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.
FROZEN (PG). There’s wit and whimsy in this 53rd Disney animated feature about a young girl cursed with an X-Men-like ability to freeze things and her baby sister’s determined effort to lift the curse. With the voices of Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Josh Gad. 1:42.
I, FRANKENSTEIN (PG-13). Two centuries after his creation by Dr. Frankenstein, the creature Adam finds himself in the middle of a supernatural war over the fate of humanity. The humorless, generic and chatty Frankenstein served up here makes you wonder if the good doctor, in all his patching together of parts, didn’t forget the grain. With Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy, Yvonne Strahovski, Miranda Otto. H (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service). 1:33.
JACK RYAN: SHADOW RECRUIT (PG-13). Based on characters created by Tom Clancy, this origins story finds a young CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, uncovering an international terrorist plot to collapse the U.S. economy. A workmanlike, if unoriginal and uninspiring, reboot. With Chris Pine, Kevin Costner, Kenneth Branagh, Keira Knightley. HH1/2 (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 1/18). 1:45.
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.
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). 2:01.
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). Three best friends simultaneously find themselves questioning where their recent relationships are headed. With Zac Efron, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Imogen Poots.
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 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.
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 dispense with Hollywood’s moonlight-and-magnolias myths about the South and take us on a difficult journey, a sometimes awful and only faintly inspiring odyssey that will make you want to avert your eyes. It is to their great credit that we never do. With Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbender, Lupita Nyong’o. HHHH (Moore, McClatchy-Tribune News Service -- 11/9). 2:14.
WHAT’S IN A NAME? (NR). A well-lubricated dinner party that goes haywire has been a standard platform for nasty domestic comedy ever since the days of Georges Feydeau. In this uproarious French farce, the catalyst is a practical joke that is carried so far that it rattles skeletons. (Holden, New York Times -- 1/30). 1:49.
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