:ADMISSION: In this fraught romantic comedy, Portia (Tina Fey) is a Princeton University admissions officer with a secret. Her live-in boyfriend, a professor played by Michael Sheen, treats her like a dog - literally. But on a road trip, Portia visits a new age alternative high school, run by John (Paul Rudd). John has reason to believe that a promising applicant just might be the same boy that Portia gave up for adoption. Fey and Rudd are smooth as silk together, but the film is only half good. PG-13 (language and some sexual material). 1:50. 2 1/2 stars. .
THE CALL: Jordan (Halle Berry) is a hotshot 911 operator in Los Angeles. On a call in which she tries to coach a teenage girl away from a home invasion, Jordan slips up, fails, and the girl is abducted and murdered. Dedicated to redeem herself, Jordan gets another emergency call in the form of Casey (Abigail Breslin), who has been drugged and kidnapped and wakes up in the trunk of a speeding car. Jordan has to coach the hysterical teen through a series of daunting situations. Berry is enough of a pro to handle this, but the film is kind of a dud. R (for violence, disturbing content and some language). 1:36. 2 stars.
THE CROODS: It’s “Ice Age” with humans and less ice. The Croods are a brood of cavepeople; there’s Ugg (Nicolas Cage), Ugga (Catherine Keener), Eep (Emma Stone) and some others. Earthquaked out of their dwelling, the Crood brood embarks on a search for a new home. They come across Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a caveboy who knows about fire and has things called “ideas.” Guy leads the Croods toward a place he calls “Tomorrow” where survival lies. Not a whole lot here, and like most Dreamworks vehicles, it’s way too much. PG (some scary action).