Capsule reviews of feature films

By The Philadelphia Inquirer (MCT)

A.C.O.D. 3 stars. Adam Scott is the grown up son of parents long and acrimoniously divorced, trying to bring them together for his younger brother’s wedding. Catherine O’Hara and Richard Jenkins are especially terrific as the warring exes. A clever little comedy with some big performances. 1 hr. 28 R (profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE ACT OF KILLING 3 stars. A frightening, fascinating documentary about the gangsters and paramilitarist thugs who led the Indonesian death squads of 1965. And who now blithely revisit, and re-enact, the tortures and murders they once committed — in makeup and costume, as if they were actors in a Hollywood movie. 1 hr. 55 No MPAA rating (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS 3 stars. The greatest Terrence Malick movie Terrence Malick never made: David Lowery’s doomy, dreamy Texas romance stars Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara as an outlaw couple determined to be together, even when prison tears them apart. Cue the crickets, the country strings, the poetic voice-overs and high grass waving in the wind. 1 hr. 45 No MPAA rating (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

BLUE JASMINE 3 stars. Cate Blanchett storms her way through the title role of Woody Allen’s pastiche-y melodrama, about a fallen socialite seeking refuge in her sister’s San Francisco flat. Lifted in chunks from “A Streetcar Named Desire,” and offering wincing blue-collar-type caricatures, the film is nonetheless a wonder — thanks to its star. With Alec Baldwin, Sally Hawkins and Bobby Cannavale, looking on in awe. 1 hr. 38 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS 4 stars. Based on the real-life story of a U.S.-flagged cargo ship hijacked by Somali pirates, with Tom Hanks in the title role as a steady-as-she-goes veteran forced to face his own mortality. Paul Greengrass (the second and third “Bourne” films, “United 93”) masterfully orchestrates the intense, suspenseful drama. 2 hrs. 14 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

CARRIE 3 stars. Chloë Grace Moretz is the taunted, traumatized, telekenisis-powered teen in Kimberley Peirce’s rethink of Brian De Palma’s high school horror classic. Not anything the world needed, but not bad. From director Kimerley Peirce, of “Boys Don’t Cry.” 1 hr. 40 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS 2 3 stars. Intrepid and irrepressible young inventor Flint Lockwood has more problems with food in this charming animated sequel. With the voices of Bill Hader, Anna Faris, James Caan, and Will Forte. 1 hr. 35 PG — David Hiltbrand

THE COUNSELOR 2 1/2 stars. An A-list B-movie crime caper — a tangled tale of doublecrosses and dead people, scripted by Cormac McCarthy, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Michael Fassbender, Brad Pitt, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Javier Bardem. Who knows what really happened? 1 hr. 57 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

DON JON 3 stars. Joseph Gordon-Levitt writes, directs and stars in this tale of a North Jersey Lothario who has his whole life under control — including his addiction to porn. Enter Scarlett Johansson. If there’s a problem, it’s that just about everybody — Jon included — gets this close to caricature. R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ELYSIUM 3 stars. Matt Damon is a 22nd century factory worker on a “diseased, polluted and vastly over-populated” Earth, trying to crash the gated community in the sky where the rich live in smug splendor. A rabble-rousing sci-fi allegory from the director of “District 9.” 1 hr. 49 R (intense action, violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ENOUGH SAID 4 stars. Julia Louis-Dreyfus and James Gandolfini (in his final leading role) are divorced parents, each with a college-bound daughter, who meet, date and take a real liking to each other. And then the trouble begins. A smart, funny movie for grown-ups from the hugely talented writer director Nicole Holofcener. 1 hr. 33 R (sex, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ESCAPE PLAN 2 stars. Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger team up in this mildly amusing, if ultimately pointless prison-break thriller. 1 hr. 56 R (profanity, violence, angry men in cages) — Tirdad Derakhshani

THE FAMILY 2 1/2 stars. The witness protection program secrets Brooklyn mobster Robert DeNiro and his family in France. Cultures clash and bullets fly in this oddly unsettling farce from Luc Besson. 1 hr. 50 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) — David Hiltbrand

THE FIFTH ESTATE 2 stars. Benedict Cumberbatch stars as white-haired WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in this would-be cyber-thriller that suffers from a serious case of information overload. 2 hrs. 08 PG-13 (profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

GRAVITY 4 stars. A transcendent, zero-G tale of survival, with Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as orbiting astronauts caught in a debris storm — quite literally at the end of their tether. A technological marvel, and an emotional, spiritual and physical voyage of stratospheric suspense. 1 hr. 30 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

HAUTE CUISINE 3 stars. A gastronomic must-see based on the true story of the woman who served as personal chef to French president Francois Mitterrand. Catherine Frot stars as the strong-willed, elegant, tiny bit nutty chef who engenders the wrath of the male-dominated Elysee Palace kitchen and who can — and does — wax rhapsodic about truffles. 1 hr. 35 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

IN A WORLD ... 3 stars. Lake Bell wrote, directs and stars in this winning, off the wall comedy, set in the world of voice actors — an egomanical and neurotic Hollywood clan. With Demetri Martin, Fred Melamed, Rob Corddry and Ken Marino. 1 hr. 33 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

INEQUALITY FOR ALL 4 stars. A must-see documentary about America’s widening income gap and shrinking middle class. If a movie crammed front-to-back with bad news, woeful statistics, and glaring injustices can be considered inspiring, well, then, this one — starring the diminuitive but indefatigable economist and former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich — is that movie. PG (adult themes) — Steven Rea

LEE DANIELS’ THE BUTLER 3 stars. Based on the true story of an African-American who served eight presidents, from Truman to Reagan, in the White House, with Forest Whitaker, full of dignity and humilty in the title role, as pivotal events in the history of the Civil Rights movement swirl all around him. With Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr. and David Oyelowo. 2 hrs. 12 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rae

METALLICA THROUGH THE NEVER One-half star. The thrash metal band releases a hybrid vanity film in IMAX 3D. It’s mostly close-up concert footage with a little Pink Floyd-like subplot thrown in. Unfortunately both are punishing to sit through. 1 hr. 34 R (violence, profanity, drug usage) — David Hiltbrand

PARKLAND 2 1/2 stars. A reconstruction of the assassination of John F. Kennedy and its aftermath, from the hospital where the President was rushed to, to the Dallas offices of the FBI where agents bungled and obfuscated. There are no heroes here, and no inspiration to be found. It’s history as existential despair. 1 hr. 33 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

PLANES 1 star. Dusty the cropduster pursues his crazy dream of racing elite aircraft around the globe. Dane Cook, Stacy Keach and Brad Garrett lend their voices to a dismal kids’ film that exists mostly as an excuse for a toy line. 1 hr. 32 PG — David Hiltbrand.

PRISONERS 3 stars. In this grim and unsettling film, a father (Hugh Jackman) becomes convinced that a detective (Jake Gyllenhaal) isn’t doing enough to solve his daughter’s abduction. Powerful but not for the faint of heart. 2 hrs. 26 R (disturbing violence, profanity) — David Hiltbrand

ROMEO AND JULIET 1 1/2 stars. Thunderously awful Classic Comics-style abridgement of Shakespeare’s famous teen tragedy, with the beauteous Douglas Booth as Master Montague and Hailee Steinfeld (of “True Grit”) as the not-quite-as-lovely Mistress Capulet. 1 hr. 58 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

RUNNER RUNNER 1 1/2 stars. Justin Timberlake is a Princeton grad student with a talent for algorithms, Ben Affleck is a broad-shouldered baddie who runs an Internet gambling operation out of Costa Rica. Stupefying generic crime stuff ensues. 1 hr. 31 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

RUSH 3 1/2 stars. Ron Howard’s epic and exhilarating race-car miovie, about the legendary rivalry between 1970s Formula One champions James Hunt, a swaggering Brit, and Niki Lauda, a rigorously fussy Austrian. It’s a ride. 2 hrs. 03 R (sex, nudity, violence, profanity, intense medical scenes, adult themes) — Steven Rea

SALINGER 2 1/2 stars. The ballyhooed documentary about the man who unleashed Holden Caulfield on the world, is, by turns, illuminating, exasperating, sloppy, redundant, a head-spinner and a headache. With celebrity talking heads who have no connection to J.D. Salinger other than they’ve read, and been moved, by his books. 2 hrs. 09 R (profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

SHORT TERM 12 3 1/2 stars. A low-key, high-emotion indie set in a foster-care facility for at-risk teens, with a career-defining performance from Brie Larson as the supervisor who hides her own hurt with an outsized empathy. Full of heart and heartbreak, it’s also funny and inspired. 1 hr. 36 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE SPECTACULAR NOW 3 stars. A high school romance that feels genuine, and finds deep places to go, with Miles Teller as a freewheeling senior who surprises himself by falling for a shy and unlikely schoolmate, beautifully played by “The Descendants’” Shailene Woodley. 1 hr. 35 R (sex, alcohol, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rae

TERRAFERMA 3 stars. From Emanuele Crialese, director of “Respiro,” another tale set on the same rocky Sicilian island — about an old fisherman who defies the authorities and rescues, and then hides, an African refugee he pulled out of the water. A sun-splashed meditation on compassion, tradition, tolerance, generational change. 1 hr. 28 R (nudity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THANKS FOR SHARING 2 1/2 stars. A romantic comedy addiction movie, if such a thing can be, with Mark Ruffalo as a reformed sex addict, five years “sober,” who meets the girl he thinks could be the one to have a normal relationship with. Enter the snappy, sophisticated Gwyneth Paltrow. Other addicts (Tim Robbins, Josh Gad, Pink), circle the stars, bringing with them their own small triumphs and tales of woe. 1 hr. 52 R (sex, nudity, profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD ALI 4 stars. With splendid detail and focus, this documentary examines the momentous forces that led Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world, to refuse service in the Army during the war in Vietnam. 1 hr. 30 No MPAA rating — David Hiltbrand

12 YEARS A SLAVE 4 stars. The remarkable, essential story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was was abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South. The British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor gives body and soul in the lead, and Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Brad Pitt are part of a superb supporting cast. 2 hrs. 13 R (violence, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

WADJDA 3 1/2 stars. A charming first feature from female Saudi director Haifaa al-Mansour, about a rascally 10-year-old who covets a bicycle, even though girls are not supposed to ride bicycles — it’s undignified, inappropriate, in conservative Islamic culture, which is the culture all around her. PG (adult themes) — Steven Rea

WE’RE THE MILLERS 2 1/2 stars. A pot dealer and a stripper — Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston — pose as an all-American, RV-driving couple, recruiting two misfit teens to play their kids so they can smuggle a huge shipment of marijuana across the Mexican border. Innocuously smutty, intermittently funny road comedy. R (profanity, nudity, drugs, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea


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