Opening This Week

Beyond the Hills

See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Everyone Has a Plan Viggo Mortensen stars as an Argentine doctor who sees an opportunity to escape his many obligations when his identical twin brother passes away. Spanish with subtitles.

G.I. Joe: Retaliation An elite military unit fights an evil organization bent on death and destruction while also clearing their names in the eyes of a government that no longer trusts them. Bruce Willis, Channing Tatum, and Dwayne Johnson star. Opens Thursday

Ginger & Rosa Two early-'60s British teens face personal difficulties against the backdrop

of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Host See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

The Sapphires Four Australian Aboriginal girls are plucked from obscurity to entertain American troops in Vietnam during the late '60s.

The Silence Similarities between the disappearance of a young girl and a murder from years earlier lead to unwelcome memories. German with subtitles.

Tyler Perry's Temptation See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Excellent (****)

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

Barbara Nina Hoss gives an amazingly controlled, nuanced performance as a doctor exiled to the provinces in the cold, gray East Germany of 1980. Mistrust hangs in the air in this hushed, suspenseful character study. A gem from filmmaker Christian Petzold. PG-13 (sex, adult themes) - S.R.

The Gatekeepers Dror Moreh's Oscar-nominated documentary finds six former heads of Israel's counterterrorism agency speaking with striking candor, and with no little regret, about the decisions that backfired and the iron-fisted policies that brought about more violence, more bloodshed, not less. If there's a way out of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, these men may have the answer. 1 hr. 37 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Silver Linings Playbook A head-spinning wonder of a movie about love, pain, reinvention, rehabilitation, and the totemic power of an NFL franchise, with Bradley Cooper as a guy dealing with bipolar disorder and heartbreak, best actress Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence as a young widow with her own troubles, and an amazing supporting cast. From director David O. Russell, based on Matthew Quick's novel, and about as Philly-centric as you can get. 2 hrs. 02 R (profanity, sex, drugs, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

Like Someone In Love

Abbas Kiarostami ventures to Japan - only the second time the Iranian filmmaker has shot outside his homeland - for this mischievous, melancholy tale about a young prostitute and a learned old professor. It's not about sex. But it is lovely. 1 hr. 49

No MPAA rating

(adult themes) -


Lore Five children, led by a strong-minded teenage girl, trek across Germany in the first days after the fall of the Third Reich. The siblings' father was a Nazi officer, they have been taught to hate the Jews, and a chance encounter puts those teachings to the test. A fierce and powerful coming-of-age saga, about the trauma of war, about legacy, about collective guilt. 1 hr. 49 No MPAA rating (violence, sex, nudity, adult themes - S.R.

No Gael Garcia Bernal stars as a hot, young ad exec in 1988 Chile who joins the media campaign to oust military dictator Augusto Pinochet in this fictionalized piece of reeling, ricocheting history. 1 hr. 58 R (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Side Effects Filmmaker Steven Soderbergh's tightly coiled psychological thriller - with The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo's Rooney Mara, Jude Law, and Catherine Zeta-Jones - would make James M. Cain proud. On one level, a dark take on the culture of pharmaceutical cure-alls; on another, a classic, twisting noir. R (violence, profanity, sex, nudity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.

The Waiting Room A documentary focusing on the poor, uninsured visitors to a treatment center in Oakland, Calif., Peter Nicks' documentary resists the temptation to editorialize while shining a light on the darkest corner of the American health-care system. 1 hr. 21 No MPAA rating (profanity, adult situations) - W.H.

Also on Screens

Admission **1/2

Tina Fey stars as a Princeton admissions officer, Paul Rudd is a hippie-dippy progressive-school head lobbying for one of his students, in this odd mix of romantic comedy, improbable soap, and Ivy League satire. 1 hr. 57


(sex, profanity, adult themes) -


The Call ** A sordid slice of abduction porn, with Halle Berry as a veteran 911 operator who is not, no way, never, going to let the 16-year-old girl trapped in the trunk of a psycho's car disappear and die. Abigail Breslin displays a wide range of shrieks, squeals, yelps, and sobs as the victim, and Morris Chestnut is Berry's LAPD cop boyfriend. 1 hr. 34 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

The Croods **1/2 DreamWorks' latest animated blockbuster is a visually dazzling, if a little empty-headed, 3D feast for the eyes. Nicolas Cage stars as the patriarch of a prehistoric caveman family who are forced to go on a road trip when their cave is destroyed. Emma Stone plays his adventurous daughter and Ryan Reynolds her love interest, a more evolved man who introduces the family to fire, cooking, and tool-making. The flick is breezy, diverting, and fun, though it lacks the inspired wit that made Shrek a classic. 1 hr. 38 PG (some scary action) - T.D.

Olympus Has Fallen **1/2 The White House is under siege, but luckily, a lone Secret Service agent - a brooding, burly Gerard Butler - is on the loose, sneaking around 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. with a headset and some handguns. Die Hard on the Potomac, enjoyably tacky, cartoonishly violent. 1 hr. 59 R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Oz the Great and Powerful ** James Franco, awake and even kind of animated, is the title character - a carnival magician who gets in over his head when he finds himself in a strange and trippy land populated by Munchkins, Tinkers, Quadlings, and a trio of criminally overdressed and over-made-up witches, played by Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz, and Michelle Williams. 2 hrs. 10 PG (flying, fanged baboons, intense scares) - S.R.

Spring Breakers ** Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens get down and dirty - joined by James Franco as a silver-toothed, dreadlocked Florida gangsta - in Harmony Korine's fascinating (and stupid) indie conflation of Girls Gone Wild and Al Pacino's Scarface. Booze, boobs, and bongs, oh my. 1 hr. 34 R (sex, nudity, drugs, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.


Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), David Patrick Stearns (D.P.S.) and Toby Zinman (T.Z.)


New This Week

Everyone and I

(Azuka Theatre Company/PIFA) Billie Holiday dies, Frank O'Hara writes a great poem in tribute. Opens Thursday.

The Life (and Death) of Harry Houdini) (EgoPo/PIFA) Has time run out for the great escape artist? Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

The Prescott Method (Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio) It's 1966, and for these two housewives, bread baking is bond making. Previews Tuesday, Wednesday, opens Thursday.


A Raisin in the Sun

(Arden Theatre) With this Lorraine Hansberry classic, Walter Dallas creates a "just folks" atmosphere that illuminates the play's continuing relevance. Through April 21.

- D.P.S.

The Bends (Flashpoint Theatre Company) College friends reunite - with very different memories about an event in their past. A new play with a fine cast. Through next Sunday. - D.P.S.

Cooking With the Calamari Sisters (Society Hill Playhouse) Mamma Mia! Two guys portray behavior-challenged Italian sisters in a spoof of cooking shows. Extended through May 19.

Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them (Theatre Confetti) This drama about a pair of abandoned siblings has adult themes but might work best for a teen audience. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

Forever Plaid (Media Theatre) Four guys, close harmony, old tunes, and a dream deferred. Through March 31.

Good People (Walnut Street Theatre) A tough South Boston single mother with money troubles seeks help from a high school boyfriend who made good. Through April 28.

Henry V (Lantern Theatre Company) Prince Harry now is king - and what a king. Through April 14.

Hurlyburly (New City Stage) Drugs, alcohol, and Hollywood disconnection tangle in David Rabe's roiling 1984 drama. Ends Sunday. - D.P.S.

Madville (Curio Theatre) As children, they created an imaginary world. Now adults, the four denizens of "Madville" struggle with their memories. Through April 13.

Othello (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre) This production lasers in on what motivates its fine Iago's malicious actions. Through May 31. - W.R.

The Pirates of Penzance (Bristol Riverside Theatre) Poor Fredric is in thrall to both the pirates (literally) and fair Mabel (metaphorically). What to do? Sing! Through April 28.

Seminar (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Novelist wannabes hear brutal truths from a celebrity teacher in Theresa Rebeck's comedy. Through April 14.

The Trip to Bountiful (People's Light & Theatre Company) Horton Foote's play about an old woman's desire to see her childhood home one last time. Through April 7.

Under the Whaleback (Wilma Theatre) Riveting production and fine cast lift the North American premiere of this play by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors). Through April 21. - J.R.