Movies

Opening Friday

Bigger, Faster, Stronger*

The win-at-all-costs American culture and how it helped spawn steroid use in sports is the focus of this documentary.

Kung Fu Panda

This DreamWorks animated film is about a panda (voice of Jack Black) who works in his family's noodle shop until he decides to follow his dream of becoming a king fu star.

Meet Bill

Aaron Eckhart (

Thank You for Smoking

) stars in this dramatic comedy about a man whose depression over his job and cheating wife begins to lift when he begins mentoring a troubled teen. Jessica Alba and Elizabeth Banks also star.

Mother of Tears

A centuries-old evil witch is reawakened in Rome and she wastes no time in returning to her old tricks in Italian horror maestro Dario Argento's finale to his "Three Mothers" trilogy.

Reprise

Two Norwegian friends attempt to make it as writers while experiencing love and depression. Norwegian with subtitles.

Stuck

A woman with career ambitions finds her plans in jeopardy after she runs over a man while driving drunk. Mena Suvari and Stephen Rea star.

You Don't Mess With the Zohan

Adam Sandler stars as an Israeli secret agent who fakes his own death in an effort to reinvent himself as a New York City hair stylist.

Very Good (***1/2)

Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.) and Steven Rea (S.R.).

The Counterfeiters

Winner of the 2008 Oscar for foreign language film, this true story of a band of concentration camp prisoners who worked in an SS counterfeiting ring - trading their talents for their lives - is powerful, affecting stuff. 1 hr. 38

R

(violence, atrocities, profanity, nudity, sex, adult themes) -

S.R.

The Fall

A dazzling fantasy, a dark fairy tale about suicide and broken hearts, this labor of love from top commercials director Tarsem is set in the early 20th century, and takes flight from an L.A. hospital ward to literally circumnavigate the globe. A celebration of cinema, of old-fashioned storytelling and spectacle, it stirs the soul. 1 hr. 56

R

(violence, adult themes) -

S.R.

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) -

S.R.

Iron Man

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 has designed to protect them. 2 hrs. 06

PG-13

(sexual innuendo, violence) -

C.R.

Jellyfish

Israeli writer and director Etgar Keret (with Shira Geffen) conjures up a beautifully strange movie about three Tel Aviv women who share a common bond: a profound sense of disconnection from family, from loved ones, from themselves. Playful, mesmerizing, sad. 1 hr. 18

No MPAA rating

(adult themes) -

S.R.

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

PG

(life and death) -

C.R.

Also on Screens

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

PG

(intense war and action sequences) -

C.R.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull **1/2

Wisecracking, whip-snapping archaeologist-adventurer Henry "Indiana" Jones is back, as Harrison Ford reunites with his fedora, and Steven Spielberg and George Lucas with one another in this third sequel to

Raiders of the Lost Ark

. It's been 19 years since the last, and things are a little creaky. With Shia LaBeouf as the Indy heir apparent and Cate Blanchett as a villainous Russian in this Ike-era escapade. 2 hrs. 04

PG-13

(violence, scares, adult themes) -

S.R.

Sex and the City ***

Frothy as a Margarita and twice as salty, the further adventures of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) and her bosom buds may well be the most effervescent film fantasy since

The Incredibles.

With Kim Cattrall, Kristin Davis, Cynthia Nixon, Chris Noth and Jennifer Hudson. 2 hrs. 20

R

(nudity, sex, sexual candor, profanity, conspicuous consumption) -

C.R.

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 turbocharged 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

PG

(mild profanity, cartoon violence) -

S.R.

The Strangers *

Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman star as a moody twosome terrorized, tormented and tortured by a trio of masked psychos in this contemptible home invasion creepfest. 1 hr. 30

R

(violence, profanity, adult themes) -

S.R.

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

PG-13

(profanity, sexual candor, crude humor) -

C.R.

Theater

Reviewed by critics Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Howard Shapiro (H.S.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

New This Week

Jamaica

(Prince Music Theatre) Arlen/Harburg calypso-jazz hit from 1957 gets its first full staging. Previews tonight through Friday, opens Saturday.

User 927

(Brat Productions) A mother seeks safety for her daughter in a small town, offline - she thinks. Previews Thursday through Sunday, opens June 11.

Continuing

Eurydice

(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. Ends today.

- T.Z.

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. Ends today.

Go, Dog. Go!

(Arden Theatre) P.D. Eastman's irrepressible children's classic is brought to laugh-out-loud life in this Arden production. Ends today.

- W.R.

Gypsy

(New Candlelight Theatre) Mama Rose and Jule Styne's great score settle in for a two-month run. Through July 27.

The Happiness Lecture

(Philadelphia Theatre Company) U.S. clown laureate Bill Irwin joins forces with some of Philly's favorite actors and dancers for an ode to joy that is both thoughtful and funny. Through June 15.

- W.R.

House, Divided

(InterAct Theatre Company) Larry Loebell's new play about a Jewish family torn apart by the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has a convincing first act, a muddy second half, an excellent staging by Seth Rozin and a cast of six actors who make it work. Through June 22.

- H.S.

I Have Before Me a Remarkable Document Given to Me by a Young Lady From Rwanda

(People's Light & Theatre) A teacher of writing and a refugee from Rwandan genocide are transformed through her memories. Through June 22.

Kooza

(Avenue of the Arts) Cirque du Soleil is back, and although this show lacks the magic of earlier shows, it provides a jolly night out. Through June 15.

- T.Z.

Les Miserables

(Walnut Street Theatre) Just because the Walnut has created its own new production doesn't mean it's much different from what audiences have loved for decades. Few new insights here, but few will mind. Through Aug. 3. -

D.P.S.

Our Town

(Arden Theatre) Not a dry eye in the house. Arden's lavish and leisurely production of Thornton Wilder's classic provides a solid and moving evening about the good old days. Through June 22.

- T.Z.

A Seagull in the Hamptons

(McCarter Theatre) Emily Mann's take on Anton Chekhov's

The Seagull

sets the play in the ritzy Hamptons, in a thoroughly modern context, in a classy production. Through next Sunday.

- H.S.

Songs for a New World

(Act II Theatre Company) Musical uplift in many genres. Ends today.

The Woolgatherer

(New City Stage) The company's season of works by William Mastrosimone ends with this emotionally intense play about a girl who has seen too much and the trucker she brings home. Ends today.

- W.R.

Video

The Eye **1/2

Solid Hollywood remake of the Pang brothers' innovative Asian ghost chiller stars Jessica Alba as a blind violinist who starts to see ghosts after an operation restores her sight. French directors David Moreau and Xavier Palud of

Them

fame keep things interesting. 1 hr. 37

PG-13

(adult themes, ghost scares) -

Tirdad Derakhshani.