EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


December 16, 2012





Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a New York bike messenger who picks up an envelope — and picks up a tail along with it: a crooked cop (Michael Shannon) who must have it, or else. Lots of stunt riding in this silly, serpentine chase pic, ehich can’t decide if it’s a serious, ticking-clock thriller or an antic, stunt-driven cartoon. 1 hr. 31 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea



Enchanting animated adaptation of William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood, featuring Santa, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Sandman and Jack Frost as the fantastic five who protect and serve children’s imagnations. 1 hr. 29 PG (Animated adventure, gloomy villain. For those six and older)


A gentle, and gently funny character study, set “in the near future” and starring Farnk Langella as a retired cat burglar who begrudgingly lets a robot domestic helper into his life. 1 hr. 29 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes)



Bond is back for his 23rd installment, and this is more like it. Daniel Craig returns as 007, charged with rescuing the world from a computer savvy adversary, perhaps the most singular Bond villain in a decade, played by Javier Bardem. Sam Mendes directs stunning action sequences, and the return of Dame Judi Dench and various other recastings works well this time around. While “Quantum of Solace” largely failed, this installment returns Bond to its rightful, highly entertaining place, while also exploring some new territory. PG-13 (intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking).



Ellison Oswalt (Ethan Hawke) is a true-crime author in desperate need of a hit, and he doesn’t tell his wife and family that he’s moved them into a house that was the scene of a mass murder. He finds old home movies of that murder and many others, and, even though he’s shocked at the images of drownings, throat-slittings and the pale satanic figure that turns up in reflections, he doesn’t recoil and flee the house where his boy has night terrors, his daughter does strange drawings on the wall and his wife (Juliet Rylance) wonders what’s going on. The movie telegraphs its cheap scares, and doesn’t quite succeed. R (disturbing violent images and some terror).

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