooper. It’s a com­ing-of-age movie that ex­am­ines the rel­a­tive im­por­tance of dif­fer­ent ap­proaches to an ed­u­ca­tion. Rated PG-13. 95 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe. ( Jonathan Richards)

AN ED­U­CA­TION

A wid­ower (Robert De Niro) trav­els to see his four chil­dren af­ter they all turn down his Christ­mas in­vi­ta­tion. On his trav­els, he learns about the sub­tle lies fam­ily mem­bers tell one an­other and the dif­fer­ence be­tween be­ing “fine” and happy. This is a skill­fully shot feel-good hol­i­day flick that fea­tures nice act­ing by De Niro, Drew Bar­ry­more, and Sam Rockwell. It’s a fine movie— but goopy Hall­mark touches, a cu­ri­ous lack of ten­sion, and an oat­meal-fla­vored pro­tag­o­nist high­light the dif­fer­ence be­tween “fine” and good. Rated PG-13. 100 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Robert Ben­ziker)

EV­ERY­BODY’S FINE

FAN­TAS­TIC MR. FOX

Film­maker Wes An­der­son proves to be a per­fect match for chil­dren’s au­thor Roald Dahl as he and a tal­ented team of voice ac­tors and stop­mo­tion an­i­ma­tors bring Dahl’s novella about a crafty fox and three nasty farm­ers to life. They’ve man­aged to make a film that is herky-jerky and slightly sur­real in the clas­sic stop-mo­tion tra­di­tion. It’s funny, con­tains equal parts whimsy and so­phis­ti­ca­tion, and is per­fect for adults and chil­dren without pan­der­ing to ei­ther au­di­ence. Rated PG. 87 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Robert Ben­ziker)

Rowan Isaac­son was di­ag­nosed with autism when he was 2. At 5, he lapses into hours-long tantrums,

THE HORSE BOY

is not toi­let trained, and is so­cially with­drawn. He dis­plays a deep con­nec­tion with an­i­mals, though — es­pe­cially horses. Search­ing for any way to help their son, his par­ents hit on the wild idea of tak­ing him to Mon­go­lia, where horses are cen­tral to the cul­ture and shaman­ism is prac­ticed. This doc­u­men­tary by first-timer Michel Orion Scott doesn’t break any ground, but it pro­vides a thought-pro­vok­ing, in­ti­mate ac­count of their gru­el­ing trek. Not rated. 93 min­utes. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Lau­rel Glad­den)

Mor­gan Free­man cap­tures the dig­nity, com­pas­sion, and wis­dom of Nel­son Man­dela in di­rec­tor Clint East­wood’s beau­ti­fully crafted movie. It’s an ac­count of the strat­egy used by the new South African pres­i­dent (fresh from 30 years in prison) in 1994 to bring to­gether a coun­try riven with post-apartheid re­sent­ment and fear by fo­cus­ing on the na­tional rugby team’s pur­suit of the­World Cup. Pre­dictably feel-good but filled with sub­tle touches, char­ac­ter ob­ser­va­tions, and fine per­for­mances, par­tic­u­larly by Matt Da­mon as the team cap­tain. Rated PG-13. 134 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Jonathan Richards) See re­view, Page 50.

IN­VIC­TUS

THE MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS

Based on Jon Ron­son’s book of the same ti­tle, this slightly sur­re­al­is­tic film, di­rected by Grant Heslov, fo­cuses on the re­ported use of psy­chic war­fare in mod­ern times, with of­fi­cers em­pha­siz­ing flower power and sol­diers turn­ing into shamans. It’s a strange mix of slap­stick and drama that comes off as un­bal­anced. But Ge­orge Clooney rates an A for his comic per­for­mance. Rated R. 93 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Nott)

With so many pop-cul­ture ar­ti­facts from the 1980s get­ting new life in the 2000s, it was only a mat­ter of time be­fore ter­ri­ble ninja movies came back, and this one is as aw­ful as the rest. James McTeigue ( V for Vendetta) guides this in­co­her­ent re­venge flick, which has bar­rels

NINJA AS­SAS­SIN

of fake blood but zero style. The ninjas are set up as an in­vin­ci­ble fight­ing force through the film’s first hour and then are eas­ily dis­patched in the cli­max. Rated R. 99 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker) OLD DOGS The 2007 com­edy Wild Hogs en­joyed a very suc­cess­ful run in Santa Fe. Old Dogs doesn’t carry the ap­peal of hav­ing been filmed in Madrid, but it does boast the same di­rec­tor (Walt Becker) and star ( John Tra­volta) as that film. Tra­volta and Robin Wil­liams play bach­e­lors who must learn new tricks when they’re forced to care for 7-year-old twins. Rated PG. 88 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Not re­viewed) PARISWriter and di­rec­tor Cé­dric Klapisch’s lat­est is an ode to Paris that de­tails the mul­ti­ple nar­ra­tives of di­verse peo­ple, in­clud­ing a crit­i­cally ill man, while also serv­ing as a love let­ter to the lo­cale in which it is set. Beau­ti­fully shot, breezy, and never bor­ing, Paris gives an im­pres­sion of eaves­drop­ping on con­ver­sa­tions at a café. Rated R. 130 min­utes. In French with sub­ti­tles. CCA Cin­e­math­eque, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker) PI­RATE RA­DIO Richard Cur­tis, who gave us the sub­limely funny Love, Ac­tu­ally, scores again with a nos­tal­gic look at the mid-’60s, when Brits, whose rock revo­lu­tion had taken the world by storm, had to get their fix of their mu­si­cal he­roes from off­shore pi­rate-ra­dio sta­tions while the BBC kept them off the ap­proved air­waves. Bill Nighy, Kenneth Branagh, and Philip Sey­mour Hoff­man lead a ter­rific cast. The com­edy is hi­lar­i­ous and the mu­sic is great. Rated R. 115 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas, Santa Fe; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. ( Jonathan Richards) PLANET 51 This com­puter-an­i­mated fea­ture cen­ters on an as­tro­naut (voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” John­son) who lands on a planet full of lit­tle green men liv­ing in their ver­sion of 1950s Amer­ica. Jes­sica Biel, Gary Old­man, and John Cleese also sup­ply voices. Rated PG. 91 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Not re­viewed) THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG Dis­ney re­turns to hand-drawn an­i­ma­tion in this beau­ti­fully ren­dered, mu­si­cally rich re-imag­in­ing of E.D. Baker’s The Frog Princess. When hand­some prince Naveen (Bruno Cam­pos) pulls into New Orleans in search of a wealthy bride, his plans are dashed by a voodoo witch doc­tor (Keith David) who turns him into a frog. A woman named Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) wishes upon a star and kisses the frog, hop­ing that it will help her re­al­ize her dream of open­ing a restau­rant, but gets a lot more than she bar­gained for. Rated G. 95 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Reel Deal, Los Alamos; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Rob DeWalt) See re­view, Page 50. RED CLIFF Di­rec­tor/co-writer John Woo trains his lens on a bat­tle from Chi­nese dy­nas­tic his­tory in this action-filled war epic. When a power-hun­gry war­lord from China’s north­ern ter­ri­tory plans an at­tack on two rebel leaders and their out­num­bered armies to the south, he grossly un­der­es­ti­mates their cun­ning and re­solve. Red Cliff is more a med­i­ta­tion on an­cient Chi­nese bat­tle strat­egy than a thor­ough char­ac­ter study or his­tory les­son. Rated R. 148 min­utes. In Man­darin with sub­ti­tles. The Screen, Santa Fe (Rob DeWalt). STILL WALK­ING Writer and di­rec­tor Hirokazu Kore-eda ( No­body Knows) el­e­vates him­self to the level of mas­ter with this film. A 40-year-old man (Hiroshi Abe) brings his new fam­ily to stay with his el­derly par­ents, and the gen­er­a­tional di­vide be­comes ap­par­ent in pro­found ways both sub­tle and blunt. The act­ing is sub­lime, and the film is a les­son in the vis­ual lan­guage of cin­ema. Satur­day and Sun­day, Dec. 19 and 20, only. Not rated. 114 min­utes. In Ja­panese with sub­ti­tles. The Screen, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker) THE TWI­LIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON The highly an­tic­i­pated se­quel to Twi­light stars Robert Pat­tin­son and Kris­ten Ste­wart as vam­pire Ed­ward Cullen and his mor­tal girl­friend, Bella Swan. Ed­ward thinks he and his fam­ily are danger­ous to Bella, so he dumps her and leaves town. Bella turns to her friend Ja­cob Black (Tay­lor Laut­ner), who hap­pens to be a were­wolf and sworn en­emy of the Cullen clan. This is an ex­cru­ci­at­ingly dull, un­in­ten­tion­ally laugh­able soap opera. Rated PG-13. 130 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola; Sto­ry­teller, Taos. (Lau­rel Glad­den) 2012 In his lat­est dis­as­ter pic­ture, Roland Em­merich ( In­de­pen­dence Day) uses half-baked Maya prophecy and ex­ten­sive CGI tech­nol­ogy as ex­cuses to de­stroy the en­tire world. One crazy scene, in which the film’s hero ( John Cu­sack) takes a limo and a small plane to nar­rowly es­cape L.A. fall­ing into the ocean, is epic in its silli­ness. Un­for­tu­nately, the movie is at least an hour too long, flooded with too many talk­ing heads and too much melo­drama. Oh, the hu­man­ity! Rated PG-13. 158 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14, Santa Fe; Dream­Catcher, Es­pañola. (Robert Ben­ziker) (UN­TI­TLED) Jonathan Parker di­rected and co-wrote this com­edy, a spoof and satire of the vis­ual-and per­for­mance-art worlds. It re­volves around the artis­tic angst of two broth­ers (well played by Adam Gold­berg and Eion Bai­ley). One cre­ates avant-garde mu­sic that no one em­braces, while the other makes sec­ond-rate paint­ings that are com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful. The pic­ture takes pot­shots at crit­ics, pre­ten­tious artists, and col­lec­tors while main­tain­ing an ab­surd sense of hu­mor. Rated R. 96 min­utes. CCA Cin­e­math­eque, Santa Fe (Robert Nott) WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE Di­rec­tor Spike Jonze ex­pands on Mau­rice Sen­dak’s pic­ture book— in which a bratty boy trav­els to a land of mon­sters— by as­sign­ing each beast one as­pect of Max’s (Max Record) tur­bu­lent psy­che. The film in­dulges in too much navel gaz­ing, but it also boasts winning ef­fects and art de­sign and paints with large strokes of imagination. Rated PG. 94 min­utes. Re­gal North, Santa Fe. (Robert Ben­ziker)

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