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Film clips

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published January 18, 2013 at 1:41 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)

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)

85 DJANGO UNCHAINED, R Director Quentin Tarantino’s double take on race relations in the pre-Civil War South combined with an homage to spaghetti Westerns, involving a slave who hooks up with a German-born bounty hunter to track down a pair of murderous brothers, then ends up battling a treacherous organization that uses slaves for gladiatorial contests. (165 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)

77 GANGSTER SQUAD, R Josh Brolin and Ryan Gosling head a secret crew of police outsiders determined to take down uber-mobster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn) in 1949 Los Angeles. With Nick Nolte, Robert Patrick, Michael Pena, Giovanni Ribisi, Anthony Mackie, Emma Stone; directed by Ruben Fleischer. (113 minutes)

83 THE GUILT TRIP, PG-13 Seth Rogen plays an inventor who invites his mother (Barbra Streisand) on a cross-country trip to sell his new product and reunite her with a lost love. (95 minutes)

A HAUNTED HOUSE, R In this Paranormal Activity parody, Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins play newlyweds who discover they’re not alone in their dream house. With Nick Swardson, David Koechner, Cedric The Entertainer, Bobbie Lee, Dave Sheridan; directed by Mike Tiddes. (95 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)

83 HITCHCOCK, PG-13 Anthony Hopkins plays director Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren, his wife and partner, Alma Reville, whose relationship deepens during the making of Hitchcock’s Psycho. With Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette; directed by Sacha Gervasi. (98 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. (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)

86 THE IMPOSSIBLE, PG-13 An earthquake and tsunami turn the idyllic tropical vacation in Thailand into hell on earth for a couple (Naomi Watts, Ewan McGregor) and their three sons. (107 minutes)

83 JACK REACHER, PG-13 Tom Cruise plays an ex-military investigator trying to help a trained military sniper avoid a murder rap and match the real murderer, shot for shot. (130 minutes)

87 LES MISERABLES, PG-13 Long awaited, what may be the world’s biggest stage musical finally comes to the big screen. Dogged 19th century French Inspector Javert (Russell Crowe) stays for nearly 20 years on the trail of ex-convict turned-model-citizen Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman) as revolution brews in the streets of Paris. (157 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 16th president (Daniel Day-Lewis). (120 minutes)

89 MONSTERS, INC. 3D, G A little girl follows Sulley (voice of John Goodman) and his wisecracking best friend Mike Wazowski (voice of Billy Crystal) back to Monstropolis, the thriving company town where monsters of all shapes and sizes reside, causing monstrous complications. Animated. (92 minutes)

62 PARENTAL GUIDANCE, PG Billy Crystal plays a grandfather who finds that his and his wife’s (Bette Midler) old-school ideas of child rearing conflict with 21st-century problems when baby-sitting their three grandkids. (104 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)

87 PROMISED LAND, R Matt Damon plays an ace oil company hatchet man who, with his partner (Frances McDormand), think they’ll have an easy time closing down a rural town as part of their company’s expansion plans, but instead they encounter fierce grass-roots opposition (Hal Holbrook, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt). (140 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)

81 SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, R Bradley Cooper plays a manic depressive who, after spending eight months in a state institution, moves back in with his mother (Jacki Weaver) and father (Robert De Niro). He wants to reunite with his wife; they want him to get back on his feet - and share their obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles - until he meets an intriguing young widow with a similar history (Jennifer Lawrence). (122 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)

TEXAS CHAINSAW 3D, R A young woman learns she has inherited - from a grandmother she never knew - the Texas estate where all that title mayhem originated. But, of course, it comes at an unexpected price. (92 minutes)

82 THIS IS 40, R Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann), introduced in Knocked Up, continue to deal with life and love as they turn 40. (134 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 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 bethe “good guy” and sets off on a game-hopping journey across the arcade. Animated. (108 minutes)

92 ZERO DARK THIRTY, R An elite team of intelligence and military operatives, working in secret across the globe, has one goal in its decade-long mission: to find and eliminate the world’s most dangerous man. With Jessica Chastain, Jason Clarke, Joel Edgerton, Jennifer Ehle, Mark Strong, Kyle Chandler, Edgar Ramirez; directed by Kathryn Bigelow. (157 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 35 on 01/18/2013

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