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Lifestyle

January 19, 2014

Also in theaters

(Continued)

‘MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM’ 3 stars. A conventional biopic made anything but conventional by the magnitude of its subject’s life and accomplishments, and by Idris Elba’s imposing performance in the title role. 2 hrs. 19 PG-13 (violence, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘NEBRASKA’ 4 stars. Bruce Dern in a career-defining performance as an ornery coot who believes he’s won a $1 million prize, and heads from Montana to Nebraska to claim it. His son (Will Forte) reluctantly tags along, in Alexander Payne’s funny, sad, poignant, absurd road movie. In black and white. It’s a gem. 1 hr. 55 R (profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘OUT OF THE FURNACE’ 3 stars. Casey Affleck and Christian Bale are brothers facing hard times, and hard choices, in this gripping Rust Belt noir. A solemn, blood-soaked drama about broken dreams. Cue the Springsteen. 1 hr. 56R (violence, profanity, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘PHILOMENA’ 3 1/2 stars. A surprisingly tough and tender tale from director Stephen Frears, adapted from the true story of a 70-something Irish woman (Judi Dench) looking to find the son she was forced to give up for adoption when she was an unwed teen, and of the cynical veteran journalist (Steve Coogan) who tags along on her quest. 2 hrs. 02 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘SAVING MR. BANKS’ 3 stars. A sweet and affecting piece of Hollywood history, about a battle of wills between Walt Disney and “Mary Poppins” author P.L. Travers. Disney, played by Tom Hanks, is eager to adapt the book, and Travers, beautifully brought to life by Emma Thompson, resists. And resists some more. 2 hrs. 05 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY’ 3 stars. Ben Stiller stars in, and directs, this adaptation of the James Thurber story, about a mild-mannered man whose dreamlife gets the better of him. Almost magical comic fun, with Kristen Wiig as the coworker he admires from afar, and Adam Scott as the glib new boss who’s about to fire them. A story about taking the leap, getting out of your comfort zone. Unfortunately, the movie doesn’t quite do that itself — by the end it’s lost some pop, some surprise. 1 hr. 54 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

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