Mud Matthew McConaughey has the title role - a mysterious fugitive discovered by two boys on an island in the Arkansas Delta - in Jeff Nichols' scary, magical, downright remarkable film. An instant American classic. R

The Place Beyond the Pines Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, and Eva Mendes star in an epic drama about a motorcycle stunt rider/bank robber and the cop who chases him down. Boldly ambitious, with great performances from Ben Mendelsohn, Harris Yulin, and Ray Liotta. R

Star Trek Into Darkness J.J. Abrams' reboot sequel is as good as (if not better than) 2009's Star Trek. James T. Kirk is in trouble with the admiralty, Spock and Uhura are having a lovers' spat, and a new bad guy (Benedict Cumberbatch) threatens to wreak havoc across the universe. Smart, fun, with exhilarating action and spectacular visual effects. PG-13