Capsule reviews of recently reviewed films 

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KNOWING (PG-13) Would you believe that a time capsule dug up at your child's elementary school could predict the future? If you were in this movie, the latest in a string of Nicolas Cage historical thrillers, you would. 

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT This by-the-book horror remake involves parents taking violent revenge against the man who attacked their daughter.

LOVE N’ DANCING (PG-13) A former Swing Dance champion (Tom Malloy) falls for an English teacher (Amy Smart), but their relationship faces such obstacles as his former dance partner, her fiancé and a dance championship. 

MANAGEMENT 2 stars (R) A hotel’s immature night manager (Steve Zahn) falls in love with a saleswoman (Jennifer Aniston) and pursues her across the country. This indie rom-com features Woody Harrelson as a high-strung suitor and seems to have a sincere interest in yoga and Buddhism as means to self-improvement. Neither the jokes nor the performances have enough strength to keep the audience’s attention from checking out. — Holman

MISS MARCH A couple dude-brahs chase down the centerfold model that they used to know. Expect a few good fart jokes.

MONSTERS VS. ALIENS 2 stars (PG) After a meteorite causes a mild-mannered bride (Reese Witherspoon) to attain ginormous proportions, she and other misfits of science are enlisted by the U.S. government to repel an obnoxious alien called Gallaxhar (Rainn Wilson). Despite the film's advances in 3-D animation, especially in some spectacular action scenes, Monsters vs. Aliens takes a giant step backward for DreamWorks following the charm and warmth of Kung Fu Panda. The monstrous main characters prove quite endearing, but the weak, mean-spirited jokes and pointless pop references suggest that pod people replaced the screenwriters. — Holman

MOSCOW, BELGIUM 3 stars (NR) In the working-class Belgian neighborhood that gives the film its title, a 41-year-old mother of three (Barbara Sarafian) dates a passionate, mercurial 29-year-old trucker (Jurgen Delnaet). Director Christophe Van Rompaey helms a lovely, bittersweet romantic-comedy reminiscent of Mike Leigh's dramedies in working-class England. The film shows an intriguing, ambivalent attitude about romance, and showcases Sarafian's unglamorous but lovely and deeply felt performance that deserves the kind of recognition given to Melissa Leo's Oscar-nominated turn in Frozen River. — Holman

NEXT DAY AIR (R) A mixed-up courier accidentally delivers a package of high-quality cocaine to two bumbling criminals (Mike Epps and Wood Harris), who try to cash in on their snowy windfall before the drugs' real owners can catch up to them.

OBSERVE AND REPORT 3 stars (R) Ronnie Barnhardt (Seth Rogen), the gung-ho, bipolar head of security at a dreary shopping mall, tracks a fugitive flasher as a means to impress Brandi (Anna Faris), a gorgeous airhead at the cosmetics counter. You know how Will Ferrell usually plays deluded, flailing man-boys? Here, Rogen and writer-director Jody Hill (The Foot Fist Way) take a comparable role and reveal just how dangerously unstable heíd be in real life, spilling a slob comedy into unsettling Martin Scorsese territory. Observe and Report earns a commendation for getting inside the head of its antiheroic lead, although it lets a few too many laughs get off scott free. — Holman

OBSESSED An asset manager with a big bank account is stalked by a temp worker. Beyoncé Knowles stars in this steamy office thriller.

PARIS 36 3 stars (PG-13) Like Baz Lurhmann's Moulin Rouge, only actually in French, this bubbly period piece, set in a 1930s Parisian music hall, embraces melodramatic clichés and features musical numbers. The ideal film for the current economic slump, Paris 36 depicts a lovelorn stage manager and his fellow unemployed artists who lead a spontaneous "occupation" of their beleagured theater and may find a saviour in a flirty young ingenue (Nora Arnezeder). The film oversells its nostalgia, whimsy and unabashed idealism, but puts on such an energetic show that you eventually succumb to its swoony overtures.  — Holman

RUDO Y CURSI 4 stars (R) A talent scout in rural Mexico discovers two squabbling brothers (Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna) and sends them into the rough-and-tumble world of professional soccer. Carlos Cuarón (brother of the director of Y Tu Mama Tambien and Children of Men) offers a rowdy, fast-paced, dark-toned sports movie that has an energy and bullying banter comparable to Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas. The film’s jaundiced view of family, society and professional sports may leave a sour taste, but Carlos Cuarón and his actors unquestionable score a “GOOOAAALLL!” — Holman
17 AGAIN Ever wanted a second chance? A loser played by Zac Efron gets the magical chance to relive his teenage years.

THE SOLOIST Adapted from real-life events, a journalist in Los Angeles befriends a homeless street musician named Nathanial Ayers who was trained at Julliard.



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Recent Comments

  • Re: Fresh air

    • Local band Manchester Orchestra, who provided the soundtrack, probably would have appreciated a shout-out.

    • on June 29, 2016
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