Short Takes: Movie reviews
These are condensed from Daily News movie critic Gary Thompson's reviews, unless noted otherwise.
Condensed from Daily News movie critic Gary Thompson's reviews, unless noted otherwise.
STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. J.J. Abrams' crackerjack resurrection of the franchise continues with an entertaining, fast-moving installment that stays true to the essential yin and yang between Kirk and Spock. Trekkies will love it. (PG-13) B+
KON-TIKI. Dramatization of Thor Heyerdahl's historic 1947 raft voyage gets big-screen treatment. It's a handsome, old-fashioned adventure that's lavishly photographed, with some of the at-sea image magic of "Life of Pi." (PG-13) B
AT ANY PRICE. Not worth it. Dennis Quaid stars as a farmer trying to give competitors the agribusiness in an uneven rural drama with Zac Efron. (R) C
THE GREAT GATSBY. Baz Luhrmann's big 3-D extravaganza (with Jay-Z as musical host) is another swing and miss at Fitzgerald's notoriously unfilmable novel. With Leonardo DiCaprio as Jay Gatsby and Carey Mulligan as Daisy Buchanan. (PG-13) B-
PEEPLES. Affable Craig Robinson gets his chance to be a leading man in this unfortunately lame "Meet the Parents" clone from the Tyler Perry comedy factory. The movie is a brisk 88 minutes, but half a dozen good jokes aren't enough to carry it. (PG-13) C
SOMETHING IN THE AIR. French filmmaker Olivier Assayas' urgent yet shambling tale of revolution, set in 1971. The real revolution in the young characters' lives is that they're growing up. Not rated (nudity, sexuality, drug use, obscenity, violence and pervasive smoking) C+ Reviewed by Daily News wire services.
MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN. Ambitious adaptation of Salman Rushdie's sprawling epic about the partitioning of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It's gorgeous (as are the many stunning Indian/Pakistani actresses). But it struggles to find emotional focus as it grows wild, broad and much too long - clocking in at 140 minutes. (Not rated, adult themes.) C+
IRON MAN 3. Robert Downey Jr. teams up again with Shane Black, the writer-director who revived his career in "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang." Together they revive the franchise, delivering a fun, twisty story - with a big contribution from Sir Ben Kingsley as the Mandarin. (PG-13) B+
RELUCTANT FUNDAMENTALIST. Mira Nair's U.S./Pakastan culture clash drama has provocative ideas, but makes for a dull thriller. With UK rapper Riz Ahmed in the title role, plus Kate Hudson, Kiefer Sutherland and Liev Schreiber. (R) C
MUD. Great slice-of-life Southern tale of a fugitive (Matthew McConaughey) who enlists two teens to help him build a boat. (PG-13) A-
HAVA NAGILA. Playful documentary about a song that has become the Hebrew "Hokey Pokey," with a measure of historical heft but not too much. B Reviewed by Daily News wire services.
PAIN AND GAIN. Director Michael Bay can't find the right tone in this satiric tale of steroid-abusing psychos. Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and Anthony Mackie. (PG-13) C
THE BIG WEDDING. Every rom-com cliche is thrown into this star-packed, but barely watchable, family wedding comedy. (PG-13) D
OBLIVION. Tom Cruise stars as an omega-man mercenary preparing to depart an Earth evacuated of all humans. Or is it? Gorgeous but goofy sci-fi. (PG-13) B-
THE COMPANY YOU KEEP. Robert Redford stars in and directs this ill-timed movie about radical bombers in hiding(former members of the Weather Underground, in this case). Great cast - including Julie Christie - helps plodding procedural. (R) C+
42. Family-friendly treatment of the Jackie Robinson story works too hard at being inspirational but does a solid job of telling an important story. (PG-13). B
THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES. Bradley Cooper and Ryan Gosling shed glamour for substance in the ambitious, sorrowful family epic. It's a serious art film, so the stars do their usual fine work while sporting career-worst hair.(R) B
DISCONNECT. "Crash" meets the Internet in a series of interlocking stories that explore a fraying information-age society. The result: A reasonably intriguing ensemble drama from stories about the downside of online culture.(R) B-
THE CROODS. Animated 3-D comedy about a Neanderthal-ish dad (Nicolas Cage), a hotshot Homo sapien (Ryan Reynolds) and a family of cave-dwellers facing environmental catastrophe. (PG) B
OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. Laughably cheesy action flick about a North Korean terrorist attack on America. What kind of fake America elects Aaron Eckhart president, while Morgan Freeman is speaker of the House?(R) B-
G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. Botched sequel to a movie that was fun the first time around. Good rappelling chase through the Himalayas, but there's too little Channing Tatum, and it makes zero sense. (PG-13) D (Reviewed by Daily News wire services.)
TYLER PERRY'S TEMPTATION. How "tempting" can a PG-13 movie about cheating be? The movie's women (Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Vanessa Williams, Brandy Norwood) are beautiful and serious about clothes, makeup, hair and church. The men (Robbie Jones, Lance Gross) are rapacious heels or sensitive disappointments. There's no Madea, but Ella Joyce plays a testy Madea substitute. (PG-13) C (Reviewed by Daily News wire services.)
OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. Opulent 3-D "Oz" update that could use more heart, courage and brains. (PG) With James Franco as the wizard and featuring sexy witches Mila Kunis, Rachel Weisz and Michelle Williams. (PG-13) B-