AKA DOC POMUS (NR). Documentary tracking the remarkable life and career of Brooklyn-born Jerome Felder, who, paralyzed with polio as a child, reinvented himself first as a blues singer, renaming himself Doc Pomus, then emerged as one of the most brilliant songwriters of the early rock and roll era.
ALL IS LOST (PG-13). An old man (Robert Redford) sailing alone around the world is confronted with his mortality after his sailboat starts to sink. This solo ordeal won't be to every taste but it is a grand vehicle for Redford and for that viewer ready to consider his or her own mortality. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/11). 1:47.
CAPTAIN PHILLIPS (PG-13). Tom Hanks stars as the captain of an American cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009. An engrossing, sober-minded, fact-centered account that makes a tight edge-of-your-seat thriller, from an unfussy director with a talent for tension. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 10/12). 2:14.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R). Matthew McConaughey stars as Ron Woodroof, an electrician, amateur rodeo rider and Dallas ladies' man whose love-'em-and-leave-'em lifestyle with just about every woman in town leaves him with AIDS and not long to live. In a fit of desperation tinged with entrepreneurial zeal, Woodroof begins clandestinely bringing in drugs and remedies from Mexico, and selling them to other AIDS patients.
DELIVERY MAN (PG-13). An irresponsible 40ish guy learns he's been the sperm donor daddy to hundreds of kids, and decides to secretly involve himself in their lives.
ENDER'S GAME (PG-13). This sci-fi adventure based upon Orson Scott Card's hugely popular novel focuses on an unusally gifted, gangly soft-featured boy who becomes the star student in the military school that prepares kids to lead a comeback counterattack against the ant-like Formics. With Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Abigail Breslin, Ben Kingsley. H (Covert (Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- 11/4). 1:54.
FREE BIRDS (PG). Through a time machine, a pair of turkeys travel back to the first Thanksgiving in Plymouth. More proof, as if 2013 needed it, that Hollywood has almost killed the animated goose that laid the golden egg. With the voices of Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler. H1/2 (Covert, Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- 11/5). 1:31.
JACKASS PRESENTS: BAD GRANDPA (R). A fitfully funny, semi-scripted "Jackass" outing built around elaborately staged pranks played on the unsuspecting by Johnny Knoxville, who dons old-age makeup and becomes Irving Zisman. Better in concept and in its short, punchy TV commercials than it is as a feature. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 10/28). 1:32.
LAST VEGAS (PG-13). Four childhood pals, now retirees, gather in Las Vegas for the bachelor party and wedding of the Malibu member of their "Rat Pack." He's about to marry, for the first time and to a much younger woman. Comical comfort food, with actors doing the sorts of things they've done for decades. With Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen. HH1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/4). 1:40.
THE BEST MAN HOLIDAY (R). A most welcome sequel to the 1999 sleeper hit, "The Best Man," about a tight-knit circle of black friends who gathered then for a wedding, now to spend Christmas together. Yes, it's occasionally maudlin and melodramatic, and it's entirely too long. But it's also heartfelt and often downright hilarious. With Morris Chestnut, Taye Diggs, Sanaa Lathan, Nia Long, Terrence Howard. HH1/2 (Moore, McClatchy Tribune News Service -- 11/16). 2:02.
THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE (PG-13). The Districts are in revolt. People are being shot simply for raising their hands and whistling as a symbol of solidarity and protest. And Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is making trouble.
THOR: THE DARK WORLD (PG-13). There's a fleet and funny comic-book movie buried inside this action film and you catch glimpses of it here and there. But the bulk of this bloated, plodding sequel is just another riff about an ancient being who wants to destroy the universe as payback for an ancient slight against his people. HH (Rodriguez, The Miami Herald -- 11/11). 1:52.
12 YEARS A SLAVE (R). Unsparing 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. Director Steve McQueen and his stellar cast take us on a difficult journey. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano. HHHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/9). 2:14.