MOVIES

Dec. 18-24 Movies Calendar

What's showing at area theaters

Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street."
Mary Cybulski, Paramount Pictures
Posted



FILM RATINGS
4 stars WINTER’S BONE
3 stars SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK
2 stars THE BEAVER
1 star HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET


NOW SHOWING


12 YEARS A SLAVE
4 stars
Rated R
Chiwetel Ejiofor is great in the powerful film based on real events. He plays Solomon, a free black man in pre-Civil War New York who’s abducted, then sold into slavery for 12 cruel years. He meets a Canadian abolitionist and hopes his misery is over. Co-stars Brad Pitt, Michael Fassbender and Quvenzhané Wallis.

ALL IS LOST
3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13
When his 39-foot yacht collides with a shipping container in the Indian Ocean, a man sailing alone (Robert Redford, in an Oscar-worthy performance) is knocked out. He wakes up as his vessel is taking on water. Unable to contact anyone, he sails into a violent storm with nothing but his strength and mariner’s intuition.

AMERICAN HUSTLE
3 stars
Rated R
Christian Bale, sporting a bulbous belly and scintillating ’70s fashions, plays Irving Rosenfeld, and you simply can’t take your eyes off him or his spectacular comb-over. Amy Adams is Sydney, his mistress and pilfering partner, Jennifer Lawrence is Rosalyn, his molten-hot mess of a wife, and Bradley Cooper is the embarrassingly enthusiastic FBI agent Richie DiMaso, who manages to bust Irving and Sydney at the beginning of the film but is hopelessly inept when organizing the larger sting. In attention-grabbing minor roles are Louis C.K. as an FBI agent and straight man to Cooper’s lunatic lawman, Jeremy Renner as the well-intentioned but shady mayor of Camden, N.J., and Robert De Niro as a powerful crime boss.   

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES
3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13
The most-ballyhooed comedy this year reunites the quartet of newsmen – Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell), Brick Tamland (Steve Carell), Brian Fantana (Paul Rudd) and Champ Kind (David Koechner) – as they blithely blunder toward the ’80s. Co-stars Christina Applegate, Kristen Wiig, Vince Vaughn and James Marsden.

BAD GRANDPA
2 stars
Rated R
“Jackass” character Irving Zisman (Johnny Knoxville) and impressionable young grandson, Billy (Jackson Nicoll), go on a wild hidden-camera road trip across America, placing real citizens in stupid situations.

THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY
2 stars
Rated R
This comedy, just in time for the holidays, has the best-looking cast we’ve ever seen. Really: Monica Calhoun, Morris Chestnut, Melissa De Sousa, Taye Diggs, Regina Hall, Terrance Howard, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Eddie Cibrian and Atif Lanier.

BLACK NATIVITY
1 1/2 stars
Rated PG
The holiday musical, based on Langston Hughes’ play, is about Langston (Jacob Latimore), an adolescent who spends Christmas with grandparents he’s never met – a strict preacher and his wife (Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett) – New York City kin of his single mother Naima (Jennifer Hudson). Co-stars Tyrese Gibson, Mary J. Blige and Nas.

BLUE JASMINE
3 stars
Rated PG-13
Director Woody Allen elicits a stellar performance from Cate Blanchett in his drama showcasing characters bent on self-destruction. Co-starring Alec Baldwin and Andrew Dice Clay.

THE BOOK THIEF
4 stars
Rated PG-13
Amid the chaos and horror of WWII, Liesel (Sophie Nélisse) steals books – before the Nazis can burn them – and shares them with the folks around her. Co-stars Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB
3 1/2 stars
Rated R
The drama, based on a true story, is sparking serious Oscar talk for stars Matthew McConaughey, who plays redneck electrician Ron, and Jared Leto, who plays transvestite Rayon in Dallas, 1985. Ron is shocked when he learns he’s HIV-positive, with only one month to live. He’s even more stunned to find out the drugs that might save his life aren’t for sale in the U.S. Co-stars Jennifer Garner, Steve Zahn and Griffin Dunne.

DEAR MR. WATTERSON: AN EXPLORATION OF ‘CALVIN & HOBBES’
2 stars
Not Rated
The documentary from Joel Allen Schroeder sheds some light on the reclusive comic strip writer Bill Watterson.

DELIVERY MAN
2 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13
Underachiever David Wozniak discovers his 691 sperm donations to a fertility clinic in the early 1990s resulted in 533 children, 142 of whom filed a court action seeking his identity, to meet the man known only by a donor nom d’essence, “Starbuck.” Co-stars Cobie Smulders and Chris Pratt.

DHOOM 3
2 stars
Not Rated
Bollywood superstar Abhishek Bachchan plays a tough cop in this third installment in a popular series. Co-stars Aamir Khan and Uday Chopra. In Hindi, English, Tamil and Telugu.

ENDER’S GAME
3 stars
Rated PG-13
In the not-so-distant future, the International Military searches for a young soldier to command troops in battle against an alien foe. Colonel Graff (Harrison Ford) chooses bright young mind Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield) to lead the fight to determine the future of Earth.

FREE BIRDS
2 stars
Rated PG
This animated comedy, with voices of Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson, Dan Fogler, Amy Poehler and George Takei, explores time travel by two determined turkeys who want to not be the main course for the holidays.

FROZEN
3 1/2 stars
Rated PG
Disney’s latest feature introduces sisters Anna and Elsa, royalty of the northern land of Arendelle. Princess Anna (Kristen Bell) and Queen Elsa (Idina Menzel) are strong characters in this animated version of “The Snow Queen.”

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG
3 stars
Rated PG-13
Co-writer and director Peter Jackson has stretched J.R.R. Tolkien’s books into lucrative movies and made stars of the cast members, including Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Luke Evans — Ian McKellen was already a star but now he's amassed a whole new fanbase. The there's the titular Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), a villainous fire-breathing dragon who lays claim to Bilbo's homeland. The film sings with vibrant colors and stunning images.

HOMEFRONT
3 stars
Rated R
Sylvester Stallone wrote the screenplay and Jason Statham is the hero, DEA agent Phil Broker, who kicks ass and looks cool doing so. Co-stars James Franco (who’s in danger of over-exposure), Kate Bosworth and Winona Ryder.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE
3 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13
In Part 2 of the trilogy, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is a celebrity warrior hero manipulated by the Capitol’s leader Snow (Donald Sutherland). There’s revolution in the air due to her win at the Games. Co-stars Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson and Stanley Tucci.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL
2 1/2 stars
Rated PG • Sun-Ray Cinema
As the 1 percenters get richer and the rest of us don’t, former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich seeks to raise awareness of the yawning chasm that separates us.

JUSTIN BIEBER'S BELIEVE
Rated PG
The Beebs in all his glory. Billed as the "real story" behind the megastar's rise to fame, this documentary is a sure-fire hit for his screaming fans.

A MADEA CHRISTMAS
1 1/2 stars
Rated PG-13
Tyler Perry is wringing every last ounce from his creation Madea; now she's celebrating Christmas with her brutal panache. Co-stars Chad Michael Murray (OMG!), Tike Sumpter, Larry the Cable Guy, Kathy Najimy and Anna Maria Horsford.

OLDBOY
1 1/2 stars
Rated R
Josh Brolin plays Joe, a man who was kidnapped and kept in solitary confinement for 20 years for no apparent reason. Well, he was an advertising exec … Co-stars Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel L. Jackson.

OUT OF THE FURNACE
3 stars
Rated R
Everyman Russell Baze (Christian Bale) takes care of his terminally ill father while working at the steel mill. When his brother Rodney (Casey Affleck), an Iraq War vet, joins a crime ring then disappears, Russell seeks justice. Directed by Scott Cooper, the film co-stars Forest Whitaker, Woody Harrelson and Zoe Saldana.

PHILOMENA
4 stars
Rated PG-13
Journalist Martin (Steve Coogan) needs to boost his career. Philomena (Dame Judi Dench) wants to find the son she gave up for adoption, forced by not-so-holy nuns decades earlier. Stephen Frears directed.

SAVING MR. BANKS
3 stars
Rated PG-13 

The movie revolves around two weeks in 1961 when an extremely reluctant P.L. Travers (Thompson), the author of the popular “Mary Poppins” series of children's books, travels from her home in England to Disney Studios in Los Angeles to collaborate on adapting the book for film. For 20 years, she's rebuffed Walt Disney’s advances to make this happen, not wanting her beloved characters to be altered by Hollywood. Financial woes have forced her to reconsider and make the trip, though she still holds a trump card — she hasn't relinquished the book's film rights to Disney.


THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY
3 1/2 stars
Rated PG
The versatile Ben Stiller plays James Thurber's classic dreamer, Walter Mitty, who puts himself in fantasy situations with daring femme fatales and dastardly villains, with him as the hero who saves the day. Then he gets the chance to be a real hero on a real adventure. Co-stars Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott and Shirley MacLaine, with cameos of Andy Richter and Conan O'Brien.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD
3 stars
Rated PG-13
The sequel, with more action and special effects, stars Chris Hemsworth as the golden-tressed Thor and Natalie Portman as his Earth-time girlfriend Jane. Co-stars Christopher Eccleston, Anthony Hopkins, Tom Hiddleston, Kat Dennings and Stellan Skarsgard.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS
Rated PG
This animated feature about dinosaurs is not the usual kiddie film of cute-but-doomed characters. The realistic 3D depiction of prehistoric creatures features the voices of Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice, John Leguizamo and Justin Long.



OTHER FILMS


IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
The lesson here: Be grateful for what you’ve got. Frank Capra's heartwarming holiday film about nice guy George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) and his beloved Mary (Donna Reed) and Clarence (Henry Travers), one very persistent angel, is screened 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Cinemark Tinseltown, 4535 Southside Blvd., Jacksonville, 998-2122, cinemark.com.

SUN-RAY CINEMA
"I Am Divine” screens 7 p.m. Dec. 19 and "White Christmas" (mulled cider and hot cocoa
available) screens 7 p.m. Dec. 22 at Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park St., Riverside, 359-0047, sunraycinema.com.

THE PUNK SINGER
The documentary on activist and musician Kathleen Hanna screens 7:15 p.m. Dec. 23 with Girls Rock Jacksonville covering some of the best tunes from Bikini Kill’s and Le Tigre’s catalog before the show at Sun-Ray Cinema.

PLAYIN’ HOOKY WITH MARTIN SCORSESE
Sun-Ray Cinema celebrates acclaimed director Martin Scorsese on Dec. 24 with “Taxi Driver” at 11:45 a.m., “The King of Comedy” 1:50 p.m., “Goodfellas” 3:55 p.m. and “The Departed” at 6:30 p.m. Scorsese’s new film, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” opens Dec. 24 with a 9:20 p.m. screening at Sun-Ray Cinema, 1028 Park St., Riverside, $20 for all four classic Scorsese films, $7.50 for one; separate ticket required for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” 359-0047, sunraycinema.com.

LATITUDE 30 MOVIES
“Ender’s Game” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Maetballs 2” screen at CineGrille, Latitude 30, 10370 Philips Highway, Southside. 365-5555.

WORLD GOLF HALL OF FAME IMAX THEATER
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - The IMAX 3D Experience,” “Great White Shark 3D,” “Tornado Alley 3D” and “The Last Reef 3D” are screened at World Golf Hall of Fame Village IMAX Theater, 1 World Golf Place, St. Augustine, 940-IMAX, worldgolfimax.com.

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