WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN -(Capitol) Tilda Swinton stars in a promising albeit harrowing drama about a woman who realizes that her young boy is growing into a strange and violent teenager. With John C. Reilly. Starts Fri.
PROJECT X -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Three high school seniors throw “the party of a lifetime,” which promptly spirals into chaos and debauchery. My advice: don’t drink the punch! Starts Fri.
DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX- (Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) This eco-themed animated romp features the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift. Starts Fri.
★★ ACT OF VALOR -(Capitol/SilverCity) Real Navy SEALS enact a fictional tale about elite soldiers going up against narco-terrorists, jihadists, and other threats to our comfy way of life in the west. See review.
★★★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.
ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS: CHIP–WRECKED -(Caprice) Those helium-voiced rodents are back to bring their special brand of joy to children (if not their parents).
★★★½ THE ARTIST -(Odeon) Oscar says: silence is golden! Dazzling lead performances highlight this delightful homage to silent movies (which in some ways is more a whimsy than a real film.
BIG MIRACLE -(Caprice) 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 -(Caprice) Three high school buddies develop super powers, then find their friendship tested as their pranks start to take on a much darker aspect.
★★★ THE DESCENDANTS -(Odeon/Caprice) 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.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE -(SilverCity) Nicholas Cage once again reprises his role as an avenger from beyond the grave, in a third-tier Marvel Comic adaptation that has staggered from bad to worse.
★★ GONE -(Capitol/SilverCity) Amanda Seyfried gets spunky in a ho-hum thriller about a young woman who survived an encounter with a serial killer only to become convinced that the same predator has just kidnapped her sister. The cops don’t believe her and she has to go it alone.
GOON -(Capitol/SilverCity) The subject of hockey violence is explored in a raunchy comedy that has been slashed by most critics.
★★★ THE GREY -(Caprice) 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 -(Uni 4) 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 -(Capitol) Meryl Streep got Oscar gold for her amazing turn 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. Note: moves here from the Odeon on Friday.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND -(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.
★★★★ PINA -(Odeon) This Oscar-nominated documentary by legendary filmmaker Wim Wenders (Wings of Desire) is a wonderfully lensed portrait of avant garde German choreographer Pina Bausch. The braver fans of modern dance will love it; others, not so much.
★★½ SAFE HOUSE -(SilverCity/Westshore) Denzel Washington is great playing a rogue CIA agent — unfortunately, all the violence and jerky, Bourne-style camerawork can’t obscure how derivative the plot is. Ryan Reynolds is along for the ride.
★★★½ THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY -(Capitol/SilverCity) This Japanese-influenced animated tale features a family of four-inch-tall people who live secretly amongst normal humans — until their daughter gets discovered. Although aimed at younger kids, this is a delight for all fans of great animation.
★★½ THIS MEANS WAR -(SilverCity/Westshore) In this lively rom-com Reese Witherspoon sparks incendiary battle when she starts dating two CIA partners, who then compete increasingly aggressively for her affections. Slick, shallow, but entertaining.
★★★★ TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY -(Odeon) Don’t miss 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.
THE VOW -(Odeon) Romantics can keep the spirit of Valentine’s alive by 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.
★★ WANDERLUST -(Odeon/Uni 4/Westshore) Two impoverished yuppies explore the world of a hippie commune in a hit-and-miss comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. See review.
★★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 -(Caprice) The post-Hogwarts Daniel Radcliffe is glumly 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..
★★ ONE FOR THE MONEY -(Caprice)
★★★ WAR HORSE -(Caprice)
STAR WARS: THE PHANTOM MENACE -(SilverCity)
EXTREMELY LOUD AND INCREDIBLY CLOSE -(Caprice)
NOTE: THE IMAX IS CLOSED FROM 7 TO 9 PM ON MARCH 7.
AFRICAN ADVENTURE: SAFARI
IN THE OKAVANGO -(1 pm, 5 pm) visit the Okavango Delta, one of the most unique wilderness areas in Africa. Join South African zoologist Liesl Eichenberger on this unique photo safari for a thrilling adventure in the flooded desert. Through stunning wildlife photography, get “up close and personal” with a great variety of big-game animals, crocodiles, hippos, elephants, and lions, and observe one of the largest bird concentrations on the planet.
CIRCQUE DU SOLEIL: JOURNEY
OF MAN -(3 pm, 9 pm) A celebration of the human spirit that combines the unique artistry and music of Cirque du Soleil with the power of large format film. Filmed on location at various natural and historical landmarks around the world, this film follows the stages of human development from birth to maturity, with each stage introduced by a Cirque du Soleil act.
CORAL REEF ADVENTURE-(10 am, 4 pm) follows the real-life expedition of ocean explorers and underwater filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall in the sun-drenched waters of the South Pacific, including Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Fiji, Tahiti and the mysterious depths of Rangiroa Atoll.
LEWIS & CLARK: GREAT JOURNEY
WEST -(noon, 7 pm) Two captains led 31 people, including one woman and her infant son, to the Pacific Ocean and back. Now, 200+ years after the launch of the expedition, this breathtaking drama is captured for audiences in this release from National Geographic.
STRAIGHT UP!: HELICOPTERS IN ACTION -(11 am, 8 pm) Travel with helicopter crews as they respond to real-world needs, including a high-voltage live-wire repair, a high-sea rescue, a drug bust, scientific research, endangered species relocation, humanitarian aid, land-and-sea military maneuvers, and more.
TORNADO ALLEY -(2 pm, 6 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 ★★★ Strictly Ballroom. This debut film by gifted director Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge) is a wild, funny and romantic look at the edgy world of ballroom dancing as only the Aussies could do it. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
AWARENESS FILM NIGHT -The annual Farming and Gardening Gala includes a screening of To Make a Farm, a documentary portrait showing the challenges faced by five young small-scale farmers in Canada. WEDNESDAY, March 7, 7:15, Edward Milne Community School, 6218 Sooke Rd.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
TOMBOY -(Wed. Feb. 29-Thurs., March 1: 7:15, 9:00) The latest hit from France is an affecting yet matter-of-fact drama about a 10-year-old girl who, quite simply, wants to be a boy.
PEOPLE OF A FEATHER -(Fri., Mar. 2: 7:00, 9:15 & Sat.-Sun., Mar. 3-4: 3:00, 7:00, 9:15) This award-winning film, made over seven years, captures how the traditional way of life of Canada’s northern peoples are being threatened by environmental change.
★★★★ BABE -(Sat.-Sun., Mar. 3-4: 1:00 matinee) The greatest talking piglet movie of all time makes a welcome return.
★★★★★ THE SEVENTH SEAL -(Mon., Mar. 5: 7:00, 9:00) This 1957 masterpiece by Swedish film legend Ingmar Bergman is a profound look at the meaning of life and death. Set during the days of the Black Death, it involves an allegorical battle of wills between a knight returning from the Crusades and a scythe-carrying figure of Death.
SON OF THE SUNSHINE -(Tues., Mar. 8: 7:10, 9:00) This well-regarded Canadian drama features a young man who undergoes a radical operation to cure his Tourette’s Syndrome only to experience unexpected and inexplicable consequences.
CRAZY WISDOM: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF CHOGYAM TRUNGPA, RINPOCHE -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 7-8: 7:10, 9:00) Even non-Buddhists will likely enjoy this portrait of the eccentric Buddhist master who fled Tibet in the ’60s and came to the United States. “Rinpoche” founded the first Buddhism university in the West and blew a lot of minds with his unorthodox approaches.
★★★ WOMAN IN BLACK -(7:00, Fri.-Wed.) See write-up earlier in listings.
I AM BRUCE LEE -(7:00, Thurs., March 7 only) Martial arts fans will doubtless savour this documentary look at the pre-eminent icon of chop socky.
★★★ THE GREY -(8:45) See write-up earlier in listings.
★★★½ PUSS IN BOOTS -(12:30 matinee, 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.
HUGO -(2:10 matinee, Sat.-Sun.) See write-up earlier in listings.
big miracle -(4:30 matinee, Sat.-Sun.) See write-up earlier in listings.