Our critics recommend...
Movies Opening Friday Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Nearly 20 years after the third installment in this Steven Spielberg-directed series, Harrison Ford returns for a fourth as the adventurous archaeologist who races Soviet agents to recover a mysterious crystal skull. Also starring Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett. Opens Thursday
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
Nearly 20 years after the third installment in this Steven Spielberg-directed series, Harrison Ford returns for a fourth as the adventurous archaeologist who races Soviet agents to recover a mysterious crystal skull. Also starring Shia LaBeouf and Cate Blanchett.
Three women from varied backgrounds deal with personal struggles in Tel Aviv. Hebrew and French with subtitles.
Standard Operating Procedure
Errol Morris' documentary looks at the abuse of suspected terrorists at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq.
Very Good (***1/2)
Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.) and Steven Rea (S.R.).
Winner of the 2008 Oscar for foreign language film, this true story of a band of concentration camp prisoners who worked on an SS counterfeiting ring - trading their talents for their lives - is powerful, affecting stuff. 1 hr. 38
(violence, atrocities, profanity, nudity, sex, adult themes) -
Flight of the Red Balloon
Not a remake, and not a kid flick, Hou Hsiao Hsien's sublime little film takes its inspiration from the 1956 children's classic "The Red Balloon." Juliette Binoche stars as a harried single mom, juggling work and home life, in contemporary Paris. Loose, improvisatory, with a grace and humor that's wonderfully inviting. 1 hr. 53
No MPAA rating
(adult themes) -
Fast. Funny. Deliriously entertaining. As a hybrid of Howard Hughes and Hugh Hefner, Robert Downey Jr. delights as billionaire Tony Stark, playboy/inventor/
businessman who realizes that U.S. soldiers are casualties of the weapons he's designed to protect them. 2 hrs. 06
(sexual innuendo, violence) -
My Brother Is an Only Child
The ideological battles of 1960s Italy pit brother against brother in Daniele Luchetti's freewheeling seriocomedy about a Communist and a fascist in the same working-class family. In Italian with English subtitles. 1 hr. 48
(profanity, sexual candor) -
Fresh from its showing at the Philadelphia Film Festival, this documentary focuses on a senior citizens' choral group that covers rock music from Jimi Hendrix to James Brown. 1 hr. 48
(life and death) -
Also on Screens
Baby Mama ***
Tina Fey as a buttoned-up careerist who can't conceive and Amy Poehler as an unzipped, trash-talking babe hired to be her pregnancy surrogate. What's not to like? Hilarious cameos from Steve Martin, Sigourney Weaver, Romany Malco and Holland Taylor. 1 hr. 39
(procreative candor, profanity) -
The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian ***
A year after they fell through the wardrobe into the parallel universe of Narnia, the Pevensie siblings return to help the Narnians restore the legitimate ruler, Prince Caspian, to the throne. Andrew Adamson's film overcomes a shaky start to find its own rhythms. Despite its intended tween audience, this is less of an adventure than a war movie. 2 hrs. 17
(intense war and action sequences) -
Forgetting Sarah Marshall ***
Jason Segel, beer of the month from the Judd Apatow comedy microbrewery, is a musician who gets dumped by his actress girlfriend, runs away to Hawaii to nurse his wounds, and finds himself at the hotel where his ex (Kristen Bell) is shacked up with her new beau (Russell Brand). Generic, if enjoyable. 1 hr. 52
(frontal nudity, sex, profanity, drug candor) -
Made of Honor **1/2
My Best Friend's Wedding
by way of
Four Weddings and a Funeral
, with Patrick Dempsey as a serial cad and Michelle Monaghan as his platonic best friend - until she decides to go off and get married. 1 hr. 41
(sex, profanity, adult themes) -
Speed Racer ***
A sugar rush of pop art, op art and pure pop for car people, the Wachowski Brothers' remake of the '60s Japanese toon is a turbo-charged mix of gamer action and crazy camp, plus a wild new way to think of - and look at - movies. But physical and mental collapse sets in from two-hours-plus of kaleidoscopic digital imagery, zooming motorway mayhem, and dialogue that's all crackle and cool. 2 hrs. 09
(mild profanity, cartoon violence) -
What Happens in Vegas **1/2
Pleasant formula rom-com starring Ashton Kutcher and Cameron Diaz respectively as a slacker and a workaholic who drunkenly meet, mate and marry on a Sin City spree. 1 hr. 39
(profanity, sexual candor, crude humor) -
Reviewed by critics Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Howard Shapiro (H.S.) and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).
New This Week
The Happiness Lecture (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Comedic world premiere created by Bill Irwin. Previews tonight and Tuesday, opens Wednesday.
(InterAct Theatre Company) World premiere about a Philadelphia Jewish family torn by politics. Previews Friday through May 27, opens May 28.
Les Miserables (Walnut Street Theatre) The Walnut rethinks this rousing musical perennial. Previews tonight and Tuesday, opens Wednesday.
Our Town in Old City
(Arden Theatre) Bringing Thornton Wilder's classic home. Previews Thursday through May 27, opens May 28.
(New City Stage) More William Mastrosimone, this one about two lonely people. Opens Wednesday.
Beautiful Boy (1812 Productions) A father looks at life with an autistic child in this workshop production. Through May 25.
(Theater Exile) Theatre Exile's knockout production of Tracy Letts' play is creepy and compelling and violent and funny and sad, with an excellent cast. And everything, especially paranoia, is catching. Ends today.
The Dead Guy (Flashpoint Theatre Company) A loser gets his big chance on a reality TV show. Through May 31.
(Bristol Riverside Theatre) This revival of the 1969 musical based on
The Madwoman of Chaillot
is a relatively new adaptation that still doesn't uncover the black gold beneath its surface. Ends today.
(Wilma Theater) Wilma's production of Sarah Ruhl's reinterpretation of the Orpheus myth is visually and musically strong. This interesting play, and Blanka Zizka's interesting direction, raise more questions than the production answers. Through June 1.
Fresh Fish: A 10-Minute Play Festival
(Walking Fish Theatre) Six little plays. Ends today.
The Full Monty
(Media Theatre) Media's charming production is based on the British film about blue-collar guys forced to literally take the shirts off their backs to make ends meet. Through June
Go, Dog. Go!
(Arden Theatre) P.D. Eastman's irrepressible children's classic is brought to laugh-out-loud life in this Arden production. Through June 1.
The Irish . . . and How They Got That Way
(Walnut Independence Studio) A musical history of the Irish written by Frank McCourt. The young, energetic castmembers sing better than they act, but it's a show you're likely to enjoy even if you're not wearing the green. Through May 29.
Kafka in the Hedgerows
(Hedgerow Theatre) Hedgerow celebrates its 85th year with a comedy written and directed for the occasion by Nagle Jackson - an articulate, clever celebration of the power of theater, in a fine production. Ends today.
(Avenue of the Arts) Cirque du Soleil is back under the big top, and although this show lacks the magic of their earlier shows, it provides a jolly night out. Through June 15.
(Luna Theater Company) A crisp production of Israel Horovitz's take - both entertaining and disturbing - on the dynamics of waiting. Ends today.
(Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival) The epic late romance is one of the Bard's lesser plays, and the festival's sterling production is a major accomplishment. Ends today.
A Seagull in the Hamptons
(McCarter Theatre) Emily Mann's take on Anton Chekhov's
sets the play in the ritzy Hamptons, in a thoroughly modern context, in a classy production. Through June 8.
Songs for a New World
(Act II Theatre Company) Musical uplift in many genres. Through June 1.
West Side Story
(New Candlelight Theatre) There's no way to squelch the fire in this musical, though Candlelight's production almost succeeds. Weak direction and over-the-top lighting distract from what ought to be a slam-dunk. Ends today.
National Treasure: Book of Secrets *1/2
Nicolas Cage returns as the gallivanting historian, this time digging for clues in the diary of Lincoln assassin John Wilkes Booth. An impressive cast - Bruce Greenwood, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel, Diane Kruger, Helen Mirren and Jon Voight - is wasted. 2 hrs. 04
(action, adult themes) -