Matthew Lickona 4 p.m., Feb. 17
The Nut Job
- Rated PG | 1 hour, 26 minutes
- View trailer
A battle over a nut cart finds a fiercely independent, self-serving squirrel named Surly exiled from his local park. With rat-de-camp Buddy at his side, Surly is forced to venture out into the big city to gather that summer’s provisions. We are mercifully spared a spate of easy testicular double-entendres, but in their place stand some of the laziest, most unimaginative fart jokes on record. I’m all for realism, but a squirrel cracking a rat during his morning stretch ain’t exactly clever. That said, the breezy narrative, pliable character design and movement, fast-paced avalanche of gags, palatable color palette, and naturalistic use of 3D more than compensate for the film's one major downfall, namely: it's not funny. Laugh quotient notwithstanding, I took more delight in watching this than anything Dreamworks or Sony Animation has dropped. Peter Lepeniotis directed. Featuring the voices of Will Arnett, Katherine Heigl, Brendan Fraser, and Jeff Dunham as a mole who does a knockout impersonation of Mike Tyson. 2014.