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CineList, 3.14.13

New Releases

The Call (R, 95 mins) 911 operator Jordan Turner (Halle Berry) must face a killer from her past when she receives a call from an abducted girl. Opens wide.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone (PG-13, 100 mins) See review, this issue. Opens wide.

Now Playing

21 and Over (R, 93 mins) An overachieving student (Justin Chon) goes wild with a group of friends the night before his medical school interview. Or, “The Hangover” at college.

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)

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, Suncoast

Broken City (R, 108 mins) A former police officer and now struggling PI (Mark Wahlberg) is hired by the mayor (Russell Crowe) to follow his cheating wife (Catherine Zeta Jones). Suncoast

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.

Dead Man Down (R, 110 mins) A revengeful woman (Noomi Rapace) uses the only weapon she can possess in a Hollywood film — her body — to seduce the right hand man (Colin Firth) of the crime lord (Terrence Howard) who wronged her.

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) Sams Town, Sunset Station

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.

Emperor (PG-13, 98 mins) An opportunity to get laid influences U.S. General Fellers (Matthew Fox) as he decides what to do with Emperor Hirohito at the conclusion of WWII. His investigation is overseen by Tommy Lee Jones strutting around as General Douglas MacArthur. At least the actress who plays Fellers’ love interest Aya (Eriko Hatsune) is actually Japanese.

Gangster Squad (R, 113 mins) Sgt. John O’Mara (Josh Brolin) takes on the ruthless mob boss Mickey Cohen (Sean Pean) with help from a team of undercover Los Angeles cops that includes a fresh faced but determined sergeant (Ryan Gosling). Excessive gunfire fails at masking the lack of originality within this film’s boring plot line. (MK: 1.10.13) Tropicana

Greedy Lying Bastards (PG-13, 90 mins) There’s little doubt where first-time filmmaker and Portland-based eco-activist Craig Rosebraugh stands: The needs of future generations that will inherit the planet outweigh possible economic ramifications. His case is air-tight, he just gives potential detractors a lot of grist to prejudice passive-viewers against his views. (MK: 3.7.13) Suncoast

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

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)

Identity Thief (R, 111 mins) A dude named Sandy (Jason Bateman) has his identity stolen and exploited by a woman played by the big, crass chick from “Bridesmaids.”

Jack the Giant Slayer (PG-13, 114 mins) Jack (Nicholas Hoult) slaughters giants and scores the hot princess, despite looking mildly like a troll himself.

The Last Exorcism Part II (PG-13) A demon shows its penchant for possessing white girls in the rural South when it terrorizes helpless Nell (Ashley Bell) once more. When will this demon get a hobby?

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, Colonnade

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)

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) Village Square, Sams Town

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) Sams Town, Texas Station

Oz the Great and Powerful (PG, 130 mins) A circus magician (James Franco) is catapulted into the magical world of Oz. No, the magician doesn’t dabble in any of Oz’s CGI intoxicants. That’s just Franco’s acting.

PICK - Quartet (PG-13, 98 mins) The arrival of a singing diva (Maggie Smith) disrupts an annual concert at a home for retired musicians when she disagrees with production and her ex-husband (Tom Courtenay). The sensitive portrayal of the characters provides inspiration for how to handle life’s third act. (MK: 1.24.13)

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 bend on taking over the world by scaring kids, presumably because he’s a dick. Tropicana

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”).

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

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.

PICK - West of Memphis (R, 147 mins) A look at the capture and trial of the wrongly accused West Memphis Three. This film is far more than an alternative take on a well-trodden cause célèbre. (MK: 3.6.13) Suncoast.

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. Tropicana

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

Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour (NR) Films that celebrate life in the outdoors. Thu, 7p, Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.

Battle For Terra (NR) Cult animation favorite about an alien planet threatened by adrift humans searching for a new home. Saturday, 3p. The Sci-Fi Center, 600 E. Sahara #12, 792-4335, $5

Blonde Venus (NR, 97 mins) The wife (Marlene Dietrich) of a dying man accepts money from a playboy (Cary Grant) and suffers the consequences. Only Dietrich could make an ape costume sexy in her “Hot Voodoo” performance. Tue, 1p, Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.

Dr. Who Night (NR) Episodes from the BBC television show, chronicling the adventures of the eccentric time-traveling alien and his friends. Also: “Red Dwarf.” Friday, 8p. The Sci-Fi Center, 600 E. Sahara #12, 792-4335, $5

Flow (NR, 93) This documentary delves into the politics of the international water crisis. Tue, 7p, UNLV, Science and Engineering Building auditorium, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway, 895-3760.

Lawrence of Arabia (PG, 216 mins) Pasty Brit Thomas Edward Lawrence (Peter O’Toole) uses his whiteness to take down the Ottoman Empire during World War I. Wed, 2p and 7p. See for ticket and location info. $7-$10.

The Met: Live in HD: Parsifal (NR, 345 mins) This gloomy retelling of Richard Wagner’s classic opera portrays Parsifal, a young man whose innocence compels him to retrieve the spear that pierced Jesus. Wed, 6:30p. See for ticket and location info. $18-$24.

The Met: Live in HD: Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini (NR, 240 mins) The daughter of an Italian lord must fight when she falls for the brother of the man she’s destined to marry. Sat, 9a. See for ticket and location info. $18-$24.

Nerdlesque (NR) A night of live burlesque and scenes from classic science fiction films. Sat, 9p, The Sci-Fi Center, 600 E. Sahara #12, 792-4335, $15.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (PG, 90 mins) Pee Wee Herman’s true breakthrough. There’s Paul Reubens in a super-tight suit, a lost bike and, of course, Large Marge. Cue almost 30 years of people mimicking that annoying laugh. Sat, 6p, Huntridge Circle Park, South Maryland Parkway and Franklin Avenue.