X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 132 minutes.
The director of the first two X-Men movies, Bryan Singer, resumes a firm hold of the mutant franchise in which the younger cast of the '60s-set First Class entry interact with the millennial X-Men. The ageless Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) bridges the gap when Wolvie's consciousness is sent back in time to prevent the apocalyptic reign of killer robots called Sentinels. Singer plays fast and loose with continuity issues -- how exactly is Professor Xavier still alive? -- but excusing those major lapses, this still feels like a return to form for the franchise. ***1/2
THE GRAND SEDUCTION
Grant Park, McGillivray. PG. 113 minutes.
This remake of the French-Canadian film Seducing Dr. Lewis stars Brendan Gleeson as an unemployed Newfoundland fisherman who co-ordinates the citizens of his town to entice an urbane doctor (Taylor Kitsch) into taking up residence. Directed by Don McKellar.
Grant Park. 14A. 85 minutes.
Tom Hardy stars as a man whose personal history compels him to do the right thing, even if it means the destruction of his comfortable life, in this one-man show written and directed by Steven Knight.
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, Polo Park Imax, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 97 minutes.
Angelina Jolie offers up a live-action, sympathetic portrayal of Sleeping Beauty's nemesis in this lush Disney adventure.
A MILLION WAYS TO DIE IN THE WEST
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 14A. 116 minutes.
Seth MacFarlane co-wrote and directed this comic western as well starring as a cowardly homesteader facing a notorious outlaw (Liam Neeson) and learning gunplay courtesy of a beautiful gunslinger (Charlize Theron).
A TOUCH OF SIN
Cinematheque. 14A. 129 minutes.
Director Jia Zhangke examines tensions in contemporary China through the eyes of four outcasts driven to violent deeds, all based on true stories.
UNDER THE SKIN
Grant Park. 14A. 108 minutes.
This experimental/sci-fi/horror film -- equal parts 2001 and Species -- stars Scarlett Johansson as an extraterrestrial hunting the Scottish highlands in search of human male prey for dark purposes. Directed by Jonathan Glazer (Sexy Beast).
The following movies have been previously reviewed by Free Press movie critic Randall King, unless otherwise noted.
THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2
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. * 1/2
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 frame and is actually about something. **** 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. PG. 118 minutes.
Adam Sandler reunites with Wedding Singer co-star Drew Barrymore, playing a mismatched couple whose families wind up taking a vacation together in Africa. While not as disagreeable as Sandler's recent comedies, one wishes he would hire a non-hack director, resistant to the Sandler modus operandi of throwing crude comedy and pathos on the screen to see what sticks. **
Globe. G. 96 minutes.
This documentary exposé produced and narrated by Katie Couric examines how the food industry has spread misinformation about basic nutrition at the expense of a population afflicted like no other with unprecedented levels of obesity and poor health. It often feels like a dish we've been served before, but it is effective at zeroing in on Dietary Enemy No. 1 -- sugar -- and the food industry's unrelenting work to redirect the nation's efforts away from the problem. *** (Reviewed by Chris Foran)
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, McGillivray VIP, Polo Park, 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 version, 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. ***
HEAVEN IS FOR REAL
Polo Park, Towne. 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. **
MILLION DOLLAR ARM
Towne. 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." ** 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne. 18A. 97 minutes.
A newly responsible dad and former party animal (Seth Rogen) finds himself in 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. *** 1/2
ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE
Globe. 14A. 124 minutes.
This droll, non-terrifying, wistfully romantic and altogether delicious vampire movie from director Jim Jarmusch casts Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as a not-quite-ageless vampire couple who come off as a more evolved species of humanity (notwithstanding Mia Wasikowska as Swinton's impetuously evil vampire sister), self-exiled to Detroit and Tangier. ****
THE OTHER WOMAN
Polo Park. 14A. 109 minutes.
Cameron Diaz is a vengeance-minded woman who comes to the realization that 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 were even possible. But it is, because of Diaz and Mann, a great comic duo. *** (Reviewed by Roger Moore)
Polo Park. 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. ** 1/2 (Reviewed by Roger Moore)