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CineList, 1.10.13

SmartAss - 1781.NEF
SmartAss - 1781.NEF

NEW RELEASE

Gangster Squad (R, 113 mins) See review, this issue.

A Haunted House (R, 86 mins) A couple (Marlon Wayans and Essence Atkins) face demons and possession when they move into their dream home. A parody of modern horror films like “Paranormal Activity.”

PICK - Zero Dark Thirty (R, 157 mins) See review, this issue.

NOW PLAYING

PICK - Argo (R, 120 mins) When 52 Americans were taken hostage inside the U.S. embassy in Iran, six others escaped and found refuge in the house of the Canadian ambassador. Attempting to get them out without Ayahtollah Khomeini noticing, the CIA propped up a phony movie, sent agent Tony Mendez (Ben Affleck) through Turkey to Tehran posing as a film producer, and he walked the six Americans around town for a couple days as his production crew before attempting an escape. This is a great film, “Gigli” fans. We don’t have Ben Affleck to kick around anymore. (CB: 10.11.12)

Django Unchained (R, 170 mins) Quentin Tarantino directs this story of a slave-turned-bounty hunter (Jamie Foxx) and his rescue of his abused wife from a brutal Mississippi plantation owner (Leonardo Dicaprio). Even with show-stealing performances, this ultra-violent film is not Tarantino’s best. (MK: 12.20.12)

The Guilt Trip (PG-13, 95 mins) A son (Seth Rogen) and mother (Barbra Streisand) find common ground during an impromptu road trip across the country.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (PG-13, 169 mins) Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), a hobbit from the world of “The Lord of the Rings,” leaves the Shire to retrieve stolen treasure and face his destiny. Peter Jackson’s overly long creation is not fun or clever. (CB: 12.13.12)

Hyde Park on the Hudson (R, 94 minutes) President Franklin Roosevelt (Bill Murray) hosts the King and Queen of England at his Hyde Park estate, showing audiences and royalty alike that a man with polio can enjoy himself (in more ways than one). For history buffs only. (MK: 1.03.13) Sams Town, Village Square

PICK - The Impossible (PG-13, 107 mins) A mother (Naomi Watts) searches for her children and husband (Ewan McGregor) after enduring the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunamis. This compelling film, based off a real-life account, skirts cliches with disaster effects that are realistic and impressive. (MK: 1.03.13)

Jack Reacher (PG-13, 130 mins) Tom Cruise plays a homicide investigator who searches for justice after five people are murdered. Based off the novel by Lee Childs.

Les Miserables (PG-13, 157 mins) A former prisoner (Hugh Jackman) establishes himself in French society on the eve of the revolution while being hunted by an obsessive inspector (Russell Crowe) and becoming a surrogate father to the daughter of a factory worker (Anne Hathaway). Despite impressive musical performances, this films tries too hard at winning Oscar gold. (PB: 12.20.12)

Life of Pi (PG, 127 mins) A Canadian writer had traveled to India to write a story about Portugal and hears a local legend about a boy named Pi, who — as fate would have it — now lives in Montreal. The writer meets adult Pi (Irrfan Khan) who weaves his tale of a boy who shares a lifeboat with a tiger for nine months. Unfortunately, like many sermons, the story is preposterous and shallow. (CB: 11.22.12) Sams Town, Village Square

PICK - Lincoln (PG-13, 149 mins) In this Spielberg-treated biopic of our 16th President, Lincoln (Daniel Day-Lewis) has to decide whether slaves should be legally freed, deals with the anxieties of wife Mary Todd (Sally Field), and her histrionics fueled in part by the criticism of chief radical Republican Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones) — all in the four months leading to the President’s assassination. Day-Lewis is phenomenal. (MK: 11.15.12)

Not Fade Away (R, 112 mins) A group of friends come together to rock out in 1960s New Jersey suburbia while the lead singer (John Magaro) fights for his father (James Gandolfini) to understand his counterculture ways. By “The Sopranos” mastermind David Chase. Santa Fe

Parental Guidance (PG, 104 mins) Old-fashioned grandparents (Bette Midler and Billy Crystal) struggle to take care of their spoiled grandkids.

PICK - The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13, 103 mins) The film adaptation of the 1999 young-adult novel by Stephen Chbosky, Perks resonated with a generation of readers not only for its coming-of-age themes, but the authenticity and sincerity of Charlie (Logan Lerman) who narrates the book through a series of unaddressed letters, depicting one unpleasant adolescent episode after another. As such, the fate of the movie version rests less with director/writer Chobsky than with Lerman. And once Lerman finds his footing, he carries the film with just the right amounts of nuance, charm and angst. (MP: 10.4.12) Tropicana

PICK - Promised Land (R, 106 mins) A salesman (Matt Damon) must face the negative moral and economic aspects of his profession when he arrives in a rural town to drill. This complicated portrayal of environmental politics raises the bar for films that dare to handle this murky topic. (MK: 1.03.13)

Rise of the Guardians (PG, 97 mins) What do Santa, the Tooth Fairy and Jack Frost have in common? Usually nothing, but for whatever reason, they’re saving children from an evil spirit called Pitch who’s bent on taking over the world by scaring kids.

Silver Linings Playbook (R, 122 mins) After Pat (Bradley Cooper) hits rock bottom, he meets a similarly troubled girl (Jennifer Lawrence) with whom he forms an unlikely connection. By David O. Russell (“I [Heart] Huckabees”).

PICK - Skyfall (PG-13, 143 mins) After the theft of a hard drive containing the identities of undercover British agents, Bond (Daniel Craig) goes from Istanbul to Shanghai and Macau before returning to the U.K. to defend the homeland from Silva (Javier Bardem). “Skyfall” ends on such a perfect note of old-school grace that it leaves us anxious for Bond 24. (TRW: 11.8.12)

Texas Chainsaw 3D (R, 92 mins) You know the drill: An outsider (Alexandra Daddario) inherits a Texas mansion in proximity to where a chainsaw massacre occurred.

This is 40 (R, 134 mins) An independent record executive (Paul Rudd) and his wife (Leslie Mann) struggle with turning 40. The autobiographical elements of Judd Apatow’s latest comedy makes the film more relatable — and funnier. (CB: 12.20.12)

SPECIAL SCREENINGS

Invisible Stripes (NR, 81 mins) Two criminals travel different moral avenues once released from Sing-Sing. Cliff Taylor (George Raft) attempts to be a good citizen but is soon drawn back to crime by his prison-mate Chuck Martin (Humphrey Bogart). Tuesday, 1p. Clark County Library. 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.

Las Vegas Jewish Film Festival A dynamic selection of Jewish films that includes drama, comedy and documentaries. Jan. 13-27, Adelson Educational Campus, 9700 Hillpointe Road. See www.lvjff.org for dates and times. $10 per screening; $50 for an all-festival pass.

The Los Angeles Ripper (NR, 78 mins) An aspiring starlet moves in with her weird aunt Peggy and cousin Angel in Los Angeles. Meanwhile, a vicious killer is on the loose. Saturday, 8p. The Sci-Fi Center, 600 E. Sahara Ave., Suite 12, 792-4335, www.thescificenter.com. $5

The Met: Live in HD: Les Troyens (NR, 345 mins) A Trojan citizen witnesses the fall of his home and becomes involved with a Carthaginian queen after his trek to North Africa. Wednesday, 6:30p. See www.fathomevents.com for ticket and location info. $18-$24.

The Met: Live in HD: Maria Stuarda (NR, 200 mins) An opera centered on Mary, Queen of Scots and the other royalty she encounters. Saturday, 9:55a. See www.fathomevents.com for ticket and location info. $18-$24.