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WRECK-IT RALPH 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

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

A video game villain (voiced by John C. Reilly) in a primitive arcade game goes rogue when he escapes his game to prove his mettle in other, more sophisticated games in this funny, inventive Disney adventure. This riff on the realm of video games past and present may lack Pixar prestige, but it blasts out fun as relentlessly as a Low Orbit Ion Cannon. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

STARTING TOMORROW

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BONES BRIGADE

Cinematheque. STC

Documentary filmmaker Stacy Peralta (Dogtown and Z Boys) examines the titular teens (whose numbers include Tony Hawk) who altered the nature of street-style skateboarding in the '80s.

INESCAPABLE

Globe. 14A

A former intelligence officer (Alexander Siddig) must return to Damascus to attempt to retrieve his missing daughter in this film by Ruba Nadda.

MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN

McGillivray. 14A

Deepa Mehta's film adaptation of Salman Rushdie's novel traces the history of a Muslim boy born at the moment of India's partition in August 1947.

SKYFALL

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

The 24th James Bond movie pits Daniel Craig's secret agent against a former agent (Javier Bardem) intent on destroying the British Seceret Service, and M (Judi Dench) in particular.

WHO CARES

Cinematheque. 14A

Director Rosie Dransfeld examines life on the mean streets of Edmonton in this documentary focusing on three prostitutes struggling with addiction and violence.

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NOW

PLAYING

The following movies have been previously reviewed by Free Press movie critic Randall King, unless otherwise noted.

ALEX CROSS

Kildonan Place. 14A

Tyler Perry drops the Madea dress and assumes the role of the titular police psychologist once played by Morgan Freeman (Kiss the Girls) in this thriller co-starring Matthew Fox as a professional assassin who earns Cross's enmity. But Perry doesn't make the transition gracefully, and it doesn't help that the movie glissandos through every cliché in the genius-cop-vs.-creative-psycho songbook. 'Ö'Ö

ARGO

Grant Park, McGillivray, McGillivreay VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital. 14A

Ben Affleck doesn't let facts get in the way of a good story with this based-on-fact tale of a CIA agent sent to rescue six American embassy workers trapped in the Canadian consulate during the hostage crisis in Iran by posing as a film producer scouting for Persian locations for a science-fiction movie. The film shifts the focus of heroism away from the Canadians and onto American intelligence operatives who kind of caused the mess in the first place. But as long as you remember that "based on a true story" is not the same things as "a true story," Argo is a fun ride. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

CLOUD ATLAS

Globe, Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park. 14A

A film adaptation of the challenging novel by David Mitchell in which events and characters from the past, present and future are all tied together by invisible bonds. Stars Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent and Hugh Grant each play multiple roles in multiple plot strands. If you're 20 years old and high, the platitudes presented here may seem profound. Anyone else should recognize it as a bloated, pseudo-intellectual self-indulgent slog. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Christy Lemire)

FLIGHT

Grant Park, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park. 18A

Denzel Washington stars as an airline pilot who has to fight for his professional career after an accident threatens to expose his secret as a prodigious substance abuser. Director Robert Zemeckis paces with the momentum of a thriller but Washington's presence adds the gravitas of a gritty character drama. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

FUN SIZE

Kildonan Place, Towne. PG

A teen (Victoria Justice) is horrified when the younger brother she was supposed to babysit goes missing, sparking a riotous Halloween adventure. The script is sprinkled with surprises, some rude and some downright crude. But under the helm of director Josh Schwartz, Fun Size waddles along at half speed, never building momentum. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

HERE COMES THE BOOM

St. Vital, Towne. PG

Raising cash to save his friend's job, a tubby high school teacher (Kevin James) becomes a mixed martial-arts sensation. Yes, it is every bit as ridiculous as it looks. That's not such a bad thing for the movie, whose makers embrace the fact that they're essentially doing a live-action cartoon. 'Ö'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by David Germain)

HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA

Kildonan Place, St. Vital, Towne. G

This animated comedy posits a protective dad Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) whose 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. Considering most of the voice cast also starred in Grown Ups, this represents a vast improvement, comedy-wise. 'Ö'Ö1/2

LOOPER

Grant Park, Kildonan Place. 14A

Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a "looper," an assassin working with a time-travelling future Mafia who sends their victims to him for disposal, a system that works out OK until he is suddenly confronted with his future self (Bruce Willis). This sci-fi noir from writer-director Rian Johnson is a compellingly twisted tale. 'Ö'Ö'Ö1/2

THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, Towne. 18A

This hyper-violent martial arts movie from novice director The RZA starring Russell Crowe is a wildly whirling martial arts spectacle with an array of exotic knives, a penchant for Zen philosophizing and an unquenchable thirst for blood; this may just be one of the best bad movies ever. But when it goes for camp, it falls short. When it edges toward serious, it slips. There is such a twinkle in Crowe's eyes when he turns up you get the feeling he's in on a joke the rest of us aren't privy to. 'Ö1/2 (Reviewed by Betsy Sharkey)

THE PAPERBOY

Towne. 18A

This skeevy southern Gothic legal drama stars Matthew McConaughey and Zac Efron as brothers investigating the legitimacy of a conviction against an accused cop killer (John Cusack) at the behest of his dubious pen pal/fiancée (Nicole Kidman). Director Lee Daniels whisks you into an unrestrained Oedipal/sado-masochistic/sociopathic whirl; it's kind of guilty fun, especially when Kidman is onscreen. She may be too Botox-ed to resemble a 40-something southern Jezebel of the era, but one has to admire her willingness to go for it. 'Ö'Ö1/2

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A

The fourth installment of the perennial horror franchise follows a suburban family whose abode starts to show signs of haunting after the family takes in an apparently abandoned little boy named Robbie from across the street. Fairly mild in tone and riffing on horror classics such as The Shining, Rosemary's Baby and Poltergeist, both the franchise's premise and its execution nevertheless remain rudimentary, with the narrative and character backstories representing more of a sketch than a fully realized vision of the supernatural world. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Justin Lowe)

PITCH PERFECT

Polo Park, St. Vital. 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

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN

Globe. PG

Malik Bendjelloul's movie about a little-known folk singer named Rodriguez is easily the feel-good movie of the summer and promises to surprise even the most jaded cynic with its heart, humour and historical significance. I'd tell you more, but I'd spoil the sweet sense of surprise. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Katherine Monk)

SEVEN PSYCHOPATHS

McGillivray, Polo Park. 18A

A struggling screenwriter (Colin Farrell) becomes entangled with the underworld when a couple of his friends (Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell) kidnap a gangster's Shih Tzu. With its blend of low-rent gangster cool, high-body-count hipster violence, smart-mouth dialogue and a retro soundtrack at odds with the onscreen mayhem, Seven Psychopaths might have been a groundbreaking film -- in 1992. As it stands, it just feels like leftover Quentin Tarantino, reheated for a new generation. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Cary Darling)

SILENT HILL: REVELATION

Polo Park, Towne. 18A

In this hallucinogenic horror sequel, a young woman (Adelaide Clemens) who has spent most of her life evading the malevolent forces of the haunted community of Silent Hill must finally go there when her adoptive father (Sean Bean) is kidnapped. This shot-in-Canada production shares a trait with a lot of Canadian dramas: It's joyless and dour and just no fun. 'Ö'Ö

SINISTER

Polo Park. 18A

A true crime writer (Ethan Hawke) gets in over his head with supernatural terror when he moves his family into a murder house while researching a horrific crime. Co-writer-director Scott Derrickson skilfully builds the tension and Hawke earns his salary with an intense performance. But instead of achieving the desired climax, the story sadly devolves into tired horror movie hokum. 'Ö'Ö1/2

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 8, 2012 ??65526

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