New this week
I, Frankenstein 3D | Victor Frankenstein’s creation Adam finds himself caught in the middle as both sides race to discover the secret to his immortality. PG-13. Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Bill Nighy and Miranda Otto. Critic’s rating: n/a
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit | To his friends and loved ones, young Jack Ryan appears to be an ordinary executive; however, he has secretly worked for the CIA for years. Ryan was originally brought in to crunch global data, but when he uncovers a carefully planned scheme to crash the U.S. economy and spark global chaos, he becomes the only man with the skills to stop it. PG-13. Starring: Chris Pine, Keira Knightley and Kevin Costner. Critic’s rating: n/a.
Devil’s Due | After a mysterious, lost night on their honeymoon, a newlywed couple finds themselves dealing with an earlier-than-planned pregnancy. While recording everything for posterity, the husband begins to notice odd behavior in his wife that they initially write off to nerves, but, as the months pass, it becomes evident that the dark changes to her body and mind have a much more sinister origin. R. Starring: Allison Miller and Zach Gilford. Critic’s rating: 2 stars.
Ride Along | When a fast-talking guy joins his girlfriend’s brother – a hot-tempered cop – to patrol the streets of Atlanta, he gets entangled in the officer’s latest case. Now, in order to prove that he deserves his future bride, he must survive the most insane 24 hours of his life. PG-13. Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart and John Leguizamo. Critic’s rating: 1.5 stars.
The Nut Job | An action-packed comedy in fictional Oakton that follows the travails of Surly, a mischievous squirrel, and his rat friend Buddy, who plan a nut store heist of outrageous proportions and unwittingly find themselves embroiled in a much more complicated and hilarious adventure. PG. Starring: Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser and Liam Neeson. Critic’s rating: 2.5 stars.
Nebraska | Cantankerous old buzzard Woody Grant can barely walk down the street of his home in Billings, Mont., without stopping for a drink. So when Woody receives a sweepstakes notice in the mail and insists on making a 750-mile trip to Lincoln, Neb., to collect his prize, it falls to baffled son David to accompany him. During a stop in their Nebraska hometown, word gets out about Woody’s fortune, first making him a hero, then later, the target of predatory people. R. Starring: Bruce Dern, Will Forte and Bob Odenkirk. Critic’s rating: 4 stars.
Lone Survivor | Tells the story of four Navy SEALs on an ill-fated covert mission to neutralize a high-level Taliban operative who are ambushed by enemy forces in the Hindu Kush region of Afghanistan. R. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Ben Foster and Emile Hirsch. Critic’s rating: 2.5 stars.
The Legend of Hercules | Betrayed by his stepfather, the king, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom. PG-13. Starring: Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins and Liam McIntyre. Critic’s rating: 1.5 stars.
August: Osage County | Tells the dark, hilarious and deeply touching story of the strong-willed women of the Weston family, whose lives have diverged until a family crisis brings them back to the Midwest house they grew up in, and to the dysfunctional woman who raised them. R. Starring: Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts and Juliette Lewis. Critic’s rating: 2.5 stars.
Her | A sensitive and soulful man earns a living by writing personal letters for other people. Left heartbroken after a long love affair ends, Theodore becomes fascinated with a new operating system which reportedly develops into an intuitive and unique entity in its own right. R. Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Scarlett Johansson. Critic’s rating: 4 stars.
Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones | Family and friends try to save a young man who seems to be a magnet for malevolent supernatural forces. R. Critic’s rating: 2 stars.
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty | Walter Mitty, an employee at Life magazine, spends day after monotonous day developing photos for the publication. To escape the tedium, Walter inhabits a world of exciting daydreams in which he is the undeniable hero. PG. Starring: Ben Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Patton Oswalt and Shirley MacLaine. Critic’s rating: 4 stars.
Grudge Match | Pittsburgh boxers Billy “The Kid” McDonnen and Henry “Razor” Sharp shared a fierce rivalry back in the 1980s. Each had scored a victory in two matches, but on the eve of their decisive third bout, Henry suddenly announced his retirement, effectively ending both boxers’ careers. Thirty years later, boxing promoter Dante Slate Jr. makes Billy and Henry an offer they can’t refuse: Return to the ring and settle the score once and for all. PG-13. Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Robert De Niro and Kim Basinger. Critic’s rating: 2.5 stars.
The Wolf of Wall Street | While still in his 20s, Belfort founds his own firm, Stratton Oakmont. Together with his trusted lieutenant and a merry band of brokers, Belfort makes a huge fortune by defrauding wealthy investors out of millions. R. Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Jean Dujardin. Critic’s rating: 4 stars.
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues | With the 1970s behind him, San Diego’s top-rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to the news desk. Also back for more are Ron’s co-anchor and wife, Veronica Corningstone, weather man Brick Tamland, man on the street Brian Fantana and sports guy Champ Kind, all of whom won’t make it easy to stay classy … while taking the nation’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. PG-13. Starring: Will Ferrell, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and David Koechner. Critic’s rating: 3 stars.
American Hustle | A fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, American Hustle tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld, who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia that’s as dangerous as it is enchanting. R. Starring: Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams. Critic’s rating: 3.5 stars.
Saving Mr. Banks | When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ “Mary Poppins,” he made them a promise – one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. PG-13. Starring: Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Colin Farrell. Critic’s rating: 2 stars.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug | Having survived the first part of their unsettling journey, Bilbo Baggins and his companions continue east. More dangers await them, including the skin-changer Beorn and the giant spiders of Milkwood. PG-13. Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Critic’s rating: 3 stars.
Tyler Perry’s A Madea Christmas | Madea gets coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas, but the biggest surprise is what they’ll find when they arrive. PG-13. Starring: Tyler Perry, Kathy Najimy and Chad Michael Murray.
Frozen (2013) | Anna teams up with rugged mountain man Kristoff and his loyal reindeer Sven in an epic journey, encountering Everest-like conditions, mystical trolls and a hilarious snowman named Olaf in a race to find Anna’s sister Elsa. PG. Starring: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel and Jonathan Groff. Critic’s rating: 3 stars.
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire | Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark take a “Victor’s Tour” of the districts, and President Snow plots their downfall during preparations for The Quarter Quell, which only occurs every 25 years in celebration of the Capitol’s victory over the districts. PG-13. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Critic’s rating: 2.5 stars.
Gravity | Dr. Ryan Stone is a medical engineer on her first shuttle mission. Her commander is veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky, helming his last flight before retirement. Then, on a routine space walk, disaster strikes – the shuttle is destroyed, leaving Ryan and Matt stranded in deep space with no link to Earth and no hope of rescue. Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris. Critic’s rating: 3.5 stars.
12 Years a Slave | In the years before the Civil War, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is kidnapped and sold into slavery in the South. Subjected to the cruelty of one malevolent owner, he also found unexpected kindness from another, as he struggled continually to survive and maintain some of his dignity. Then in the 12th year of the disheartening ordeal, a chance meeting with an abolitionist from Canada changed Solomon’s life forever. Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Michael Fassbenderand Brad Pitt. Critic’s rating: 3.5 stars.