EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

June 2, 2013

In theaters now

The Philadelphia Inquirer
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — ‘AT ANY PRICE’

1/2

Dennis Quaid is an Iowa farmer bent on expanding his acreage, and expanding sales of genetically engineered seeds, in this nicely observed but too obvious drama. “Grow or die” is Henry Whipple’s motto, but in growing his (agri-)business, he’s leaving his family and friends behind. 1 hr. 52 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘BARBARA’

Nina Hoss gives an amazingly controlled, nuanced performance as a doctor exiled to the provinces in the cold, gray East Germany of 1980. Mistrust hangs in the air in this hushed, suspenseful character study. A gem from filmmaker Christian Petzold. 1 hr. 45 PG-13 (sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE BIG WEDDING’

Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton are a long-divorced couple pretending they’re still together so as to not offend their adoptive son’s conservative biological mom, coming from Columbia for his wedding. Susan Sarandon, who lives with De Niro’s randy coot, is not happy about the ruse. A sedated ensemble farce, with Ben Barnes, Topher Grace, Katherine Heigl, Amanda Seyfried — and Robin Williams as the priest overseeing the ceremony. 1 hr. 29 R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE CALL’

A sordid slice of abduction porn, with Halle Berry as a veteran 911 operator who is not, no way, never, going to let the 16-year-old girl trapped in the trunk of a psycho’s car disappear and die. Abigail Breslin displays a wide range of shrieks, squeals, yelps and sobs as the victim, and Morris Chestnut is Berry’s LAPD cop boyfriend. 1 hr. 34 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE COMPANY YOU KEEP’

Robert Redford stars in, and directs, this solid, crosshatched thriller about a band of ‘60s radicals who have long assimilated themselves into the mainstream — and are forced to reconsider their past deeds, all these decades later, when the FBI and a newspaper reporter start snooping around. With Susan Sarandon, Julie Christie, Nick Nolte, Shia LeBeouf and Brit Marling. 2 hrs. 05 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE CROODS’

1/2

DreamWorks’ latest animated blockbuster is a visually dazzling, if a little empty-headed, 3-D feast for the eyes. Nicolas Cage stars as the patriarch of a prehistoric caveman family who are forced to go on a road trip when their cave is destroyed. Emma Stone plays his adventurous daughter and Ryan Reynolds her love interest, a more evolved man who introduces the family to fire, cooking and tool-making. The flick is breezy, diverting and fun, tough it lacks the inspired wit that made “Shrek” a classic. 1 hr. 38 PG (some scary action) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘DEAD MAN DOWN’

1/2

Colin Farrell stars in this unwitting gangland noir parody, about a hitman, his boss, a moody moll and a mess of badness and betrayal. Noomi Rapace is the emotionally and physically scarred femme fatale, and Terrence Howard, Dominic Cooper and F. Murray Abraham also star. 1 hr. 50 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘DISCONNECT’

1/2

“Crash” for the Internet age, with of-the-moment issues — cyber sex, cyber bullying, identity theft — seeping into the lives of a disparate group of people, whose paths cross in dark, fateful ways. An Eleanor Rigby movie: look at all the lonely people. 1 hr. 55 R (sex, nudity, profanity, violence, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘EPIC’

1/2

A magical world of flying leaf warriors, talking slugs and faerie queens is discovered by a feisty teenager in her kooky scientist dad’s backyard. A less-than-seamless mix of fantasy and action, in this computer-animated entry from the folks behind “Ice Age.” 1 hr. 42 PG (action, cartoon violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘EVIL DEAD’

This remake of Sam Raimi’s 1981 demonic gorefest doesn’t surpass the original, but it measures up well enough to give fans of the genre what they crave. 1 hr. 32 R (ultra-violence, extreme gore, demonic slapstick, drug use, profanity) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘FAST & FURIOUS: 6’

Vin Diesel and Paul Walker bring the old gang together for the most souped-up installment of this action franchise. Yet. With Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Gina Carano and Luke Evans. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (intense action, adult themes) — David Hiltbrand

‘42’

Inspirational, old-fashioned Hollywood account of Jackie Robinson’s historic demolition of the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and his relationship with Branch Rickey, the Brooklyn Dodgers exec who gave Robinson a uniform. Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford star. 2 hrs. 08 PG-13 (profanity, racial epithets, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘FRANCES HA’

Greta Gerwig stars as a 27-year-old dancer, a spirited stumblebum navigating (or failing to navigate) the post-college New York City world of roommates, boyfriends, jobs, and money woes. Noah Baumbach directs. 1 hr. 25 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE GATEKEEPERS’

. Dror Moreh’s Oscar-nominated documentary finds six former heads of Israel’s counterterrorism agency speaking with striking candor, and with no little regret, about the decisions that backfired, the iron-fisted policies that brought about more violence, more bloodshed, not less. If there’s a way out of the Israeli/ Palestinian conflict, these men may have the answer. 1 hr. 37 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea.

‘GIMME THE LOOT’ 3 stars. Adam Leon’s scruffy, scrappy thrift store-budget indie follows a pair of teen taggers around the Bronx and Manhattan as they try to find $500 to pull off a graffiti coup: tagging the New York Mets’ Home Run Apple. Trouble — and the impossible charms of the two leads — ensue. 1 hr. 21 No MPAA rating (profanity, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘GINGER & ROSA’ 3 1/2 stars. Elle Fanning gives a performance of remarkable power and passion — playing a 16-year-old Londoner haunted by images of nuclear holocaust, and by more personal devastation — in Sally Potter’s 1960s coming of age tale. With Alice Englert as Rosa, and Alessandro Nivola and Christine Hendricks as Ginger’s parents. A beautiful, heartbreaking film. 1 hr. 30 R (sex, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE GREAT GATSBY’ 2 stars. “Less is more?” Not if Baz Luhrmann is around. The Australian auteur’s adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Jazz Age tragedy is a dizzying display of excess, like Busby Berkeley on steroids, with a Jay Z-produced soundtrack. But at the heart of it all, there is no heart — it’s impossible to care. With Leonardo DiCaprio as the mysterious millionaire Gatsby, and a callow, shallow Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, our narrator. Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton are Daisy and Tom Buchanan, play-acting in glorious Roaring ‘20s get-ups. 2 hrs. 23 PG-13 (sex, profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE HANGOVER PART III’ 2 stars. The Wolfpack is back, but the basic post-binge amnesia premise is gone, replaced by a crazed conflation of kidnapping/hostage/gangland shenanigans, with an expanded role for the lunatic Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Extreme comedy, for sure, but not that funny. 1 hr. 40 R (violence, drugs, profanity, sex, nudity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE HOST’ 2 1/2 stars. Stephenie Meyer’s follow-up to the blockbuster “Twilight” series is a fun, if mildly silly sci-fi romance big on character and light on explosions about an invasion by tiny aliens who burrow into the human body, using it as a host. Opposing them is a ragtag group of survivors led by an eccentric scientist (William Hurt) and his niece (the remarkable Saoirse Ronan), the first person whose personality survives when she’s taken as a host. A two-in-one heroine, she’s embroiled in a love rectangle with two fellow survivors (Max Irons and Jake Abel). 2 hrs. 05 PG-13 (adult situations, some violence, creepy-looking aliens) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘THE ICEMAN’ 3 stars. Michael Shannon is cold and scary as Richard Kuklinski, a New Jersey native who spent more than 20 years killing people for a living, and getting away with it. A true-crime thriller directed with punch and grit, with Winona Ryder, Ray Liotta and Chris Evans along for the ride. 1 hr. 46 R (violence, profanity, drugs, nudity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘IDENTITY THIEF’ 2 1/2 stars. Jason Bateman is the mark whose identity — and credit line — is appropriated by a plus-size, potty-mouthed con artist, played with a (literal) punch by Melissa McCarthy, in this cheesy comedy. When he uncharacteristically goes after her, an odd-couple slapstick road movie ensues. 1 hr. 52 R (profanity, violence, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘IRON MAN’ 3 2 1/2 stars. Robert Downey, Jr. climbs back into the alloy-plated suit — actually, a bunch of ‘em — and has to reckon with a nemesis who wreaks havoc on his home, and his homelife. With Gwyneth Paltrow as live-in girlfriend Pepper Potts, and Ben Kingsley as a bin Laden-like villain. Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall and Don Cheadle also show up in this overlong, overblown sequel. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, aduklt themes) — Steven Rea.

‘KISS OF THE DAMNED’ 2 1/2 stars. Trouble follows when a vampire gives into her romantic desires. Directed by Xan Cassavetes, daughter of John Cassavetes and Gena Rowlands. 1 hr. 37 R (nudity and sexuality, violence, some gore, smoking, Freudian social theory) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘KON-TIKI’ 3 stars. Norse explorer Thor Heyerdahl’s historic 1947 voyage across the Pacific on a balsa raft is reenacted with stunning visual effects. The sea, the sky, the stars, the sharks! 1 hr. 41 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘LIKE SOMEONE IN LOVE’ 3 1/2 stars. Abbas Kiarostami ventures to Japan — only the second time the Iranian filmmaker has shot outside his homeland — for this mischievous, melancholy tale about a young prostitute and a learned old professor. It’s not about sex. But it is lovely. 1 hr. 49 No MPAA rating (adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED’ 3 stars. A woman recovering from chemotherapy and a widower who has shut off the possibility of love are forced together by marriage — the marriage of their respective daughter and son. A romantic comedy from the Danish director Susanne Bier, starring the quite wonderful Trine Dyrholm and Pierce Brosnan. 1 hr. 56 R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘MUD’ 4 stars. Matthew McConaughey has the title role, as a mysterious fugitive discovered by two boys on an island in the Arkansas Delta, in Jeff Nichols’ scary, surprising, magical and downright remarkable film. An instant American classic. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘NO’ 3 1/2 stars. Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a hot young ad exec in 1988 Chile who joins the media campaign to oust military dictator Augusto Pinochet in this fictionalized piece of reeling, ricocheting history. 1 hr. 58 R (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘OBLIVION 2 1/2 stars. Tom Cruise stars as a maintenance man stuck on post-apocalyptic Earth with only his drones, his Jetsons-meets-Zaha Hadid house, and his leggy British girlfriend (Andrea Riseborough). Everybody else has left. Everbody but a ragtag band of rebels, led by a cigar-chomping Morgan Freeman. Olga Kurylenko also stars, as a NASA pilot who shows up and turns Cruise’s hero into a love-addled mess. Polished-to-a-sheen sci-fi. 2 hrs. 06 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘ON THE ROAD’ 3 stars. A handsome and honorable effort to capture the freewheeling spirit of Jack Kerouac’s classic Beat novel, with Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund as Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, respectively (the Kerouac and Neal Cassady alter-egos), and Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst as the women in their life (when there was time, or need, for them). Walter Salles’ adaptation looks beautiful, but doesn’t cut very deep. 2 hrs. 04 R (sex, nudity, profanity, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL’ 2 stars. James Franco, awake and even kind of animated, is the title character — a carnival magician who gets in over his head when he finds himself in a strange and trippy land populated by Munchkins, Tinkers, Quadlings and a trio of criminally over-dressed and over-madeup witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. 2 hrs. 10 PG (flying, fanged baboons, intense scares) — Steven Rea

‘PAIN & GAIN 2 stars. Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson star as Florida lugheads on a doomed crime spree in this comedy which turns wrenchingly grisly. 2 hrs. 09 R (graphic violence, nudity, sex, profanity, drugs, adult themes) — David Hiltbrand

‘PEEPLES’ 2 1/2 stars. Craig Robinson stars in what could have been called “Meet the Peeples, as in “Meet the Parents, if the filmmakers wanted to attract some intellectual property litigation. He’s a laidback, lowly children’s entertainer in a relationship with the daughter (Kerry Washington) of an uppercrust and snooty African-American clan. Her parents don’t even know he exists, until he invites himself to their Hamptons manse, where mischief and misunderstandings ensue. 1 hr. 35 PG-13 (sex, drugs, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘A PLACE AT THE TABLE’ 3 1/2 stars. A powerful and alarming documentary about hunger in America. Advocacy journalism at its best, lining up its facts, illustrating the widespread problem with a few trenchant, compelling cases, and offering solutions, too. 1 hr. 24 PG (adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES’ 3 1/2 stars. Ryan Gosling and Bradley Cooper star in this roaring drama about a motorcycle stunt rider bank robber and the cop who chases him down. Riveting and electric, and boldly ambitious, with great performances from Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Harris Yulin and Ray Liotta. 2 hrs. 20 R (violence, profanity, drugs, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘QUARTET’ 3 stars. Dustin Hoffman makes his directing debut — smartly — with this charming and poignant adaptation of the Ronald Harwood stage play about four old friends in a home for retired musicians. Maggie Smith, Tom Courtenay, Pauline Collins and Billy Connolly star. 1 hr. 38 PG-13 (adult themes) — “S.R.

‘THE RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST’ 2 1/2 stars. A young Pakistanti’s promising Wall Street career gets derailed after the 9/11 attacks. Despite a compelling and charismatic performance from British actor Riz Ahmed, Mira Nair’s thriller, adapted from Mohsin Hamid’s novel, gets derailed, too. 2 hrs. 10 R (violence, sex, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘SPRING BREAKERS’ 2 stars. Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens get down and dirty — joined by James Franco as a silver-toothed, dreadlocked Florida gansta — in Harmony Korine’s fascinating (and stupid) indie conflation of “Girls Gone Wild” and Al Pacino’s “Scarface.” Booze, boobs and bongs, oh my. 1 hr. 34 R (sex, nudity, drugs, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS’ 3 1/2 stars. J.J. Abrams’ reboot sequel is as good, if not better, as the 2009 “Star Trek.” James T. Kirk is in trouble with the admiralty, Spock and Uhura are having a lovers’ spat, and a new bad guy (Benedict Cumberbatch) threatens to wreak havoc across the universe. Smart, fun, with exhilirating action and spectacular visual effects. Beam us up, Scotty. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (violence, interspecies sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘STOKER’ 3 stars. Chan-wook Park’s English language debut is a visually beautiful and creepy gothic psychokiller about a teenage girl (Mia Wasikowska), her frosty mom (Nicole Kidman) and the mysterious uncle (Matthew Goode) who moves in with them. Desire, menace and madness ensue. 1 hr. 52 R (violence, sexual violence, sex, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘TO THE WONDER’ 2 stars. Terrence Mallick follows up “The Tree of Life” with what appears to be a parody of same, with Ben Affleck in the role of the brooding, clench-jawed handsome lug, and Olga Kurylenko and Rachel McAdams as the women in hislife. Feels like a very long and exquisitely shot perfume ad. A new iteration of Chanel, perhaps, wispy and redolent of regret? 1 hr. 52 R (nudity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘TRANCE’ 2 1/2 stars. James McAvoy stars as an art thief who suffers a blow to his head and forgets where he left a Goya painting worth millions. His criminal associates hire a hypnotherapist to help jog his memory. 1 hr. 41 R (graphic nudity, violence, brief torture, profanity) — Carrie Rickey

‘THE WE AND THE I’ 2 stars. A group of Bronx high schoolers act out and experience relationship changes while riding the bus after the final day of the school year. 1 hr. 43 No MPAA rating (profanity, nudity, sexual situations) — Elizabeth Horkley