EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


January 19, 2014

Also in theaters


‘THE TRIALS OF MUHAMMAD’ ALI 4 stars. With splendid detail and focus, this documentary examines the momentous forces that led Ali, then heavyweight champion of the world, to refuse service in the Army during the war in Vietnam. 1 hr. 30 No MPAA rating — David Hiltbrand

‘12 YEARS A SLAVE’ 4 stars. The remarkable, essential story of Solomon Northup, a free black man who was abducted and sold into slavery in the pre-Civil War South. The British actor Chiwetel Ejiofor gives body and soul in the lead, and Michael Fassbender, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Giamatti, Paul Dano and Brad Pitt are part of a superb supporting cast. 2 hrs. 13 R (violence, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

‘TWICE BORN’ 1 1/2 stars. Penelope Cruz and Emile Hirsch play star-crossed lovers in Saravejo in the years leading up to the Bosnian War. What begins as a bright romance turns into a maudlin, improbable melodrama. Partially subtitled. 2 hrs. 10 R (nudity, violence, adult situations, profanity) — David Hiltbrand

‘TYLER PERRY’S A MADEA CHRISTMAS’ 1 1/2 stars. A culture-clash comedy from the prolific Perry. This time Madea finds herself in rural redneck country to celebrate the holidays. 1 hr. 45 PG-13 (adult themes, crude humor, sexual innuendos) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘WALKING WITH DINOSAURS’ 2 1/2 stars. Animated family feature about an underdog dinosaur. 1 hr. 27 PG (some intense creature action, mild rude humor) — Tirdad Derakhshani

‘THE WOLF OF WALL STREET’ 2 1/2 stars. As thrilling a filmmaker as Martin Scorsese continues to be, and as wild a performance as Leonardo DiCaprio dishes up as its morally bankrupt antihero, this adaptation of Jordan Belfort’s bestselling memoir — a story of stockbroker rapacity in the anything goes ‘90s — seems almost entirely unnecessary. Cocaine and hookers? Fast cars and fancy yachts? Trophy wives and pesky Feds? For three hours? Really? 3 hrs. R (sex, nudity, profanity, drugs, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea



4 stars: Excellent; 3 stars: Good; 2 stars: Fair; 1 star: Poor

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