At The Movies
A rifle shot in the remote Moroccan desert sets off a chain of events that will link an American tourist couple's frantic struggle to survive, two Moroccan boys involved in an accidental crime, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children and a deaf and rebellious Japanese teen whose father is sought by Tokyo police. Review on Thursday's Entertainment page. (R)
Facing the Giants
A failing high school football coach finds that, in order to succeed, he must convince his team that there's more to sports than fame and glory in this religious tale of courage on the gridiron and the power of God's word. (PG)
A Good Year
The "Gladiator" team of actor Russell Crowe and director Ridley Scott reunite for a gentle pastoral comedy. Crowe plays a bullheaded London banker who inherits a vineyard in France from his uncle (Albert Finney) and finds himself beguiled by a girl (Abbie Cornish) who has her own claim to the estate. Review on Page 18. (PG-13)
Harsh Times 1/2
Christian Bale stars as an ex-Army Ranger on a destructive search for thrills through the streets of South Central Los Angeles. Eva Longoria and Freddy Rodriguez co-star. Review on Page 27. (R)
A troubled young woman (Sarah Michelle Gellar) travelling across the Midwest discovers that she may be reincarnated and that supernatural forces are helping her avenge her own murder in a past life. (PG-13)
Fresh off its U.S. debut screening at the Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival. Originally titled "Sione's Wedding," the movie's about a group of Samoan emigre buddies in Auckland, New Zealand, who are challenged to find proper girlfriends to bring as dates to a wedding. What ensues is remarkably funny, thanks to the first-rate comedy of members of the comic troupe Naked Samoans. (NR)
Stranger Than Fiction
Will Ferrell plays a confused man who discovers that an unseen female narrator is chronicling the events of his life in a voice only he can hear. A literature professor (Dustin Hoffman) helps him figure out that he's caught in the latest work-in-progress of a British novelist (Emma Thompson). Review on Page 29. (PG-13)
The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause
Suiting up again as the title character, Tim Allen seems bored with his own franchise. This new sequel centers mainly on St. Nick's rivalry with Jack Frost (Martin Short), who plans to turn the North Pole into a tacky theme park. The movie panders to every demographic with a fail-safe yuletide mix of puns, slapstick and platitudes.
A pampered British rat (voiced by Hugh Jackman) finds himself in an elaborate sewer-city recreation of a miniature London filled with rats, toads and slugs of varying caste. This great-looking CGI movie (with the help of the Aardman studio of "Wallace and Gromit" fame) is only hampered by a constant hyperkinetic pace.
Mark Wahlberg takes on the inspiring role of real-life zero-to-hero Vince Papale, a 30-year-old substitute teacher and part-time bartender who was plucked out of obscurity at an open tryout for the Philadelphia Eagles and won a spot on the team in 1976 as a wide receiver.
One Night with the King 1/2
This rather turgid epic is a retelling of the life of Esther, known to Christians as one of the many Old Testament tales about ancient court intrigue, and to Jews as the triumphant heart of Purim.
A rebel in trouble with the law becomes the dance partner of a beautiful ballet student at a prestigious performing arts school in Baltimore.
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas in Disney Digital 3D
The 1993 animated favorite gets re-released with additional three-dimensional effects. It's the tale of Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween, and his discovery of Christmas Town.
All the King's Men
Sean Penn plays a corrupt Southern politician in this new adaptation of Robert Penn Warren's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, loosely based on the life of Louisiana Gov. Huey Long.
Catch a Fire
Director Philip Noyce continues his streak of fine historical dramas with the true story of a black oil refinery worker (Derek Luke) who was wrongly accused of sabotaging his workplace during South Africa's apartheid era. The film is richly photographed and fast-paced, tense and constantly keeps you guessing, even until the very end.
Employee of the Month 1/2
Standup superstar Dane Cook and Dax Shepard face off as stock boy slackers at a Costco-style store who compete for the love of a new checkout girl, played by Jessica Simpson.
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson stars as a true-life probation officer who coaches a football team made up of rival gangbangers in a youth detention camp.
The Grudge 2 H 1/2
In this sequel to the popular remake of the Japanese horror hit, the curse of the haunted travels worldwide. There are a couple of good jumps here and there, but we've seen this all before. Amber Tamblyn takes over as the plucky young heroine in distress.
Kevin Costner plays a Coast Guard rescue swimmer who's struggling with life on the water after losing his squad in an accident. He ends up being the mentor of a hotshot swimmer (Ashton Kutcher) training for his elite military unit. Though the movie has its potent action moments, it basically drags on like a slow boat ride.
A documentary on the pastor Becky Fischer's evangelical Christian summer camp in Devil Hills, North Dakota, where children as young as six are indoctrinated into a religious army of holy crusade and political persuasion.
Man of the Year 1/2
Robin Williams plays a political comedian who decides to run for president as a joke, but the gag gets out of hand when he ends up winning due to a voting-machine error. Director Barry Levinson and his cast deliver well enough to keep the movie in the race.
Marie Antoinette 1/2
Kirsten Dunst plays the title role of the young queen of 18th-century France who became a symbol for the wanton extravagance of the monarchy that incited a revolution. Director Sofia Coppola has created a mash-up of knowing self-reference and careless anachronism, as the silly, self-pitying film staggers from moment to mood only to finally end on the way to the guillotine.
The Marine 1/2
WWE star John Cena plays a former jarheard back from Iraq who finds himself returning to action stateside when his wife is kidnapped by a murderous gang led by a merciless criminal.
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom reprise their roles in this swashbuckling sequel. It's a darker tale than the first, but it's still a rollicking, well-paced yarn.
A mystery-drama about the rivalry between two turn-of-the-20th-century stage magicians, one a brilliant showman (Hugh Jackman), the other a brilliant technician (Christian Bale), and the beautiful assistant (Scarlett Johansson) they both desire. By film's end, the notion of a rational and satisfying climax has hopelessly disappeared in a silly spiral of one-upmanship.
The Queen 1/2
Helen Mirren gives an Oscar-worthy performance as Queen Elizabeth II during a turning point in recent British history, surrounding the tragic death of Princess Diana. Mirren gives the queen a restrained soulfulness and sense of duty that reinvents her.
The Wicker Man 1/2
Indie fave director Neil LaBute presents his take on the 1970s horror movie about a cop (Nicolas Cage) who investigates the disappearance of a girl on a remote island inhabited by a dangerous matriarchal cult. A deliriously delightful weird streak runs through the film before it spirals into irretrievably ridiculous territory toward the end.
British satirist Sacha Baron Cohen portrays an absurdly clueless East European "journalist" on a real-life, culture-clashing cross-country trip across the United States. The transgressive comedy is an instant cult classic -- crude, confrontational and stunningly sick -- as Cohen stays in character as he interacts with real people.
Action star Jason Statham plays a hitman who wakes up one morning and finds himself juiced with a poison that'll stop his heart unless he can keep his adrenaline extremely high.
Leonardo DiCaprio and director Martin Scorsese team up again in this remake of the 2002 Hong Kong police thriller "Infernal Affairs." Caprio plays a Boston undercover cop who infiltrates a mob syndicate, while at the same time a criminal (Matt Damon) has infiltrated the police department as an informer.
Flags of Our Fathers
Clint Eastwood directs this astounding ensemble drama about the six soldiers who planted a U.S. flag atop the island of Iwo Jima in the midst of World War II's bloodiest Pacific campaigns. The inspiring photo capturing that moment became a symbol of victory to the nation and made instant celebrities of the soldiers.
This film tells the same tale told by the Oscar-winning "Capote." The diminuitive Toby Jones looks and sounds more eerily like the author than Philip Seymour Hoffman. And while it doesn't match the former's chillingly bleak mood and subtle insight, "Infamous" is much more celebratory of Capote's unequaled, larger-than-life spirit, which can be a joy to watch.
The Last Kiss
Zach Braff plays a young man struggling with commitment. He knows his pregnant girlfriend is "the one," yet he's tempted by a younger, flirtatious beauty.
Little Miss Sunshine
A hit at this year's Sundance Film Festival, the film follows an oddball clan as they race across three states to get their 7-year-old daughter to a beauty pageant.
Running with Scissors
Director Ryan Murphy's adaptation of Augusten Burroughs' dark if charming memoir is a black comedy riddled with problems. While it's funny in spots and the 1970s period setting is well-rendered, the movie amounts to a series of increasingly bizarre episodes featuring the teen protagonist and the unstable people that surround him.
This latest installment in the horror franchise, compared to its more resourceful predecessors, is just a hodgepodge of gruesome moments and a weird love story that's even more cringe-inducing than the gory death scenes. The original concept of a serial killer targeting people who are already self-destructive is lost amid the new movie's messy storytelling.
Art House | Revival
THE DORIS DUKE THEATRE, HONOLULU ACADEMY OF ARTS
900 S. Beretania St.; $7 general; $6 seniors, students and military; $5 Academy members (532-8768):
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles 1/2
At 1, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Friday.
Keeping Mum 1/2
Review on Page 28. (R)
At 1, 4, and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
At 1 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 to 16.
3566 Harding Ave.; $5, $4 members; reservations recommended due to limited seating (735-8771):
The Tailor of Panama
At 2, 4, 6 and 8 p.m. Friday and 12:30 and 8 p.m. Sunday.
49 Up (Hawaii Premiere)
At 12:30, 4 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday.
Our Man in Havana
At 3 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday.
At 12:30, 3, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Nov. 13.
The Best of Youth
At 12:30 p.m. (Part I) and 4:30 p.m. (Part II) Nov. 16.
March of the Penguins
At 8 p.m. Nov. 16.
UH CINEMA SERIES
BEYOND OIL: ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOLUTIONS
Spalding Hall Auditorium,
University of Hawaii at Manoa; $5 general and $3 UH students/faculry:
Turning Down the Heat: The New Energy Revolution / Renewable Power: Earth's Clean Energy Destiny
At 7 p.m. Nov. 15.