THE ART OF THE STEAL 4 stars (NR) Rock School dcoumentarian Don Argott paints a compelling, at times unsightly portrait of the public battles over The Barnes Foundation, one of the worlds largest and priciest collections of Post-Impressionist and Early Modern art. Comparable to one of those films about financial chicanery like Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, The Art of the Steal asserts that powerful figures from philanthropies and Pennsylvania government subverted the intent of founder Albert Barnes will. Clearly sympathetic to Barnes feisty former students and other champions, The Art of the Steal poses provocative questions about value of great art in terms of money and power, as well as the publics entitlement to access artwork. Curt Holman
THE BOUNTY HUNTER (PG-13) Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler team up in this romantic/action comedy. Aniston plays a reporter tracking down a story about a murder cover-up. Meantime, ex-hubby, Butler, has a new job as a bounty hunter. No need to tell you who his first person to track down just happens to be.
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (PG ) Jeff Kinney's illustrated novel comes to the big screen. It centers around Greg Heffley who is working his way through the trials and tribulations of one of life's most awkward (and awful) stagesmiddle school.
MOTHER 3 stars (R ) A humble acupuncturist (Kim Hye-ja) in a small Korean town begins her own unlikely investigation when her mentally disabled son (Won Bin) is accused of murder. After his genre-busting take on giant monster cinema, The Host, director Bong Joon-ho riffs on murder mystery formulae, with Mother incorporating elements of social satire and dark tragedy. Won Bins performance as a man-child milks the audiences sympathies, but Hye-ja offers a powerful portrayal of the lengths a mother will go to protect her child. Holman
A PROPHET 3 stars (R ) A young Muslim man (Tahar Rahim) sentenced to six years in a French prison outmaneuvers a corrupt, Machiavellian system to become a crimelord in his own right. Winner of the Cannes Film Festival Grand Prix and nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, this deliberately-paced prison drama seizes the audiences attention for two and a half hours with scarcely a lull. Director Jacques Audiard offers a metaphorical portrait of cultural assimilation, and while A Prophet provides little insight into contemporary Islamic society, Rahims vulnerable performance maintains the audiences sympathies. Holman
REPO MEN (R ) Presumably inspired by the science fiction of Larry Niven and Monty Pythons The Meaning of Life, this high-concept action film envisions a future in which organ donor recipients face the forced removal of their new innards if they fall behind on their payments. Jude Law and Forest Whitaker play the tough, gun-toting title characters who discover that their line of work just might be ethically dodgy.
BIZARRO SATURDAY MORNING C. Martin Croker presents two days full of animated fun. The festivities include Japanese anime, TV sci-fi and a mash-up of 60s and 70s animation. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., $8-$12. Tues., March 16, 7:30 p.m. Encore Sat. March 20, 3 p.m. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.
FRANCOPHONIE 2010 This program is a celebration of the French speaking world. It will feature the film Welcome, a film about generational gaps, love and friendship. Also featured will be I Killed My Mother, which is a coming of age tale for a young gay man who struggles constantly in the relationship with his mother.
Free-$7. Fri., March 19-24, 8 p.m. Rich Theatre, High Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St.; and Landmark Midtown Art Cinema. 404-733-5000. www.high.org.
SHANE (1953) In one of Hollywoods all-time greatest Westerns, Alan Ladd plays a mysterious stranger who protects a family of homesteaders against a powerful cattle baron. Jack Palance took one of his most iconic roles as an evil gunslinger. Thurs., March 18, 7:30 p.m. Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce De Leon Ave., $8-$12. 404-873-1939. www.plazaatlanta.com.
WHAT THE SNOW BRINGS (PG-13) Japanese sleigh horse racing provides the backdrop for this drama about the strained relationship between two brothers. Japanese Film Festival. Free-$7. Fri., March 20, 8 p.m. Rich Theatre, High Museum, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.high.org.
WHITE ON RICE (NR) Writer-director Dave Boyle presented a light-hearted follow-up to his 2006 debut film Big Dreams Little Toyko with this tale of a 40 year-old man who falls for his brother-in-laws niece. Free-$5. March 15-21. Showtimes vary. Cinefest Film Theatre, Georgia State University, 66 Courtland St., Suite 240. 404-413-1798. www2.gsu.edu/~wwwcft.
FORCES OF NATURE Earthquakes, volcanoes, tornadoes, oh my! Three incredibly furious natural disasters are at your disposal. The good news: there is a screen separating the two of you. Through May 27. $8-$13. Fri., Show times vary. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
VAN GOGH: BRUSH WITH GENIUS Come any old starry night and have a martini while you watch and learn things you never knew about the man behind the artist. I hear they even let you keep both ears. Double Feature with The Old Man and the Sea. Showing exclusively during Martinis & IMAX®.Through March 26. $10-$13. Fri., 8 and 10:15 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA Come view one of Hemingways greatest works the way he would want you to, with a drink in one hand. Or come enjoy it just the way he would, with a drink in both hands. Double Feature with Van Gogh: Brush of Genius. Showing exclusively during Martinis & IMAX®.Through March 26. $8-$13. Fri., 8 and 10:15 p.m. Fernbank Museum of Natural History, 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6400. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
GREEN ZONE Lucky timing delivers Green Zone to theaters the same week The Hurt Locker won six Academy Awards. Both of the high-testosterone, heavy-ordnance thrillers find thrills in the Iraq War, so they serve as bookends, even though they maintain diametrically opposite tones. Where Hurt Locker lights a slow fuse, Green Zones jittery, propulsive narrative goes off more like a string of firecrackers. Director Paul Greengrass applies the same choppy editing and shakycam techniques of his Bourne movies to the search for WMDs in the immediate aftermath of the 1993 U.S. invasion of Iraq. Holman
OUR FAMILY WEDDING 2 stars (PG-13) African-American radio personality Brad Boyd (Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker) and Mexican-American car-towing magnate Miguel Ramirez (comedian Carlos Mencia) noisily bicker when Brads son Marcus (Lance Gross) and Miguels daughter Lucia (Ugly Betty star America Ferrera) announce plans for a quickie wedding. The nuptials soon become bigger than the young couple wants. Holman
SHES OUT OF MY LEAGUE 3 stars (R ) Gangly, mumbly TSA agent and aspiring pilot Kirk (Jay Baruchel) leads a humiliating life as a hard 5. Hes the family punching bag literally and figuratively. His ex-girlfriend, Marnie (Lindsay Sloane), even lives at his parents house with her new boyfriend, Ron (Hayes MacArthur). When perfect 10? Molly (Alice Eve) shows an interest in Kirk, his band of airport-working brothers try to help him seal the deal. Sounds pat, but its actually funny. Debbie Michaud
A TOWN CALLED PANIC 3 stars (NR) This anarchic stop-motion animated comedy follows the adventures of three housemates a cowboy, an Indian and a horse and their berserk misadventures that span from a neighboring barnyard to the bottom of the ocean. French animators Stéphane Aubier and Vincent Patar (who voice the cowboy and the horse, respectively) turn old-fashioned, molded-plastic toys and cheap backgrounds into the stuff of madcap comedy, not unlike South Park sans the violence and raunch. Holman
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