BAD WORDS (R). A 40-year-old man exploits a loophole to enter and hijack a children’s spelling bee, and along the way he forges an unlikely alliance with a cheerful 10-year-old competitor. A solid addition to the list of movies about bad Santas and teachers decimating authority. With Jason Bateman, Kathryn Hahn, Rohan Chand. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 3/31). 1:29.
CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (PG-13). Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), aka Captain America, and agent Natasha Romanoff (Scarlett Johansson), the Black Widow, get far more than they bargain for when Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson), director of the espionage agency S.H.I.E.L.D., enlists their help to rescue a hijacked government ship. "Winter Soldier" takes a flying leap off the basic premise of superhero movies and sails away in unexpected crowd-pleasing directions. This grippingly, stylishly made film delivers mechanically perfect shocks and much more. With Anthony Mackie, Robert Redford. HHH (Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune -- 4/5). 2:16.
DIVERGENT (PG-13). In a future world where people are divided into distinct factions based on their personalities, a young woman who doesn’t fit into a single group discovers a conspiracy to destroy those like her. The movie, which gives moviegoers something to chew on, benefits from a talented young actress, Shailene Woodley, at its heart. With Theo James, Jai Courtney. HHH (Vancheri, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- 3/24). 2:23.
DRAFT DAY (PG-13). On the day of the NFL draft, the general manager of the Cleveland Browns trades for the No. 1 pick and has the onerous task of saving football in his city. With Kevin Costner, Jennifer Garner, Denis Leary.
ERNEST & CELESTINE (PG). This charming French-Belgium animated film is about a bear and a mouse whose artistic tendencies are forever getting them into trouble. Marked as outsiders by their respective societies, an unlikely friendship is forged, an ill-tempered uproar unleashed, and a delightful movie is the result. A magically understated mash-up, "Ernest & Celestine" has a comforting storybook effect and proves a refreshing departure in an age of high-tech, hyperkinetic animation set to soaring pop ballads, as entertaining as they can be. With the voices of Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, Megan Mullaley, William H. Macy, Nick Offerman, Jeffrey Wright. (Sharkey, Los Angeles Times -- 4/10). 1:20.
GOD’S NOT DEAD (PG). In order to pass one of his classes, a devoutly religious college freshman must debate the existence of God with his skeptical professor. With Kevin Sorbo, David A.R. White.
LE WEEK-END (NR). A long-married middle-class British couple attempt to re-invigorate their marriage by returning to Paris for the first time since their honeymoon. A smart, snappy and deeply sad survey of a doomed marriage. With Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service). 1:33.
MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN (PG). The story of the ultra-smart, time-traveling dog and his pet boy was introduced as a segment of Ward’s brilliant "Rocky & Bullwinkle Show" in the 1960s. And the attempt to turn that show into a live-action movie was a catastrophe. What a relief to see that while "Mr. Peabody’s" visuals are enhanced to sleek 21st century standards, the essential charm of the series survives more or less intact. In this telling, sophisticated, sarcastic Peabody, an outcast brainiac in his youth, adopts human foundling Sherman to give him the family he never had as a pup. When Sherman and bratty schoolmate Penny take the WABAC Machine for a joyride, they create a rift in the space-time continuum. Peabody takes command to repair the damage. With the voices of Ty Burrell, Max Charles, Ariel Winter, Allison Janney. HHH (Covert, Minneapolis Star Trubune -- 3/8). 1:32.
MUPPETS MOST WANTED (PG). In this Disney caper, the Muppets fall into the clutches of the world’s No. 1 criminal, Constantine, who, with the exception of a facial mole and a vaguely Eastern European accent, bears a striking resemblance to Kermit. Pleasant enough to recommend as family entertainment. But the movie falls short of what immediately preceded it musically and emotionally. Being green isn’t easy; making it at the box office is. HH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 3/22). 1:47.
NOAH (PG-13). In a world ravaged by human sin, Noah (Russell Crowe) is given a divine mission to build an ark to save creation from the approaching deluge and give it a second chance. Occasionally clumsy, ridiculous and unconvincing, it is almost never dull, and very little of it has the careful, by-the-numbers quality that characterizes big-studio action-fantasy entertainment. With Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Emma Watson, Anthony Hopkins, Frank Langella, Nick Nolte. (Scott, New York Times -- 3/29). 2:19.
OCULUS (R). A woman tries to exonerate her brother, recently released from a juvenile mental institution, for the murder of their parents by proving that they were killed by an antique mirror. With Karen Gillan, Brenton Thwaites, Rory Cochrane.
RIO 2 (G). Traveling from Rio de Janeiro to the Amazon rainforest, a family of birds gets acquainted with the wild in this sequel to the 2011 animated film "Rio." With the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan.
THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (R). At a European hotel between the wars, a concierge and a lobby boy get mixed up in the theft and recovery of a priceless Renaissance painting and the battle for an enormous family fortune. Wes Anderson’s latest film is a dark, daft and deft triumph of design details and hints of many of his jaunty earlier American films but with balalaikas and bursts of violence and profanity and sexual crudeness that jolts us into remembering the cruelty the film’s central character, M. Gustave (Ralph Fiennes), is keeping at bay. With Tony Revolori, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Saoirse Ronan, F. Murray Abraham, Adrian Brody, Bill Murray, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 3/29). 1:40.
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