Reviews to help you choose for March 7, 2013

March 6, 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)

A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD * * . Bruce Willis, smooth-pated and smirky, is back as John McClane, the wisecracking New York cop, who wings it to Russia to get his estranged son (Jai Courtney) out of a jam — only he doesn’t know his son is a CIA spy. The duo bond over bullets and bombs, but this fifth in the series is, despite all the well-orchestrated mayhem, kind of a dud. 1 hr. 37 R (violence, profanity, adult themes)

IDENTITY THIEF * * 1 / 2 Jason Bateman is the mark whose identity — and credit line — is appropriated by a plus-size, potty-mouthed con artist, played with a (literal) punch by Melissa McCarthy, in this cheesy comedy. When he uncharacteristically goes after her, an odd-couple slapstick road movie ensues. 1 hr. 52 R (profanity, violence, sex, adult themes)

JACK THE GIANT SLAYER (Review rating not available) This riff on the old Jack and the Beanstalk fable stars Nicholas Hoult (“Warm Bodies”) as a young man battling hordes of CGI giants. Directed by Bryan Singer (“The Usual Suspects,” “X-Men”), which gives us hope there’s more here than dull, “Clash of the Titans”-style crash and bang. PG-13

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)

LINCOLN * * *  1 / 2. Daniel Day-Lewis in an act of human alchemy, delivering an absolutely extraordinary performance as the 16th president of the United States, campaigning to end the Civil War and abolish slavery. A film about America’s unique political process, and the leader trying to bend it to his will. 2 hrs. 29 PG-13 (violence, adult themes)

QUARTET* * * . Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut — smartly — with this charming and poignant adaptation of the Ronald Harwood stage play about four old friends in a home for retired musicians. Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly star. 1 hr. 38 PG-13 (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)

SNITCH* *  1 / 2 Dwayne Johnson stars as a father who goes undercover to expose a drug cartel — to save his college-bound son from serving a mandatory 10 years behind bars — in what is essentially a B-movie action version of an advocacy doc. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws must go! Just as soon as The Rock runs some bad guys over with his truck. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (violence, profanity, drugs, adult themes)

21 & OVER (Review rating not available): Raunchy comedy about a young man (Miles Teller) celebrating his 21st birthday with his friends during a wild night of debauchery. We’ve all been there. R

Compiled by MCT

Compiled by MCT

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