Movies

Opening This Week

All Good Things

A New York real estate heir falls for a girl from the wrong side of the tracks and pays the price when she disappears. Kirsten Dunst, Ryan Gosling, and Frank Langella star.

The Fighter See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

How Do You Know Reese Witherspoon stars as a former athlete who finds two men, a baseball player and a corporate guy, competing for her attention. Owen Wilson, Paul Rudd, and Jack Nicholson also star.

I Love You Phillip Morris Jim Carrey stars as a "happily" married man who realizes he is gay and falls for an inmate (Ewan McGregor) whom he desperately attempts to spring from the slammer.

The King's Speech See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

The Tempest In this version of Shakespeare's play, the lead character is a sorceress (Helen Mirren) who takes a journey of vengeance and self-discovery.

Tiny Furniture See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Tron: Legacy A tech-savvy man (Garrett Hedlund) is pulled into a fantasy world created and occupied by his father (Jeff Bridges), a legendary video-game developer who mysteriously disappeared 25 years earlier.

Yogi Bear 3D Dan Aykroyd provides the voice for Yogi in this big-screen adaptation of the animated children's character. Justin Timberlake voices Boo-Boo Bear.

Excellent (****)

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

W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

Black Swan Natalie Portman in the performance of her career, as a fiercely disciplined prima ballerina struggling with the dual roles of Swan Lake, and with a newly recruited dancer (Mila Kunis) threatening to steal her part. Vincent Cassell, Barbara Hershey, and Winona Ryder are on board for this thrilling, nutty psychodrama, from The Wrestler's Darren Aronofsky. 1 hr. 43 R (sex, nudity, drugs, physical torment, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

The Social Network An enthralling, near-perfect comedy of manners from director David Fincher and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin about the exhilarating creation and contested consolidation of Facebook. With Jesse Eisenberg, Andrew Garfield, and Justin Timberlake. 2 hrs. 01 PG-13 (profanity, sexual suggestiveness, drugs and alcohol) - C.R.

White Material Isabelle Huppert owns the character of a steel-willed French African in filmmaker Claire Denis' study of a woman trying to hold her plantation business and her family together in the throes of violence and political upheaval. A mournful, frightening, beautiful film. 1 hr. 45 No MPAA rating (violence, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

127 Hours

Gripping true story of a mountain climber (James Franco) who is trapped for five days under a boulder in a Utah canyon before taking drastic steps to survive. 1 hr. 37

R

(profanity, disturbing violent content, bloody images) -

C.R.

Today's Special An Indian immigrant and chef quits his job at a fancy New York restaurant and takes over his parents' struggling restaurant. 1 hr. 39 R (profanity) - W.S.

Waiting for "Superman" Oscar-winning filmmaker Davis Guggenheim's devastating diagnosis of what's wrong with American public schools and what it would take to heal them. With Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee, and Randi Weingarten. 1 hr. 42 PG (incidental smoking) - C.R.

Waste Land Lucy Walker's Oscar short-listed documentary offers an inspiring, insightful look at a world-renowned artist, Vik Muniz, and his years-long collaborative portrait project with garbage pickers at a Rio de Janeiro landfill. 1 hr. 38 No MPAA rating (adult themes) - S.R.

Also on Screens

Burlesque **1/2

Preposterously entertaining schlock starring Cher as a nightclub owner and Christina Aguilera as the corn-tasseled Iowa girl who makes her name there. 1 hr. 56

R

(erotic dancing, sexual innuendo, posterior nudity) -

C.R.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 *** Rather than breathlessly race from one set piece to the next, this Harry Potter adventure gives its characters and audience time to inhale and process the gravity of the situation. Unprotected by family or teachers, the young wizard and his two best friends drop out of school to save Hogwarts and themselves from the evildoing of Voldemort. 2 hrs. 26 PG-13 (suspense, violence, unsuitable for children under 10) - C.R.

Love & Other Drugs **1/2 Tonally askew romantic comedy with Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway naked a lot. But along with the sex jokes and raunch (it's the mid-'90s, Viagra has just hit the market - and Gyllenhaal is a Pfizer salesman), there's a Love Story-like bummer-rama element, too. Hathaway's character has early-onset Parkinson's. 1 hr. 52 R (sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Megamind *** With an origin story borrowed from Superman, a lair borrowed from Batman, and a complexion borrowed from a robin's egg, Megamind - the title character of DreamWorks Animation's smart, snappy superhero send-up - is a villain to love. Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Jonah Hill, and Brad Pitt deliver the snappy dialogue, and the DreamWorks Animation team delivers the goods. 1 hr. 36 PG (cartoon violence) - S.R.

Tangled *** A fractured fairy tale in the spirit of Enchanted, Tangled is a boy-friendly version of Rapunzel, more of a hair-raising adventure than a yearning romance. 1 hr. 32 PG (mild violence) - C.R.

Unstoppable **1/2 "Inspired by true events," with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine as a veteran engineer and a novice conductor trying to stop a runaway freight train before its deadly load tumbles onto innocent Pennsylvanians. From director Tony Scott, who's made five films with Washington now. The pair would have been good in preschool - off in a corner, monopolizing the toy cars and trains, slamming them into each other and making kabooming noises. 1 hr. 38 PG-13 (action, violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Theater

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

New This Week

Nuncrackers

(Hedgerow Theatre) Reverend Mother Regina's holiday pageant seems ruined when her star performer is injured, but don't count on it. Wednesday-Jan. 9.

The Very Merry Xmas Carol Holiday Adventure Show (Theatre Horizon) Three actors accept a dare to create a holiday classic in this comedy of strange events. Friday-Dec. 31.

Continuing

The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

(Philadelphia Theatre Company) This charming production of the quirky musical is lots of fun but without the edginess that gives the show added oomph. Ends Sunday.

- H.S.

A Dickens Christmas (Hedgerow Theatre) Jared Reed plays Dickens - and all his beloved Christmas Carol characters. Ends Sunday.

Annie (Media Theatre) Mary Martello takes over from Wanda Sykes for most of the run's remainder as Miss Hannigan and sweet Tori Heinlein is Annie in a pleasant production whose orphan girls are the cutest. Through Jan. 16. - H.S.

Around the World in 80 Days (Delaware Theatre Company) This adaptation of the Jules Verne novel sparks imagination with a simple set and more than capable cast. Through next Sunday. - W.R.

Black Nativity (Theatre Double) A mixture of Langston Hughes' words, traditional carols, and gospel songs with a cast of joyful voices led by Mattilyn Rochester and director Michael LeLand at St. Mary's Chapel in Center City. Through Dec. 31. - H.S.

The Borrowers (Arden Theatre Company) Based on the old-fashioned books about a very tiny family, this show has plenty of charm and enough adventure to keep kids and parents happy. Through Jan. 30. - T.Z.

Caesar's Palace O' Fun (Walnut Street Theatre, Studio 3) Frank Ferrante's impresario alter ego leads this - yes, fun - blend of circus, burlesque and cornball weirdness. Through Jan. 2. - W.R.

Dublin Carol (Amaryllis Theatre) A dreary play, drearily performed, drearily directed. Conor McPherson's self-important, self-pitying drunk rambles on for what feels like a week. Bah humbug. Through next Sunday.

- T.Z.

Front Row Seat (Philadelphia Theatre Workshop) Good actors trapped in a script that uses both scorn and corn: Trot out hillbillies and make them act stupid, then roll back the calendar and see how innocent Americans were in November 1963. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

The Great Divorce (Lantern Theatre Company) Anthony Lawton's reprise of his one-man show full of passionate acting and riveting storytelling, about the moral choices people face. Through next Sunday. - T.Z.

Jersey Boys (Forrest Theatre) A good-time, song-stuffed musical biography of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. Ends Sunday.

- T.Z.

Miss Witherspoon (New City Stage at Adrienne) Christopher Durang's tale of a dead woman sent back to Earth to try again. Through Jan. 9.

My Mother's Italian, My Father's Jewish, I'm in Therapy (Society Hill Playhouse) A stale one-man comedy routine about ethnic upbringing masquerading as theater. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

Parenting 101 (Kimmel Center's Innovation Studio) Everything you need to know. Through March 6.

The Santaland Diaries 2010 (Flashpoint Theatre Company) Crumpet the elf, played once again by Derick Loafmann, tells David Sedaris' funny, anguished story about working the holiday season at Macy's, in this Flashpoint perennial. Through next Sunday. - H.S.

The Tempest (Act II Playhouse) Nothing new in this production, but Dan Kern's Prospero is an able magician-in-chief. Extended through next Sunday. - W.R.

This Is the Week That Is (1812 Productions) The funniest yet of the comedy company's annual roundup of all the news that gives you fits - a hoot, and with the best multimedia, too. Through Dec. 31 - H.S.

The Three Musketeers (The Later Years) (People's Light & Theatre) The seventh annual totally original holiday panto has fights, tights, catchy songs, and, as always, actor Mark Lazar in a dress - plus a ton of silliness combined with a ton of laughs. Through Jan. 9. - H.S.

White Christmas (Walnut Street Theatre) Based on the 1954 Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye film, this musical is as light, fluffy, and pretty as its namesake. Through Jan. 9. - W.R.

Video

Cyrus ***1/2

A divorced man (John C. Reilly) falls for a woman (Marisa Tomei) with an eccentric adult son (Jonah Hill). The byplay between Reilly and Hill is sublime. 1 hr. 31

R

(profanity and some sexual material) -

W.S.