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DREDD 3D

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A

A comic book adaptation about a futuristic "judge" (also jury and executioner) played by Karl Urban sent into a deadly tenement with a new rookie (Olivia Thirlby) to take out a gang dealing a deadly drug called Slo-mo. It's richly rewarding in its visuals and there is some comic payoff too, thanks largely to Urban, who strips the hero figure of almost all human qualities save for slow-burning rage. But within the film's giant visual scale, there is no actual fixed target for the jet-black humour. Like its two heroes cut off from the rest of the world, Dredd's satire has no place to go. 'Ö'Ö1/2

END OF WATCH

Grant Park, Polo Park. 18A

While going about their harrowing duties, a pair of L.A. street cops (Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pe±a) are targeted by a violent drug cartel. This compelling slice of cop life pivots on the excellent chemistry between Gyllenhaal and Pe±a. Reminiscent of the fiction of cop-turned-writer Joseph Wambaugh, it feels like an authentic insider glimpse of law enforcement, encompassing bravado, friction, battlefield bonding, mischief and sheer horror. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

FAREWELL MY QUEEN

Globe. PG

Director Benoit Jacquot captures the final days of the royal court of Louis XVI as seen through the eyes of an ambitious reader (Lea Seydoux) in the service of the loathed queen Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger). Knowing that the only sure thing in the queen's future is the guillotine, viewers have nothing left to do but enjoy watching as this finely tailored gown begins to unravel thread by thread. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Jesse Kinos-Goodin)

FINDING NEMO 3D

Polo Park, St. Vital. G

Pixar's 3-D processing of their back catalogue continues with this 2003 feature about a panicky clownfish (voiced by Albert Brooks) intent on finding his lost son in the big blue ocean. It's the details that stand out whenever a classic film is converted to 3-D. With this one, the shimmering sea surface, scratches on the lens of a diver's goggles and smudge marks Nemo the clown fish makes when he mashes his face up against the glass wall of the aquarium that imprisons him all pop off the screen in this stellar reissue of Pixar's undisputed masterpiece. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

FRANKENWEENIE

Grant Park, Polo Park, Polo Park IMAX, St. Vital, Towne. G

Tim Burton directs this stop-motion animated adventure in 3-D black-and-white about a young boy named Victor who decides to raise his beloved dog from the dead. Compared to the more innovative kiddie-horror offering ParaNorman, Frankenweenie feels less fresh given the films Burton has produced in this template. But as with its titular dead pup, just because it's not fresh doesn't mean it's not, in its way, decidedly lovable. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

HEAD GAMES

Globe. G

A documentary following football player/wrestler Chris Nowinski as he delves into the impact of head injuries in sports. Head Games doesn't provide easy answers, and even those who admit the dangers are loath to pull their kids out of sports they love. But it's certainly wholesome food for thought for anyone with kids in sports. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Chris Knight)

HOPE SPRINGS

Grant Park. 14A

Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones are a 31-years-married couple whose relationship is in need of a shakeup. You don't have to be married for 31 years to feel inspired by the film's message about the importance of keeping your relationship alive. Without a single special effect or explosion, this is an unexpected summer movie with real punch. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Christy Lemire)

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G

This animated comedy posits a protective dad Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) whose hideaway resort for monsters has kept humans from the vicinity of his innocent daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez), until a goofy human (voiced by Andy Samberg) blunders onto the property. This is mostly fun, except for a few moments that might terrify the very young. Considering most of the voice cast also starred in Grown Ups, this represents a vast improvement, comedy-wise. 'Ö'Ö1/2

THE HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET

Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A

A low-cal psychological thriller about single mom (Elizabeth Shue) and her teenage daughter (Jennifer Lawrence) who move into an isolated house next door to a place where a horrific murder took place. The secrets are familiar, however, rather than terrifying, and despite many thematic homages, director Mark Tonderai is no Hitchcock. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Jay Stone)

I AM A GOOD PERSON/I AM A BAD PERSON

Cinematheque. 14A

A hip Toronto filmmaker and her daughter make a film about a hip Toronto filmmaker and her daughter. That description alone may send any sane person for the hills, but filmmaker Ingrid Veninger does make the going more interesting, both in her warts-and-all portrayal of the self-absorbed filmmaker, and in some lovely Euro-melancholy location footage. But the movie still feels like a compelling short film rattling around in a feature length. 'Ö'Ö1/2

LOOPER

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a "looper," an assassin working with a time-travelling future Mafia that sends its victims to him for disposal, a system that works out OK until he is suddenly confronted with his future self (Bruce Willis). Made up to look like a young Bruce Willis, Gordon-Levitt looks as unnatural as a "Real Housewife" but this sci-fi noir from writer-director Rian Johnson is nevertheless a compellingly twisted tale. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

THE MASTER

Grant Park, Polo Park. 14A

Joaquin Phoenix stars as a war vet turned drifter who drifts into the path of a brilliant philosopher and would-be prophet (Philip Seymour Hoffman) intent on initiating his own cult. Inspired by Scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) fashions a fascinating dance between a would-be prophet and a would-be apostle, grounded by marvellous performances by Phoenix and Hoffman. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER

Polo Park. PG

A teen loner (Logan Lerman) enters high school after suffering a personal tragedy and falls into the orbit of a pair of senior siblings (Emma Watson and Ezra Miller) as well as an inspirational teacher (Paul Rudd). This coming-of-age drama may not do anything groundbreaking, but it tells a familiar story in small, thoughtful ways. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Christy Lemire)

PITCH PERFECT

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG

A raucous comedy about a troubled college girl (Anna Kendrick) who joins an a cappella singing group at the insistence of her father, only to bond with a collection of musical oddballs. As an attempt to revive the magic of the femme comedy Bridesmaids, it's lacking, but the music and the supporting cast do pitch in to deliver a modestly fun time. 'Ö'Ö1/2

THE POSSESSION

Polo Park. 14A

A divorced couple (Jeffrey Dean Morgan and Kyra Sedgwick) are alarmed when their younger daughter (Natasha Calis) starts to behave strangely after acquiring a mysterious locked box at a yard sale. One of the film's more disturbing visual effects is how the demon pushes a victim's eyeballs around every which way during possession. That aside, this movie's box of tricks is mostly filled with genre clichés and the only rolling eyes you'll encounter are your own. 'Ö'Ö

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION

Polo Park, St. Vital. 14A

Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her desperate battle against legions of the undead and the vicious Umbrella Corporation, this time coming up against weirdly reincarnated manifestations of former allies, which explains the presence of the first film's presumed dead Michelle Rodriguez. Individual scenes are lovely to watch, thanks largely to Jovovich, but as usual, writer-director Paul W.S. Anderson riddles bullets into narrative coherence and fires grenade launchers at accepted notions of plot and character. 'Ö'Ö

TAKEN 2

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A

Liam Neeson reprises the role of a tough security specialist "with a particular set of skills" obliged to take on a cadre of Albanian hoodlums out for revenge after the events of the first film. Good as Neeson was in Taken, and as good as he often is in the sequel, this is an often silly movie where the strain to stay credulous shows. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE

Kildonan Place, Towne. PG

Clint Eastwood is a baseball scout with failing eyesight resolved to take one last scouting trip with his estranged daughter (Amy Adams). Eastwood is a spare and iconic presence in the middle of a pretty squishy story about fathers, daughters and the corporate world. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Jay Stone)

WON'T BACK DOWN

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, Polo Park. G

Based on a true story, this drama follows two determined moms (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) intent on starting a charter school to help their kids, who are struggling in the system. But despite earnest performances, it lives down to its bland, us-against-them title with a simple-minded assault on the ills of public schools that lumbers along like a math class droning multiplication tables. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by David Germain)

WINNIE

Globe. 14A

Director Darrell Roodt has an on-the-nose style of storytelling that makes this biopic of Winnie Mandela (Jennifer Hudson) play like a TV movie-of-the-week at times, but his recreation of the South Africa of the past half century brings a realistic underpinning to the tale. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Jay Stone)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition October 7, 2012 A13

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