Friday May 17, 2013

ERASED (R). Covert operatives are desperate to tidy up a scheme in which an American expat may be the only witness. With Aaron Eckhart, Liana Liberato, Olga Kurylenko, Neil Napier, Yassine Fadel.

42 (PG-13). Straightforward and purposeful as a home run trot, this drama tracing Jackie Robinson's color-barrier breaking 1947 season as second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers is one of the all-time great sports movies primarily because it's one of the all-time great sports stories. With Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford. HHH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 4/12). 2:08.

IRON MAN 3 (PG-13). A little too much and a little not enough, "Iron Man 3" nonetheless has everything Disney and Marvel need to keep the "Avengers" superhero constellation shining and regenerating well into the 23rd century. As this sequel begins, the climactic alien melee in last year's all-star reunion "The Avengers" has left Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark nerve-racked and an insomniac workaholic. A new global terrorist, very much in the Bin Laden mold, has oozed onto the scene; fire-breathing mutants are wreaking havoc; and, if all that weren't enough, unfinished business from the past resurfaces. Overall, last year's "Avengers" delivered the bombastic goods more efficiently than this year's Marvel. With Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Kingsley, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall.


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HH (Phillips, Chicago Tribune -- 5/3). 2:09.

MUD (PG-13). Matthew McConaughey delivers a tour de force turn as a drifter hiding out in an abandoned cabin cruiser jammed high in a tree on a mid-river island in Arkansas, who enlists the help of two boys who have the run of the river and live and breathe boats to help him fix up his boat and "court" a dishy woman he's had his eye on for some time. A down-and-dirty if entirely too long mythic melodrama in the "Tobacco Road" tradition. With Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon, Ray McKinnon, Michael Shannon, Sam Shepard. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 5/3). 2:10.

PAIN & GAIN (R). Comedy-action-thriller based on a true story about three Miami body builders who scheme to kidnap, extort and torture a wealthy man who frequents the gym where they work out. Director Michael Bay pumps it up in his signature overblown style. If that chaos-on-steroids quality is what you love about this guy, his latest will wallop your involuntary nervous system in the manner you enjoy. For everyone else, it will be death by aggravation. With Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub, Ed Harris, Rob Cordrry. H1/2 (Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 4/29). 2:09.

PEEPLES (R). Comedy about a children's entertainer who comes up against the wealthy, snobby family of the love of his life -- a career-driven United Nations lawyer who is very much the daddy's girl of a daddy who disapproves. With Craig Robinson, Kerry Washington, David Alan Grier.

STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS (PG-13). Kirk, Spock and the Enterprise crew match wits with a mysterious terrorist who has an odd connection to a Starfleet admiral. With Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bruce Greenwood, Zoe Saldana, Peter Weller. Review, D3

THE BIG WEDDING (R). A divorced couple poses as a still-married pair for the sake of their about-to-be-married adopted son in this adaptation of a French film farce about a family wedding that defines chaos and dysfunction. In order to pull off all this sort of business, the pace should be breakneck, there shouldn't be an extra second tom contemplate the moral lapses and betrayals. Alas, "The Big Wedding," which inches along like a stoned snail, gives us all the time in the world. With Robert DeNiro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried, Robin Williams, Topher Grace, Ben Barnes. HH (Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer -- 4/29). 1:29.

THE CROODS (PG). For all the riffs on innovation in this nutty-Neanderthals comedy about a stone-age family trying to adapt to tectonic changes in the world and themselves, the CGI ‘toon ultimately has few original ideas behind its gently sloping forehead. Although "The Croods" has lazy patches throughout, the conclusion is exciting and, lo and behold, surprising. With the voices of Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Cloris Leachman. HH (Daly, Tampa Bay Times -- 3/26).1:38.

THE GATEKEEPERS (PG-13). Revealing documentary about Israel's counterterrorism agency, Shin Bet, based on interviews with six former directors. As a clear-eyed examination of a conflict that seems to have no end, "The Gatekeepers" is powerful, provocative stuff. HHHH (Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer -- 3/30). 1:27.

THE GREAT GATSBY (PG-13). Armed with a hip-hop score and 3D, F. Scott Fitzgerald's classic Roaring Twenties novel about an enigmatic man living the high life in an enclave in Long Island comes to the big screen for the fifth time in an aggressively bold treatment that takes the excesses and conspicuous consumptions of Fitzgerald's characters to their illogical ends. Yet as a purely sensory experience at the movies you'd be hard pressed to find anything more dazzling than the movie's first 90 minutes. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, Tobey Maguire. HH1/2 (Persalkl, tapa Bay Times -- 5/11). 2:23.

THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES (R). Three overlapping stories that center on the legacies -- voluntary or not -- fathers leave their sons, and the split-second decisions that can shape them. With more than 50 speaking roles, this film could easily have spiraled out of control into a predictable epic. But it holds enough intimacy -- and surprise -- to satisy. With Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta. HHH (Tillotson, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 4/13). 2:20.

THE SAPPHIRES (PG-13). A musical set in the 1960s about Aboriginal soul singers from Australia who take their act (and their piano player) on tour in Vietnam, entertaining American troops there.