Butter (R, 90 mins) When Bob Pickler (Ty Burrell) doesn’t uphold his title as Iowa’s butter-carving champion, his wife Laura (Jennifer Garner) takes it upon herself to continue the legacy — but she’s met with fierce competition. From a stripper and a young adoptee. Palms
Chicken With Plums (PG-13, 91 mins) See review, this issue. Village Square
Frankenweenie (PG, 87 mins) See review, this issue. Opens wide
The Perks of Being a Wallflower (PG-13, 103 mins) See review, this issue. Opens wide
Taken 2 (20th Century Fox/Allied) After CIA operative Bryan Mills (Liam Neeson) rescues his daughter in the first “Taken,” the father of last film’s dead kidnapper snatches Mills and his wife. Opens wide.
2016: Obama’s America (PG, 89 mins) With a synopsis that reads like, “But where’s the REAL birth certificate?” directors Gerald R. Molen and Dinesh D’Souza try to uncover something about President Obama, and imagine what America will look like after another four years under his direction. So, there’s that.
The Amazing Spider-man 3D (PG-13, 136 mins) Still just a guy swinging on webs between buildings. It’s a lot like the others and never really its own film in any way. It was probably smart to reboot the series so safely, because they’re not going to stop with one, and there’s room for improvement. (CB: 7.5.12) Tropicana
The Avengers (PG-13, 142 mins) All of Marvel Comics’ summer-kickoff maneuvering over the past decade had been leading up to this: “The Avengers” is the first film to combine established superheroes so boldly. Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), Captain America (Chris Evans), Thor (Chris Hemsworth) and the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) assemble to do battle with Loki (Tom Hiddleston, giving the film’s best performance), who is set to unleash some sort of interplanetary wave of destruction on New York City. Marvel should have had the formula down pat by now, but co-writer/director Josh Whedon gives it some unexpected life that the studio can hopefully build on next year. And the year after that. (CB: 5.3.12) Tropicana
Bourne Legacy (PG-13, 135 mins) The story’s pretty convoluted at first, involving the security agencies shutting down all their pre-programmed spy operations at once. The mission of Aaron Cross (Jeremy Renner), who, like Jason Bourne, must live long enough to expose the dirty dealings of the intelligence community, and is on the run. The results are uneven, but it’s a good enough starting point for (perhaps) another Bourne trilogy. (CB: 8.9.12)
The Campaign (R, 85 mins) Will Ferrell’s incumbent congressman Cam Brady is a fairly clueless lout barely kept in line by his campaign manager (Jason Sudeikis). His platform of “America, Jesus, Freedom … support our troops!” resonates with his constituents, but his misconduct opens the door for swishy candidate Marty Huggins (Zach Galafianakis). The problem with situation comedies and Will Farrell vehicles is they usually fizzle out after the frst 30 minutes. And Ferrell and Galafiankis’ relationship isn’t adequately explored here. (MK: 8.9.12) Colonnade
The Dark Knight Rises (PG-13, 164 mins) Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) has become a recluse in the eight years since the tragic ending of “The Dark Knight,” and Selina Kyle (Anne Hathaway) is there to steal, but she warns of a coming storm that will soon pit the haves against the have-nots of Gotham City. That storm comes in the form of Bane. There’s less darkness this time around, but no less trepidation as director Christopher Nolan explores some very real topics rather than psychological themes.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days (PG, 94 mins) Poor Greg (Zachary Gordon) can’t catch a break when his summer plans fall through. Orleans
Dredd 3D (R, 95 mins) An update of the ‘90s flop Judge Dredd, it’s the story of cops working their way up the floors of an inner city flophouse to stop a dangerous drug cartel. As the emotionless Dredd, Karl Urban (Star Trek) doesn’t have much opportunity to stand out. Lena Headey (“Game of Thrones”) is a fairly inspired choice for the drug kingpin, however. All in all, it’s good fun. (CB: 09.20.12)
End of Watch (R, 109 mins) Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Pena are cops who snag the wrong cartel’s drug mule, and end up with a price on their piggy heads.
The Expendables 2 (R, 103 mins) Old mercenaries get mission. Old mercenaries return, minus one. Old mercenaries seek revenge. Starring every aging action star still alive. Texas Station
Finding Nemo 3D (G, 100 mins) When the clownfish Marlin (Albert Brooks) and his son Nemo (Alexander Gould) get separated, it takes everything both of them have to find each other. And now they have to do it in 3D.
Hope Springs (PG-13, 100 mins) A couple (Merly Streep, Tommy Lee Jones) undergoes marriage therapy after 30 years together, led by a zealous counselor (Steve Carell). Village Square
House at the End of the Street (PG-13, 101 mins) When Elissa (Jennifer Lawrence) befriends quiet recluse Ryan (Max Thieriot) in her new town, it doesn’t take long to discover Ryan’s parents were murdered by his sister. And that Elissa might be in over her head.
Lawless (R, 115 mins) Rough-and-tumble depression-era gangster flick with Shia LeBouf as part of a family of bootleggers threatened by the fuzz. Colonnade
Looper (R, 118 mins) Joe (Joseph Gordon-Leveitt) is a Looper, waiting for his targets (in this case, his future self, played by Bruce Willis) to be sent from 30 years in the future when time travel is possible. When Young Joe fails, he becomes a target since he didn’t “close the loop,” while Older Joe tries to find a younger version of a tyrant committing atrocities in the future. Director Rian Johnson (“Brick”) keeps things fairly simple and noir. Gordon-Levitt takes one more step toward qualifying as one of the greatest actors of his generation. (MK: 9.27.12)
The Master (R, 137 mins) “The Master” fictionalizes Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as the character Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), but director Paul Thomas Anderson’s inspiration may have been divided into two characters: Dodd and Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix), whose odyssey leads him to stow away on a boat chartered for the wedding party of Lancaster’s daughter — where Lancaster brings him into the world of The Cause. (MK: 09.20.12)
The Odd Life of Timothy Green (PG, 104 mins) Cindy and Jim Green (Jennifer Garner and Joel Edgerton) suddenly find a child (CJ Adams) on their doorstep, who is not quite the offspring they’d envisioned for themselves. Sams Town
ParaNorman (PG, 92 mins) Outkast kid Norman can talk to zombies, which is perfect for the zombie invasion — and the invasion of ghosts, witches, and other spooky villains — happening in his town. From the creators of “Coraline.” Suncoast
The Possession (PG-13, 92 mins) Why you shouldn’t buy antique boxes at garage sales: They actually host ancient evil spirits and they will mess your daughter up.
Premium Rush (PG-13, 91 mins) A bike messenger (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is given a package to deliver that will totally fuck with his whole day. Sams Town
Resident Evil: Retribution (R, 95 mins) Alice (Milla Jovovich) is back to fight curiously mobile zombies in yet another installation of the series.
ROBOT & FRANK (PG-13, 90 mins) When Hunter (James Marsden) brings his retired cat-burglar father Frank (Frank Langella) a computerized servant (voiced by Peter Saarsgard), Frank comes up with a reason to resume his criminal career. It’s a buddy movie with a fresh twist, set in the near future when videophones are are common and libraries are nearly obsolete. (MK: 9.6.12) Suncoast
Ted (R, 106 mins) Seth MacFarlane voices Ted, a magical teddy bear brought to life by a little boy’s wish for a best friend. That was 27 years ago and now John (Mark Wahlberg) and the bear are grown up, if not the least bit mature. John’s girl (Mila Kunis) wants him to finally become a man, but can he leave Ted behind for good? It’s hard to believe MacFarlane ran out of insulting things to say about everybody in less than two hours. (CB: 6.28.12)
Total Recall (PG-13, 109 mins) The Colin Farrell-starring remake of the ’90s Schwarzenegger flick, a factory worker begins to suspect his memories might not be his. Tropicana
The Trouble With the Curve (PG-13, 111 mins) Gus’ (Clint Eastwood) eyes are going, his job as a baseball scout is on the line because he’s out of touch and he doesn’t trust computers because he’s a fossil. And in each of those scenarios, as well as the ones that could actually propel a movie that pairs Eastwood and Amy Adams (playing his long-suffering daughter), this movie’s just empty. (CB: 09.20.12)
The Watch (R, 102 mins) The Americanized frat-pack version of Simon Pegg’s “Attack the Block,” a neighborhood watch group stumbles upon an alien invasion. Tropicana
THE WORDS (PG-13, 96 mins) Bradley Cooper is a writer who isn’t getting any better, who steals a dead man’s writing after discovering it in mysterious briefcase. Before long he discovers the consequences of plagiarizing work. But we could’ve told you that on our second day of J-school. Suncoast
Banff Mountain Film Festival Radical Reels Tour (NR) A collection of short extreme sport videos. Thursday, 7p. 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. Friday, 8p. The Sci-Fi Center, 900 E. Karen Ave., Suite D-202, 792-4335, www.thescificenter.com. $5
Italian Horror Double Feature (NR) “Monster Shark” (R, 90 mins) and “Panic” (R, 90 mins). Saturday, 8p. The Sci-Fi Center, 900 E. Karen Ave., Suite D-202, 792-4335, www.thescificenter.com. $5.
Lawrence of Arabia (PG, 110 mins) David Lean’s biography of the man who warned the British against its calamitous occupation of Mesopotamia won seven Oscars. Starring Peter O’Toole as the titular character. Thursday, 7p. Check www.fathomevents.com for locations and ticket prices.
Mexican Spitfire Sees a Ghost (G, 75 mins) When Carmelita (Lupe Velez) and her husband (Charles “Buddy” Rogers) think they’re in a haunted house, it turns out to be spies developing bombs. Tuesday, 1p. Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road, 507-3400.
PollyGrind Zombiepalooza (NR) “The Post-Lifers” (NR, 14 mins), “Braineater” (NR, 5 mins), “God Like Feeling” (NR, 9 mins), “Velvet Road” (NR, 14 mins), “Requiem por un (No)Muerto” (NR, 11 mins), “After the Dawn” (NR, 88 mins), “When I Die” (NR, 4 mins), “Tar Zombies Barbecued” (NR, 30 mins), “Race War: The Remake” (NR, 80 mins). Saturday, 2p. Theatre 7, 1406 S. Third St., 568-9663. For information, visit www.pollygrind.com. Free
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (R, 98 min) Campy cult musical is accompanied by film, live cast performance group Frankie’s Favorite Obsession. Regency Tropicana Cinemas. 3330 E. Tropicana Ave., 450-3737; 810-5956, www.rhpsvegas.com. First Saturday of every month. Audience participation prop kits $1, no outside props. 10p, $9.
Vegas Cine Fest (NR) Film screenings, panels, nightclub events. Fri-Sun, 10a. Palms, 4321 W. Flamingo Road, (866) 942-7777. See www.vegascinefest.com for tickets and event times.