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RECOMMENDED

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. 3 1/2

 

STARTING FRIDAY

ARCTIC DEFENDERS

Cinematheque. G. 85 minutes.

This doc by John Walker tells the story of a radical Inuit movement that began in 1968 and ultimately led to the creation of Nunavut.

 

BRICK MANSIONS

Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 91 minutes.

This English-language remake of the French action movie District 13 teams the late Paul Walker with original star David Belle as respectively a cop and an ex-con who team up to prevent a Detroit crimelord from destroying the city.

 

GLORIA

Globe. 14A. 109 minutes.

This Chilean film stars Paulina Garcia as Gloria, a fiftysomething woman whose life kick-starts in a new direction when she meets an older man with whom she proves to be vivaciously compatible.

 

THE QUIET ONES

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, Towne. 14A. 99 minutes.

A professor (Jared Harris) conducts paranormal experiments with a group of university students centred on a seemingly possessed young woman (Olivia Cooke) in this latest horror production from Hammer Films

 

THE OTHER WOMAN

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 109 minutes.

Cameron Diaz stars in this comedy farce as a woman who comes to the realization that her boyfriend is not only married, but is also cheating on her with a younger woman. The three women (including Leslie Mann as the wife and Kate Upton as mistress No. 2) join forces to avenge themselves on the cheating louse (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau).

 

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

 

BEARS

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

This doc follows the raising of bear cubs in the wilds of Alaska. It is exactly the sort of documentary we've come to expect from Disneynature, the film division of the company that rolls out a new nature documentary every year at Earth Day. It's gorgeous, intimate and beautifully photographed. And it's 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. 3 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

DIVERGENT

Polo Park, St. Vital. 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. 3 stars

 

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 Law may go down in history as one of the most colourful low-lifes ever committed to film, it is doubtful that 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 cloth such an outsize antihero. 3 stars (Reviewed by Michael O'Sullivan)

 

DRAFT DAY

Grant Park, Polo Park. PG. 110 minutes.

A football team 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. 3 stars

 

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. 2 stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL

Grant Park, 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 hotel uniforms to the drinks, colognes and artwork of Europe between the world wars, Anderson ensconces his eccentric characters and us in a time of baroque, imaginary four-star hotels run on what used to pass for four-star service. 4 stars (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. 2 stars

 

MR. PEABODY AND 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 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 word play and the pull-out-all-stops supporting cast pays off. 3 stars (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

NOAH

McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. PG. 138 minutes.

In director Darren Aranofsky'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. 3 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

OCULUS

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. 2 1/2

 

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. 2 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

 

TRAILER PARK BOYS: DON'T LEGALIZE IT

Kildonan Place, McGillivray, 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 that the first film was. 2 1/2

 

TRANSCENDENCE

Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, 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 plays shortchanges the science and the thrills. It's a mopey affair with indifferent performances, heartless romance and dull action. It transcends nothing. 2 stars (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. 3 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition April 24, 2014 ??65526

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