Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 18, 2012 Edition

Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 18, 2012 Edition
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Silver Screen: Confidence Man: The Hugh DeNeal Story Is Stranger than Fiction
Silver Screen: Hereafter *
Silver Screen: Machete **
Silver Screen: Saw VII 3D Zero Stars
Silver Screen: Takers *1/2
Silver Screen: 127 Hours ****
Silver Screen: 21 Jump Street ***
Silver Screen: A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas ***
Silver Screen: American Reunion **1/2
Silver Screen: Argo **1/2
Silver Screen: Bad Teacher ***
Silver Screen: Battle: Los Angeles **
Silver Screen: Battleship *
Silver Screen: Bernie ****
Big Muddy Film Festival 33
Silver Screen: Black Swan ****
Silver Screen: Blue Valentine ****
Silver Screen: Brave ***
Silver Screen: Breaking Dawn Part I *1/2
Silver Screen: Bridesmaids ****
Silver Screen: Bully **
Silver Screen: Captain America **
Silver Screen: Cars II *1/2
Silver Screen: Case Thirty-nine *
Silver Screen: Cedar Rapids ****
Silver Screen: Charlie Saint Cloud **
Silver Screen: Chernobyl Diaries *
Silver Screen: Chronicle ****
Silver Screen: Contagion ****1/2
Silver Screen: Contraband *
Silver Screen: Cowboys & Aliens ***
Silver Screen: Crazy, Stupid, Love **
Silver Screen: Dark Shadows *1/2
Silver Screen: Despicable Me **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: Don't Be Afraid of the Dark **
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: Easy A ***1/2
Silver Screen: Eat Pray Love ***
Silver Screen: End of Watch ****
Silver Screen: Fast Five **1/2
Silver Screen: Fifty/Fifty ****
Silver Screen: Final Destination V **
Silver Screen: Friends with Benefits **
Silver Screen: Fright Night ***
Silver Screen: Get Him to the Greek ***
Silver Screen: Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 1/2*
Silver Screen: Going the Distance ***
Silver Screen: Gone **1/2
Silver Screen: Green Lantern *1/2
Silver Screen: Grown Ups *
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: Hit and Run ***
Silver Screen: Hope Springs ***1/2
Silver Screen: Horrible Bosses **1/2
Silver Screen: House at the End of the Street *
Silver Screen: How Do You Know ***
Silver Screen: I Am Number Four *
Silver Screen: In Time **1/2
Silver Screen: Inception ****1/2
Silver Screen: Insidious ***1/2
Silver Screen: J. Edgar **
Silver Screen: Jack and Jill 1/2*
Silver Screen: Jackass 3D **1/2
Silver Screen: Jeff, Who Lives at Home ***1/2
Silver Screen: Jonah Hex *
Silver Screen: Josh Hyde’s Postcards and Love Letters
Silver Screen: Just Go with It *
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Killer Elite **
Silver Screen: Knight and Day *1/2
Silver Screen: Kung Fu Panda II ***
Silver Screen: Larry Crowne *1/2
Silver Screen: Lawless ****
Silver Screen: Let Me In ***
Silver Screen: Life as We Know It *1/2
Silver Screen: Limitless ***
Silver Screen: Lockout **
Silver Screen: Looper ****
Silver Screen: Megamind ***1/2
Silver Screen: Men in Black III *1/2
Silver Screen: Midnight in Paris ****
Silver Screen: Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol ****
Silver Screen: Moneyball ***1/2
Silver Screen: Moonrise Kingdom ****1/2
Silver Screen: My Soul to Take 3D 1/2*
Silver Screen: New Year’s Eve *
Silver Screen: No Strings Attached ***
Silver Screen: One Day **
Silver Screen: Our Idiot Brother ***
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity II ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paranormal Activity III ***1/2
Silver Screen: ParaNorman ***1/2
Silver Screen: Paul ***1/2
Silver Screen: Piranha 3D ***1/2
Silver Screen: Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides *1/2
Silver Screen: Predators ***
Silver Screen: Premium Rush ***
Silver Screen: Priest 1/2*
Silver Screen: Project X 1/2*
Silver Screen: Prometheus ***1/2
Silver Screen: Real Steel *
Silver Screen: Red ***
Silver Screen: Red Tails **
Silver Screen: Resident Evil: Retribution *
Silver Screen: Rise of the Planet of the Apes ****
Silver Screen: Safe ***
Silver Screen: Safe House ***
Silver Screen: Salt ***
Silver Screen: Savages ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scott Pilgrim versus the World ***1/2
Silver Screen: Scream IV *
Silver Screen: Seeking a Friend for the End of the World **1/2
Silver Screen: Sex and the City II 1/2*
Silver Screen: Shaft and Coffy: Novotny Lawrence Discusses the Blaxploitation Movement
Silver Screen: Shark Night 3D 1/2* -- Apollo 18 **
Silver Screen: Silent House **1/2
Silver Screen: Sinister ***1/2
Silver Screen: Skyline *
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: Splice ****
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Straw Dogs *1/2
Silver Screen: Super Eight ****
Silver Screen: Taken II **
Silver Screen: Ted ***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 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 Big Muddy Film Festival
Silver Screen: The Big Year *1/2
Silver Screen: The Bourne Legacy ***
Silver Screen: The Boys and Girls Club Night at the Oscars
Silver Screen: The Campaign ***
Silver Screen: The Dark Knight Rises ***
Silver Screen: The Debt ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Descendants ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Dilemma *1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables **1/2
Silver Screen: The Expendables II *1/2
Silver Screen: The Fighter ****
Silver Screen: The Five-Year Engagement ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo *
Silver Screen: The Green Hornet **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hangover Part II **1/2
Silver Screen: The Hunger Games ***
Silver Screen: The Ides of March ****
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 Lincoln Lawyer ***
Silver Screen: The Lucky One *1/2
Silver Screen: The Master ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Mechanic **1/2
Silver Screen: The Next Three Days ***
Silver Screen: The Other Guys ***
Silver Screen: The Possession *
Silver Screen: The Raven *
Silver Screen: The Rite *
Silver Screen: The Roommate *1/2
Silver Screen: The Rum Diary ***
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 24, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , February 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , March 31, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 23, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card , September 30, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 19, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 26, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card August 5, 2010 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card September 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 12, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 14, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, April 19, 2012 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 23 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, August 25, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 1, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 16, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 2, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 8, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, December 9, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 16, 2012 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, February 9, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 12, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 19, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 20, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 26, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, January 27, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 12 , 2012 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 14, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 19, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 21, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 26 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 28, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, July 7, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 16, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 21, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 23, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 28, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 30, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 6, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 7, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, June 9, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 1, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 22, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 24, 2011 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 3, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, March 8, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 10, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 12, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 17, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 19, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 24, 2012 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 3, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, May 5, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 10, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 11, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 17, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 18, 2010 Edition
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Silver Screen: The Score Card, November 4, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 06, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 11, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 14, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 20, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 21, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 27, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 28, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 4 , 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, October 7, 2010 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 01, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 13, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 15, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 20, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 22, 2011 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 27, 2012 Edition
Silver Screen: The Score Card, September 29, 2011 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 Sitter ***1/2
Silver Screen: The Social Network ****1/2
Silver Screen: The Sorcerer's Apprentice **
Silver Screen: The Thing **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 Vow **
Silver Screen: The Watch **
Silver Screen: The Woman in Black **
Silver Screen: The Words 1/2*
Silver Screen: Thirty Minutes or Less ***1/2
Silver Screen: Thor ***
Silver Screen: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy ***1/2
Silver Screen: To Rome with Love ***1/2
Silver Screen: Total Recall **1/2
Silver Screen: Tower Heist ***
Silver Screen: Toy Story III ****
Silver Screen: Transformers: Dark of the Moon *1/2
Silver Screen: True Grit ****1/2
Silver Screen: Unknown ***
Silver Screen: Unstoppable **
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: Wrath of the Titans 1/2*
Silver Screen: X-Men: First Class ***
Silver Screen: Your Highness ***1/2
Silver Screen: Zookeeper *


Who:
What:
Where:
When:
Pictured: Alex Cross.
Bryan Miller

> opening this week in Carbondale (Friday unless otherwise noted).

< leaving Carbondale this Friday.

For more film reviews and capsules, see the Nightlife section of <http://www.CarbondaleRocks.com>.

by Bryan Miller unless otherwise credited.

Argo (R, **1/2): Ben Affleck directs this well-crafted, intriguing thriller based on a fascinating true story that just happens to make for a pretty boring movie. Affleck stars as state department agent Tony Mendez, who concocts an elaborate scheme to rescue six Americans secretly living in Iran during the 1979 hostage crisis. His solution is to use Hollywood moviemakers (Alan Arkin and John Goodman) to pose as a Canadian film crew and extract the Americans before they’re taken hostage. The story is fascinating and Affleck constructs the film more than competently, but the story is front-loaded, better suited to a documentary. The final hour is a slog, with the climax being a twenty-minute trek through airport security that makes you feel exactly like you just went through airport security.

< End of Watch (R , ****): Writer-director David Ayer takes a docudrama style approach to this stirring, character-driven drama about the bond between two cops working a patrol car in the toughest neighborhoods of Los Angeles. Former Marine Brian Taylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) and wryly introspective family man Mike Zavala (Michael Peña) forge a bond across their cultural barriers, and it's that relationship depicted in nicely paced scenes with excellent, naturalistic dialogue that serves as the movie's core. A running plot about the evils of a new Mexican cartel serves mostly as a distraction from an otherwise compelling and almost unbearably suspenseful cop drama that prioritizes emotion over pyrotechnics and accurately depicts the way men bond under pressure. It's superbly acted, one of the best movies about policework in many years.

< Hope Springs (PG-13, ***1/2): Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones costar as a longtime married couple who go to a weeklong intensive therapy session to save their relationship and rekindle the spark. This thoughtful, well-made romantic drama broaches topics very rarely addressed with any seriousness in film: namely, old people doin' it. Although the film can be almost as squirm-inducing as listening to your own parents talk about sex, it's insightful and resists both easy answers and melodrama. Streep and Jones are fantastic together, and Steve Carell gives a nice performance as the therapist, present but unobtrusive and a little inscrutable, like a good shrink should be.

< House at the End of the Street (PG-13, *): The only person scared of this movie should be star Jennifer Lawrence’s agent. She’s a newly minted movie princess, yet here she’s stuck in a shoddy lite-Gothic melodrama that is by turns dull and silly, starring as a lonely transplant to a new town who falls for the boy next door (Max Thieriot). He’s living in the house where his sister murdered his parents, but he’s also keeping the family’s dark secrets. The script isn’t shrill enough to render the movie unintentionally entertaining, and the flat performance from Thieriot, whose contrast of menace and charm should be its crux, looks something like Ryan Phillippe on Ambien. Featuring Elisabeth Shue as Lawrence’s beleaguered single mother.

< Lawless (R , ****): Director John Hillcoat reteams with his Proposition screenwriter Nick Cave for this neo-Western about backwoods bootleggers in the days of Prohibition. The three Bondurant brothers (Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, and Shia LeBeouf) refuse to allow their illegal liquor business to be overseen by a corrupt cop (an over-the-top Guy Pearce), launching a bloody conflict that threatens everyone in the county. It's a more conventional, plot-driven movie than The Proposition, but it's similarly potent and gritty. Hillcoat seems to be stretching to imitate the visual poetry of Terrence Malick, and he's not altogether unsuccessful, crafting some beautiful images that nicely complement Cave’s punchy, pulpy script. Alas, it's a man's movie in the style of Sam Peckinpah for better and for worse, which means Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska are relegated to playing damsels.

Looper (R, ****): Rian Johnson's genre mashup is pastiche with more of a veneer of novelty than actual novelty, but he's thoroughly in control of his appropriations and manages to combine them into something awfully slick and entertaining. Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Joe, a new kind of hitman in 2044 whose job is to execute people sent back in time thirty years to be disposed of in the past. When he finds that his latest target is himself three decades older (Bruce Willis), he faces a headtrip of a moral dilemma complicated by his future self's violent but possibly necessary plans. Though it sounds hard to follow, the plot of Looper is actually pretty streamlined. It's the character motivations and alliances that are complex and keep the movie compelling, which is why it's a bit of a shame that the climax is dominated by special-effects histrionics. Still, it's a smart piece of pop entertainment, handsomely executed and thought-provoking even in its more uneven moments.

The Master (R): (R, ****1/2): The title of Paul Thomas Anderson's latest could just as easily refer to the writer/director, who continues to marry his controlled technique to audacious concepts. This is a movie about the search for meaning that demands you search for its meaning. A soldier (Joaquin Phoenix) fallen into depravity in the wake of World War II seeks guidance from a guru (Philip Seymour Hoffman) whose pseudo-scientific self-improvement methodology is not accidentally reminiscent of Scientology. But this is no thinly veiled Scientology exposé— it's an existential argument that happens to use a Scientology stand-in as its point of reference, although the details of the quasi-religion are largely unimportant. The conflict between Phoenix's outcast spiritual searcher and Hoffman's false intellectual prophet is the core of the movie, although it's far more effective on an intellectual level than it is emotionally engaging. Anderson mutes his stylistic flourishes, which may account for the movie's relative lack of singularly memorable moments.

Sinister (R, ***1/2): Ethan Hawke stars in this pleasant surprise of a low-budget studio horror movie that fuses modern found-footage horror with a classic haunted house tale. The resulting film isn’t terribly innovative, but it’s good, spooky fun. Hawke’s tortured true-crime writer moves his family into a house where another family was murdered in the hopes of turning their tale into a bestseller. In the attic he discovers a disturbing series of super-eight films that show not only the murder of the family he’s writing about, but of other families as well, in what seems to be a connected series of killings— leading him to suspect that perhaps his wife and children are next. Director and cowriter Scott Derrickson isn’t shy about use cheap sound cues and startle-scares, but they only supplement the more substantial psychological and conceptual horror, and he also renders some memorable macabre images. A nice treat for the Halloween season.

Taken II (PG-13, **): The sequel to the surprise action hit is even more xenophobic and manipulative than the original. The evil foreigner parents of the evil foreigners who kidnapped the daughter (Maggie Grace) of CIA agent Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) attempt to kidnap the whole family for revenge, including Mills’s ex-wife (Famke Janssen). He must break free and end the cycle of violence against a group of people who are presented as inherently violent and incapable of reason, and whose primary goal seems to be to sexually menace white women. The subtext is plainly icky, while the quick pacing and slightly better-than-average action aesthetic make it a competent but unmemorable thriller that’s not nearly compelling enough to justify its dodgy agenda.

Also in or Coming to Local Theaters

> Alex Cross (PG-13): The hero of James Patterson’s bestselling detective novels, once played by Morgan Freeman but now replaced with Tyler Perry, must track down a madman (Matthew Fox) who killed a member of his family. Featuring Rachel Nichols and Breaking Bad’s Giancarlo Esposito.

Atlas Shrugged Part II (PG13): The second half of the critically savaged adaptation of Ayn Rand’s ponderous novel about the evils of socialism and government regulation— just in time for the 2012 election. Probably more boring but less damaging to the Obama campaign than the president’s first debate performance. (Wissmann)

< For a Good Time, Call (R): Jamie Travis film about two very different roommates (played by Lauren Miller and Ari Graynor) who enter the phone-sex trade to make rent money.

Frankenweenie (PG): Tim Burton expands the short film that helped launch his career in this macabre animated comedy about a young aspiring scientist named Victor who reanimates his dearly departed pooch with disastrous results. Featuring the voices of Catherine O'Hara, Winona Ryder, Martin Landau, and Martin Short. In 2D and 3D.

Here Comes the Boom (PG): Kevin James stars as a high-school biology teacher who enters a mixed martial arts tournament to raise money for his school in this mainstreamiest of comedies, featuring Salma Hayek and Henry Winkler.

Hotel Transylvania (PG): Animated kiddie comedy in which a reformed Count Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) quits bloodsucking to run a resort getaway for his monster friends. Featuring the voices of Steve Buscemi, Andy Samberg, Kevin James, and Selena Gomez. In 2D and 3D.

> Paranormal Activity IV (R): A family records strange goings on in their house after a neighbor who might have something to do with the possessed Katie Featherston moves into the neighborhood.

Pitch Perfect (PG-13): Jason Moore (Avenue Q) comedy about a catty, all-woman college a cappella ensemble. Starring Brittany Snow and Anna Kendrick.

Seven Psychopaths (R): Dark comedy from the writer/director of the sharp and surprisingly soulful In Bruges. In his latest, an L.A. schlub gets mixed up with an intersecting array of gangsters over the kidnapping of a beloved Shih Tzu. Featuring Christopher Walken, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Colin Farrell, and Tom Waits.

Trouble with the Curve (PG-13): Clint Eastwood stars as an aging baseball scout who reconnects with his daughter (Amy Adams) in the twilight of his career. Featuring Justin Timberlake and John Goodman.

Won't Back Down (PG): Daniel Barnz’s movie about a parent-and-teacher team (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Viola Davis) who try to save a failing school district is drawing controversy for its overly simplistic antiunion sentiments. Also starring Holly Hunter. (Wissmann)