Movies

Opening Friday

Away We Go

A young couple expecting their first child embark on a journey to find the perfect place to raise a family. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and

The Office

's John Krasinski, and directed by Sam Mendes (

Revolutionary Road

).

Departures A married cellist loses his orchestra gig and takes a job as an undertaker to make ends meet. Japanese with subtitles. Won the Oscar this year for best foreign-language film.

Imagine That Eddie Murphy stars as a corporate executive who finds solutions for his declining career in his daughter's imaginary world.

The Merry Gentleman A woman (Kelly Macdonald) leaves her abusive marriage for a fresh start in a new city and forms an unlikely relationship with a stranger (Michael Keaton) who has his own disturbing secrets.

O'Horten A 67-year-old train engineer's life changes forever on the day of his retirement. Norwegian with subtitles.

Pressure Cooker This documentary follows three Philadelphia high schoolers who are students of Frankford High School's Wilma Stephenson, a culinary arts teacher on a mission to help her kids escape their rough city neighborhoods via scholarships to top culinary schools.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 Denzel Washington and John Travolta star in this Tony Scott-directed remake of the 1974 thriller about a New York subway hijacking.

Excellent (****)

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

Goodbye Solo Director Ramin Bahrani's film is a wise and soulful study of two very different men - a resilient Senegalese cabbie and a crusty white Southerner nearing life's end. Set in Winston-Salem, N.C., and full of quietly revealing performances, this is beautiful, powerful stuff that speaks to the human condition. 1 hr. 31 No MPAA rating (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Sugar Half Nelson filmmakers Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck follow a young Dominican pitcher as he joins a single-A team and dreams of playing in the majors. A baseball movie, a stranger-in-a-strange-land movie, a movie about real people facing real challenges in the real world, this is a modest, masterful gem. 1 hr. 54 R (drugs, adult themes) - S.R.

Up Buoyant Pixar film about a childless grouch (voice of Ed Asner) and a fatherless boy (Jordan Nagai) who float off to the wilds of Venezuela in a house lashed to helium-filled balloons. It darts unpredictably between comedy and adventure, defying gravity and age. 1 hr. 36 PG (perilous situations, appropriate for those five to 105) - C.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

Il Divo

Paolo Sorrentino's sensational (in both meanings of the word) account of the corruption-plagued regime of seven-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti, the Anton Ego of Italian politics. In Italian with English subtitles. 1 hr. 51

No MPAA rating

(violence) - C.R.

Star Trek J.J. Abrams' enjoyable reboot of the sci-fi saga takes a refreshing chug from the fountain of youth, imagining what happened When Kirk Met Spock. With Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, and Leonard Nimoy. 2 hrs. 06 PG-13 (brief sexuality, action violence) - C.R.

State of Play A journalist (Russell Crowe) and a politician (Ben Affleck), once college roommates, play hide-and-seek in this enthralling thriller where murder, mystery, and political scandal intersect. With Rachel McAdams, Helen Mirren, and the ever-resourceful Jason Bateman. 2 hrs. 07 PG-13 (violence, profanity) - C.R.

Summer Hours Olivier Assayas' achingly beautiful meditation on inheritance and generational change is wildly different in scope and tone from the French director's recent genre trilogy and Boarding Gate. A mature and ultimately moving look at how three siblings (Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jeremie Renier) come together for the imminent death of their mother. 1 hr. 43 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

Also on Screens

Drag Me to Hell ***

Sam Raimi returns to the low-budget gore and gleefully twisted comedy of his Evil Dead days, with Alison Lohman starring as a loan officer who is cursed by an old hag who's late with her house payments. Finally, a horror movie about the mortgage crisis! 1 hr. 39

PG-13

(violence, gore, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

The Hangover *** Four guys go to Vegas for a bachelor party, and mayhem and memory loss ensue. A loopy farce from the warped mind that brought you Old School, with a scene-stealing performance from indie comedy dude Zach Galifianakis. Bradley Cooper also stars. 1 hr. 40 R (drugs, drink, profanity, nudity, cartoon violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Land of the Lost ** Will Ferrell stars in this epically silly homage to Sid and Marty Krofft's much-beloved Saturday morning series - a lavish Hollywood redo of a cheesy '70s TV show about three Earthlings transported to a planet of dinosaurs and walking reptiles called Sleestaks. Knuckleheaded comedy ensues. 1 hr. 41 PG-13 (profanity, sexual humor, cartoon violence, adult themes) - S.R.

My Life in Ruins **1/2 Nia Vardalos as a tour guide in Athens who sheds the stiff academic jargon and stiffer blazer to let go, let live and let love. This followup to My Big, Fat Greek Wedding might be called My Slimmed-Down Greek Retreading. 1 hr. 35 PG-13 (sexual references, profanity) - C.R.

Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian ** Ben Stiller returns in this knee-jerk sequel to the surprise 2006 family-friendly smash. A super-size rehash - transplanted from New York's Museum of Natural History to the sprawling Smithsonian in Washington - with lots of running around and CG effects. Amy Adams, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson are among the gang of museum figures come to life. 1 hr. 45 PG (action, comic mayhem) - S.R.

Terminator Salvation **1/2 Man and machine can't seem to get along in this sci-fi shoot-'em-up, the fourth installment in the Terminator series. The year is 2018 and the mood is postapocalyptic, with Christian Bale as John Connor, the resistance fighter leading the battle against the evil Skynet and its relentless robot army. A few moments of self-referential humor, but generally the tone is solemn, severe, sermonistic. 1 hr. 55 PG-13 (violence, profanity, postapocalyptic despair, adult themes) - S.R.

Theater

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

New This Week

The Andersen Project

(Merriam Theatre) Robert Lepage's mesmerizing one-man piece takes off from stories by, and the life of, Hans Christian Andersen - artist, fantasist, outsider. Opens Thursday.

Nunsense (Hedgerow Theatre) Catastrophe strikes the Little Sisters of Hoboken. Previews Thursday, opens Friday.

Continuing

Avenue X

(11th Hour Theatre Company) A doo-wop musical about race and aspiration in 1963 Brooklyn. Through June 21.

- T.Z.

The Brothers Size & Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet (McCarter Theatre) Two of bold new playwright Terrell Alvin McCraney's "Brother/Sister Plays," both directed and acted with the passion they deserve. They play at McCarter concurrently with the third fine play, "In the Red and Brown Water," but can stand alone. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre) Lots of Bard, real fast. Through June 28. - H.S.

Doubt: A Parable (People's Light & Theatre Company) Nun and priest face off. Through June 28. - W.R.

Forbidden Broadway's Greatest Hits (Walnut's Independence Studio) Four talented performers mock Broadway's greatest hits: If you know your shows, you'll have a hugely entertaining evening. Through June 28. - T.Z.

Grey Gardens (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Based on the true story of "Little Edie" and "Big Edie," reclusive eccentrics who were related to the Kennedys, PTC's production of this musical doesn't fulfill expectations created by the wildly praised Broadway production. Through June 28. - T.Z.

Honk! (Theatre Horizon) A mother-son duck team battle discrimination. Through July 2.

- W.R.

Hysteria (Wilma Theater) This imaginary meeting of Sigmund Freud, Salvador Dali, and a mysterious girl is less sparkling than it could be, but still intrigues. Through next Sunday. - W.R.

Johnny Has Gone for a Soldier (White Pines Productions) Love looks at deployment. Ends today.

Let's Pretend We're Married (1812 Productions) Jennifer Childs and Tony Braithwaite are perfect in a charming, fresh revue that bounces marriage up and down the aisle. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

Little Lamb (InterAct Theatre Company) A new play about a white gay man adopting a black baby and the social and religious issues this raises. The characters are stereotypes, the plot is illogical, and the production requires that we sit through several tedious sermons. Through June 28.

- T.Z.

The Meatpackers Book Club (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) A good idea - four meatpackers forming a book club in the break room - but the clumsy play tries for a number of themes, never cohesively. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

Oklahoma (New Candlelight Theatre) Yee-haw! Through July 25. - W.R.

The Producers (Walnut Street Theatre) A jolly if tame revival of Mel Brooks' outrageous show about two guys trying to produce a Broadway flop. The actors in minor roles provide the most fun. Through July 17. - T.Z.

Quixote (Broad Street Ministry) There's so much crammed into this creative reimagining of Cervantes' classic - puppets, a gypsy-punk band, 30 actors - you'll hardly notice when it gets messy. Ends today.

- W.R.

Respect: A Musical Journey of Women (Act II Playhouse) Women's 20th-century trials and tribulations get little respect in this slapdash revue notable only for Danielle G. Herbert's performance. Through June 28. - W.R.

The Seafarer (Arden Theatre) A ghostly, boozy Christmas Present in Dublin isn't quite boozy, Irish, and slam-bang intense enough to serve Conor McPherson's inventive play. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

Something Intangible (Arden Theatre) Bruce Graham's world premiere fictionalizes the lives of Roy and Walt Disney in an animated portrayal of entanglements among brothers, commerce, and art. Ends today. - W.R.

Thoroughly Modern Millie (Media Theatre) The costumes and choreography say "flapper" all the way in this brightly performed musical about a '20s gal from Kansas who yearns to be a liberated New York woman. Ends today. - H.S.

Video

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 empathy. 1 hr. 56

R

(racial slurs, racial violence, extreme profanity) -

C.R.