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BEARS

Polo Park, St. Vital. G. 78 minutes.

This documentary follows the raising of bear cubs in the wilds of Alaska. It is exactly the sort of doc we've come to expect from Disneynature, the film division of the company that rolls out a new documentary every year at Earth Day. It's gorgeous, intimate, beautifully photographed, cute and kid-friendly, with just enough jokes to balance the drama that comes from any film that flirts with how dangerous and unforgiving the wild actually is. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 136 minutes.

After an assassination plot directed at a colleague, Steve Rogers, a.k.a Captain America (Chris Evans) teams with the Black Widow (Scarlett Johannsson) and The Falcon (Anthony Mackie) to face down the mysterious super-powered assassin called The Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan). This latest Marvel franchise entry is not as funny as The Avengers, but it is an action-packed entry as timely and pertinent as a book from the comic book's Bronze Age. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2

DIVERGENT

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 140 minutes.

In a dystopian future society, every citizen at age 16 is designated for one of five social factions, but Tris (Shailene Woodley) discovers she doesn't fit into any one category, which places her life in danger from the clique-oriented powers that be. While an undistinguished piece of speculative pop fiction, the premise is at least more interesting and credible than The Hunger Games, and Woodley proves to be a sympathetic heroine of Jennifer Lawrence proportions. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

DOM HEMINGWAY

Globe. 18A. 94 minutes.

After serving 12 years in prison, the titular safecracker (Jude Law) is set free to exact payment for his silence, and also to come to terms with his estranged daughter (Emilia Clarke). If Jude Law's character goes down in history as one of the most colourful low-lifes ever committed to film, it is doubtful the movie itself will be so fondly remembered. Writer-director Richard Shepard knows how to spin a yarn about the vicissitudes of fate, but Dom's adventures make for a pretty thin garment in which to clothe such an outsize anti-hero. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Michael O'Sullivan)

DRAFT DAY

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 110 minutes.

A football team's GM (Kevin Costner) angles to rebuild his struggling team by scoring a No. 1 draft pick in this better-than-expected behind-the-scenes football comedy from Ivan Reitman, co-starring Denis Leary and Jennifer Garner. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER

Cinematheque. G. 83 minutes.

This fascinating documentary portrait is part detective story, examining the life and work of Vivian Maier, a woman who kept a secret of her formidable photographic talent while working as a nanny in the employ of various families. Co-director John Maloof acquired trunk loads of her negatives and initiated a search that reveals an eccentric, troubled, solitary soul whose gifts were never appreciated until after her death. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2

GOD'S NOT DEAD

Grant Park. PG. 113 minutes.

A college student (Shane Harper) is obliged to defend his Christian faith against an atheist philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) in this Christian drama. The inspirational quotient may be low, but this is the angriest faith-based film in recent memory. And as mother always said, when you lose your temper, you've already lost the argument. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park. 14A. 100 minutes.

Director Wes Anderson's latest stars Ralph Fiennes as the concierge of a legendary hotel, coping with crime, intrigue and destructive political forces on the rise between the two world wars. It's a dark, daft and deft triumph of design details. From the purple velvet with red piping hotel uniforms to the drinks, colognes and artwork of Europe, Anderson ensconces his eccentric characters and us in a time of baroque, imaginary hotels run on what used to pass for four-star service. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

HEAVEN IS FOR REAL

Polo Park, St. Vital. G. 100 minutes.

While on an operating table with appendicitis, four-year-old Colton Burpo had visions of heaven that ultimately rock the world of his pastor dad (Greg Kinnear) and their small-town Nebraska community. Writer-director Randall Wallace likes to wring maximum theological goods from his stories, and while he is better served by the material here than he was in his last film (Secretariat), this film's seemingly provocative premise is not really a serious inquiry, but a spurious, comforting doctrinal lullaby. 'Ö'Ö

THE LEGO MOVIE

Polo Park. G. 101 minutes.

An ordinary Lego figure (voiced by Chris Pratt) is enlisted to lead a force of Lego good guys (including Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman) against an evil megalomaniac plotting to glue the Lego universe together. This wild animated feature may appeal to kids, but adults will be heartened by its potent satiric undercurrent and its championing of creativity. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN

St. Vital, Towne. G. 93 minutes.

This studio-produced animated epic, based on Jay Ward's more humbly satiric 'toon from the '60s, gives us the return of the time-travelling genius canine Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burrell) attempting to undo the temporal damage done by his adopted son Sherman when he used their time travel "Wabac" machine to impress a girl. Fans of the old TV show may take longer in adjusting to the new voices, but the witty wordplay and the pull-out-all-stops supporting cast pays off. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

MUPPETS MOST WANTED

St. Vital, Towne. G. 107 minutes.

Kermit the Frog falls victim to a look-alike international criminal named Constantine, who takes his place on a Muppets tour of Europe while Kermit is trapped in a Russian gulag under the command of a musical theatre-loving prison guard (Tina Fey). A slight comedown from its more inspired predecessor, this is still an entertaining, silly time for kids and their parents (although they won't always be laughing at the same thing). 'Ö'Ö'Ö

NEED FOR SPEED

Polo Park. PG. 131 minutes.

An ace mechanic and driver (Aaron Paul) participates in a reckless cross-country race to clear his name against the unsavoury professional driver (Dominic Cooper) who let him take the fall for a crime he didn't commit. Because its admittedly impressive stunts were all achieved without use of CGI, Need for Speed stakes a claim to roots in movies of the '60s and '70s but has none of their grit: It's really here to rake in a little of the gearhead cash the Fast and Furious franchise is making by the truckload. 'Ö 1/2

NOAH

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 138 minutes.

In director Darren Aronofsky's adaptation of the biblical story, Noah (Russell Crowe) lives in a time of human barbarism and gets the call from God to build an ark and populate it with two animals of every species. Big, beatific and (more or less) biblical, the film is a mad vision of a movie, an action adventure take on the Flood that cleansed the Earth. Aronofsky envisions it all through the lens of Hollywood, interpreting the Bible as myth and telling one of its most fantastical tales as a grand and dark cinematic fantasy -- a Lord of the Rains. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

OCULUS

McGillivray, Polo Park, Towne. 14A. 103 minutes.

Sister and brother Kaylie and Tim (Karen Gillan and Brenton Thwaites) steal a supernaturally powerful antique mirror with the intention of proving it was responsible for the death of their parents years earlier. It starts well, but by the self-destructing third act, the story falls prey to the affliction of many a genre movie. Just because anything can happen doesn't mean anything should happen. 'Ö'Ö 1/2

THE RAID 2

Globe, Kildonan Place. 18A. 150 minutes.

In this bigger, more ambitious sequel to the one-of-a-kind martial arts thriller The Raid, cop Rama (Iwo Ukais) goes undercover to infiltrate the criminal organization that came close to killing him in the first movie. If the first was like a grungy Die Hard, this one is more like a grungy Scarface: dark and violent, but maddeningly irresistible. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö

RIO 2

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G. 101 minutes.

Love birds Blu and Jewel are living the sweet domestic life in Rio de Janeiro until Jewel decides to take their kids for a trip to the Amazon rainforest to learn what life is like in nature. This sequel amounts to more characters, more actors, more songs, more pandering and fewer laughs. 'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

7 BOXES

Cinematheque. 14A. 105 minutes.

This thriller from Paraguay follows a street kid, eager to escape the scrutiny of police, agreeing to help a butcher transport seven boxes across a crowded marketplace, only to encounter thieves and criminals with an interest in what those boxes contain. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE

Polo Park. 18A. 103 minutes.

This sequel to Zack Snyder's 300 offers stylized, bloody seagoing action concurrent to the events of the first movie, involving a raging female admiral (Eva Green) fighting for Persia against the Greeks, led by the formidable General Themistokles (Sullivan Stapleton). It's sexy, violent and stylish. 'Ö'Ö'Ö

TRAILER PARK BOYS: DON'T LEGALIZE IT

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 96 minutes.

Julian, Ricky and Bubbles go on a road trip from their Dartmouth trailer park, primarily geared to Ricky's mission to testify against pot legalization (which would diminish the cash returns of his grow-op). As with any movie aimed at an audience of potheads, the laughs may be in direct proportion to the number of tokes inhaled prior to viewing. That's bad news for film critics, who are pretty much required to stay straight while on the job. The movie is amusing, but not nearly the gut-buster the first film was. 'Ö'Ö 1/2

TRANSCENDENCE

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 119 minutes.

Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp), on a mission to take artificial intelligence to the next level, gets more intimately involved in the process than he expected after an assassination attempt by an anti-technology extremist group. This thoughtful, but windy and winded, sci-fi thriller shortchanges the science and the thrills. It's a mopey affair with indifferent performances, heartless romance and dull action. It transcends nothing. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

LE WEEK-END

Globe. 14A. 93 minutes.

Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a later-middle-aged couple who take a trip to Paris in an effort to revive their failing marriage. A corrosive, witty and revealing story of a marriage laid bare. 'Ö'Ö'Ö 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 20, 2014 A13

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