Reviews to help you choose for Feb. 14, 2013

February 13, 2013 

ARGO* * *  1 / 2 Ben Affleck stars in, and directs, the far-fetched but nonetheless factual tale of a CIA plot to extricate six U.S. embassy workers from Tehran as the 1979 Iran hostage crisis unfolds. With Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, and crackling humor amid the white-knuckle suspense. 2 hrs. R (violence, profanity, adult themes)

BROKEN CITY * * * . Mark Wahlberg is a tainted cop-turned-P.I. and Russell Crowe is the mayor of New York, suspecting his wife (Catherine Zita-Jones) of having an affair, in Allen Hughes’ taut, tough, satisyingly noirish thriller about power, politics and corruption. 1 hr. 49 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes)

GANGSTER SQUAD * *  1 / 2. Sean Penn is crime king Mickey Cohen and Josh Brolin is the square-jawed LAPD detective determined to end his reign in this brawny neo-noir. With Emma Stone as Cohen’s moll, Ryan Gosling as a pretty boy cop, and Nick Nolte as the gruff, gravel-voiced police chief. The retro touches are compromised by a contemporary visual style, and Penn’s wild performance isn’t always as menacing as perhaps the actor intended. 1 hr. 50 R (violence, sex, drugs, profanity, adult themes)

THE IMPOSSIBLE * * *  1 / 2. A family caught in the unbelievable carnage of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami — unbelievable, but true — with Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor and the remarkable young actor Tom Holland. A chilling, but thrilling account of survival, visceral and inspiring. 1 hr. 54 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes)

JACK REACHER *  1 / 2. Tom Cruise stars as the hero of Lee Child’s book series about an ex-Army investigator tough guy. In this case, Reacher heads for Pittsburgh to find out who was behind the apparently random murder of five strangers by a sniper. Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins and David Oyelowo also star. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes)

LES MISERABLES * * * . “The King’s Speech’s” Tom Hooper martials a big cast and big digital effects to bring the big Broadway musical based on Victor Hugo’s big book to the big screen. It’s rousing, it’s roiling, it’s revolutionary (as in post-French Revolution), with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway leading a pack of mighty-tonsiled stars. 2 hrs. 35 PG-13 (violence, sexual violence, adult themes)

MAMA* * * . An intensely spooky ghost story, with two deeply traumatized young girls discovered in the woods and taken to live with their uncle and aunt (Jessica Chastain) — a move the wraith-like title character is hardly happy about. 1 hr. 40 PG-13 (intense scares, children in jeopardy, adult themes)

PARENTAL GUIDANCE * * * . Billy Crystal and Bette Midler anchor this engaging comedy that bridges multiple generation gaps. Made with more heart than art by director Andy Fickman, the film also features Marisa Tomei. 1 hr. 44 PG (one instance of below-the-belt humor)

PARKER * * 1 / 2. Jason Statham is Donald E. Westlake’s famous “heister” in Taylor Hackford’s hard-knuckle crime thriller, chasing down a gang of doublecrossers with an assist from Jennifer Lopez. 1 hr. 58 R (violence, profanity, nudity, adult themes)

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK * * * * . A head-spinning wonder of a movie about love, pain, reinvention, rehabilitation and the totemic power of an NFL franchise, with Bradley Cooper as a guy dealing with bipolar disorder and heartbreak, Jennifer Lawrence as a young widow with her own troubles and woe, and with an amazing supporting cast. From director David O. Russell, based on Matthew Quick’s novel. 2 hrs. 02 R (profanity, sex, drugs, violence, adult themes)

WARM BODIES * * * . A smart, snappy and appropriately gory rom-com-zom, about a sensitive walking dead dude who saves a flesh-and-blood girl from being eaten, and finds himself falling in love with her. The feelings, surprisingly, are reciprocal. Jonathan (”50/50“) Levine directs, adapting the Isaac Marion novel. 1 hr. 37 PG-13 (violence, gore, profanity, adult themes)

ZERO DARK THIRTY * * * * . Kathryn Bigelow’s slow-burning and brilliant account of the decade-long Osama bin Laden manhunt, with Jessica Chastain as the CIA officer determined to track the al-Qaeda figure down, no matter what. With Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Jennifer Ehle, Joel Edgerton and Mark Strong. 2 hrs. 37 R (intense violence, profanity, adult themes)

Compiled by MCT

Compiled by MCT

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