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Film clips

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published December 21, 2012 at 2:07 a.m.

— At area theaters

68 ALEX CROSS, PG-13 Tyler Perry takes on the role of the title homicide detective/psychologist, who may have met his match in a serial killer (Matthew Fox). (101 minutes)

88 ANNA KARENINA, R This latest adaptation of Leo Tolstoy’s epic 19th-century Russian novel (script by Tom Stoppard) features Keira Knightley as the title debutante in an unhappy marriage with a much older man, who finds new romance with a dashing young count. (130 minutes)

89 ARGO, R Ben Affleck directs and plays a CIA rescue specialist who concocts (with Alan Arkin and John Goodman) a cockeyed plot to create a fake movie as a way of rescuing six Americans who escaped the 1979 Iranian takeover of the American embassy and subsequent 444-day hostage crisis. Based on supposedly recently declassified documents. (120 minutes)

88 END OF WATCH, R Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena play young cops patrolling the meanest streets of south-central Los Angeles. (109 minutes)

90 FINDING NEMO 3D, G Disney adds an extra dimension to the tale of animated and overly protective clownfish Marlin (voice of Albert Brooks) and fuzzy-minded fish Dory (voice of Ellen DeGeneres), on a quest to rescue Marlin’s short-finned son Nemo (voice of Alexander Gould) after a fishing boat separates them in the Great Barrier Reef. (104 minutes)

86 FLIGHT, R Denzel Washington plays a commercial airline pilot who pulls off a heroic feat of flying in a damaged plane, saving 98 lives, but whose behavior on the night before the flight comes under intense scrutiny. (139 minutes)

75 FRANKENWEENIE, PG Director Tim Burton expands upon his early (1984) stop-motion-animated short film to create a full-length, stop-motion-animated, black-and-white, 3-D feature about a boy named Victor with a bent for science and his dead dog, Sparky, whom he brings back to life- with just a few minor adjustments. (87 minutes)

85 HERE COMES THE BOOM, PG A former collegiate wrestler (Kevin James) is now a 40-something, apathetic biology teacher in a failing high school who begins, as cutbacks threaten to cancel the music program and lay off its teacher (Henry Winkler), to raise money by moonlighting as a mixed-martial-arts fighter. (105 minutes)

82 THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, PG-13 This “prequel” to The Lord of the Rings explains how Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman young, Ian Holm old) came by the Great Ring and how he “won” it from Gollum (Andy Serkis) while on a quest accompanying 13 dwarves on a mission to reclaim Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug. Returning: Ian McKellen as Gandalf, Cate Blanchett as Galadriel, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Hugo Weaving as Elrond and Elijah Wood as Frodo, plus Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage and a huge cast of hobbits, dwarves, elves, goblins, orcs, eagles, wolves, trolls and diverse other creatures. Directed by Peter Jackson. (169 minutes)

80 HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA, PG Dracula opens a lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up in safety and comfort, free from meddling from the human world, as a way of controlling the adventurous spirit of his teenage daughter, who’s in grave peril of falling for an ordinary human. Animated. (91 minutes)

88 KILLING THEM SOFTLY, R A professional enforcer (Brad Pitt) investigates a heist during a high-stakes, mob-protected poker game. (97 minutes)

88 LIFE OF PI, PG A young man who survives a tragic disaster at sea forms an amazing and unexpected connection with the ship’s only other survivor - a Bengal tiger. (127 minutes)

90 LINCOLN, PG-13 Director Steven Spielberg’s take on the tumultuous final months in office of the 16thpresident (Daniel Day-Lewis). (120 minutes)

78 THE ODD LIFE OF TIMOTHY GREEN, PG A happily married couple (Jennifer Garner, Joel Edgerton), dreaming about what their someday-child will be like, find a youngster (C.J. Adams) on their doorstep bearing some unexpected gifts. (125 minutes)

87 THE OTHER SON, PG-13 As he prepares to join the Israeli army for his national service, Joseph discovers he is not his parents’ biological son, but was inadvertently switched at birth with Yassin, the son of a Palestinian family from the West Bank. This revelation turns the lives of these two families upside-down, forcing them to reassess their respective identities, their values and their beliefs. With Emmanuelle Devos, Pascal Elbe, Jules Sitruk, Mehdi Dehbi, Areen Omari; directed by Lorraine Levy. (105 minutes)

89 PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, PG-13 Logan Lerman plays a high school freshman whose social prospects are limited by the recent death of a friend and an even more recent breakdown of sorts, until he befriends a charismatic, openly gay senior (Ezra Miller) and his stepsister (Emma Watson). (103 minutes)

81 PITCH PERFECT, PG-13 Anna Kendrick plays a college kid who finds herself in the midst of an unpopular group of misfit girls with one thing in common: how well they sing together. So of course they set forth to conquer the cutthroat world of college a cappella groups. (112 minutes)

67 PLAYING FOR KEEPS, PG-13 Gerard Butler plays a charming, down on-his-luck former soccer star who, looking for a way to rebuild his relationship with his son, gets roped into coaching the boy’s soccer team and then has to fend off attractive soccer moms. (106 minutes)

79 RED DAWN, PG-13 In this remake of John Milius’ 1984 uber-patriotic potboiler, young American patriots seek refuge in the woods and become guerrilla fighters to save their fellow citizens, liberate their town and take back their freedom from the foreign paratroopers who have taken over. (114 minutes)

73 RISE OF THE GUARDIANS, PG The immortal Guardians - Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, the Sandman and Jack Frost - do battle to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere from an evil spirit seeking to take over the world. Animated. (97 minutes)

86 A ROYAL AFFAIR, R An 18th-century love triangle involves a German doctor, the queen of Denmark and her deranged king. Subtitled. With Mads Mikkelsen, Trine Dyrholm, Alicia Vikander, William Johnk Nielsen, David Dencik; directed by Nikolaj Arcel. (137 minutes)

85 THE SESSIONS, R Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, the story of a man confined to an iron lung who, at age 38, is determined to lose his virginity, with the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest. (98 minutes)

82 SINISTER, R Ethan Hawke plays a true-crime novelist whose discovery of a box of mysterious, disturbing home movies plunges his family into a nightmarish experience of supernatural horror. (110 minutes)

88 SKYFALL, PG-13 Craig, Daniel Craig is back as Bond, James Bond, this time finding his loyalty to M (Dame Judi Dench) tested as her past comes back to haunt her.And as MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost. (143 minutes)

72 TAKEN 2, PG-13 The retired CIA agent (Liam Neeson) who in the first movie stopped at nothing to save his daughter from Albanian kidnappers now has been taken hostage with his wife during a family vacation in Istanbul by the vengeful father of one of the original kidnappers, and it’s up to the daughter to help them escape, get the family to safety and systematically take out the kidnappers - one by nasty one. (92 minutes)

82 THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2, PG-13 Bella (Kristen Stewart), beginning her new life as a vampire and mother, must defend her and Edward’s (Robert Pattinson) newborn daughter against the nasties that are determined to destroy the child. (116 minutes)

85 WRECK-IT RALPH, PG John C. Reilly is the voice of the title video game character, tired of being overshadowed by Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer), who decides he’s now going to be the “good guy” and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade. Animated. (108 minutes)

Movie-rating point system Movies are rated on a scale from 50 to 100. Guidelines for moviegoers: 96-100 Transcendent 90-95 Exceptional 80-89 Better than most to remarkable 70-79 Average 60-69 Awful to mediocre 50-59 Irredeemable

MovieStyle, Pages 36 on 12/21/2012

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