★★★½ corialanus -(Capitol) Ralph Fiennes directs and stars in a compelling adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic drama of war and politics, with the action relocated from classical Rome to a modern setting. With Vanessa Redgrave. Starts Fri.
safe house -(Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) Denzel Washington looks superb as a rogue CIA agent who charges through a high-octane thriller where you can’t tell the good guys from the bad guys. Ryan Reynolds is along for the ride. Starts Fri.
The vow -(Odeon/Uni 4/SilverCity/Westshore) Romantics can vow to spend Valentine’s Day watching this sudsy confection about a woman (Rachel McAdams) who wakes up from a coma with no recollection that she’s married. Her distraught husband (Channing Tatum) has to make her fall in love with him all over again. Starts Fri.
journey 2: the mysterious island -(Capitol/Westshore/SilverCity) There’s lots of action and adventure in this fantasy tale of a rescue mission to a mysterious island that is home to lots of strange — and dangerous — critters. With Dwayne Johnson and Michael Caine. Starts Fri.
star wars: the phantom menace -(Odeon/Uni 4/Westshore/SilverCity) Luke Skywalker, Yoda and all the other inter-galactic moneymakers for George Lucas get a 3D re-release. Starts Fri.
★★★½ the adventures of tintin -(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.
albert nobbs -(Capitol) Glenn Close pretends to be a man in 19th century Ireland in order to get work and survive. After 30 years, the charade has trapped the unfortunate soul in a very peculiar prison. With Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland).
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) 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.
big miracle -(SilverCity/Westshore) Drew Barrymore stars in a heartfelt movie (based on real events) about a news reporter and a Greenpeace volunteer who work to save a family of grey whales trapped by ice in the Arctic Circle.
chronicle -(SilverCity) Three high school buddies develop super powers, then find their friendship tested as their pranks start to take on a much darker aspect.
★★★ contraband -(Caprice) 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. Note: moves here from the Westshore on Fri.
★★★ a dangerous method -(Capitol) 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. Note: moves here next Monday.
★★★ 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 -(Caprice) 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. Note: moves here from the Odeon on Friday.
★★★ 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. A bit talky, but a well made and thoughtful movie.
★★★★ 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.
★★ One for the money -(Capitol/Westshore) Katherine Heigl is a bit too cutesy as she stars in a thoroughly routine 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.
★★★★ 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.
★★ underworld: awakening -(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.
★★★ war horse -(Caprice)Steven Spielberg directs an assured but safe and often corny cinematic adaptation of the acclaimed play that focuses on the travails of a cavalry horse caught up in the nightmare of World War I.
★★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.
★★★ woman in black -(SilverCity/Westshore) The post-Hogwarts Daniel Radcliffe is very effective in this deliberately old-fashioned and eminently English ghost story that’s full of gothic mood and eerie goings on in a small village. See review.
★★★ shame -(Capitol)
★★★ a dangerous method -(Odeon)
★★★★ beauty and the beast -(Westshore)
★★★½ my week with marilyn -(Caprice)
★★ man on a ledge -(SilverCity/Uni 4)
★★★½ mission: impossible – ghost protocol -(SilverCity/Caprice)
★★★ sherlock holmes: a game of shadows -(SilverCity/Caprice)
african adventure: safari in the okavango -(3 pm, 9 pm)
cirque du soleil: journey of man -(1 pm, 7 pm)
coral reef adventure-(2 pm, 8 pm)
lewis & clark: great journey west -(noon, 6 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.
straight up!: Helicopters in action -(11 am, 5 pm)
tornado alley -(10 am, 4 pm) Take an incredible trip into the violent heart of tornadoes via never-before-seen footage collected by a fearless (crazy?) storm chaser.
Movie Monday – Screening ★★★★ Midnight in Paris. The latest from Woody Allen is a delightfully romantic whirl through Paris, both in the present day and during the fabled 1920s. This one’s a charmer! The fine cast includes Owen Wilson, Rachel McAdams and Marion Cotillard. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
cafe de flore -(Wed.-Thurs., Feb. 8-9: 7:00, 9:20) Here’s another fine film from Quebec writer-director Jean-Marc Vallée, this one a twisty tale of two separate stories, 40 years apart, that are connected by music and other intangibles.
the whale -(Fri.-Sat., Feb. 10-11: 3:00, 7:10, 9:00) Ryan Reynolds narrates this re-edited version of Saving Luna, the award-winning documentary about the much-loved local Orca that led such a remarkable life.
★★ happy feet two -(Sat.-Sun., Feb. 11-12: 1:00 matinee) 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 west wind: the vision of tom thomson -(Sun., Feb. 12: 3:00, 7:00, 9:00 & Mon.-Thurs., Feb. 13-16: 7:00, 9:00) The same filmmaking team that did The Inner Life of Glenn Gould do a grand job exploring the life and legacy of Group of Seven painting icon Tom Thomson, who did so much to celebrate the wild Canadian landscape. See review.
“Hugo” (G) at 7:00 pm (Fri-Thurs)
“Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows” (PG) at 9:15 pm (Fri-Thurs)
“Puss In Boots” (G) 1:00 pm (Sat, Sun)
“The Adventures of Tintin” (G) 2:40 pm (Sat, Sun)
“Pink Ribbon Inc.” (G) 4:35 pm (Sat, Sun)