THE HUNGER GAMES -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) With Twilight fading fast, the latest tween sensation is undoubtedly this fantasy account of a future world where every year 24 young people are selected to fight to the death on live TV. And you thought Survivor was tough! Starts Fri.
SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN -(Odeon) Lasse Hallström (Chocolat) directs Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt in a whimsical tale about a fisheries expert who becomes a consultant to a sheik who wants to bring the sport of fly fishing to the desert. Starts Fri.
SISTERS AND BROTHERS -(Vic Theatre) The latest from Vancouver director Carl Besai (Emile) details the humour and pathos of four brother-and-sister narratives that are interwoven in a lively and emotionally honest comedy-drama. Friday and Saturday only. Starring Cory Monteith (Glee) and Jay Brazeau. NOTE: CASH ONLY AT THE DOOR!
★★★½ the secret world of arrietty -(Caprice) 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. Starts Fri.
★★ ACT OF VALOR -(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.
★★★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.
★★ DR. SEUSS’ THE LORAX- (Odeon/SilverCity/Westshore) This is an over-stuffed, garishly coloured eco-parable that is preachy and only fitfully engaging. Featuring the voices of Danny DeVito, Zac Efron and Taylor Swift.
★★ FRIENDS WITH KIDS -(Odeon) Two best friends decide to have a child together while keeping their relationship platonic. As rom-coms go, this is well-acted, fitfully amusing, needlessly vulgar, and rather preposterous.
GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE -(Caprice) 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.
HOP -(Caprice) In this fluffy bit of animated fun for the whole family the teenage son of the Easter Bunny heads to Hollywood to join a rock ‘n’ roll band — only to encounter some unexpected adventures.
★★★ THE IRON LADY -(Capitol/Caprice) Meryl Streep finally got a date with Oscar 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.
JEFF, WHO LIVES AT HOME -(Odeon) Jason Siegel stars as a stay-at-home mega-slacker who finally gets some focus in his life by helping his brother come to terms with his adulterous wife. With Ed Helms.
★★ JOHN CARTER -(Capitol/SilverCity/Westshore) Although Edgar Rice Burroughs is most famous as the creator of Tarzan he also wrote a series of epic sci-fi adventures about a Civil War vet who magically travels to Mars, there to have astonishing adventures. The resulting movie? Not so great.
JOURNEY 2: THE MYSTERIOUS ISLAND -(Westshore) 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 PUSS ‘N’ BOOTS -(Caprice) 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.
★★ PROJECT X -(Capitol) Three high school seniors throw “the party of a lifetime,” which inevitably spirals into chaos and debauchery — and that’s before most of the neighbourhood gets destroyed. It’s lewd, crude and occasionally funny.
★★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.
★★★★ A SEPARATION -(Odeon) This Oscar-winning drama from Iran features a marital dispute that widens into deceit, confusion, and tragedy. Easily one of the best films in recent years.
★ SILENT HOUSE -(Capitol/Caprice) Elizabeth Olsen, who had a remarkable break-out performance in Marcy Martha May Marlene, screams a lot in this astonishingly tedious horror flick about a house haunted by an evil history. Call this The Blair Ghost Home Renovation Project.
★★½ THIS MEANS WAR -(SilverCity) 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.
★★★ 21 JUMP STREET -(Capitol/SilverCity/Uni 4/Westshore) The TV show about undercover cops in high school jumps to the silver screen, getting a spoofy and raunchy makeover in the process. As guilty pleasures go, this one is pretty darned funny. Starring Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.
THE VOW -(Caprice) 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 -(Caprice) Two impoverished yuppies explore the world of a hippie commune in a hit-and-miss comedy starring Paul Rudd and Jennifer Aniston. Note: moves here from the Westshore on Fri.
★★★ THE DESCENDANTS -(Odeon)
A THOUSAND WORDS- (Capitol)
★★★½ THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN -(Capitol/Caprice)
★★ HAPPY FEET 2 -(Capitol/Uni 4)
★★★★ HUGO -(Uni 4)
★★★ WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN -(Uni 4)
★★½ WE BOUGHT A ZOO
AFRICAN ADVENTURE: SAFARI IN THE OKAVANGO -(10 am, 1 pm, 5 pm [except Sun.], 7 pm [Fri.-Sat.])
BEAVERS -(3 pm) That buck-toothed Canadian icon gets ready for his/her close-up.
★★★★ BORN TO BE WILD -(noon — except for Sat.) Animal lovers, prepare to be charmed!
MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL -(8 pm, Thurs.-Sat., & 7 pm, Sun.-Mon.) 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. This is great in IMAX!
TORNADO ALLEY -(11 am [except. Sat.], 2 pm, 4 pm, 6 pm [Fri.-Sat.) Take an incredible trip into the violent heart of tornadoes via never-before-seen footage collected by a fearless (crazy?) storm chaser.
WILDEST DREAM: THE CONQUEST OF EVEREST -(11 am Sat., 5 pm Sun.)
MOVIE MONDAY – Screening ★★½ Water For Elephants. Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon star in a crowd-pleasing adaptation of the bestselling novel about an illicit love affair set in the exotic world of a travelling circus during the Depression. Glamorous but sentimental and clichéd and reeking with phoniness, this romantic melodrama benefits hugely from a stirring performance by Rosie the elephant. 6:30pm MONDAY in the 1900-block Fort. By donation. 595-FLIC. moviemonday.ca.
3D MOVIE–MAKING WORKSHOP – is presented by CineVic and will show production companies and filmmakers how to become 3D ready. MONDAY, March 26, 9 am-5 pm at Intrepid Theatre, #2-1609 Blanshard St. Space is limited so pre-register at 250-389-1590. $20.
MONKEY WARFARE -Don McKellar stars in an edgy comedy about two ex-radicals living below the radar who get drawn back to the wild side by a sexy young activist who thinks firebombing is an appropriate response to neighbourhood gentrification. This fundraiser for the Greater Victoria Cycling Coalition is FRIDAY, 7 pm, at St. Ann’s Academy Auditorium.
Cinecenta at UVic screens its films in the Student Union Building. Info: 721-8365. cinecenta.com.
★★★ SHAME -(Wed.-Thurs., Mar. 21-22: 7:10, 9:15) The latest from the director of Hunger is a bleak, uncomfortable but not overly enlightening look at the empty life of a sex addict. Starring Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan.
★★★½ THE ADVENTURES OF TINTIN -(Fri., Mar. 23: 3:00, 7:10, 9:15 & Sat., Mar. 24: 1:00, 3:10, 7:10, 9:15 & Sun., Mar. 25: 1:00) 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.
★★★ payback -(Sun., Mar. 25: 3:10, 7:10, 9:00 & Mon.-Thurs., Mar. 26-29: 7:10, 9:00) The latest from acclaimed (and Victoria raised) documentary filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) is an intriguing and wide-ranging meditation on the different meanings of debt. Inspired by a book by Margaret Atwood.
Hugo (G) 2 pm (Fri. Sat. Sun.)
Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (G) 4:15 pm (Fri. Sat. Sun)
Goon (18A) 7 pm (Fri-Thurs)
Wanderlust (14A) 8:45pm (Fri-Thurs)