Our critics recommend...
Movies Opening This Week The Hangover Part II See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Opens Thursday Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Opens Thursday
Opening This Week
The Hangover Part II
See Steven Rea's preview on H2.
Kung Fu Panda: The Kaboom of Doom See Steven Rea's preview on H2. Opens Thursday
L'amour Fou Documentary on the relationship between fashion designer Yves Saint-Laurent and his lover, Pierre Berge. French with subtitles.
The Robber See Steven Rea's preview on H2. German with subtitles.
Reviewed by critics Carrie Rickey (C.R.), Steven Rea (S.R.),
Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.)
, and David Hiltbrand (D.H.).
W.S. denotes a wire-service review.
The Double Hour A beautiful, head-spinning mystery set in Turin, Italy, where a Slovenian hotel maid falls for an ex-cop and trouble ensues. Leads Ksenia Rappoport and Filippo Timi won the top acting prizes at the Venice Film Festival for their efforts. Tricky, in all the best ways. 1 hr. 42 No MPAA rating (violence, sex, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.
Of Gods and Men The grand-prize winner at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, Xavier Beauvois' extraordinarily moving and troubling film, based on real events, follows a group of French Trappist monks in mid-1990s Algeria, whose lives of quiet devotion and sacrifice are put to the test when a radical Muslim militia enters the scene. Powerful, beautiful, sad. 2 hrs. PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
13 Assassins Takashi Miike's sublime swordfest, set in feudal Japan, is, like so many samurai stories (and American westerns), about brotherhood, justice, and sacrifice. By turns thrilling and funny, visually exquisite and emotionally charged. 2 hrs. 06 No MPAA rating (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Very Good (***1/2)
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog ventures into southern France's Chauvet caves, sealed for eons by a rock fall and discovered only in 1994, where the glistening rock faces turn out to house humankind's first art gallery: paintings of horses and mammoths, lions and reindeer, put there 32,000 years ago by a budding Picasso or two. Amazing. 1 hr. 30
No MPAA rating
Everything Must Go Will Ferrell gives an unexpectedly poignant performance as an Arizona ad exec who loses his job, his wife, and his house all on the same day - you can feel the guy's pain, but there's humor here, too. A first film by writer-director Dan Rush, adapted from a Raymond Carver short story. With Rebecca Hall, Laura Dern, and a beautifully unself-conscious turn by a young actor, Christopher Jordan Wallace. 1 hr. 36 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Hanna A rip-roaring fairy tale cloaked in spy clothing, starring Saoirse Ronan as a mystery girl raised off the grid and trained as a killing machine. Eric Bana and Cate Blanchett costar. Nutty and exhilarating, violent and smart, with action set in snowy Nordic regions, the deserts of Morocco, and grungy Berlin. 1 hr. 51 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Incendies A powerful meditation on how the past reverberates into the future, how family secrets come back to haunt the living. Switching between modern-day Montreal and a Middle Eastern state not unlike Lebanon now and 30 years ago, the film jolts like Greek tragedy. A 2011 foreign language Oscar nominee. 2 hrs. 10 R (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Nuremberg: Its Lesson for Today This U.S. government film documents the first Nuremberg trial, which took place in 1945-46. 1 hr. 18 No MPAA rating (adult themes, disturbing images of World War II and the Holocaust) - W.S.
Also on Screens
A hybrid. Part female friendship flick, part gross-out gagfest, this comedy of terrors cowritten by and starring Kristen Wiig is about a singleton afraid of losing her best friend (Maya Rudolph) to a rival bride attendant (Rose Byrne). With Chris O'Dowd and Jon Hamm. 2 hrs. 05
(sex, potty mouths, and potty humor) -
Fast Five *** Defying laws of physics, laws of acting, and the law of diminishing returns, the fourth sequel in the Fast and Furious franchise delivers a ridiculously fun mix of motorized macho mayhem and multicultural bonding. With vintage muscle cars and special-purpose monster trucks, over-the-top stunts, heist jobs, and rescue missions, all set in colorful Rio de Janeiro. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, intense action, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides **1/2 Somewhat more buoyant than its two immediate predecessors, the fourth installment in Disney's billions-o'-doubloons franchise finds Johnny Depp teamed with Penelope Cruz in a quest for the Fountain of Youth. Geoffrey Rush is back as Jack Sparrow's rival, and a school of CG mermaids bring Pre-Raphaelite Victoria's Secret action to the proceedings. 2 hrs. 07 PG-13 (violence, intense action, scares, adult themes) - S.R.
Priest * Director Scott Charles Stewart and star Paul Bettany, who bored us to death with 2009's apocalyptic thriller Legion, return with another yawn-inducing actioner. Bettany is a member of an elite Church-trained team that hunts down vampires. 1 hr. 27 PG-13 (violence, some gore, profanity, slimy vampires) - T.D.
Rio *** Carlos Saldanha's joyous carnival of animation celebrating avian (and human) biodiversity. Winging and singing creatures frolic in Brazil's capital of fun. Storks samba! Toucans tumba! Parrots party in kaleidoscopic formations to the music of Sergio Mendes! Voice work by Jesse Eisenberg, Anne Hathaway, and Jamie Foxx. 1 hr. 36 G (animal adventure) - C.R.
Thor ** Chris Hemsworth stars as the Norse god of comic book fame in this handsome but vacuous action film. With Anthony Hopkins and the ubiquitous Natalie Portman. 1 hr. 54 PG-13 (intense action and violence) - D.H.
Reviewed by critics Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Howard Shapiro (H.S.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).
New This Week
In a Daughter's Eyes
(InterAct Theatre Company) New play about the daughter of a murdered white policeman and the daughter of the Black Panther imprisoned for the killing. Previews Friday-May 31, opens June 1.
Miss Saigon (Walnut Street Theatre) Madame Butterfly updated, with helicopter. In previews, opens Wednesday.
My Wonderful Day (Wilma Theater) From Alan Ayckbourne, the story of a little girl who sees more than she should. In previews, opens Wednesday.
Playing Leni (Madhouse Theatre Company) Third Reich filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl reinvents herself. Previews Thursday-May 31, opens June 1.
Ruined (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Based on her interviews in Africa, Lynn Nottage's prize-winning play about what war does to women. In previews, opens Wednesday.
Vigil (Lantern Theater Company) Misogynistic nephew hounds rich old aunt deathward. She's not buying. In previews, opens Wednesday.
(Act II Playhouse) Three-way dysfunctional bromance. Art purchase, talk ensue. Fun cast and swift direction keep you listening. Through June 12.
The Bridge Club (Society Hill Playhouse) The world premiere of Richard Raskind's intriguing new one-act play is set on the Golden Gate Bridge, where someone's about to jump. Or maybe more than someone. Through next Sunday. - H.S.
The Cripple of Inishmaan (Annenberg Center) When a film crew arrives on a neighboring island, poor crippled Billy sees his chance. Ends Sunday.
Dividing the Estate (People's Light & Theatre Company) Horton Foote's drama about a dysfunctional family facing financial ruin despite owning 5,000 acres of Texas. Excellent cast. Through June 5. - T.Z.
The Flea and the Professor (Arden Theatre) Hans Christian Andersen's wisp of a weird final tale is refashioned into this colorful, fun world-premiere musical for kids. Through June 12. - W.R.
The Importance of Being Earnest (Quintessence Theatre Group) The Mount Airy company ends its first season with Wilde's classic comedy, a fun production that ramps up whenever Janis Dardaris is on stage as formidable Lady Bracknell. Ends Sunday. - H.S.
Little Women (Bristol Riverside Theatre) Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, in a musical setting with lame tunes and lyrics, saved by a cast with fine voices and excellent acting. Ends Sunday. - H.S.
My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra (Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio on 3) More nightclub show than theater, it's two hours of pure entertainment, showcasing 53 Sinatra songs. Four appealing singers make it happen. Through June 26. - T.Z.
Our Show of Shows (1812 Productions) 1812 earns the right to this title - so much more than a tribute, filled with hilarious 1950s and squeaky-clean, original material. Ends Sunday. - W.R.
Phoenix (Flashpoint Theatre Company) Scott Organ's one-act is a painful sort of romantic comedy of contemporary manners, featuring two superb actors. Through Saturday. - T.Z.
Saturn Returns (Theatre Exile) A melancholy play about grief and memory - a man at three stages of his life, played by three actors. The women who haunt and comfort him are all played by the excellent Amanda Schoonover. Moving or maudlin depending on how it strikes you. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.
Sleeping Beauty Wakes (McCarter Theatre) Clever, sweet musical twist on a very old tale, set in a sleep-disorder clinic. Through June 4. - H.S.
Tommy (Media Theatre) The Who's anthemic music is the best thing about this well-sung but poorly executed production. Ends Sunday. - W.R.
Wanamaker's Pursuit (Arden Theatre) Drama about the heir to the Wanamaker stores who goes to Paris to buy fashion, meeting Picasso, Gertrude Stein, et al. High modernism is reduced to soap opera written almost entirely in Googled quotations. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.