the grey -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Liam Neeson heads up a manly cast in an adventure-thriller about the survivors of a plane crash whose struggle to survive in snowy wilderness is exacerbated tenfold by a wolf pack that wants them for dinner. The devouring starts Fri.
man on a ledge -(Odeon/SilverCity/Uni 4) This nifty-looking crime thriller features an innocent man who takes extreme measures to expose the rich bastard who framed him for robbery. Starring Sam Worthington, Ed Harris, and Edward Burns. Starts Fri.
shame -(Capitol) It’s not likely to sell a lot of popcorn, but this unsparing portrait of sex addiction has gotten raves from the serious critics. By the director of Hunger and starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan. Starts Fri.
One for the money -(Capitol/Westshore) Katherine Heigel stars in an action comedy about a newly-divorced woman who gets a job as a bounty hunter — and her first case involves tracking down an old flame. Starts Fri.
tornado alley -(IMAX) Starts Fri.
★★★½ the adventures of tintin -(SilverCity/Caprice) Steven Spielberg does a great — if slightly feverish — adaptation of the revered comics from the 1930s and ’40s starring a boy reporter who travels the world having great adventures.
alvin & the the chipmunks: chip–wrecked -(Caprice) Those helium-voiced rodents are back to bring their special brand of Christmas joy to children (if not their parents).
★★★½ the artist -(Odeon/Uni 4) Dazzling lead performances highlight this delightful homage to silent movies. Although in some ways more a whimsy than a real film, it probably will have a date with Oscar.
★★★★ beauty and the beast -(Westshore) This beguiling 21-year-old classic from Disney’s animation studio gets a 3-D re-release.
★★★ contraband -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Mark Wahlberg stars as an ex-smuggler who reluctantly goes to work for a deadly drug lord in order to get his brother-in-law out of a jam. Decent, well-plotted actioner. Co-starring Kate Beckinsale.
★★★ a dangerous method -(Odeon) Set during the dawn of psychoanalysis, this account of the relationship between Freud and Jung puts a lot of emphasis on how Jung began an affair with one of his patients (who went on to become a noted psychoanalyst herself). Directed by David Cronenberg and starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, and Keira Knightley.
★★★ the descendants -(Odeon) The newest film from Alexander Payne (About Schmidt, Sideways) stars George Clooney as a wealthy man who has to rebuild relationships with his daughters after his wife has a terrible accident. Although episodic and digressive, this is an affecting drama.
extremely loud and incredibly close -(Odeon/Westshore) Based on the novel by Jonathan Safran Foer, this drama focuses on the peculiar quest of a young boy after his father is killed in the World Trade Center attack. Starring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock. By most accounts this is a glum serving of high-minded treacle.
★★★½ the girl with the dragon tattoo -(SilverCity/Caprice) The talented David Fincher directs an elegantly chilling redo of the Swedish thriller about the goth-punk hacker on the trail of a serial killer of women. Starring Daniel Craig and Christopher Plummer.
★★ haywire -(Capitol/SilverCity) Steven Soderbergh directs this violent espionage thriller starring mixed martial arts champ Gina Carano as an assassin who is set up and betrayed by her nasty bosses. Co-starring Michael Douglas, Antonio Banderas and Ewan McGregor. See review.
★★★★ hugo -(SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) Although Martin Scorsese isn’t exactly known as a child-friendly filmmaker he has been getting well-deserved raves for this beguiling tale of a 1930s Paris orphan who lives in the walls of a train station and gets involved with a legendary filmmaker from the earliest days of cinema. The great cast includes Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen and Christopher Lee.
★★★ the iron lady -(Odeon/Uni 4) Meryl Streep is amazing as Margaret Thatcher, in a biopic of England’s first female prime minister that explores her polarizing politics and the price she paid for power. Smoothly directed, although a bit of a standard “greatest hits” kind of biography.
★★★½ mission: impossible – ghost protocol -(SilverCity/Caprice) Tom Cruise is back for a fourth outing with the IMF crew, in a particularly turbo-charged action flick with good performances, a tricky plot and amazing stunts. (It’s worth the extra $5 for the IMAX version.)
★★★½ my week with marilyn -(Caprice) The twice Oscar-nominated Michelle Williams does a great job playing über-sex symbol Marilyn Monroe in this fact-based memoir based on Monroe’s troubled film shoot of The Prince and the Showgirl in England in the 1950s. Kenneth Branagh costars in the role of Laurence Olivier. This engaging, note-perfect movie will delight film fans and entertain everyone.
red tails -(Capitol/Westshore) This is the little-known story of an all-black aviation corp in World War Two. Starring Cuba Cooding Jr. and Terrence Howard.
★★★ sherlock holmes: a game of shadows -(SilverCity/Uni 4/Caprice) Although the 2009 original didn’t appeal to Holmesian purists, Guy Ritchie’s irreverently revved-up version of the Victorian sleuth and his long-suffering sidekick certainly merited this entertaining sequel, a bromantic mash-up of Dickensian vibe and jokey modern violence. Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.
★★★★ tinker tailor soldier spy -(Odeon) There is Oscar buzz surrounding this superb adaptation of John Le Carré’s classic novel of double agents and Cold War espionage. The marvelous cast includes Gary Oldman, Colin Firth and Toby Jones. See review.
★★ underworld: awakening -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) The fourth outing in this vampires-versus-werewolves saga suffers from a ridiculous plot and silly acting, notwithstanding the best efforts of sexy-in-black-leather Kate Beckinsale.
★★½ we bought a zoo -(Caprice). Matt Damon plays a recent widower who takes his young family and decides to renovate and re-open a small zoo. Sentimental fluff, sure, but Damon elevates the material … and the animals are great. With Scarlett Johansson and Thomas Haden Church. Based on a true story.
★★★½ carnage -(Uni 4)
★★ young adult -(Caprice)
★★★ the muppets -(Caprice)
★★★½ puss in boots -(Caprice)
★★ the twilight saga: breaking dawn, part 1 -(Caprice)
★★★ war horse -(SilverCity)
★½ the devil inside -(SilverCity) .
joyful noise -(Capitol)
beavers -(Fri. & Sun.-Thurs., 11am; Fri.-Sun. & Tues.-Thurs., 3 pm) According to the ads, this is “the best dam movie” you’ll ever see about that iconic Canadian animal with the beautiful buck teeth.
★★★★ born to be wild -(Mon.-Thurs., 7 pm) Take a remarkable safari as this documentary takes you up close and personal with the people who nurture orphaned baby elephants and orangutans en route to re-releasing them into the wild. Narrated by Morgan Freeman. This is a great film!
★★ happy feet two -(Sat.-Sun., 5 pm) Those dancing penguins are back, in a bombastic and poorly plotted sequel that will only appeal to those who enjoy being bludgeoned by cuteness. Featuring the vocal talents of Elijah Wood and Robin Williams.
hubble -(Wed.-Thurs., 10am)
sea–rex -(Fri. & Sun.-Thurs., 11am; Fri.-Wed., 1 pm; Mon.-Thurs., 5 pm)
tornado alley -(Fri.-Tues., 10am; Fri. & Sun.-Thurs., noon; Fri.-Wed., 2 pm; Fri.-Sun. & Tues.-Thurs., 4 pm; Mon.-Thurs., 6 pm; Sat., 7 pm; Mon.-Thurs., 8 pm) Take an incredible trip into the violent heart of tornadoes via never-before-seen footage collected by a fearless (crazy?) storm chaser.
the wildest dream: conquest of everest -(Fri., 5 pm; Sat., 11am & 8 pm; Sun., 7 pm; Mon., 3 pm; Thurs., 1 pm) This 90 minute biopic stars Ralph Fiennes in the story of the first man to attempt to summit Mount Everest and, 80 years later, the climber who found his frozen body.
Movie Monday – Screening That’s Just Crazy Talk. This filmed play by popular one-woman performer Victoria Maxwell portrays a woman confronting the challenges of bipolar disorder, anxiety and psychosis — and once again uses a mixture of humour and darkness to convey the specifics of her life. 7 pm, SATURDAY (sold out) and SUNDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
Movie Monday – Screening Grief, Loss and Dementia. This educational film is an honest portrait of the emotional difficulties facing the spouses or children of someone with dementia. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
open cinema -Screening the Victoria premiere of the enlightening documentary Crazy Wisdom: The Life and Times of Chogyam Trungpa, Rinpoche. Known as the “bad boy of Buddhism,” Rinpoche brought Tibetan Buddhism to the West — and startled many with his unconventional attitudes. Discussion to follow. WEDNESDAY, Feb. 1, 7 pm, Victoria Event Centre, 1415 Broad Street.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
miss representation -(Wed., Jan. 25: 7:10, 9:00 & Thurs., Jan. 26: 7:10 only) This underdog doc aspires to challenge the $256 billion ad industry in terms of its representation of women in modern American culture. On Thursday there will be a panel discussion with four experts.
★★★★ cave of forgotten dreams -(Fri.-Sat., Jan. 27-28: 3:00, 7:10, 9:00) The critics are purring about the new film from quirky cine-genius Werner Herzog (Grizzly Man). 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.
the room -(Fri.-Sat., Jan. 27-28: 11:00) Is this a so-bad-it’s-good cult classic? Or a waste of your precious time? There’s only one way to judge!
labyrinth -(Sat.-Sun., Jan. 28-29: 1:00 matinee) David Bowie and a young Jennifer Connelly star in Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy classic about a young boy in the clutches of the Goblin King.
★★½ the skin i live in -(Sun., Jan. 29: 3:00, 7:00, 9:20 & Mon., Jan. 30: 7:00, 9:20) Antonio Banderas plays a mad plastic surgeon with a very naughty secret locked away in his house, in a loopily watchable but grotesque and very silly melodrama that was written and directed by Spanish Oscar winner Pedro Almodóvar.
★★★★ once -(Tues., Jan. 31: 7:10, 9:00) This low-budget charmer from Ireland tells the (almost) love story of a soulful street busker who falls for a lovely Czech emigrée with a different form of musical passion.
the swell season -(Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 1-2: 7:00, 9:00) This sort-of follow-up to Once (see above) is a documentary about the two stars of the musical romance that went on to get involved with each, both professionally and personally. In other words, a sequel like no other!
★★★½ mission impossible: ghost protocol -(7:00) Tom Cruise is back for a fourth outing with the IMF crew, in a particularly turbo-charged action flick with good performances, a tricky plot and amazing stunts.
★½ the devil inside -(9:15) Considerably less disturbing than dinner with a dotty aunt, this religio-horror “shocker” uses the docu-verité style of the Paranormal Activity series to delve into the arcane world of exorcisms and demonic possession.
★★ happy feet two -(12:45 matinee, Sat.-Sun.) Those dancing penguins are back, in a bombastic and poorly plotted sequel that will only appeal to those who enjoy being bludgeoned by cuteness. Featuring the vocal talents of Elijah Wood and Robin Williams.
★★★½ puss in boots -(2:30, Sat.-Sun.) The endearing feline furball from Shrek gets his own swashbuckling prequel, in a witty and entirely delightful piece of animation. Featuring the vocal talents of Antonio Banderas, Salma Hayek and Zach Galifianakis.
★★★½ the adventures of tintin -(4:00, Sat.-Sun.) Steven Spielberg does a great — if slightly feverish — adaptation of the revered comics from the 1930s and ’40s starring a boy reporter who travels the world having great adventures.