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BEST OF EN­E­MIES

At the tu­mul­tuous 1968 pres­i­den­tial nom­i­nat­ing con­ven­tions, Wil­liam F. Buck­ley Jr. and Gore Vi­dal faced off in a se­ries of tele­vised de­bates as part of ABC’s con­ven­tion cov­er­age. By this time they were al­ready po­lar-op­po­site cul­tural icons and abid­ing en­e­mies. Di­rec­tors Robert Gor­don and Mor­gan Neville have culled the se­ries of 10 de­bates in which Buck­ley and Vi­dal en­gaged, and put to­gether a fas­ci­nat­ing por­trait of a time when in­tel­li­gence was ad­mired in the na­tional dis­course. As ABC’s courtly an­chor­man Howard K. Smith mod­er­ates, they cir­cle and jab, and smile, and smile. The un­for­get­table cli­max came in de­bate num­ber nine, at the

apoc­a­lyp­tic Demo­cratic Con­ven­tion in Chicago. Not rated. 87 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

THE GIFT

Two high school ac­quain­tances, Si­mon (Jason Bate­man) and Gordo (Joel Edger­ton) meet, ap­par­ently by chance, 25 years later, when Si­mon and his wife, Robyn (Re­becca Hall), move from Chicago to Si­mon’s home­town of LA for his new job. Gordo presses the friend­ship with an in­sis­tence that soon be­comes un­com­fort­able and un­nerv­ing. Si­mon is cock­sure and charis­matic, Robyn is frag­ile and sym­pa­thetic, and Gordo is a dis­turbingly blank slate. Edger­ton, the Aussie star who makes his di­rect­ing de­but here, in­fuses this creepy tale of stalk­ing, re­venge, and a dark past with deep psy­cho­log­i­cal sus­pense and anx­i­ety. The film some­times feels un­pol­ished around the edges, but at its core, the three stars keep it taut and nerve-wrack­ing. Rated R.

108 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

IN­FIN­ITELY PO­LAR BEAR

Su­perb per­for­mances, from a cast led by Mark Ruf­falo and the ex­quis­ite Zoe Sal­dana as his wife Mag­gie, lift this un­usual fam­ily com­edy/drama. Ruf­falo is Cameron Stu­art, the scion of a wealthy and pedi­greed Bos­ton clan whose bipo­lar dis­or­der (mis­con­strued by the younger daugh­ter as “po­lar bear”) has brought him and his fam­ily to the poverty level. When Mag­gie de­cides to pur­sue an MBA at Columbia to de­velop some earn­ing power, Cam takes on the rais­ing of the kids while she’s away. Writer-di­rec­tor Maya Forbes based this on her own story, and her own daugh­ter (Imo­gene Wolo­darsky) plays her young self. Cam can be im­pul­sive, vi­o­lent, em­bar­rass­ing, ir­re­spon­si­ble, and of­ten ex­hil­a­rat­ing fun.

Rated R. 90 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

IN­SIDE OUT

In the latest an­i­mated pic­ture by Pixar, the in­te­rior of the hu­man mind is por­trayed as a con­trol room op­er­ated by var­i­ous emo­tions. When a girl named Ri­ley (voiced by Kait­lyn Dias) moves to a new city and both Joy (Amy Poehler) and Sad­ness (Phyl­lis Smith) go miss­ing from the con­trol room, it sets off an ad­ven­ture through the men­tal land­scape that is full of imag­i­na­tion and in­ge­nu­ity. The movie aims to jerk tears — some­times get­ting too goopy in pur­suit of this goal — but it’s a thought­ful, orig­i­nal film that all ages will en­joy. Rated PG. 94 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

IR­RA­TIONAL MAN

In Woody Allen’s latest, Abe Lu­cas (Joaquin Phoenix) ar­rives as a phi­los­o­phy pro­fes­sor at a small New Eng­land col­lege. He’s pre­ceded by a rep­u­ta­tion as a thinker, drinker, and wom­an­izer, and soon stu­dents are flock­ing to his lec­tures and women are lay­ing siege to his bed. One is Rita (Parker Posey), a dis­sat­is­fied mar­ried pro­fes­sor. Another is Jill (Emma Stone), a bright, saucer-eyed un­der­grad­u­ate. Abe has lost his lust for life, and for lust, but it’s rekin­dled when he and Jill over­hear a con­ver­sa­tion that inspires him to un­der­take a fate­ful, ex­is­ten­tial ac­tion. Allen’s scenes neatly lay out the is­sues, but you are al­ways aware of the ar­ma­ture be­neath them. But like most of this di­rec­tor’s work, it’s in­tel­li­gent en­ter­tain­ment of an above-av­er­age stripe. Rated R. 96 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas.

(Jonathan Richards)

JIMMY’S HALL

Jimmy Gral­ton, the only Ir­ish citizen ever to be de­ported from Ire­land, is the sub­ject of Ken Loach’s 28th fea­ture film, writ­ten by Paul Laverty and based on the play by Donal O’Kelly. The per­for­mances and pro­duc­tion val­ues are ex­quis­ite, though the po­lit­i­cal and re­li­gious con­texts of the Ir­ish coun­try­side in the early 1930s might be too com­plex for Amer­i­can au­di­ences. But the themes of iden­tity, com­mu­nity, and op­pres­sion of the pow­er­less res­onate clearly. Rated PG-13.

109 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Jen­nifer Levin)

KAHLIL GI­BRAN’S THE PROPHET

Liam Nee­son leads an all-star cast as Mustafa, a wise man in­car­cer­ated in a for­eign coun­try, in this an­i­mated adap­ta­tion of Kahlil Gi­bran’s beloved story. As Mustafa pre­pares to jour­ney back to his home­land, he speaks with the vil­lagers where he lives in ex­ile, dis­pens­ing his spir­i­tual and philo­soph­i­cal teach­ings. He talks of love, mar­riage, chil­dren, death, and other sub­jects, and each theme is il­lus­trated by a dif­fer­ent an­i­mated se­quence by, among oth­ers, Tomm Moore (The Se­cret of Kells), Nina Pa­ley (Sita Sings the Blues), and Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat). The sim­ple story is un­nec­es­sar­ily com­pli­cated by so many artis­tic vi­sions vy­ing for at­ten­tion. Rated PG.

84 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Michael Abatemarco)

LEARN­ING TO DRIVE

Wendy (Pa­tri­cia Clark­son), a New York book critic in the midst of a fail­ing mar­riage, takes driv­ing lessons from Dar­wan, a Sikh In­dian (Ben Kings­ley). A pro­fes­sor in In­dia who was im­pris­oned for his re­li­gious be­liefs, Dar­wan is now a part-time cab driver in the U.S., where he has won po­lit­i­cal asy­lum. As she learns to drive, these two peo­ple from very dif­fer­ent back­grounds bond over their prob­lems and form a friend­ship. Based on a New Yorker es­say by Katha Pol­litt. Rated R. 90 min­utes.

Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Not re­viewed)

LIS­TEN TO ME MAR­LON

Film­maker Ste­van Ri­ley got ac­cess to hun­dreds of hours of au­dio­tape of Mar­lon Brando re­flect­ing on his life and his art, and has fash­ioned a re­mark­able ex­er­cise in some­thing like doc­u­men­tary au­to­bi­og­ra­phy. The tapes, which the ac­tor recorded over the course of much of his life, in­clude mus­ings on roles, celebrity, self-crit­i­cism, fam­ily, and the highs and lows of his long ca­reer. The tapes are but­tressed with film clips, TV in­ter­views, screen tests, and TV cov­er­age of sev­eral tragedies in his life, in­clud­ing the mur­der trial of his son and the sui­cide of his daugh­ter. While this doc­u­men­tary is by no means a com­plete pic­ture, it’s a fas­ci­nat­ing self-por­trait of the man who was one of our great­est ac­tors — when he felt like it. Not rated. 95 min­utes. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

THE MAN FROM U.N.C.L.E.

Di­rec­tor Guy Ritchie gave Sher­lock Holmes an ac­tion-packed, sexy, styl­ized gloss in two re­cent films. Now, he does the same for The Man From U.N.C.L.E., based on the 1960s tele­vi­sion show. Henry Cav­ill is Napoleon Solo, a CIA agent who part­ners with Illya Kuryakin, a KGB op­er­a­tive (Ar­mie Ham­mer), to save the world from a crim­i­nal net­work with ac­cess to nu­clear weapons.

Rated PG-13. 116 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

MERU

This is an au­then­tic climb­ing film about three men who at­tempt to sum­mit a dif­fi­cult knife-shaped peak at the head­wa­ters of the Ganges River. The climb, at­tempted un­suc­cess­fully by many, in­volves both dan­ger­ous ice-and-snow and rock-face tech­niques. Shot pro­fes­sion­ally by two of the three climbers, the film makes the acts of climb­ing im­me­di­ate, from screw­ing in anchors to winch­ing up sup­plies through thin air. It also of­fers a unique view into the lifestyle and the value of trust among climbers. What hap­pens be­tween the two Meru at­tempts, both led by cel­e­brated moun­taineer Con­rad Anker, is as im­por­tant to the nar­ra­tive as the climb it­self.

Not rated. 90 min­utes. Vi­o­let Crown. (Bill Kohlhaase)

MINIONS

The gib­ber­ish-spout­ing pill-shaped yel­low thin­gies from the De­spi­ca­ble Me movies get their own spinoff, and if you’re won­der­ing if the char­ac­ters are in­ter­est­ing enough to war­rant their own movie, the an­swer is no. The set­ting is the 1960s, and the Minions, try­ing to find their way in the world, join up with Scar­let Overkill (voiced by San­dra Bul­lock) to help her con­quer Eng­land. The an­i­ma­tion is nice but the movie never sur­vives the fact that its pro­tag­o­nists don’t ac­tu­ally talk. With­out lan­guage, the film­mak­ers rely on tepid vis­ual hu­mor and tired comic beats. Rated PG. 91 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

NO ES­CAPE

MIS­SION: IM­POS­SI­BLE — ROGUE NA­TION

The fifth Mis­sion: Im­pos­si­ble film shows no sign of the fran­chise slow­ing down: Tom Cruise takes hair­pin turns on a mo­tor­cy­cle, hangs off the back of an air­plane, dives into deep-wa­ter tanks with­out scuba gear, and a lot more. All this ac­tion is hung on a loose cat-and-mouse game be­tween Cruise’s Ethan Hunt and Solomon Lane (Sean Harris), head of the would-be world con­querors called the Syn­di­cate. Di­rec­tor Christo­pher McQuar­rie, along with his cin­e­matog­ra­pher and editor, give the film an evoca­tive look and el­e­gant pac­ing. The film fal­ters in the home stretch, drag­ging on with a generic gun­fight, but oth­er­wise it’s a brisk and en­joy­able ac­tion pic with a crack­er­jack ac­tion se­quence at the Vi­enna Opera House. Rated PG-13. 131 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Robert Ker)

MR. HOLMES

It is 1947. Sher­lock Holmes (Ian McKellen) is ninety, long re­tired, liv­ing in seclu­sion in Sus­sex, and keep­ing bees. He is cared for by his wid­owed house­keeper, Mrs. Munro (Laura Lin­ney), and her pre­co­cious young son Roger (Milo Parker). Holmes is en­gaged in writ­ing his own rec­ol­lec­tions of his fi­nal case, one that still trou­bles him, the case that led him to give up de­tect­ing. Wat­son’s ac­count of the af­fair tricked it out with suc­cess, but Holmes re­mem­bers it dif­fer­ently — to the ex­tent that he can re­mem­ber it at all. That great mind is be­gin­ning to slip its moor­ings. There are three story strands cov­er­ing dif­fer­ent pe­ri­ods and places, and di­rec­tor Bill Con­don weaves them to­gether with un­hur­ried skill, abet­ted by the great McKellen. Rated PG. 103 min­utes. Re­gal DeVar­gas. (Jonathan Richards)

90 MIN­UTES IN HEAVEN

Based on the mega-selling, faith-based book, this movie tells the tale of Don Piper (Hay­den Christensen), a Bap­tist min­is­ter who gets into a car ac­ci­dent, nearly dies, and re­turns to re­gale us with sto­ries of see­ing his grand­mother and singing in choirs.

Rated PG-13. 121 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed) Owen Wil­son sets aside the funny busi­ness and tries his hand as the hero in an ac­tion-thriller. He plays a man who re­lo­cates his fam­ily to South­east Asia, only to find their lives are in dan­ger when the coun­try is en­gulfed by a vi­o­lent coup. Lake Bell and Pierce Bros­nan co-star. Rated R. 103 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14.

(Not re­viewed)

THE PER­FECT GUY

Fresh from a breakup in which her whole life came crash­ing down, Leah (Sanaa Lathan) re­bounds with some­one who seems like the ideal part­ner (Michael Ealy). Be­fore long, how­ever, he starts to creep her out. Is he truly dan­ger­ous? Rated PG-13. 100 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

PHOENIX

Nelly Lenz (Nina Hoss), a Jewish cabaret singer in Ber­lin be­fore the war, emerges from Auschwitz with her face shat­tered. The sur­geon who re­con­structs it ad­vises her that she can have any look she wants. Nelly just wants her old face, and her old life, back. At the cen­ter of that life was Johnny (Ron­ald Zehrfeld), her hand­some hus­band. He spots her at the Ber­lin club where she used to sing, and is struck by her re­sem­blance to his dead wife. She goes along with his scheme for her to im­per­son­ate Nelly in a scam to re­cover his wife’s in­her­i­tance. It doesn’t take much search­ing to find the plot of Ver­tigo in this tense, beau­ti­fully played film noir as Johnny drills Nelly in how to look and sound like his lost wife. It’s ex­pertly con­structed, ex­pertly played, and the fi­nale is dev­as­tat­ing. Rated PG-13. 98 min­utes. In Ger­man with sub­ti­tles. The Screen. (Jonathan Richards)

PIX­ELS

Pac-Man, Don­key Kong, and other char­ac­ters from clas­sic video games are in­vad­ing the planet. The hour of the geek has ar­rived, as the only peo­ple who can stop them are for­mer ar­cade cham­pi­ons, played by Adam San­dler, Kevin James, and Peter Din­klage. Rated PG-13. 105 min­utes. Screens in 2-D only at Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

RIDE THE PINK HORSE

Robert Mont­gomery’s 1947 film noir, based on Dorothy Hughes’ novel of the same ti­tle, fol­lows its pro­tag­o­nist (played by Mont­gomery) down a dark path of cor­rup­tion and cyn­i­cism as he plots to black­mail the man re­spon­si­ble for his buddy’s death. A good but not quite great ex­am­ple of the genre, the film is un­usual in plac­ing its hero in a small New Mex­i­can town dur­ing Fi­esta, al­low­ing for the re­peated ap­pear­ance of Zo­zo­bra, a sym­bol of doom. Cri­te­rion re­cently pro­duced a re­stored dig­i­tal copy of the film, and the Jean Cocteau Cin­ema is screen­ing it. Not rated. 101 min­utes.

Jean Cocteau Cin­ema. (Robert Nott)

SIN­IS­TER 2

The first Sin­is­ter movie (2012) was re­garded as one of the scarier hor­ror movies of the past few years. Get ready for more sleep­less nights with this se­quel, which in­volves a sin­gle mother, a farm­house where a fam­ily was once mur­dered, a box of snuff films in the base­ment, and a boogey­man. Rated R. 97 min­utes.

DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

STRAIGHT OUTTA COMP­TON

In the late 1980s, the hip-hop crew NWA stormed the na­tional scene with a dou­ble-plat­inum record, FBI threats, and more. With po­lice bru­tal­ity of AfricanAfrican youth in the news once more, the time seems right for a biopic about the group that made head­lines 25 years ago with an anti-po­lice song. The film doesn’t fully ex­plore this con­text, in­stead paint­ing a rol­lick­ing por­trait of the band’s me­te­oric rise and equally rapid splin­ter­ing. The script stretches it­self thin and white­washes some un­pleas­ant events, but is sur­pris­ingly sym­pa­thetic to all par­ties (in­clud­ing the shifty man­ager Jerry Heller, played by Paul Gia­matti) and su­perbly acted. Rated R. 147 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown; DreamCatcher. (Robert Ker)

THE TRANS­PORTER RE­FU­ELED

Frank Martin — the gruff, no-non­sense mer­ce­nary — is back for his fourth go-around. This time, how­ever, Jason Statham is rest­ing his knuck­les, ced­ing the part to Ed Skrein. There’s lit­tle chance that Skrein will kick as much butt or mum­ble as threat­en­ingly as Statham, but di­rec­tor Camille De­la­marre prob­a­bly hopes that if he fills the screen with enough beau­ti­ful women and fast cars, then no­body will no­tice. Rated PG-13. 96 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

UN GALLO CON MUCHOS HUEVOS This comic ad­ven­ture is the first an­i­mated film from Mexico to get a wide re­lease in Amer­ica (the English ti­tle is A Rooster With Many Eggs). The story, which is the latest en­try in a pop­u­lar se­ries, cen­ters on a weak rooster who finds the strength to con­front an evil rancher with the help of a bunch of goofy eggs. Not rated. 98 min­utes. In Span­ish with­out sub­ti­tles. Re­gal Sta­dium 14. (Not re­viewed)

THE VISIT

The latest film by M. Night Shya­malan cen­ters on two chil­dren (Olivia DeJonge and Ed Ox­en­bould) who spend a week at their grand­par­ents’ house. When they stay up past their strict bed­time, they learn that Nana (Deanna Du­na­gan) gets up to some pretty weird stuff at night. When Pop Pop (Peter McRob­bie) also starts act­ing strange, the ques­tion be­comes whether or not they’ll sur­vive the visit. Rated PG-13. 94 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Re­gal DeVar­gas; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

A WALK IN THE WOODS

In 1998, Bill Bryson pub­lished a hu­mor­ous and in­sight­ful best­selling book about his at­tempt at a thru-hike of the Ap­palachian Trail at a rel­a­tively ad­vanced age, with Stephen Katz, an over­weight, re­cov­er­ing-al­co­holic friend. Robert Red­ford soon snapped up the film rights and now, the movie is here, with Red­ford as Bryson and Nick Nolte as Katz. Rated R. 104 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; Vi­o­let Crown. (Not re­viewed)

WAR ROOM

Film­mak­ers Alex and Stephen Ken­drick (Fire­proof ) of­fer up another faith-based movie. This time, they fo­cus on a fam­ily that is splin­ter­ing apart un­til the mom (Priscilla C. Shirer) meets an older woman (Karen Aber­crom­bie) who keeps a “war room,” where she gets her pray­ing done. Soon enough, it’s time for the fam­ily to go to “war.” Rated PG. 120 min­utes. Re­gal Sta­dium 14; DreamCatcher. (Not re­viewed)

Fren­emy ter­ri­tory: Kather­ine Water­ston and El­iz­a­beth Moss in Queen of Earth, at Jean Cocteau Cin­ema

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