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Top Picks - Arkansas Daily Deal

Film clips

By The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

This article was published March 7, 2014 at 2:11 a.m.

At area theaters

82 ABOUT LAST NIGHT, R Not a remake but a “modern reimagining” of the 1986 film, following new love for two couples as they journey from the bar to the bedroom. (100 minutes)

86 ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES, R Director Adam McKay has recut the film, replacing practically all of the gags with different gags and upping the rating from PG-13 as Will Ferrell reprises his role as the “legendary” top-rated San Diego newsman, still looking to stay classy while he and his colleagues take the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. (119 minutes)

88 AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY, R A family crisis brings the strong willed women of a Midwest family, whose lives have diverged, back to the house where they grew up and to the dysfunctional woman (Meryl Streep) who raised them. (130 minutes)

89 CAPTAIN PHILLIPS, PG-13 Tom Hanks plays the title character, Richard Phillips, the captain of the U.S. cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates in 2009 and the subject of a daring Navy rescue operation. (134 minutes)

72 CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2, PG Inventor Flint Lockwood thought he saved the world when he destroyed his most infamous invention, a machine that turned water into food, causing cheeseburger rain and spaghetti tornadoes. But now he discovers that his invention not only survived, but is creating feral food animals. Animated. (95 minutes)

88 DALLAS BUYERS CLUB, R A Texas electrician and rodeo cowboy (Matthew McConaughey) refuses to accept the death sentence implicit in an HIV-positive diagnosis in the mid-’80s and starts smuggling alternative treatments from Mexico into the United States. (117 minutes)

80 ENDLESS LOVE, PG-13 This remake of Franco Zeffirelli’s 1981 film (with Brooke Shields) features Gabriella Wilde and Alex Pettyfer as a privileged girl and a charismatic boy whose love affair becomes only more reckless when their parents try to keep them apart. (103 minutes)

73 47 RONIN, PG-13 After a treacherous warlord kills their master and banishes their kind, 47 leaderless samurai seek the help of a halfbreed they once rejected (Keanu Reeves) as they fight their way across a savage world of mythic beasts, shape-shifting witches and wondrous terrors. (119 minutes)

75 FREE BIRDS, PG Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the Thanksgiving menu for good. Animated. (90 minutes)

89 FROZEN, PG Some theaters have either added or substituted a sing-along version. In a kingdom trapped in eternal winter, a fearless optimist (voice of Kristen Bell) teams up with an extreme mountain man (voice of Jonathan Groff) and his sidekick reindeer Sven on an epic journey to find the Snow Queen (voice of Idina Menzel) and put an end to her icy spell. Animated. (108 minutes)

89 GRAVITY, PG-13 A horrific accident during a space walk strands a brilliant medical engineer (Sandra Bullock) on her first shuttle mission and a veteran astronaut (George Clooney) commanding his last flight, tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness and with no apparent chance for rescue. (90 minutes)

71 GRUDGE MATCH, PG-13 A slick boxing promoter makes a can’t-refuse offer to two Pittsburgh fighters (Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro) to get back into the ring 30 years after their fierce rivalry put them in the national spotlight, and settle the score once and for all. (113 minutes)

87 THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, PG-13 Bilbo Baggins’ (Martin Freeman) epic quest continues with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarfs to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. (161 minutes)

89 THE LEGO MOVIE, PG An ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average Lego minifigure (voice of Chris Pratt), mistakenly identified as the key to saving the world, joins a fellowship of strangers on an epic quest to stop an evil tyrant. Computer animated in 3-D. (100 minutes)

87 LONE SURVIVOR, R Four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative are ambushed byenemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. (121 minutes)

83 MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM, PG-13 Idris Elba plays the late South African statesman in this film based on his autobiography, covering his early life and the 27 years he spent in prison. (139 minutes)

84 THE MONUMENTS MEN, PG-13 George Clooney directs and plays the leader of a team of museum directors, curators and art historians assembled as a platoon and sent into Germany in the latter days of World War II to retrieve artistic masterpieces from the Nazis and return them to their rightful prewar owners. (118 minutes)

90 NEBRASKA, R A cantankerous father (Bruce Dern), believing he’s struck it rich, wrangles his son (Will Forte) into a road trip to claim the “fortune” he believes he’s won in a magazine sweepstakes. (115 minutes)

74 NON-STOP, PG-13 Liam Neeson plays an air marshal faced with cryptic text messages demanding that the airline transfer $150 million into an offshore account; until it happens, every 20 minutes a passenger on his flight will be killed. With Julianne Moore, Nate Parker, Michelle Dockery, Scoot McNairy; directed by Jaume Collet-Serra. (106 minutes)

89 PHILOMENA, R Judi Dench plays an Irish Catholic who, years after giving up her out-of-wedlock baby for adoption in the United States, sets out with the help of a crusty BBC reporter to search for her long-lost son. (98 minutes)

80 POMPEII, PG-13 A slave turned invincible gladiator races against time to save his true love, the beautiful daughter of a wealthy merchant unwillingly betrothed to a corrupt Roman senator, as Mount Vesuvius erupts, burying Pompeii in a torrent of ash and blazing lava. (102 minutes)

73 REPENTANCE, R A man who nearly killed himself in a drunken-driving accident has reinvented himself as a therapist/ spiritual adviser and best-selling author. But he discovers that the client he’s taken on for a little simple life coaching has some deeper issues, involving kidnapping and murder. With Forest Whitaker, Mike Epps, Sanaa Lathan, Anthony Mackie, Nicole Ari Parker; directed by Philippe Caland. (90 minutes)

70 RIDE ALONG, PG-13 A squad-car ride-along turns into 24 hours of insanity when a high-school security guard (Kevin Hart), trying to show he has what it takes to marry the sister (Tika Sumpter) of a decorated detective (Ice Cube), enters the police academy. (100 minutes)

77 ROBOCOP, PG-13 Joel Kinnaman plays the title character in this remake: a loving husband, father and good cop in Detroit, circa 2028, who, when felled in the line of duty, is resurrected as a cyborg crime-fighter with new abilities - and plenty of issues. With Gary Oldman, Michael Keaton, Samuel L. Jackson, Abbie Cornish, Jackie Earle Haley, Jennifer Ehle; directed by Jose Padilha. (108 minutes)

75 SON OF GOD, PG-13 Diogo Morgado plays Jesus in this expansive bio-pic that spans his humble birth, his teachings and his crucifixion and resurrection. With Greg Hicks, Adrian Schiller, Amber Rose Revah, Roma Downey; directed by Christopher Spencer. (138 minutes)

82 THOR: THE DARK WORLD, PG-13 Chris Hemsworth returns as Marvel Comics hero Thor, the Mighty Avenger, battling to save Earth and all the Nine Realms from the shadowy enemy, an ancient race led by the vengeful Malekith, that returns to plunge the universe back into darkness. (120 minutes)

76 3 DAYS TO KILL, PG-13 Kevin Costner plays a spy, determined to give it all up to finally build a closer relationship with his estranged wife and teenage daughter, but, of course, he must complete one last mission: hunting down the world’s most ruthless terrorist, oh, and while looking after his daughter while his wife is out of town. (100 minutes)

91 12 YEARS A SLAVE, R Chiwetel Ejiofor plays a free black man from pre-Civil War upstate New York who, abducted and sold into slavery, struggles not only to stay alive under the thumb of a malevolent owner but to retain his dignity. (133 minutes)

75 WALKING WITH DINOSAURS, PG An underdog dinosaur triumphs against all odds to become a hero for the ages. Animated. (87 minutes)

90 THE WIND RISES, PG-13 Reportedly the swan song for famed Japanese anime director Hayao Miyazaki, paying tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi, in which the hero dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, but, held back by nearsightedness from becoming a pilot, he joins a major engineering company and becomes an accomplished airplane designer. Animated; with voices of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci. (126 minutes)

88 THE WOLF OF WALL STREET, R Leonardo DiCaprio plays a late’80s stockbroker who takes his firm rapidly from penny stocks and righteousness to initial public offerings and a life of corruption and drugs. (180 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 03/07/2014

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