DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R). Academy Award-winner 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 Academy Award-winning 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.
GLORIA (R). Sebastian Lelio’s film about about a divorcee who finds herself reliving her past in the over-50 dating scene of modern-day Chile has a palpable loneliness about it. Gloria, played by Paulina Garcia with a sort of fierce victimhood, keeps her optimism and her sense of self-worth when society has traditionally put such women out to pasture. Garcia makes us fear the emptiness that is staring Gloria in the face. Not a lot happens in this closely-observed character study, but few recent movies have dared to show this stage of life -- the creeping solitude that memories of your disco past cannot fend off.
HER (R). A melancholy romance about a man who falls in love with a sentient, learning and loving operating system. Director Spike Jonze’s handling of his jump-off premise defies anything movies train viewers to expect from such ripe-for-folly conceits. With Joaquin Phoenix, Scarlett Johansson, Rooney Mara, Amy Adams. HHH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 1/11). 2:05.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON (NR). The well-ordered affluent life of a prominent workaholic Japanese architect is turned upside down when hospital adminstrators reveal that the boy he has been raising as his son and his true biological son were accidentally switched at birth. In Japanese, with English subtitles.
MR.PEABODY & SHERMAN (PG). In this animated film, a genius dog and his mischievous boy set out to undo the damage caused when the latter takes their time machine for a joy ride to impress a girl. With the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney.
NON-STOP (PG-13). During a flight from New York City to London, a U.S. air marshal (Liam Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding a $150 million ransom, or a passenger on the flight will be killed every 20 minutes. The red herrings, throwing us off the scent of who is pulling the strings, are well-thought out; the resolution, not so much. But Neeson, at 61, is proving to be a more reliable action hero than any of his peers. He’s so real that he makes the somewhat unreal film surrounding him more grounded than "Non-Stop" has any right to be. With Julianne Moore, Michelle Dockery, Linus Roache, Lupito Nyong’o, Corey Stoll. HH (Moore, McCklatchy-trubune News Service -- 3/1). 1:45.
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. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/27). 1:38.
POMPEII (PG-13). A gladiator movie and love story with a volcano in the middle of it. Half sword-and-sandal epic, half disaster movie and all guilty pleasure. HH (Rodruguez, Miami Herald -- 2/14). 1:45.
SON OF GOD (PG-13). A film portraying the life of Jesus, from birth through his preaching, crucifixion and resurrection. A reverent procession of Jesus’ greatest hits from first miracle to Last Supper and beyond. A capable Sunday school lesson with something for anyone to challenge and practically nothing that offends. With Diogo Morgado, Greg Hicks, Adrian Schiller. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 3/3). 2:10.
THE LEGO MOVIE (PG). In this animated film, an ordinary Lego figure is mistaken for the person meant to save the world and drafted into a quest to stop an evil tyrant. "The Lego Movie" doesn’t simply put imagination into practice but celebrates it, makes it integral, in a late development so uncharacteristic for an animated film that it’s a wonder unto itself. With the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett. HHH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 2/10). 1:30.
THE MONUMENTS MEN (PG-13). A fact-based drama about an unlikely World War II platoon tasked by FDR with going to Germany to save rare antiques, art and architecture from theft and destruction by the Nazis. A genial disappointment about the preciousness of art amid the destructive horrors of war. With George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett. HH (Phillips, Chicago Tribune -- 2/8). 1:59.
3 DAYS TO KILL (PG-13). Kevin Costner plays C.I.A. contract killer Ethan Renner, a "cleaner," who learns he’s dying of cancer. His new control agent (Amber Heard) bribes him with a serum that might prolong his life, providing he carry out one last series of hits, in Paris, where his estranged wife (Connie Nielsen) and the teen daughter he barely knows (Hailee Steinfeld) live. Daft and sloppy as it is, it rarely fails as entertainment. HH1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Trubune News Service -- 2/24). 1:53.
300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE (R). The Athenian general Themistokles attempts to unite all of Greece by leading the charge against the invading Persian King Xerxes and his navy. With Sullivan Stapleton, Eva Green, Lena Headey.
12 YEARS A SLAVE (R). Unsparing Academy Award-winning drama based on the true story of a black American living in upstate New York with his wife and children who had never been a slave and was kidnapped, smuggled south and sold into slavery in 1841. A sometimes awful and only faintly inspiring odyssey that will make you want to avert your eyes. It is to the filmmakers’ great credit that we never do. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, Garret Dillahunt, Paul Giamatti, Lupita Nyong’o, Sarah Paulson, Brad Pitt, Adepero Oduye. HHHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/9). 2:14.