AMERICAN HUSTLE (R). From director David O. Russell comes this crime caper inspired by the Abscam scandal about a con man (Christian Bale), his loony wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and his British partner in crime (Amy Adams) who are forced to collaborate with a loose-cannon FBI agent (Bradley Cooper). Their target: a New Jersey politician (Jeremy Renner).

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES (R). A somewhat baggy successor to a gem, "Anchorman 2" may not have the same imprint in American culture as its predecessor but it has moments of howling hilarity and the improvisatory spit that gave Ron Burgundy’s origin story its ramshackle charm. With Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd, Christina Applegate. HHH (Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 12/18). 1:59.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R). Matthew McConaughey keeps getting better and better, turning in performances that are layered and powerful while portraying characters who are resolutely of a particular time and place. But he might find it hard to top himself after this flawed but moving drama based on a true story about a 1980s Texas electrician, amateur rodeo rider and Dallas ladies man battling both terminal AIDS and the federal government. With Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto. HH1/2 (Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram -- 11/23). 1:57.

FROZEN (PG). There’s wit and whimsy in this 53rd Disney animated feature -- a distant cousin of Hans Christian Anderson’s "The Snow Queen" -- about a young girl cursed with an X-Men-like ability to freeze things and her baby sister’s determined effort to lift the curse. With the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/27). 1:42.

HOMEFRONT (R). Jason Statham stars as a DEA agent who quits his job and moves to a small town under a new identity to live a quiet life with his 17-year-old daughter until a seemingly everyday occurrence -- a schoolyard scrap -- turns into an increasingly dangerous situation that spirals out of control. Statham is that rare breed of action star who not only does most of his own stunts but can also act, too. Ultimately, however, the film is done in by uninspired action scenes and so many loose ends that you wonder if 20 minutes were accidentally cut from the movie. With James Franco, Winona Ryder, Kate Bosworth, Izabela Vidovic. H1/2 (Rodriguez, Miami Herald -- 11/27). 1:40.

OUT OF THE FURNACE (R). This ambitious, impressionistic and confused ode to steel belt machismo is unsettling, violent and unfocused. With Christian Bale, Casey Affleck, Woody Harrelson and Forest Whitaker. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 12/9). 1:56.

PHILOMENA (PG-13). A disgraced journalist in search of a human interest story teams up with an old, ill-educated Irish woman who sets off to America in search of the out-of-wedlock child she was forced to give up 50 years earlier by the Irish Catholic Church. Judi Dench gives a performance of spunk and sparkle, bringing to life a twinkly, grandmotherly working-class woman who isn’t above enjoying a drink or a naughty word. Director Stephen Frears never lets the story lapse into sentiment and Steve Coogan -- who co-wrote the screenplay -- is pitch-perfect as the journalist who follows a 50-year-old trail to America. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/27). 1:38.

SAVING MR. BANKS (PG-13). Drama based on Walt Disney’s courtly struggles with the dismissive writer P.L. Travers as he and his dream factory turned her "Mary Poppins" into one of the most beloved children’s musicals ever. With Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG (PG-13). Bilbo Baggins’ and the elves’ adventures and misadventures in Middle-earth continue in this second of three films based on J.R.R. Tolkein’s prelude to the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. Funnier, livelier and action-packed. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 12/14). 2:41.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (PG-13). A satisfying second installment in the promised quadrilogy based on Suzanne Collins’ megaselling series about life in a dystopian land where a select group of boys and girls run into the woods and kill each other for the entertainment of the masses. Bigger, better and broodier than the first film. With Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Donald Sutherland, Elizabeth Banks, Stanley Tucci, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Woody Harrelson, Lenny Kravitz, Jena Malone, Amanda Plummer. HHH (Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer -- 11/23). 2:26.

TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA CHRISTMAS (PG-13). Mabel "Madea" Simmons (Tyler Perry) gets coaxed into helping her niece pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, where everyone gets just a bit more than they bargained for.

WADJDA (PG). Wadjda, the title character of Haifaa al-Mansour’s first feature, is an entrepreneurial 10-year-old in Riyadh -- a girl who wears scruffy Converse sneakers and jeans under her long black robe, sells homemade bracelets and mix tapes to make extra money, constantly runs afoul of the headmistress at her school, and longs desperately for the shiny olive-green bicycle on sale at a neighborhood store. But girls are not supposed to ride bicycles -- it’s undignified, inappropriate, in conservative Islamic culture, which is the culture all around her. And Wadjda’s mother, who has her own problems -- her husband is considering taking a second wife, one who will bear him a son -- isn’t about to buy a bike for her daughter.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (PG). A young pachyrhinosaurus comes of age and tries to protect his herd on a great migration in this animated film. With the voices of John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS (PG). A young pachyrhinosaurus comes of age and tries to protect his herd on a great migration in this animated film. With the voices of John Leguizamo, Justin Long, Tiya Sircar.