Vol. LXIII, No. 49
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
2012 (PG-13 for profanity and intense disaster sequences). Adventure about the heroic efforts of an academic researcher (John Cusack) to lead a group of survivors to safety in the wake of an apocalyptic global event which devastates the planet, leaving humanity on the brink of extinction. Cast includes Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson.
Armored (PG-13 for intense violence, disturbing images, and brief profanity). Action thriller about employees for an armored car company whose foolproof plan to steal $42 million from one of their own trucks goes horribly wrong when one of the conspirators (Columbus Short) has misgivings after a cop (Milo Ventimiglia) is shot during the heist. With Laurence Fishburne, Matt Dillon, Skeet Ulrich, Jean Reno, Fred Ward, and John Cena.
The Blind Side (PG-13 for sexual references, drug use, and brief violence). Sandra Bullock and Tim McGraw co-star in this true story about a wealthy white couple who adopt a homeless black teenager (Quinton Aaron) and help him pursue his dream of playing football in college and the professionally.
Brothers (R for profanity and disturbing violence). Jim Sheridan directs this dysfunctional family drama about an ex-con (Jake Gyllenhaal) who gets involved with his big brother’s (Tobey Maguire) wife (Natalie Portman) after his sibling goes missing in Afghanistan, only to have a lot of explaining to do upon the decorated veteran’s rescue and return to the States. Cast includes Sam Shepard and Mare Winningham.
A Christmas Carol (PG for scary images). Animated Disney version of the Charles Dickens classic about a miserly cold hearted curmudgeon (Jim Carrey) who has to experience an epiphany in order to be able to appreciate the holiday season. With voice work by Bob Hoskins, Colin Firth, Robin Wright Penn, Gary Oldman, and Fionnula Flanagan.
An Education (PG-13 for sexuality, smoking, and mature themes). Coming-of-age drama, set in London in the sixties, adapted by Nick Horn-by from Lynn Barber’s memoir about a bright 17-year-old (Carey Mulligan) who abandons her plans to attend Oxford in order to entertain the advances of a suave gentleman (Peter Sarsgaard) more than twice her age. With Alfred Molina, Olivia Williams, and Cara Seymour.
Everybody’s Fine (PG-13 for mature themes and brief profanity). Robert De Niro stars in this remake of Stanno Tutti Bene (1990) the Italian drama about a grieving widower who embarks on an impromptu road trip against doctors orders in order to reconnect with his grown children (Drew Barrymore, Kate Beckinsale and Sam Rockwell) after they decline his offer to host a family reunion.
Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG for action, smoking, and slang). Wes Anderson directs this animated comedy about three mean farmers (Michael Gambon, Robin Hurlstone, and Hugo Guinness) who join forces to catch the clever fox (George Clooney) who’s been raiding their chicken coops. Voice cast includes Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Willem Dafoe, and Jason Schwartzman.
Invictus (PG-13 for brief profanity). Clint Eastwood directs this uplifting saga based on John Carlin’s best seller recounting recently elected South African President Nelson Mandela’s (Morgan Freeman) attempt to unite his apartheid divided nation during the national rugby team’s run to the 1995 World Cup Championship. Co-starring Matt Damon and Scott Eastwood.
Ninja Assassin (R for profanity and graphic violence). Korean singing sensation Rain stars as the title character in this martial arts saga about a renegade from a secret society of trained killers who is forced to fight his former comrades when they trail him from the Far East to Berlin. With Naomie Harris, Rick Yune, and Ben Miles.
Old Dogs (PG for crude humor). Disney family comedy about a couple of freewheeling bachelors and business partners (John Travolta and Robin Williams) who get a big lesson in what’s really important in life when they’re suddenly left in charge of the 7-year-old twins (Ella Bleu Travolta and Conner Rayburn) that one of them never knew he’d fathered with his ex (Kelly Preston). Cast includes Seth Green, Matt Dillon, Ann-Margaret, Amy Sedaris, Rita Wilson, and features the final screen performance of the late Bernie Mac.
Pirate Radio (R for profanity, sexuality, and brief nudity). Raucous musical comedy, set in the sixties, revolving around a crew of eight rogue DJs illegally broadcasting rock and roll from a renegade radio station operating on a ship in the North Sea, much to the chagrin of the British government. Cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bill Nighy, Rhys Ifans, Nick Frost, Emma Thompson, and Kenneth Branagh.
Planet 51 (PG for mild action and suggestive humor). Animated science fiction comedy about an astronaut (Dwayne Johnson) who lands on a planet inhabited by little green people living in a world eerily reminiscent of suburban America in the 1950s. Featuring voicework by Jessica Biel, John Cleese, Justin Long, Seann William Scott and Gary Oldman.
Precious (R for rape, child abuse, pervasive profanity, and ethnic slurs). Lee Daniels directs this screen adaptation of the Sapphire best seller, set in Harlem in 1987, about a teenage mother’s (Gabby Sidibe) attempt to finish school and to find love in the face of a monstrous mother (Mo’Nique) who insists she’ll never amount to anything. With Mariah Carey, Paula Patton, Lenny Kravitz, and Sherri Shepherd.
The Princess and the Frog (G). Animated musical tale, set in the French Quarter of New Orleans, where a jazz loving frog (Bruno Campos) is turned back into a prince with the help of a kiss from a beautiful waitress (Anika Noni Rose). With voiceover work by Oprah Winfrey, Terrence Howard, John Goodman, Keith David, Jenifer Lewis, and Randy Newman.
The Road (R for violence, profanity, and disturbing images). Viggo Mortenson and Kodi Smit-McPhee co-star in this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel about a father and son’s cross-country road trip in the wake of a nuclear disaster which has transformed America into a barren wasteland where starving scavengers resort to cannibalism to survive. Supporting cast includes Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall, and Guy Pearce.
A Serious Man (R for profanity, sexuality, nudity, and brief violence). Semi-autobiographical comedy set in Minnesota in 1967, written and directed by the Coen Brothers, about a college professor (Michael Stuhlbarg) whose life falls apart when he is left by his wife (Sari Lennick) for one of his colleagues (Fred Melamed).
Transylmania (R for nudity, sexuality, crude humor, drug use, violence, and profanity). Horror comedy revolving around a group of party animals spending a college semester abroad in Romania who suddenly find themselves on the run from bloodthirsty vampires. Cast includes Patrick Cavanaugh, James DeBello, and Paul H. Kim.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13 for violence and action). Second installment in Stephenie Meyer’s fantasy series finds 18-year-old Bella (Kristen Stewart) brokenhearted but in a budding relationship with her mysterious childhood friend, Jacob (Taylor Lautner), after her vampire lover Edward (Robert Pattinson) and the rest of the Cullen clan leave town to protect her from their craven bloodlust. Cast includes Dakota Fanning, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, and Billy Burke.
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