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«««« "The Place Beyond the Pines" (Crime drama, R, 140 minutes). Shaking up the cinematic doldrums of early spring, "The Place Beyond the Pines" is a self-confident, self-aware, almost cocky piece of filmmaking from the immensely gifted Derek Cianfrance. It is an epic film centered on pivotal moments in the lives of working-class and fringe-society types who wake up every morning and go to bed each night with the same question hanging over their heads: How are they going to make ends meet? (Richard Roeper).
«««½ "Side Effects" (Thriller, R, 105 minutes). Rooney Mara stars as an edgy young woman named Emily whose husband (Channing Tatum) has been released after four years in prison for insider trading. Things don't go smoothly for Emily and she's referred to a psychiatrist (Jude Law), who prescribes a new drug named Ablixa. The drug causes some alarming behavior as director Steven Soderbergh draws us into a vortex of whispers that something haunted and possessed is going on.
«««½ "Silver Linings Playbook" (Comedy drama, R, 122 minutes). Pat (Bradley Cooper) is confident and upbeat for a man just released from a mental hospital and under a restraining order from his wife. He's determined to surprise everyone by moving ever onward and upward. What stage of bipolar disorder would you guess he's in? His parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) are well-meaning but dubious. A prickly neighborhood widow (Jennifer Lawrence) wants to sleep with him and is offended that he's interested only because she's in touch with his ex-wife.
«««"42" (Sports biography, PG-13, 128 minutes). Here's a long overdue, serious big-screen biopic about one of the most important American pioneers of the 20th century. But this is more a ground-rule double than a grand slam. From the soundtrack to the speechifying to the subject material to the somber tone, "42" has the uniform of an Oscar contender, but it falls short of Hall of Fame status. Jackie Robinson was great; "42" is good. With Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. (Richard Roeper).
««« "Jack the Giant Slayer" (Fantasy adventure, PG-13, 115 minutes). Director Bryan Singer, a first-rate cast and a stellar team of screenwriters, set designers and special-effects wizards have dusted off an old and never compelling fairy tale and given us a great-looking thrill ride. It's filled with neat touches, from the casting of Ewan McGregor as a knight in shining armor to an epilogue that's just flat-out cool.
«««"Oblivion" (Sci-fi action, PG-13, 126 minutes). An extremely well-crafted, at times engrossing but ultimately standard-issue futuristic epic with some big ideas and spiritual touches separated by some very loud and explosive chase scenes, high-powered gun battles and even some good old-fashioned hand-to-hand combat involving Tom Cruise. (Richard Roeper).
««« "Pain & Gain" (Action comedy, R, 130 minutes). The mostly true story of three idiot bodybuilders who went on a steroids-fueled, tragicomic crime spree in South Florida in the 1990s, directed by Michael Bay with hard-R, turn-your-head-away violence. Even though the film does mine laughs from real-life tragedy, it refuses to glamorize these meatheads. (Richard Roeper).
««« "Snitch" (Action, PG-13, 112 minutes). Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson delivers the best work of his career playing a guy who goes undercover to save his teenage son from a drug rap. Though "Snitch" almost dares you to ask some pointed questions, it puts some big exclamation points on a couple of messages about certain drug laws in need of a thorough re-examination. (Richard Roeper)
««½ "The Company You Keep" (Drama, R, 125 minutes). Like so many great stars before him, Robert Redford, now 76, steadfastly refuses to go gently into that good grandfatherhood. In "The Company You Keep," he looks and moves like a really fit, handsome 76-year-old -- a real distraction, given he's playing a former 1970s radical who now has an 11-year-old daughter and is living a quiet life under an assumed name. Despite Redford's sure-handed (but typically stolid) direction, an intriguing premise and a cast filled with top-line talent, nearly every scene had me asking questions about what just transpired when I should have been absorbing what was happening next. (Richard Roeper)
««½ "The Host" (Sci-fi drama, PG-13, 125 minutes). Based on a new novel by Stephenie Meyer, author of the "Twilight" saga, "The Host" is about a time in the not-distant future when human minds have been colonized by an alien race called "Souls." Saoirse Ronan stars as a human whose original mind has somehow survived and co-occupies the space with a Soul mind. With William Hurt, Diane Kruger and Francis Fisher.
««½ "Oz the Great and Powerful" (Fantasy adventure, PG, 130 minutes). Like "The Phantom Menace" trilogy, "Oz the Great and Powerful" precedes a beloved classic on the fictional timeline, but makes full use of modern-day technology, which means everything's grander and more spectacular. Director Sam Raimi and his army of special-effects wizards have created a visually stunning film that makes good use of 3-D, at least in the first hour or so. The film finally breaks free of its beautiful but artificial trappings and becomes a story with heart in the final act. (Richard Roeper)
««"The Big Wedding" (Comedy, R, 90 minutes). Formulaic comedy ensues when an adopted son asks his divorced parents to pretend they're still together because his biological mother believes divorce is an unforgivable sin. (Richard Roeper).
«« "Identity Thief" (Comedy, R, 112 minutes). The pairing of Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy in a road trip comedy seems inspired. Unfortunately, "Identity Thief" is a depressingly predictable road-trip buddy comedy that's far more interested in car chases, lame shootouts, physical shtick and cheap schmaltz than creating anything original. (Richard Roeper)
«½ "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" (Action, PG-13, 110 minutes). To say "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" is a video game for the big screen is to insult a number of video games that are far more creative, challenging and better-looking. The first installment of this series, "The Rise of Cobra" (2009), at least had a sense of its own absurdity, but the sequel is a heavy-handed, explosion-riddled, ear-piercing disaster. (Richard Roeper).
«½ "Safe Haven" (Romantic thriller, PG-13, 115 minutes). Directed by the versatile Lasse Hallstrom and starring the attractive duo of Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough, "Safe Haven" is yet another entry in the Nicholas Sparks book-to-movie factory that has given us "The Notebook," "Message in a Bottle," "Dear John," etc. For 90 percent of the journey, it's a solid movie for those in the mood for some good old-fashioned, great-looking-couple-gets-caught-in-the-rain romance. Then something happens at the very end that'll make you question the film's sanity. (Richard Roeper)
«"Evil Dead" (Horror, R, 91 minutes). Not a strict remake of Sam Raimi's hugely influential 1981 horror classic, but it does include the basic framework and some visual nods to the original. On its own, it's an irredeemable, sadistic torture chamber reveling in the bloody, cringe-inducing deaths of some of the stupidest people ever to spend a rainy night in a remote cabin in the woods. (Richard Roeper).
"The Call" (Thriller, R, 96 minutes). Halle Berry stars as a veteran 911 operator who confronts a killer she's tangled with before to save a young girl's life.
"The Croods" (Animated, PG, 91 minutes). After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar world with the help of an inventive boy.
"Escape from Planet Earth" (Animated, PG-13, 123 minutes). Astronaut Scorch Supernova (voice of Brendan Faser) finds himself caught in a trap when he responds to an SOS from a notoriously dangerous alien planet.
"Home Run" (Drama, PG-13, 113 minutes). A major league ball player is forced into rehab in his hometown, where he starts coaching a little league team full of misfits and finds love and redemption.
"Jurassic Park 3D" (Thriller, PG-13, 126 minutes). The dinosaurs are back and scarier than ever in 3D.
"Metropolis" (Science fiction, not rated, 113 minutes). The 1927 silent film by Fritz Lang is about a future world where the classes are sharply divided and people are waiting for a prophet. Tom and Laurie Reese willl perform music during the film.
"Olympus Has Fallen" (Thriller, R, 120 minutes). Disgraced former presidential guard Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) finds himself trapped in the White House in the wake of a terrorist attack.
"Scary Movie V" (Comedy, PG-13, 95 minutes). A couple begins to experience unusual activity after bringing their newborn son home from the hospital. Cameos by Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and Heather Locklear.
"Tattoo Nation" (Documentary, not rated, 86 minutes). A documentary that follows three pioneers who revolutionized the world of tattooing.
"Tyler Perry's Temptation" (Drama, PG-13, 111 minutes, not reviewed). An ambitious married woman's temptation by a handsome billionaire leads to betrayal and forever alters the course of her life.