Friday September 21, 2012

ARBITRAGE (R). Richard Gere stars in a Wall Street thriller about a deceitful hedge-fund manager negotiating a merger whose carefully built house of cards begins to collapse when his mistress is killed in an automobile accident which he survives. As unseemly as it may sound, Gere makes us root for the lying, scarmbling but extremely well-coiffed billionaire he plays. Part "Law & Order" morality play, part "Wall Street" with a dash of the more recent and topically pertinent "Margin Call," "Arbitrage" hums along, complicating its narrative without tying itself in knots. With Susan Sarandon, Brit Marling, Tim Roth. HHH (Phillips, Chicago Tribune -- 9/15). 1:40.

COSMOPOLIS (R). Director David Cronenberg’s screen treatment of Don DeLillo’s short, chilly 2003 book adopted a Ulysses-like format of a man’s journey across a city in a single day in a white stretch limo to presciently foresee the anarchic "Occupy" mentality rising up to protest the financial shenanigans of the ultra-rich. With Robert Pattinson.

DREDD 3D (R). An executioner (Karl Urban) fights a drug epidemic in post-apocalyptic America. Review, D3

END OF WATCH (R). Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are cops minding the mean streets of Los Angeles. Review, this page

FINDING NEMO 3D (G). Newly rereleased in 3D, the 9-year-old Pixar Disney marvel about a single-father clown fish searching for his son is a welcome sight on the big screen where you can feel the undiminished immensity of the ocean and the bulk of a whale in a way TV can’t touch. The story itself and the vocal pierformances make the trip worthwhile even though the 3D isn’t up to the film’s otherwise sterling level. (Lovece, Newsday -- 9/18). 1:52.

HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (PG-13). A dream house becomes a place of terror for a mom and her daughter (Elisabeth Shue and Jennifer Lawrence).

LAST OUNCE OF COURAGE (PG). Challenged by a grandson whose father died fighting for the United States, the part-time mayor of a small town decides to stand up for the freedoms his son and his own father died for by bringing back his town’s abandoned-in-the-name-of-political correctness tradition of putting up Christmas decorations. The film’s makers are sincere in their message, and -- especially when they show the price of freedom paid by members of the military and their families -- they hit some affecting notes. But there’s an awful lot of clumsy, heavyhanded stuff in the way. Story lines start and fizzle all over the place, getting in the way of otherwise powerful moments. With Marshall R. Teague, Jennifer O’Neill, Fred Williamson. HH (Foran, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel -- 9/17). 1:41.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION 3D (R). Milla Jovovich resumes her battle against a plague of zombies in the fifth film of this dog-eared series. Whatever ambition the filmmakers displayed in the last film, "Resident Evil: Afterlife," they’ve taken this franchise back to square one and delivered a badly written, flatly acted, violent, nonsensical bloodbath. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 9/19). 1:31.

SIDE BY SIDE (NR). Documentary which explores the impact of digital technology on 21st-century moviemaking,

THE INTOUCHABLES (R). Popular French film about a Senegalese thief who somehow gets hired to be the personal attendant for an extremely wealthy quadriplegic. Not bad, sometimes corny, sometimes labored. HH (LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle -- 8/31). 1:52.

THE MASTER (R). A World War II Navy veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) falls under the spell of a charismatic cult leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN (PG). A childless couple sets down on paper the qualities they would want in a perfect child and bury the list in their garden only to have the 10-year-old boy of their dreams mysteriously materialize and take his place in their home and lives. A very pretty movie to look at but beneath the pretty pictures is a stab at Capra-corn, the sort of magical story of simple, genuine people mastered by Frank Capra. Sadly, this is all corn and no Capra. With Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgertgon, CJ Adams. HH (Germain, Associated Press -- 8/15). 1:44.

THE POSSESSION (R). A well-behaved tween is quickly possessed when she finds and opens a locked box with strange Hebrew inscriptions. The effects are chilling enough, the build-up has its moments. But the film lacks impact, those horrific sucker touches that take you by surprise and raise the hairs on the back of your neck. With Kyra Sedgwick, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Natasha Calis. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune Newspapers -- 9/1). 1:31.

THE WORDS (PG-13). A writer (Bradley Cooper) must face the music after plagiarizing a novel. If you were setting out to write the perfect fall film, you’d include much that’s in this movie. But for that "perfect" film you’d have to heighten the emotions, make more of the characters and relationships and trim a lot of words out of it. With Zoe Saldana, Dennis Quaid, Jeremy Irons, Olivia Wlde. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 9/7). 1:31.

2016 OBAMA’S AMERICA (PG). Documentary offering a conservative view of what America could become if President Obama is elected to a second term.

TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE (PG-13). An aging baseball scout (Clint Eastwood) enlists his daughter (Amy Adams) on his latest talent trip.