Scott Marks 9 a.m., Dec. 18
X-Men: Days of Future Past
After an opening that feels like a chunky blend of The Matrix, Terminator 2, and even Thor (hello, Destroyer!), Bryan Singer's return to the world of "Mutants are people too, only better" settles into a '70s-style actor's showcase. To wit: Hugh Jackman's Wolverine, musclebound and muted; James McAvoy's Charles Xavier, bleary and broken; and Michael Fassbender's Magneto, controlled and calculating. And since the story here is to fix the past in order to save the future, it has the added advantage of actually taking place in the '70s. (Cue the lava lamp and waterbed.) There's all sorts of old-school drama on display: a prison break, multiple assassination attempts, a drug problem, even juvenile delinquency. (Evan Peters has the most fun of anyone here as a superfast shoplifter.) Also a surprising amount of relationshippy rending and mending. Singer proves a decent juggler of his multiple elements, but betrays a tendency to oversell and undershow, as if he fears we'll somehow miss the point. 2014.