Movies

Opening Friday

Revolutionary Road

A young married couple in 1950s Connecticut struggles with a series of personal issues. From the novel by Richard Yates. Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates star.

Excellent (****)

Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.), Steven Rea (S.R.), and David Hiltbrand (D.H.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

Slumdog Millionaire

A street kid-turned-gofer gets on the Indian version of

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

and keeps answering the questions correctly, amazingly. 2 hr.

R

(violence, profanity, adult themes) -

S.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

I've Loved You So Long

Kristin Scott Thomas is extraordinary as a woman just released from prison, struggling to work her way back into society, and haunted by the guilt of her crime. A story that's stark and redemptive, from French writer and first-time director Philippe Claudel. 1 hr. 55

PG-13

(sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) -

S.R.

Rachel Getting Married

According to the rules, tragedy ends in death, comedy in marriage. But Jonathan Demme's superb ensemble drama starring Anne Hathaway as the troubled sibling home for the wedding of her sister (the astonishing Rosemarie DeWitt) is decidedly not a comedy. Rather, it's the heartrending story of a troubled girl tearing apart the family tapestry and, with her sibling's help, learning to piece together its common threads. With Bill Irwin, Anna Deavere Smith, and the extraordinary Debra Winger. 1 hr. 54

R

(sexuality, profanity, emotional violence) -

C.R.

Also on Screens

Bedtime Stories **1/2

Adam Sandler stars as a goofball maintenance man who regales his nephew and niece with fantasies - far-fetched elements of which turn out to come true. A sloppy, choppy but affably nutty family comedy, with a few icky gags guaranteed to please the sub-teen set. 1 hr. 39

PG

(gross humor, adult themes) -

S.R.

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button ***

Brad Pitt stars as a man who ages backwards, beginning in 1918 and heading into the 21st century. An epic Gumpian yarn, with Cate Blanchett as the love of his life, and fine turns from Taraji P.Henson and Tilda Swinton. 2 hrs. 47

PG-13

(sex, profanity, violence, adult themes) -

S.R.

Gran Torino ***

Clint Eastwood (who also directed) as a Korean War vet and bigoted Ford assembly-line worker initially contemptuous of his immigrant neighbors - until he chooses to rebuild his own engine with a crankshaft of empathy. 1 hr. 56

R

(racial slurs, racial violence, extreme profanity) -

C.R.

Marley and Me ***

Happiness is a warm tongue bath in this David Frankel film, based on John Grogan's memoir, about a frisky Labrador who is the best-loved member of the family. With Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston and Alan Arkin. 1 hr. 55

PG

(life-cycle themes, discreet candor about human sex and pregnancy, brief glimpse of dog humping) -

C.R.

Valkyrie **1/2

Tom Cruise and a bunch of (mostly) British actors goose-step around with great urgency, conspiring to assasinate Adolf Hitler in Bryan Singer's too-busy World War II thriller. Still, a fair degree of tension and suspense is worked up, even as the history books provide the movie's spoiler. 2 hrs.

PG-13

(violence, adult themes) -

S.R.

Yes Man **1/2

Jim Carrey as a killjoy who gets a life when he stops saying no and starts saying yes. A pleasant diversion costarring Zooey Deschanel and directed by Peyton Reed. 1 hr. 44

PG-13

(sexual humor, brief nudity) -

C.R.

Theater

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

Continuing

A Chorus Line

(Forrest Theatre) A not-very-good production of a not-very-good show about not-very-good dancers trying to get a job in a chorus line, telling their cliché stories, kicking their shapely legs. Through Jan. 4.

- T.Z.

Cherry Bomb

(1812 Productions) Jennifer Childs and James Sugg make a funny, poignant musical about the true story of the Cherry Sisters, the worst act in vaudeville. Through Jan. 4.

- W.R.

Cinderella

(People's Light & Theatre) Don't let the name fool you. This clever Jazz Age panto adaptation is the polar opposite of that frilly, princessy Disney confection. Through Jan. 4.

- W.R.

The Government Inspector

(Lantern Theater Company) This amusing 19th-century Gogol farce has a superb cast and lots of doors, but it's a one-joke, two-act play, with a punch line you can see coming a mile away. Ends today.

- T.Z.

The Great Divorce

(Lantern Theater Company) Anthony Lawton's interpretation of the C.S. Lewis fable returns. Through Jan. 4.

Hairspray

(Walnut Street Theatre) Big hair, big message, big beat with a big cast with big voices and big production numbers: big fun in the theater. Through Jan. 4.

- T.Z.

James and the Giant Peach

(Arden Theatre) Spiffy sound and video effects by Jorge Cousineau are more impressive than the adaptation of Roald Dahl's book, which comes across on stage as static in the first half, more active in the second. Through Feb. 8.

- H.S.

Oliver

(Media Theatre) A serviceable production of the musical misses a chance to say something new, and instead considers itself part of the furniture. Through Jan. 4.

- W.R.

Schmucks

(Wilma Theater) Stupefyingly unfunny and maudlin to boot, this play about Groucho Marx and Lenny Bruce has nothing to recommend it except an appearance by the ghost of Harpo Marx. And even that's too long. Through Jan. 4.

- T.Z.

She Loves You

(Society Hill Playhouse) This Beatles tribute takes you half the way there, which for nostalgic day-trippers just might be enough to make it worthwhile. Open-ended run.

- W.R.

Talk Radio

(Revised) (New City Stage Company) Paul Felder savages - in a good way - the role of radio host Barry Champlain. Too bad everyone else looks like a cartoon. Through Jan. 11.

- W.R.

A Tuna Christmas

(Walnut Street Theatre) Funny and surprisingly touching, this show returns us to Tuna, Texas, for Part 2 of the Tuna trilogy. John Zak and Benjamin Lloyd virtuosically play 24 characters, all of whom are having a bizarre and difficult Christmas. Through Jan. 4.

- T.Z.

Video

Eagle Eye **1/2

Shia LeBeouf and Michelle Monaghan are strangers on the run in a high-tech action thriller with a post-9/11 terrorism conspiracy plot that makes no sense. With Billy Bob Thornton, Rosario Dawson, and Julianne Moore. 1 hr. 58

PG-13

(violence, profanity, action, adult themes) -

S.R.