Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 17, 2015 Edition

Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 17, 2015 Edition
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Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Good Day to Die Hard *
Silver Screen: A Million Ways to Die in the West *1/2
Silver Screen: A Most Wanted Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: A Walk Among the Tombstones ***
Silver Screen: A Walk in the Woods ***
Silver Screen: About Last Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Admission ***1/2
Silver Screen: After Earth *
Silver Screen: All Is Lost ****
Silver Screen: American Hustle ****1/2
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: American Sniper ***1/2
Silver Screen: American Ultra **1/2
Silver Screen: Annabelle ***1/2
Silver Screen: Ant-Man ***1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: As Above, so Below ***1/2
Silver Screen: August: Osage County ****
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Bad Words **
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Beautiful Creatures *1/2
Silver Screen: Before Midnight ****1/2
Silver Screen: Begin Again ***1/2
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Silver Screen: Big Eyes ***
Silver Screen: Big Hero Six ***
Silver Screen: Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) ***1/2
Silver Screen: Black Mass ****
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blended **1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Jasmine ****1/2
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Boyhood ****1/2
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Brick Mansions **
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Bridge of Spies ***
Silver Screen: Broken City ***
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Captain America: The Winter Soldier ***1/2
Silver Screen: Captain Phillips ****
Silver Screen: Carrie **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Chappie *
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chef ****
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Child Forty-four *1/2
Silver Screen: Chronicle ****
Silver Screen: Cloud Atlas ***
Silver Screen: Contagion ****1/2
Silver Screen: Contraband *
Silver Screen: Cowboys & Aliens ***
Silver Screen: Crazy, Stupid, Love **
Silver Screen: Creed ****1/2
Silver Screen: Crimson Peak ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dallas Buyers Club ****
Silver Screen: Dark Shadows *1/2
Silver Screen: Dark Skies **1/2
Silver Screen: David Wong’s John Dies at the End: A Local Author Sees His Novel Hit the Big Screen
Silver Screen: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes ****1/2
Silver Screen: Dead Man Down 1/2*
Silver Screen: Deliver Us from Evil *
Silver Screen: Delivery Man ***
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **1/2
Silver Screen: Despicable Me II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Devil ***
Silver Screen: Dinner for Schmucks *1/2
Silver Screen: Director Rusty Nails Presents... Dead On: The Life and Cinema of George A. Romero
Silver Screen: Divergent *1/2
Silver Screen: Django Unchained ****1/2
Silver Screen: Don Jon *
Silver Screen: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
Silver Screen: Dope ****
Silver Screen: Dracula Untold **1/2
Silver Screen: Draft Day *
Silver Screen: Dream House *1/2
Silver Screen: Dredd 3D *1/2
Silver Screen: Drive ****1/2
Silver Screen: Drive Angry 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Due Date ***1/2
Silver Screen: Dumb and Dumber To ***
Silver Screen: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: Edge of Tomorrow ****
Silver Screen: Elysium **
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Ender’s Game ***
Silver Screen: Entourage *
Silver Screen: Escape Plan ***
Silver Screen: Everest ***1/2
Silver Screen: Evil Dead ***
Silver Screen: Ex Machina ***1/2
Silver Screen: Exodus: Gods and Kings *1/2
Silver Screen: Fantastic Four 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fast and Furious VI **
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Faster **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty Shades of Grey 1/2*
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Flight ****
Silver Screen: Focus *
Silver Screen: Forty-two ***1/2
Silver Screen: Foxcatcher ***1/2
Silver Screen: Frances Ha ****1/2
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Fruitvale Station ****
Silver Screen: Furious Seven ****
Silver Screen: Fury ***
Silver Screen: G.I. Joe: Retaliation *
Silver Screen: Gangster Squad *1/2
Silver Screen: Get Hard *
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Godzilla **1/2
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Gone Girl ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Gravity ****1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
Silver Screen: Grown Ups II zero stars
Silver Screen: Guardians of the Galaxy ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hall Pass *1/2
Silver Screen: Hanna ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II ****
Silver Screen: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I ***
Silver Screen: Haywire ***1/2
Silver Screen: Her ***1/2
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Homefront *1/2
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses II **1/2
Silver Screen: Hot Pursuit *
Silver Screen: Hot Tub Time Machine II 1/2*
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: How to Train Your Dragon II ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: Identity Thief ***
Silver Screen: In the Heart of the Sea **1/2
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Inside Llewyn Davis *****
Silver Screen: Inside Out ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious: Chapter Two ***
Silver Screen: Insurgent 1/2*
Silver Screen: Interstellar ****
Silver Screen: Iron Man III **1/2
Silver Screen: It Follows ***1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jack Reacher ***
Silver Screen: Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit ***
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa *1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jersey Boys **1/2
Silver Screen: Jobs **
Silver Screen: John Wick ***
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Jupiter Ascending 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jurassic World *1/2
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Kick-Ass II zero stars
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killing Them Softly **1/2
Silver Screen: Kingsman: The Secret Service **
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Krampus **1/2
Silver Screen: Kung Fu Panda II ***
Silver Screen: Larry Crowne *1/2
Silver Screen: Lawless ****
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Let’s Be Cops ***1/2
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Life of Pi **1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Lincoln ****
Silver Screen: Lockout **
Silver Screen: Lone Survivor ***
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Love and Mercy ****
Silver Screen: Love and Other Drugs *1/2
Silver Screen: Lucy ***
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Machete Kills **1/2
Silver Screen: Mad Max: Fury Road ****1/2
Silver Screen: Magic in the Moonlight **
Silver Screen: Mama **1/2
Silver Screen: Man of Steel *
Silver Screen: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials *1/2
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: Men in Black III *1/2
Silver Screen: Midnight in Paris ****
Silver Screen: Million Dollar Arm **1/2
Silver Screen: Minions **
Silver Screen: Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation ****
Silver Screen: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol ****
Silver Screen: Moneyball ***1/2
Silver Screen: Monsters University ***
Silver Screen: Moonrise Kingdom ****1/2
Silver Screen: Movie Forty-three zero stars
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: Nebraska ****1/2
Silver Screen: Need for Speed *
Silver Screen: Neighbors ***1/2
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: Nightcrawler ****
Silver Screen: No Escape *
Silver Screen: No Good Deed *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: Noah 1/2*
Silver Screen: Non-Stop ***1/2
Silver Screen: Now You See Me 1/2*
Silver Screen: Oblivion ***1/2
Silver Screen: Oculus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Olympus Has Fallen zero stars
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Ouija *
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Out of the Furnace *
Silver Screen: Oz the Great and Powerful **
Silver Screen: Pacific Rim ****
Silver Screen: Pain and Gain ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity III ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity IV *
Silver Screen: ParaNorman ***1/2
Silver Screen: Parker ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pawn Sacrifice ***
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Playing for Keeps 1/2*
Silver Screen: Poltergeist 1/2*
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prisoners ****
Silver Screen: Project Almanac **
Silver Screen: Project X 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prometheus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Real Steel *
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Red Dawn *
Silver Screen: Red Tails **
Silver Screen: Resident Evil: Retribution *
Silver Screen: Riddick ***
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Ride Along **1/2
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: RoboCop ***
Silver Screen: Run All Night ***1/2
Silver Screen: Runner Runner *1/2
Silver Screen: Rush ****
Silver Screen: Sabotage **
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe Haven *1/2
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Saint Vincent ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: San Andreas **1/2
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse *
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World **1/2
Silver Screen: Self/less **
Silver Screen: Selma ****1/2
Silver Screen: Seven Psychopaths ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sex Tape *
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Shark Night 3D 1/2* -- Apollo 18 **
Silver Screen: Sicario ***1/2
Silver Screen: Side Effects ****1/2
Silver Screen: Silent House **1/2
Silver Screen: Silver Linings Playbook ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For 1/2*
Silver Screen: Sinister ***1/2
Silver Screen: Sinister II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Skyfall ****
Silver Screen: Skyline *
Silver Screen: Snitch ***
Silver Screen: Snow White and the Huntsman **1/2
Silver Screen: Soldiers Speak Out: Carbondale Oscar Winner Barb Trent’s Latest Film
Silver Screen: Something Borrowed *
Silver Screen: Source Code ****1/2
Silver Screen: Southpaw *1/2
Silver Screen: Spectre ***1/2
Silver Screen: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Spy ****
Silver Screen: Star Trek into Darkness ****
Silver Screen: Steve Jobs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Straight Outta Compton ****
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Super Eight ****
Silver Screen: Taken II **
Silver Screen: Taken III **
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: Tammy **1/2
Silver Screen: Ted ***1/2
Silver Screen: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles *
Silver Screen: Terminator: Genisys *1/2
Silver Screen: That Awkward Moment 1/2*
Silver Screen: That's My Boy *
Silver Screen: The A-Team **1/2
Silver Screen: The Academy Honors... The Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale
Silver Screen: The Adjustment Bureau *1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man **1/2
Silver Screen: The Amazing Spider-Man II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The American ****
Silver Screen: The Artist ****
Silver Screen: The Audubon Trilogy: Fugitive Narratives and the Drama of the Natural World
Silver Screen: The Avengers ***
Silver Screen: The Avengers ****
Silver Screen: The Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Wedding *
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Book Thief **
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boxtrolls ****
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Butler ****
Silver Screen: The Call **1/2
Silver Screen: The Campaign ***
Silver Screen: The Company You Keep *1/2
Silver Screen: The Conjuring ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Counselor ****
Silver Screen: The D Train **1/2
Silver Screen: The Dark Knight Rises ***
Silver Screen: The Debt ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Descendants ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Dictator ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Drop ****1/2
Silver Screen: The DUFF ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Equalizer **
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fault in Our Stars ****
Silver Screen: The Fifth Estate 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Gift
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Giver ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Grand Budapest Hotel ****
Silver Screen: The Great Gatsby ****
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Green Inferno **1/2
Silver Screen: The Guilt Trip ***
Silver Screen: The Gunman **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part III *1/2
Silver Screen: The Heat **1/2
Silver Screen: The Host 1/2*
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games ***
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part I ***
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
Silver Screen: The Imitation Game ****
Silver Screen: The Intern **1/2
Silver Screen: The Internship **1/2
Silver Screen: The Interview ****
Silver Screen: The Judge *1/2
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The Karate Kid ***
Silver Screen: The King's Speech ****
Silver Screen: The Last Airbender *
Silver Screen: The Last Exorcism ***
Silver Screen: The Last Stand ***
Silver Screen: The Lego Movie ***
Silver Screen: The Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lone Ranger ***
Silver Screen: The Longest Ride **1/2
Silver Screen: The Lucky One *1/2
Silver Screen: The Man with the Iron Fists **1/2
Silver Screen: The Martian ****
Silver Screen: The Master ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Maze Runner ***
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Monuments Men ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Night Before ***
Silver Screen: The November Man **
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Overnight ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Peanuts Movie ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Perks of Being a Wallflower ****
Silver Screen: The Place Beyond the Pines ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Possession *
Silver Screen: The Purge *
Silver Screen: The Purge: Anarchy **1/2
Silver Screen: The Pyramid **1/2
Silver Screen: The Quiet Ones *
Silver Screen: The Raid II ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rover **
Silver Screen: The Rum Diary ***
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 24, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 27, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 29, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 3, 2015 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 4, 2014 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 5, 2013 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 6, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 8, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 01, 2020 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 15, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 22, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard July 29, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 10, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 17, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Scorecard June 24, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Secret Life of Walter Mitty ****
Silver Screen: The Sitter ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Spectacular Now ****
Silver Screen: The Theory of Everything ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Thing **1/2
Silver Screen: The Thirty-Three **1/2
Silver Screen: The Three Stooges ***
Silver Screen: The Tourist **
Silver Screen: The Town ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Tree of Life *****
Silver Screen: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse *1/2
Silver Screen: The Visit ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Vow **
Silver Screen: The Walk ***
Silver Screen: The Watch **
Silver Screen: The Way Way Back ****
Silver Screen: The Wolf of Wall Street ****
Silver Screen: The Wolverine *1/2
Silver Screen: The Woman in Black **
Silver Screen: The Words 1/2*
Silver Screen: The World’s End ****
Silver Screen: Thirty Minutes or Less ***1/2
Silver Screen: This Is Forty ****
Silver Screen: This Is The End ***1/2
Silver Screen: Thor ***
Silver Screen: Thor: The Dark World *
Silver Screen: Three Days to Kill **
Silver Screen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***1/2
Silver Screen: To Rome with Love ***1/2
Silver Screen: Tomorrowland ****
Silver Screen: Total Recall **1/2
Silver Screen: Tower Heist ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: Trainwreck **1/2
Silver Screen: Transcendence *1/2
Silver Screen: Transformers: Age of Extinction 1/2*
Silver Screen: Transformers: Dark of the Moon *1/2
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Trumbo ****
Silver Screen: Twelve Years a Slave ****1/2
Silver Screen: Twenty-two Jump Street ***1/2
Silver Screen: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II *
Silver Screen: Two Guns ***
Silver Screen: Unbroken
Silver Screen: Unfriended ****
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
Silver Screen: Veronica Mars ***1/2
Silver Screen: Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ****
Silver Screen: Wanderlust ***1/2
Silver Screen: War Horse **
Silver Screen: Water for Elephants ***
Silver Screen: We Bought a Zoo ****
Silver Screen: While We’re Young ****
Silver Screen: Whiplash *****
Silver Screen: White House Down ***
Silver Screen: Winter's Tale 1/2*
Silver Screen: World War Z **
Silver Screen: Wrath of the Titans 1/2*
Silver Screen: Wreck-it Ralph ***1/2
Silver Screen: X-Men: Days of Future Past ***
Silver Screen: X-Men: First Class ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2
Silver Screen: You’re Next **1/2
Silver Screen: Zero Dark Thirty ****1/2
Silver Screen: Zookeeper *


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Pictured: The Big Short
Bryan Miller

> opening this week in Carbondale.

< leaving Carbondale this Friday.

Bryan Miller unless otherwise credited.

Creed (PG-13, ****1/2): Fruitvale Station’s Ryan Coogler writes and directs a franchise reboot that breathes new life into the Rocky series. This rousing reboot taps into the spirit of the 1976 original with a renewed focus on the characters’ relationships and gritty street life of Philadelphia, with stunning results. The premise is simple but elegant: Former heavyweight champ Apollo Creed had a son out of wedlock who was eventually raised by his widow (Phylicia Rashad). Adonis (Michael B. Jordan), the lost boy turned child of privilege, rejects a lucrative career path to follow in his father’s footsteps. For help he turns to his dad’s greatest friend and opponent, the Italian Stallion himself. An older, wiser, wearier Rocky (Sylvester Stallone) agrees to train his young charge for a big fight that turns into an even bigger one. It closely follows the formula of the original, but Coogler subtly innovates throughout and invigorates it with fresh ideas. Stallone might not have been this good since 1976; it’s a soulful, heartbreaking performance perfectly matched by his powerful protégé. Adonis has a plucky girl of his own (Tessa Thompson), but though she’s no wallflower, it’s the mentor-mentee relationship that dominates this heartfelt, truly inspiring film, which balances the character study of the original with thrilling fight choreography. You’ll cheer, you’ll hum the theme, and you will most certainly root for Adonis Creed in this, the best sports movie of the new millennium.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part II (PG-13, *1/2): The popular dystopian teen-lit adaptation lumbers to a conclusion in this halting, poorly paced, anticlimactic final installment. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) rejects her new role as the mouthpiece of the revolution and hitches a ride with a group of soldiers toward the front lines, where she plans to storm the Capitol and kill President Snow (a wonderful Donald Sutherland). The first two-thirds of the movie are bogged down by a lot of moping, and the ineffectual action— most of it just an inconsequential blur of computer effects— largely takes place in a dingy sewer. The actual climax is almost literally over before you know it, giving way to a tedious series of false endings that would make Peter Jackson twiddle his thumbs in frustration. Most of the interesting characters (and better actors) are shuffled to the side. There’s both too much and not nearly enough going on here, thanks in part to the screenwriters’ oppressive fidelity to author Suzanne Collins’s flawed text. The whole blockbuster franchise turns out to be something of a bust. It’s one-and-a-half good movies spread across eight-plus hours of running time. Its ultimate legacy will be as a starmaking platform for the excellent Lawrence, who elevated the material until it couldn’t keep up with her any longer.

In the Heart of the Sea (PG-13, **1/2): Ron Howard’s seafaring adventure tale wants no ambiguities about its literary pedigree. It’s based on Nathaniel Philbrick’s book of the same name and chronicles the ill-fated voyage of the whaling ship Essex, whose real-life capsizing was the partial inspiration for Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. In the kinda-true-story version, canny first mate Owen Chase (Chris Hemsworth) must help inexperienced Captain George Pollard (Benjamin Walker) as they seek to harvest oil from a great white whale. The practicalities and economic ramifications of whaling are fascinating, and when Howard focuses on these the movie distinguishes itself. Too often, though— partly via a frame story in which Herman himself (Ben Whishaw) interviews the story’s Ishmael, an aging Essex survivor (played by Brendan Gleeson as an old man and Tom Holland in flashback)— the film strives for profundity it doesn’t come close to earning. Melville wrote many a straightforward maritime adventure story; what set Moby Dick apart was the metaphysical contemplation and allegorical significance borne from the fictionalizing. This is the bones of the story without the meat, or the precious oil that fuels it.

Krampus (PG-13, **1/2): Writer/director Michael Dougherty takes on the Austrian legend of Krampus, a kind of devilish Anti-Claus who shows up at Christmas time to punish bad children by dragging them off to Hell. It’s a ripe concept for holiday counterprogramming, but this horror-comedy riff on it misses the mark by failing to find a balance between the disparate ingredients. A feuding family (including Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, and Allison Tolman) invite doom on their clan when their selfish squabbling causes young Max (Emjay Anthony) to lose the Christmas spirit. The demonic Krampus strands them in their suburban home with a kind of mystical blizzard, then starts picking them off one by one. Perhaps the PG-13 rating hinders what’s supposed to be a comedy about bad behavior. The rating certainly does no favors for the horror elements. As a result, the jokes aren’t quite good enough to overlook the lack of genuine scares and the handful of frightening images don’t excuse the shortage of punchlines, which fly only intermittently. It’s enough to make it an appealing alternative if you’re cloistered indoors with your own family, but not enough to justify a treacherous sleigh ride to the nearest multiplex.

The Night Before (R, ***): This crass but good-natured holiday-themed comedy attempts to strike a balance between cynicism and seasonal sentimentality. It succeeds in the latter but indulges in the former far too much, especially when it devolves into a series of celebrity cameos and meta-references. In its best moments, though, director and cowriter Jonathan Levine’s film is a warmhearted bit of silliness about two pals (Seth Rogen and Anthony Mackie) trying to cheer up their best pal (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) who never fully recovered from his parents’ death around Christmas more than a decade prior. On what is to be the final installment of their annual holiday tradition, the hijinks go to drunken extremes as they careen around the city, running into angry Santas, Ethan’s lovely ex-lady (Lizzy Caplan), and a magical weed dealer (a very funny Michael Shannon). Some of the plots work better than others, and Levine shoehorns in several implausible, annoying characters (specifically Ilana Glazer’s self-appointed hipster Grinch) in order to gin up conflict where none really exists. Ultimately it’s a bit like store-bought eggnog— not great, but good enough to satisfy at the right time of year.

< The Peanuts Movie (G, ****1/2): Perhaps no beloved children’s entertainment is less-suited to slick modernization than Charles Schulz’s Peanuts, which is why it’s so heartening to see director Steve Martino (working from a script cowritten by Schulz’s son Craig) brilliantly preserve the essence of the comic strip while translating it to a computer-animated feature. The defiantly low-fi antics of Charlie Brown and his gang seem downright revolutionary today, but the gentle, slightly morose themes that made newspaper strip and animated specials so appealing still resonate. The film is something of a greatest-hits collection, distilling many of the classic tropes and themes of the strip and fashioning them into a longer, if somewhat episodic, story. Charlie Brown struggles to find a way to impress the new kid in school, the Little Red-haired Girl, while his faithful dog Snoopy engages in imaginary aerial combat with the Red Baron. The quality of the computer animation here is key, favoring a clean, rudimentary design reminiscent of stop-motion animation, one that nicely splits the difference between Schulz’s clean linework and the dominant Pixar style of the last two decades. Martino makes use of more dazzling imagery in Snoopy’s literal flights of fantasy, swooping and diving the camera with rollercoaster glee, while Charlie Brown’s musings are rendered in those familiar squiggly black-and-white lines. It’s simple but not simplistic, thoughtful and affecting, a treat for nostalgists and younger fans alike.

< Secrets in Their Eyes (R, ***1/2): The dig against this thriller is that it’s a superfluous remake of a recent Spanish-language film that won an Academy Award in 2010. Fair enough, but for those who haven’t seen the original version, the remake is a solid thriller that relocates the action to the United States and twists the story nicely around post-September 11 paranoia. A team of investigators (including Julia Roberts, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Dean Norris, and Michael Kelly) working to bring down a terrorist sleeper cell are confounded when the daughter of one of their own is found dead outside the mosque they’re surveilling. More than a decade later, one of them refuses to let the case go. Director and writer Billy Ray nicely adapts the material and maintains consistent intensity with the split narrative, which alternates between the present and the weeks after the crime. It’s a smart, sharply acted thriller with a handful of memorable moments. If you see this one instead of the Argentine original, I won’t tell anybody.

< Spectre (PG-13, ***1/2): The fourth Bond movie of the Daniel Craig era pushes the story away from the grim, relatively more realistic Casino Royale toward classic 007 territory. We’re not talking Moonraker here, but the plot takes a turn for the delightfully outlandish as Bond (Craig) learns about an overarching plot that ties together loose threads from the previous three outings. At the hub of it all is Spectre, a shadowy organization (literally shadowy, when they’re introduced) led by the mysterious Franz Oberhauser (born Bond villain Christoph Waltz). With the help of a supervillain’s estranged daughter (Léa Seydoux), Bond must untangle the confusion on his own while the double-oh program is menaced by bureaucratic meddling and both M (Ralph Fiennes) and Q (Ben Whishaw) are pushed out. This latest 007 outing kicks off with a thrilling, visually sumptuous action sequence it can never quite top. But despite being a little thick in the middle, it’s a thoroughly entertaining entry in the series with a few eye-popping sequences and all the hallmarks that make this formulaic series pleasantly familiar rather than frustratingly repetitive.

< Trumbo (R, ****): Bryan Cranston gives a powerhouse performance in this uneven but mostly fascinating biopic about the great writer Dalton Trumbo, who was jailed by the House Un-American Activities Committee and blacklisted from Hollywood. Undeterred, he channeled all of his cantankerous energy into bullying his way back into the film business, using pseudonyms and fronts to write B-movie schlock and also some Oscar-winning classics like Roman Holiday, The Brave One, and Spartacus. Director Jay Roach gets a little high on star worship (and its opposite) in his deserved vilification of chumps like John Wayne and Hedda Hopper and feisty heroes like Kirk Douglas. But the movie is most compelling when it focuses on all the people behind the camera, including Trumbo’s plucky family (including Diane Lane as his wife and Elle Fanning as his daughter), his sublimely self-interested B-movie collaborators the King brothers (John Goodman and Stephen Root), and his commie writer pals (Louis C.K. and Alan Tudyk, among others). It’s a rousing, inspiring picture that finds its groove as Trumbo fights back from the confines of his bathtub where he cranks out a seemingly endless series of classics. Though it begins like one of those perfunctory, self-satisfied Hollywood history lessons, it gains thrilling momentum and explores all the nuances and contradictions of its subject, ultimately evolving into a tribute befitting of the man himself.

Also in or Coming to Local Theaters

> Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (PG): The singing rodents with high-pitched voices head out on the highway to stop their manager, Dave, from getting married and leaving them.

> The Big Short (R): A group of finance geeks predict the housing bubble and stock-market collapse of 2008 then set out to profit from it. The loaded cast includes Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, and Marisa Tomei.

The Good Dinosaur (PG): Pixar’s latest was a troubled production largely scrapped and reworked. It’s about a dinosaur who befriends a human boy, so perhaps it’s based on “research” from the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Featuring the voices of Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Steve Zahn, Anna Paquin, and Sam Elliott.

> Sisters (R): Comedy superfriends Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star as sibs who decide to throw one last bash before they sell their parents’ home. Featuring Maya Rudolph, John Cena, Kate McKinnon, and John Leguizamo.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (PG-13): In this indie drama, survivors of a political coup must watch as their children bear the repercussions of their actions. In space! With Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, Oscar Isaac, John Boyega, and Lupita Nyong’o. Without George Lucas.