the thing -This is the third iteration of this classic “creature feature” made even more terrifying by its isolated locale at a research station in Antarctica. Starts Fri.
footloose -The hormone-stirring anarchy of dancing to good ol’ rock ‘n’ roll is banned in one small town — until a rebellious city kid arrives on the scene and decides to shake things up. Starts Fri.
the big year -Three very different bird watchers compete ruthlessly in a prestigious annual ornithological event. What looks like a feather-brained comedy stars Steve Martin, Owen Wilson, and Jack Black. Starts Fri.
breakaway -(SilverCity) The very funny Russell Peters stars in a very Canadian comedy about an Indo-Canadian guy whose love of hockey makes him defy his tradition-minded parents.
★★★★ cave of forgotten
dreams -(Odeon) The critics are purring about the new film from quirky cine-genius Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man). Using the “immersive” side of 3-D, Herzog has made a unique documentary about a newly-discovered cave in France with walls covered with 30,000-year-old caveman art. This is an awe-inspiring delight.
★★★ contagion -(Capitol/Westshore) Matt Damon and Kate Winslet star in an edgy bio-thriller about a bird flu pandemic that is trashing the planet (and killing off some fine actors along the way). Despite being directed by Steven Soderbergh, this is surprisingly flat, diffuse and uninvolving.
courageous -(SilverCity) Religion-focused Sherwood Pictures presents a drama about four police officers who confront a life-changing event that stirs an awakening of Christian consciousness.
dolphin tale -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) This true-life story focuses on the friendship between a boy and a dolphin who was given a prosthetic tail. Starring Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd.
dream house -(Capitol/Westshore/Uni 4) This supernatural thriller stars real-life couple Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz as happily marrieds who move into the “perfect” home, only to realize that they and their children may be in danger because of a brutal crime that happened there years previously.
★★★½ drive -(Odeon/SilverCity/Caprice) Mother always warned me about style over substance, but when it comes to this gory, ultra-noir thriller about a Hollywood stunt driver who moonlights as a wheelman for serious criminals it’s hard not to succumb to its considerable charms. Starring Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan (An Education).
★★★½ 50/50 -(Odeon/SilverCity/Caprice) Seth Rogen (Knocked Up) stars in an engaging and very funny emo-comedy about a young man struggling with a cancer diagnosis that gives him a 50% chance of survival.
★★½ the help -(Odeon) This film exposes the genteel racism prevalent amongst upper-class white women in Mississippi of the 1960s. It’s an interesting but uneven effort where a few great performances are stuck in the middle of what is essentially a misguided attempt to turn the civil rights movement into an uplifting feel-good comedy-drama.
★★★ the ides of march -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) The new political drama directed by and starring George Clooney features a morally flawed presidential candidate and an idealistic campaign strategist (Ryan Gosling) who learns that even nice guys play dirty politics. Co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Paul Giamatti. See review.
i don’t know how she does it -(Caprice) Sarah Jessica Parker stars as a do-it-all wife/mother/professional woman who eventually hits a breaking point with her crazy life and its too-many demands. With Pierce Brosnan and Kelsey Grammer. This one has been getting hammered by even the pushover critics.
★★ killer elite -(Odeon/Westshore) Despite fine stars like Robert De Niro, Clive Owen, and Jason Statham, this addled actioner about revenge assassinations involving brutal mercenaries and retired members of Britain’s elite Special Air Service is disappointingly routine
lion king -(Capitol/SilverCity) The classic Disney animation from 1994 has been tweaked for its re-release in 3-D.
★★★★ moneyball -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore/Uni 4) Even people with no interest in sports (or sports movies) will enjoy this riveting account of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane (Brad Pitt), an underdog who bucked the standard way of doing things and used computer analysis in search of a winning team.
mr. popper’s penguins -(Caprice) Jim Carrey stars in an amiably goofy comedy about an uptight businessman who learns to unwind when his fancy Manhattan apartment gets invaded by a flock of cute penguins.
★★½ real steel -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Hugh Jackman is an over-the-hill pugilist (and deadbeat dad in recovery) in a slightly futuristic world where “robot boxing” is the globe’s most popular sport. Uneven, overly long but certainly entertaining.
★★★ rise of the planet
of the apes -(Caprice) James Franco stars in a thoughtful reboot of this classic sci-fi series about war between mankind and intelligent apes. In this origins story set in the present day, a medical experiment gets out of hand . . . and some very pissed-off apes get out of the lab.
spy kids 4: all the time in the
world -(Caprice) More pint-sized espionage shenanigans.
★★ what’s your number? -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) That endearing neo-screwball comic Anna Faris stars in a disappointingly flabby and derivative comedy about a young woman who starts going backwards through her list of 20 previous lovers convinced that Mr. Perfect has somehow gone unrecognized.
Movie Monday – Screening Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead. A morbidly obese man trying to regain control of his life is at the centre of a documentary about leading healthier lives. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
open cinema -Their ninth season begins with Urban Roots: When Everything Collapses, Plant Your Field of Dreams, a documentary about inner-city gardening in Detroit. Discussion to be moderated by food columnist Khalil Akhtar. 7pm WEDNESDAY, Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street.
AWARENESS FILM NIGHT – Their 17th season opens with The Marketing of Madness: Are We All Insane?, a provocative doc that looks at how Big Pharma makes billions of dollars by selling dubious solutions to (sometimes) dubious emotional problems. 7pm WEDNESDAY, Edward Milne Community School Theatre, 6218 Sooke Road.
home safe hamilton -This documentary explores how Canadian families live with the threat and the reality of homelessness. 7pm WEDNESDAY, Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas St.
pulp fiction -The “Quote-Along Classic” film series continues with Quentin Tarantino’s most celebrated piece of post-noir style. Grab a Cheese Royale and get ready for trouble! 8pm SATURDAY, Vic Theatre, 808 Douglas Street.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Tickets are available 40 minutes prior to showtime. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
project nim -(Wed.-Thurs., Oct. 12-13) A chimp raised as part of a human family is at the centre of a documentary that manages to capture all sorts of human messiness while exploring issues such as science ethics, the debate over heredity versus environment, and sexual politics.
★★★ captain america: the
first avenger -(Fri., Oct. 14: 3:00, 7:00, 9:30 & Sat., Oct. 15: 3:40, 7:00, 9:30) Corny but packed with retro charm, this new comic book adaptation is highly entertaining as it depicts a patriotic wimp who doesn’t meet the physical standards to join the army so instead volunteers for a wild science experimen. Needless to say he’s transformed into a superhero with great powers. Watch out, Nazis!
★★ pirates of the caribbean
4 -(Sat.-Sun., Oct. 15-16: 1:00 matinee) Penelope Cruz sets sail with Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush and the other piratical ne’er-do-wells of The Black Pearl in the fourth edition of this increasingly tedious series.
the tree -(Sun., Oct. 16: 3:40, 7:00, 9:00 & Mon., Oct. 17: 7:00, 9:00) A domestic tragedy hangs over a widow (Charlotte Gainsbourgh) and her young daughter in a moodily lyrical drama by French director Julie Bertuccelli.
songs from the nickel -(Tues., Oct. 18: 7:00) The lives of L.A. outcasts are depicted in this American-German co-production.
and again -(Tues., Oct. 18: 9:00) A ghost town revived as a training centre for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security figures prominently in this wry drama.
the ballad of genesis & lady
jaye -(Wed., Oct. 19: 7:00) Here is a provocative, intimate portrait of the ground-breaking performance artist associated with Throbbing Gristle.
blinding -(Wed., Oct. 19: 9:00) This Canadian feature explores the transformative nature of vision in the lives of three people whose lives have been seriously disrupted.