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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

127 Hours (2010)

James Franco’s impish appeal as outdoorsman Aron Ralston is caught between a hard place and two rocks: the stone that pins down his right arm in a Utah canyon and the clobbering boulder of director Danny Boyle’s “art.” Complicating the simple story are flashbacks, visions, jokes, music, and the hero’s ... (R)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

3 Backyards (2011)

Moody and delicate — and imposing, if you surrender to it. Eric Mendelsohn’s second feature (Judy Berlin came out in 1999) considers a summer day in suburban Long Island. Kasper Tuxen’s light-entranced imagery wraps sensual sites around people whose feelings often fail to find words: an alienated husband (Elias Koteas), ... (R)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Three of the Franco-Belgian comic-book yarns by Hergé are smoothly poured into a pretty, motion-capture animation by Steven Spielberg. Short on real cartooning, long on quaintness, short on story, long on hectic action, it is for unimaginative boys 7 to 12. For the rest of us, it is a kind ... (PG)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

Albert Nobbs (2012)

Glenn Close, looking quite small, revives a role she did to off-Broadway acclaim 30 years earlier. Albert, a parched, remote, miserly, desexed “male” butler, is really a woman. His life at a Dublin hotel is mediocre, but Close achieves a sad, stricken pathos. She almost loses the film to Janet ... (R)

2.0 starsDavid Elliott

American Reunion (2012)

A flippant but turgid sequel. The American Pie gang comes to a reunion, the “men” still quite juvenile, the women a touch jaded. The body-function gags lack a ruling brain, and a Brothers Karamazov joke seems to be from another planet. This is stamped plastic for people who find Jason ... (R)

0.0 starsDavid Elliott

Another Earth (2011)

The lyrical intersection of two planets (Earth and its unexpected twin), two genres (the soaper and sci-film film), and two people. Both the soap and science are gently measured out, as Brit Marling (who also co-scripted) recovers from a tragic accident by helping her unintended victim (William Mapother). Her devoted ... (NR)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

Another Year (2011)

British filmmaker Mike Leigh again looks compassionately at hard-pressed though often amusing lives. It centers on a kind geologist (Jim Broadbent) and his motherly wife (Ruth Sheen). There is much talk, wine, tea, food, and gardening, and too much of a needy alcoholic friend (Lesley Manville), a drippy runoff from ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDavid Elliott

Arthur (2011)

Russell Brand plays the loveable drunk made profitably famous by Dudley Moore. Helen Mirren is his nanny, with a snarky crust that falls short of John Gielgud’s Hobson in the 1981 film. Brand lifts his voice to boyish, even girlish heights as the boozing playboy who seeks to avoid union ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

The Artist (2011)

A comedy of unreserved movie love, shot in Hollywood by French director Michel Hazanavicius. Big silent star George (like a merger of Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert, and Warren William) falls when sound arrives. The casting of brash, funny, hugely likeable Jean Dujardin as George gives heart to the charm. Bérénice ... (PG-13)

4.0 starsDavid Elliott

The Art of Getting By (2011)

As a bright, depressed teen slacking through his grad year at prep school, former child star Freddie Highmore still gets closeups that follow him like fawning groupies. He and sexy Emma Roberts coyly play “just friends,” as the story dawdles. Gavin Wiesen directed this Highmore showcase, with not enough art ... (NR)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

Attack the Block (2011)

In vast London, only a cute nurse (Jodie Whittaker), some punks, and housing-project cannabis growers seem aware that nasty aliens are landing like meteors (is there a royal wedding or anti-government riots on TV?). Joe Cornish’s first feature seems made for English Comic-Con fans who will savor the goofy violence, ... (R)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

Back Door Channels: The Price of Peace (2011)

Harry Hunkele’s documentary is a methodical, absorbing view of the 1978-79 peace accords between Egypt and Israel, spurred by Egypt’s bold leader Anwar Sadat, nurtured tenaciously by President Jimmy Carter, and finally accepted by Israel’s tough, fearful Menachem Begin. It traces the byzantine maneuvers, often in secret, that led to ... (NR)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

Barney's Version (2011)

On his pot gut and sagging shoulders, Paul Giamatti carries this wry, baggy treatment of Mordecai Richler’s last novel. A Montreal TV hustler, drinker, hockey gambler, and womanizer, Barney is a Jewish rebel devoid of cause or much excuse. But Giamatti doses the story in his caustic charm, even as ... (R)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

Battle: Los Angeles (2011)

This shameless action machine is a video game wrapped in a Marine Corps recruitment poster. Space aliens invade L.A., mostly trashing Santa Monica. Only our jarheads can rise to the occasion, mostly with a platoon led by veteran sergeant Aaron Eckhart. They make their escape from hell in a bright ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDavid Elliott

Battleship (2012)

Might as well call it Bullship. Aliens arrive during 14-nation fleet exercises off Hawaii. Despite the aliens' superior technology, the Navy booze-brat Taylor Kitsch mans up to lead our forces, while his wow girlfriend Brooklyn Decker leads our land attack with a leg-less Army veteran and a science nerd. WWII ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

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