Vol. LXIII, No. 12
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
12 Rounds (PG-13 for intense violence). Crime thriller, set in New Orleans, about a police detective (John Cena) who finds his fiancée (Ashley Scott) kidnapped by a revenge-minded escaped-con (Aidan Gillen) whose own girlfriend had been accidentally killed during their apprehension for a multi-million dollar heist.
The Class (PG-13 for profanity). Junior high school teacher Francois Begaudeau plays himself in this uplifting drama based on his memoir about a year spent trying to inspire an ethnically-diverse class of poor kids from a rough Parisian neighborhood. In French with subtitles.
Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG for mature themes and mild epithets). Isla Fisher stars in the title role of this family comedy based on Sophie Kinsella’s best seller of the same name about a financial advice columnist who finds herself swimming in debt due to her addiction to the latest fashion. Cast includes Hugh Dancy, Joan Cusack, John Goodman, and Krysten Ritter.
Coraline (PG for mature themes, scary images, suggestive humor, and mild epithets). Animated fantasy about an 11-year-old girl (Dakota Fanning) who unlocks a secret door in her family’s new home only to discover an eerily similar alternate version of her own life. Voice cast includes Teri Hatcher and John Hodgman as her parents, plus Keith David and Ian McShane.
Duplicity (PG-13 for profanity and sexuality). Clive Owen and Julia Roberts co-star in this espionage thriller as corporate spies working for competing companies who decide to double-cross their respective bosses (Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti) when their mutual attraction blossoms into love.
Frost/Nixon (R for profanity). Ron Howard directs this screen adaptation of the Tony winning Broadway play recounting the series of television interviews conducted by British talk show host David Frost (Michael Sheen) with Richard Nixon (Frank Langella) in 1977, three years after the disgraced U.S. President resigned from office in the wake of the Watergate scandal. Supporting cast includes Toby Jones, Kevin Bacon, Oliver Platt, and Sam Rockwell.
Gomorrah (Unrated). Episodic Mafia saga, set in Italy, takes an unromantic look at today’s Cosa Nostra from the diverging perspectives of five mob families. Cast includes Salvatore Abruzzese, Italo Renda, and Vincenzo Altamura. (In Italian, Mandarin, and French with subtitles).
The Haunting in Connecticut (PG-13 for intense terror and disturbing images). Haunted house tale, based on a true story, recounts the host of supernatural horrors visited upon a family which unsuspectingly moved into a recently-renovated Victorian mansion that had been a mortuary where unspeakable acts had transpired. Principal cast features Virginia Madsen, Kyle Gallner, Elias Koteas, and Amanda Crew.
He’s Just Not That Into You (PG-13 for sexuality and brief profanity). Battle-of-the-sexes comedy based on the self-help best seller of the same name chronicles the misadventures of a variety of young couples in crisis. Cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Drew Barrymore, Ben Affleck, Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Connelly, and Justin Long.
I Love You, Man (R for pervasive profanity and crude sexual references). Raunchy romantic comedy about a bride-to-be (Rashida Jones) whose friendless fiancé (Paul Rudd) goes on a series of man-dates in search of a buddy (Jason Segel) to serve as Best Man at their impending wedding. With Jon Favreau, Jaime Pressley, J.K. Simmons, Andy Samberg, and Jane Curtin.
Knowing (PG-13 for disaster sequences, disturbing images, and brief profanity). Nicolas Cage stars in this sci-fi thriller about a professor whose son (Chandler Canterbury) digs up a time capsule buried in 1958 containing a coded scroll accurately predicting not only every disaster for the past 50 years but also an imminent cataclysmic event.
The Last House on the Left (R for violence, nudity, rape, disturbing images, profanity, and drug use). Remake of the 1972 revenge flick about two young women (Melanie Lyskey and Sara Paxton) kidnapped and assaulted by a gang of escaped convicts who find the tables turned when they attempt to take refuge in the home of the parents (Monica Potter and Tony Goldwyn) of one of their victims.
Madea Goes to Jail (PG-13 for violence, sexual situations, mature themes, and drug use). Tyler Perry’s back in drag for another madcap adventure which has the sassy, pistol-packing grandmother landing behind bars for anger management after losing her temper over a parking space in a shopping mall. Cast includes Viola Davis, Derek Luke, Keisha Knight Pulliam, and David and Tamela J. Mann.
Miss March (R for nudity, sexuality, drug use, pervasive profanity, and crude humor). Raunchy teensploit about a high school senior (Zach Cregger) who lands in a coma after falling down a flight of stairs only to regain consciousness four years later and learn that his once-innocent high-school sweetheart (Raquel Alessi) has become a Playboy centerfold in the interim. Cast includes Trevor Moore, Molly Stanton, and gangsta’ rapper 40 Glocc.
Monsters vs. Aliens (PG for sci-fi action, crude humor, and mild epithets). Animated adventure about a girl (Reese Witherspoon) turned into a 50 foot-tall giant by a meteorite who is called upon by the President of the United States (Stephen Colbert) to defend the planet against an army of invading aliens with the help of a rag-tag team of monsters. Voice cast includes Seth Rogen, Hugh Laurie, Will Arnett, Kiefer Sutherland, Amy Poehler, Paul Rudd, and Renee Zellweger.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG for violence, suggestive material, crude humor, and mild epithets). Kevin James stars in the title role of this Christmas comedy about a mild-mannered security guard who saves the day when crooks disguised as Santa’s helpers take hostages at a suburban shopping mall in New Jersey. With Keir O’Donnell, Bobby Cannavale, and Raini Rodriguez.
Race to Witch Mountain (PG for action, violence, mature themes, and frightening situations). Sci-fi adventure, based on the Alexander Key children’s best seller, about a cabdriver (Dwayne Johnson) who goes on the ride of a lifetime after picking up a couple of runaway teens (AnnaSophia Robb and Alexander Ludwig) with paranormal powers. Cast includes Carla Gugino, Ciaran Hinds, and Garry Marshall.
The Reader (R for nudity and sexuality). Post-World War II drama about a young German law student (Ralph Fiennes), who encounters a former secret ex-lover (Kate Winslet), who is twice his age, while observing the Nazi war trials where she’s a defendant accused of committing a heinous crime against humanity.
Revolutionary Road (R for profanity, sexuality, and nudity). Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet reunite for this screen adaptation of Richard Yates’ best-seller, set in the fifties, about a married couple in crisis who move from Connecticut to Paris to escape suburbia while trying to revitalize their relationship.
Slumdog Millionaire (R for violence, profanity, and disturbing images). Romantic comedy, set in Mumbai, about an 18-year-old street urchin (Dev Patel) who becomes a TV contestant on India’s version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire not for the money but to win back the heart of the girl (Freida Pinto) of his dreams. In English and Hindi with subtitles.
Taken (PG-13 for profanity, violence, sexuality, disturbing themes, and drug references). International action thriller about a former CIA Agent (Liam Neeson) who comes to the rescue after his 17-year-old daughter (Maggie Grace) is kidnapped in Paris by brutal sex-traffickers. With Famke Janssen and Leland Orser. In French, Arabic, Albanian, and English.
Two Lovers (R for profanity, sexuality, and drug use). Romance drama, set in Brooklyn, about a suicidal bachelor (Joaquin Phoenix) who lands in a love triangle with his equally unstable neighbor (Gwynneth Paltrow)) and the supportive friend (Vinessa Shaw) of the family whom his parents (Isabelle Rossellini and Moni Moshonov) would prefer him to date.
Watchmen (R for nudity, sexuality, profanity, and graphic violence). Science fiction thriller, based on the graphic comic book series of the same name, about a group of vigilantes determined to avenge the murder of a crime-fighting superhero. Cast includes Jackie Earle Haley, Billy Crudup, Carla Gugino, Malin Akerman, and Patrick Wilson.
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