AMERICAN HUSTLE (R). From director David O. Russell comes this kinetcially retro, left-field funny crime caper inspired by the Abscam scandal about a con man (Christian Bale), his loony wife (Jennifer Lawrence) and his British partner in crime (Amy Adams) who are forced to collaborate with a loose-cannon FBI agent (Bradley Cooper). Their target: a New Jersey politician (Jeremy Renner). HHH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 12/21). 2:09.
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (R). A family reunion turns into a convergence of recriminations and spite in this film adaptation of Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play. There’s a pervasive cruelty, a condescension toward common folk like the Weston family that’s frequently off-putting even as we’re laughing. With Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, Juliette Lewis, Chris Cooper, Abigail Breslin, Dermot Mulroney, Juliette Nicholson, Sam Shepard. HH1/2 (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 1/18). 1:59.
DALLAS BUYERS CLUB (R). 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.
LABOR DAY (PG-13). An escaped convict (Josh Brolin) forcefully takes refuge in the home of single mother Adele (Kate Winslet) and her adolescent son in their quiet suburban home one holiday weekend. It’s all bathetic enough to be subtitled "The Prisons of Madison County." HH (Persall, Tampa Bay Times -- 2/1). 1:45.
LONE SURVIVOR (R). Based on the true story of the ill-fated SEAL Team 10 and a mission in 2005 to kill a Taliban leader in Afghanistan that went messy. This grim chapter in Navy SEALs history earns a heroic no-punches-pulled accounting in this above-average action outing for Mark Wahlberg and company. HHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 1/13)
NEBRASKA (R). Director Alexander Payne uses black-and-white film to tell the story of a cranky old drunk (Bruce Dern) who goes on a road trip with his reluctant son (Will Forte) from Billings, Montana to Lincoln, Neb. to claim a million-dollar magazine sweepstakes prize. Bleak, brilliant, bitterly funny. HHHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 1/11). 1:56.
RIDE ALONG (R). Kevin Hart plays a pesky aspiring police officer seeking the approval of his girlfriend’s brother -- a no-nonsense veteran cop played by Ice Cube. A dull buddy cop movie engineered as a vehicle for the mini-motor mouth Hart and the perma-sneering Ice Cube. H1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 1/22). 1:40.
THAT AWKWARD MOMENT (R). Zac Efron, Miles Teller ("The Spectacular Now") and Michael B. Jordan ("Fruitvale Station") play three New York pals who vow, when the doctor of the trio (played by Jordan) is dumped by his wife, to stay single and enjoy the mingling. Together, they will build "a roster" of booty calls. And the moment a woman starts "the talk" with "So," they’ll bail. That’s the plan -- which all of them ignore. A chatty romantic comedy in the modern mode -- rude, crude and nude -- with some funny writerly riffs on relationships and how to avoid them. With Imogen Poots, Mackenzie Davis, Jessica Lucas.
THE GREAT BEAUTY (NR). Drama about a once-promising novelist who, four decades after his only publishing success, works as a journalist and lies in an apartment overlooking the Colosseum. In Italian, with English subtitles.
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. With the voices of Chris Pratt, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett.
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. With George Clooney, Matt Damon, Bill Murray, John Goodman, Cate Blanchett.
THE NUT JOB (PG). A surprisingly simple, funny and often cute animated slapstick comedy about a squirrel planning a nut heist so that he’ll have enough food to last through winter. With the voices of Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl. HH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 1/21). 1:25.
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