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CineList, 2.21.13

NEW RELEASES

Bless Me, Ultima (PG-13, 106 mins) See review, this issue.

Dark Skies (PG-13, 95 mins) Once again, a white family (Keri Russell, Josh Hamilton) is terrorized by something that lurks within their suburban home. Opens wide.

Kai Po Che (NR, 120 mins) Friends (Amrita Puri, Sushant Singh Rajput) try to make it rich in India during the early 2000s. Hindi. Village Square.

Snitch (PG-13, 95 mins) A father (Dwayne Johnson) goes undercover to infiltrate a drug cartel to save his son. Opens wide.

NOW PLAYING

A Good Day to Die Hard (R, 97 mins) John McClane (Bruce Willis) teams up with his son (Jai Courtney) to blow things up while combating Russian criminals. They couldn’t have made a worse “Die Hard” movie if they tried. (CB: 2.14.13)

PICK - Amour (PG-13, 127 mins) Retired music teachers (Emmanuelle Riva, Jean-Louis Trintignant) face growing old, and the health and emotional issues that come with it. Michael Haneke’s film is a gift to audiences for its depiction of an universal experience. (MK: 2.06.13) Village Square

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)

PICK - Beasts Of The Southern Wild (PG-13, 91 mins) A man wears a helmet light, holds a bottle of liquor and blasts impotently at a raging storm with a shotgun. The man is named Wink, and he is watching his home disappear due to an unholy combination of climate change, industrial rot and the tug of officialdom. Wink and daughter Hushpuppy (Quvenzhane Wallis) refuse to play by civilization’s rules. You could write a term paper exploring the nuances of Wallis’ performance. (KC: 7.19.12) Village Square

Beautiful Creatures (PG-13, 124 mins) Secrets are uncovered in a small Southern town when two teens (Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert) fall in love. Despite a show-stealing performance by Emma Thompson as a church fanatic, this film falls flat halfway and treads a well-worn supernatural path. (MK: 2.14.13)

The Berlin File (NR, 120 mins) A North Korean secret agent (Jung-woo Ha) must discover if his wife (Gianna Jun) or country betrayed him, following an illegal weapons trade gone wrong. Korean. Village Square.

Bullet to the Head (R, 91 mins) A New Orleans hitman (Sylvester Stallone) forms an alliance with a detective (Sung Kang) to get the people who killed their respective partners. Sams Town, Texas Station

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)

Escape From Planet Earth (PG) Astronaut Scorch Supernova (Brendan Fraser), a national hero on the planet Baab, responds to a call for help from Earth. Animated.

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters (PG-13, 100 mins) Bounty Hunters Hansel and Gretel (Jeremy Renner and Gemma Arterton) track and kill evil magical creatures throughout the world.

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.” Texas Station, Tropicana

Here Comes the Boom (PG, 105 mins) To save his high school’s music program, biology teacher Scott (Kevin James) turns MMA fighter.

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) Texas Station

Hotel Transylvania (PG, 91 mins) When a boy discovers a luxury resort patronized by all the classic horror figures, Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) gets put in charge of damage control in a plot that sounds an awful lot like “Monsters, Inc.”

Identity Theft (R) A dude named Sandy (Jason Bateman) has his identity stolen and exploited by a woman played by the big, crass chick from Bridesmaids.

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) Village Square, Sams Town

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) Village Square, Sunset Station

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) 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)

Mama (PG-13, 100 mins) A couple (Jessica Chastain and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) must raise two girls who lived ferally in a forest and are now followed by a sinister being. Despite containing great genre atmosphere, the excessive plot and familiar scares demonstrate the weakening Guillermo del Toro brand. (CB: 1.17.13)

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

Parker (R, 118 mins) Jason Statham plays a thief who, with help from an inside woman (Jennifer Lopez), seeks revenge for being double-crossed by his fellow criminals. Sams Town, Texas Station

Red Dawn (PG-13, 93 mins) Shown as a trailer that might be an over-sensationalized Marine Corps ad, a group of teenagers have to protect their Washington state city from foreign paratroopers. Chris Hemsworth is basically still Thor, but with guns.

Safe Haven (PG-13, 115 mins) A widower (Josh Duhamel) uncovers the truth about the mysterious woman (Julianne Hough) he falls for in a North Carolina town.

Side Effects (R, 106 mins) A successful New York couple (Channing Tatum, Rooney Mara) encounter hardships when the wife is prescribed problematic drugs by her psychiatrist (Jude Law). Though not perfect, this film shows retiring director Steven Soderbergh’s craftsmanship. (CB: 2.06.13)

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”). Aliante Station

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, and should put to rest the series’ soul-searching. (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.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn 2 (PG-13, 115 mins) After the Cullens (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) give birth to a child, they have to band the other vampire clans to protect the child from unfounded claims against the family. Also, werewolves. Texas Station

Warm Bodies (PG-13, 97 mins) After the undead take over the world, a hot zombie named R (Nicholas Hoult) saves a girl (Teresa Palmer) and subsequently falls for her. Like “Twilight” with zombies.

Wreck-It Ralph (PG, 101 mins) When Wreck-It Ralph (John C. Reilly) gets fed up with being the bad guy of his arcade game and always having to lose in the end, he escapes his game, jumping from game to game trying to prove his heroism — but in doing so, he unleashes a terrible evil. Sams Town

PICK - Zero Dark Thirty (R, 157 mins) A CIA operative’s (Jessica Chastain) unyielding pursuit of the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden leads to his assassination in May 2011 by a Navy SEAL team. This honest portrayal of torture and war transcends debates to create a thrilling action film. (MK: 1.10.13)

special screenings

Clue (PG, 94 mins) A live cast accompanies this movie based on the well-known board game. Buffs of 1980s cinema will recognize Tim Curry as Wadsworth and Christopher Lloyd as Professor Plum. Saturday, 8p, 10p. The Sci-Fi Center 600 E. Sahara #12, 792-4335, $10.

Pollygrind St. Valentines Massacre Weekend A selection of horror flicks from the Pollygrind underground film festival. Fri, 5:30p, Sat, 7:30p. Theatre 7, 1406 S. Third St., 568-9663, $10.

Someplace with a Mountain (NR, 51 mins) Chevy Chase narrates a climate documentary about a group of tropical Pacific Ocean islands washing away due to sea rise, and director Steve Goodall’s attempt to save them. Wednesday, 6p. Carol C. Harter Classroom Building Complex A-108 at UNLV, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-3011, free.

The Two Mrs. Carrolls An artist (Humphrey Bogart) kills his wife to marry a woman (Barbara Stanwyck) he met while on vacation. If only “An Affair to Remember” ended like this. Tuesday, 1p. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.