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Top Picks - Capture Arkansas

Film clips

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published March 22, 2013 at 2:39 a.m.

At area theaters

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. (120 minutes)

82 THE CALL, R Halle Berry plays a veteran 911 operator who realizes, after taking a life-altering call from an abducted teenage girl (Abigail Breslin), that she must confront a killer from her own past to save the girl’s life.With Morris Chestnut, Michael Eklund, Michael Imperioli; directed by Brad Anderson. (95 minutes)

79 BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, PG-13 Two star-crossed lovers - a young man (Alden Ehrenreich) longing to escape his small town and a mysterious new girl (Alice Englert) - uncover dark secrets about their respective families and their small Southern town. (132 minutes)

71 DEAD MAN DOWN, R Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace play two strangers - a professional killer and right hand man to an underground New York City crime lord and a crime victim seeking retribution, respectively - drawn together by a desire for revenge that triggers an escalating trail of mayhem. (110 minutes)

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

74 ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH, PG Lionized astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser) and his quiet, nerdy by-the-rules brother (Rob Corddry) find themselves in a fiendishly plotted trap when they rocket off to answer an SOS from a notoriously dangerous planet. Animated. (90 minutes)

78 A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD, R Bruce Willis is back as bad-guy-butt-kicker John McClane, this time thrust onto an international stage when his estranged son is caught up in the daring prison escape of a rogue Russian leader. (97 minutes)

75 HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, PG-13 Some 15 years after their celebrated contretemps at the gingerbread house in the forest, the two title siblings are now specialized bounty hunters looking to put down cacklers in black hats. (88 minutes)

68 IDENTITY THIEF, R Jason Bateman plays a regular guy in Denver forced to take extreme measures to clear his name after his identity is stolen by a Miami con artist (Melissa Mc-Carthy). (147 minutes)

77 THE INCREDIBLE BURT WONDERSTONE, PG-13 A superstar Las Vegas illusionist duo (Steve Carell, Steve Buscemi), widely accepted as friends even though secretly they’ve grown to loathe each other, face cutthroat competition from a guerrilla street magician (Jim Carrey). With Olivia Wilde, Alan Arkin, James Gandolfini, Jay Mohr,; directed by Don Scardino. (100 minutes)

87 JACK THE GIANT SLAYER, PG-13 A young man who inadvertently opens a door between our world and the home of fearsome giants reignites an ancient war. With Nicholas Hoult, Eleanor Tomlinson, Stanley Tucci, Ian McShane, Bill Nighy, Ewan McGregor; directed by Bryan Singer. (115 minutes)

68 THE LAST EXORCISM PART II, PG-13 Ashley Bell plays a young woman who has undergone the difficult process of starting a new life, but the evil force that once possessed her returns with even more horrific plans. Directed by Ed Gass-Donnelly. (88 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)

81 MAMA, PG-13 Two little girls who disappeared into the woods the day their parents were killed are rescued years later and begin a new life, only to find that someone (or something) still wants to come tuck them in at night. (100 minutes)

77 OZ: THE GREAT AND POWERFUL, PG James Franco plays Oscar Zoroaster Diggs, a small-time circus magician with dubious ethics, hurled away from dusty Kansas to the vibrant Land of Oz, where he encounters three witches (Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, Michelle Williams) who are not entirely convinced he is the great wizard everyone’s been expecting. (127 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 grandchildren. (104 minutes)

85 PARKER, R Jason Statham plays a professional thief with a personal code of ethics - don’t steal from people who can’t afford it and don’t hurt people who don’t deserve it - who takes on an unlikely partner (Jennifer Lopez) to seek revenge on the crew that double-crossed him, stole his stash and left him for dead. (118 minutes)

87 QUARTET, PG-13 Two lifelong friends and a former colleague living in a home for retired opera singers give an annual Giuseppe Verdi birthday concert; this year, with the arrival of a former grand dame (Maggie Smith), old grudges resurface and threaten the benefit. (97 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)

87 SAFE HAVEN, PG-13 A mysterious young woman’s reluctance to join the tight-knit community in a small North Carolina town raises questions about her past, especially when she starts a relationship with a widowed store owner with two children. (115 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)

77 SNITCH, PG-13 Supposedly “inspired by true events.” Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson plays a father who, determined to save his wrongly accused teenage son from a long prison sentence for drug distribution, makes a deal to infiltrate a drug cartel as an undercover informant. (112 minutes)

72 21 AND OVER, R A straight-A college student who has always done what’s expected of him does the unexpected for a change when his two best friends surprise him with a 21st birthday visit - even though his critical medical school interview is early the following morning. With Miles Teller, Justin Chon, Skylar Astin,Sarah Wright, Francois Chau, Jonathan Keltz, Daniel Booko, Dustin Ybarra; directed by Jon Lucas, Scott Moore. (93 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)

87 WARM BODIES, PG-13 After a zombie epidemic, a highly unusual zombie rescues a human survivor from a zombie attack and they form a special relationship. (97 minutes)

87 WEST OF MEMPHIS, R Amy Berg’s documentary look at the West Memphis Three case - Damien Wayne Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley arrested, charged and convicted of the murder of three 8-year-old boys in 1993, and the uncovering of new evidence that contributed to the “Alford plea” that freed them after 18 years. (150 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 35 on 03/22/2013

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