ALVIN AND THE CHIPMUNKS: THE ROAD CHIP This is the fourth film in the current Alvin and the Chipmunks series, after the original, The Squeakquel, and Chipwrecked. Apparently, the movies will live as long as there are bad puns for the titles. In this one, the delightfully selfless Chipmunks try to prevent their friend Dave (Jason Lee) from getting married, out of fears that he’ll ditch them shortly after. Rated PG. 86 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Dream-Catcher. (Not reviewed)
THE BIG SHORT Adam McKay’s movie is by turns funny, frightening, suspenseful, informative, and tragic. It looks at the 2008 near-collapse of the world financial system from the perspectives of four analysts, or teams, who had the vision to recognize what nobody else saw coming: the rottenness of the system, the worthlessness of the packaged mortgages on which the economy was gliding, and the inevitable devastating crash when the bubble burst. They bet against the economy. They bet big. And they won. That McKay is able to explain the financial collapse that cost so many people their homes and savings, and make it entertaining, is a remarkable that achievement.includes Christian There Bale,are terrificRyan Gosling, performancesand Steve from Carell.a cast And McKay leaves us with a warning: It could happen again. Opens Wednesday, Dec. 23. Rated R. 130 minutes. Violet Crown.
BOLSHOI BALLET: THE NUTCRACKER The Bolshoi Ballet presents this evergreen work in a version choreographed by Yuri Grigorovich with music by Tchaikovsky. Principal dancers Anna Nikulina and Denis Rodkin star as Marie and the Prince, backed by members of the illustrious Moscow company in a production filmed December 2014. 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 23. The Screen. (Not reviewed)
DREAMS REWIRED Not rated. 88 minutes. The Screen. See review, Page 44.
EVERY THING WILL BE FINE Glum writer Tomas (James Franco) and his girlfriend Sara (Rachel McAdams) have reached an impasse in their relationship, so Tomas retreats to icy Quebec to get some work done. Out in his car one day, he accidentally hits a toboggan and kills a child, the son of Kate, a single mother (Charlotte Gainsbourg, whose performance is a bright spot). For the rest of the film, he — and unfortunately the audience — must dully slog through his grief and guilt, measuring the effects of the accident on the course of his life in two and four-year increments. Wim Wenders, who directed this international co-production in incongruous 3-D, has had some success in translating a certain kind of still-waters masculinity to the screen (think Harry Dean Stanton in Paris, Texas). But Franco’s Tomas is simply shallow and unlikeable as he’s written, and the actor doesn’t possess the kind of depth that might render his depression sympathetic. What we end up with is a beautifully shot snoozer in which nearly every thing is very much less than fine. Not rated. 118 minutes. Jean Cocteau Cinema.
MACBETH Rated R. 113 minutes. Center for Contemporary Art. See review, Page 46.
SISTERS Tina Fey and Amy Poehler have been comedic partners from their early days in Chicago’s Improv-Olympic in the 1990s through Saturday Night Live in the 2000s and up to their recent run as co-hosts of the Golden Globe Awards. This film finds
them using that chemistry to play sisters who throw one last party at their parents’ house before it is sold. Rated R. 118 minutes. Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS J.J. Abrams takes the helm for the highly anticipated seventh installment of George Lucas’ mythic space opera, which reunites familiar faces as well as introducing new characters. The plot picks up 30 years after the events of Star Wars Episode VI:
Return of the Jedi (1983). Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford), Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher), Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew), and other characters from the original Star
Wars join Finn (John Boyega), a Stormtrooper who changes his alliance, Rey (Daisy Ridley), a scavenger on the planet Jakku, and X-wing fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Oscar Isaac) in a fight against the First Order — Empire loyalists who splintered off after the crushing defeat in Lucas’ original trilogy — for universal dominance. Rated PG-13. 135 minutes. Screens in 3-D and 2-D at Regal Stadium 14; Violet Crown; DreamCatcher. (Not reviewed)
Money ballers: Steve Carell in The Big Short, opening Wednesday, Dec. 23, at Violet Crown