THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 143 minutes.
In this sequel to the rebooted-too-soon franchise, Spidey (Andrew Garfield) battles three villains, including Electro (Jamie Foxx), the Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) and Rhino (Paul Giamatti), but the supplemental villainy only results in sloppy writing and dramatic redundancy. Unlike Sam Raimi, at the hand of the original trilogy, returning director Marc Webb has no discernible style, guiding the empty superhero spectacle with all the inspiration of a cop putting in overtime beside a busted traffic light. 'Ö �
Globe. G. 104 minutes.
Director Amma Asante's film tells the fact-based story of Dido Elizabeth Belle Lindsay (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate daughter of a British naval officer and an African slave, raised as a noblewoman in 18th-century Britain. Imagine a Jane Austen adaptation, with all its Empire waistlines and romantic longing, but also a film in which the obstacles to love are far greater than mere social standing, a story that transcends its comedy of manners and is actually about something. 'Ö'Ö'Ö'Ö� (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 91 minutes.
This English-language remake of the French action movie District B13 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 crime lord from destroying the city. This A-level action/D-level plot is too typical of the lesser fare Walker squeezed in between the increasingly popular, decreasingly intelligent, Fast & Furious movies. 'Ö'Ö � (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER
Kildonan Place, McGillivray, 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 Johansson) 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 �
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. 'Ö'Ö'Ö
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 123 minutes.
Hollywood's second take on Japan's seminal kaiju (giant monster) is a vast improvement over the silly 1998 feature, taking the more serious tone of the original. But, deprived of historical context or metaphoric resonance, it ultimately registers as a big, noisy spectacle that will be forgotten about the same time as the Godzilla-roar-induced ringing in your ears ceases. 'Ö'Ö'Ö
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. 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 European artwork, 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
Globe, McGillivray, 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
LEGENDS OF OZ: DOROTHY'S RETURN
McGillivray, Polo Park, Towne. G. 92 minutes.
In this animated adventure set in the present day, Dorothy finds herself returning to Oz on a mission to save the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man from a new menace known as the Jester. It's a harmless, but almost charmless, adaptation of a book by L. Frank Baum's grandson and a derivative hash of grandpa's story. 'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Grant Park. PG. 106 minutes.
A misdirected lunchbox connects a young, dissatisfied housewife (Nimrat Kaur) to a widower (Irrfan Khan) on the verge of retirement. Weaving a deceptively intricate, piquant tale, writer-director Ritesh Batra offers a poignant human story against a backdrop of crowded streets, trains, shabby offices and tiny apartments. 'Ö'Ö'Ö �
MILLION DOLLAR ARM
Grant Park, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital. G. 124 minutes.
A desperate sports agent (Jon Hamm) recruiting baseball pitchers decides to exploit an untapped resource from the realm of Asian cricket players in this comically thin "true story." 'Ö'Ö � (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
MOM'S NIGHT OUT
Polo Park. PG. 99 minutes.
Facing a crisis of confidence, beleaguered mom Allyson (Sarah Drew) leaves the kids for a night and goes for a fun night out with a couple of friends, only to find herself on a chaotic hunt for a missing baby. Instead of a sex farce, this is a decidedly Christian farce, balancing frenetic comedy with moments of spiritual introspection. The whole enterprise might be easier to take if it was funny. The filmmakers have evidently watched a lot of movies and they know how to make something that looks and sounds like a real comedy, but the film feels hollow and imitative. This movie is about the sermon. The "comedy" is just the delivery system. 'Ö �
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A. 97 minutes.
A newly responsible dad and former party animal (Seth Rogen) finds himself in a pitched battle with the frat kingpin (Zac Efron) next door. It makes for some rude fun. Director Nicholas Stoller knows a thing or two about directing raunchy comedies, and certainly Rogen knows a lot about carrying them. Between them, they hit more than miss, with gags involving sex toys, baby monitors and Batman preferences: Keaton vs. Bale. 'Ö'Ö'Ö �
NYMPHOMANIAC VOL. 2
Cinematheque. R. 124 minutes.
The continuation of Lars von Trier's tale of a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac (Charlotte Gainsbourg) sharing her sexually compulsive history. Much like the first film, Vol. 2 isn't remotely erotic or a turn-on -- it's a curiously intellectual experience that doesn't move you below the neck, including the heart. 'Ö'Ö � (Reviewed by Rene Rodriguez)
Polo Park. 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 �
THE OTHER WOMAN
Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 109 minutes.
Cameron Diaz is a vengeance-minded woman who comes to the realization her boyfriend is not only married (to Leslie Mann), but is also cheating on her with a younger woman (Kate Upton). This female-empowerment comedy and buddy picture is a PG-13 Bridesmaids, as if that was even possible, but it is, because of Diaz and Mann, a great comic duo. 'Ö'Ö'Ö (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
THE RAILWAY MAN
Grant Park. 14A. 108 minutes.
Colin Firth stars as a Second World War vet trying to come to terms with the trauma he suffered while a prisoner of the Japanese when his emotional issues fracture his relationship with his new wife (Nicole Kidman). Firth holds it all together playing the opposite side of the coin bearing the likeness of King George VI in The King's Speech. In that film, Firth essayed a vulnerable man obliged to present a figure of strength. In this film, he delicately strips the stoic veneer from a survivor to reveal the fragile but compassionate soul beneath. 'Ö'Ö'Ö
Kildonan Place, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. G. 101 minutes.
Lovebirds 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 � (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
RHYMES FOR YOUNG GHOULS
Cinematheque. 14A. 88 minutes.
On a reserve community living under the heel of a nearby residential school, a teen girl Aila (Kawennahere Devery Jacobs) lives by her wits until forced into a showdown with a demonic Indian agent. One expects another well-intentioned social drama, picking at the scabs of Canada's shameful policy of ripping First Nations children from their parents. While first-time feature director Jeff Barnaby addresses that issue, he mostly stays true to a primary agenda of making a stylish, hard-hitting and entertaining movie. 'Ö'Ö'Ö �
Globe. G. 80 minutes.
Magicians Penn and Teller produced and directed this amazing, provocative doc about contemporary inventor Tim Jenison, a non-artist who sets out on a mission to reproduce a painting by Dutch master Johannes Vermeer using an ingenious system of mirror-and-lens technology that would have been available to the artist in the 17th century. 'Ö'Ö'Ö �