Movies

Opening This Week

After Earth

See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Now You See Me See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Sightseers Nothing goes as planned in this dark British comedy in which a man attempts to introduce his sheltered girlfriend to his world via a road trip.

Stories We Tell See Steven Rea's preview on H2.

Excellent (****)

Reviewed by critics Steven Rea (S.R.) and Tirdad Derakhshani (T.D.). W.S. denotes a wire-service review.

Frances Ha Greta Gerwig stars as a 27-year-old dancer, a spirited stumblebum navigating (or failing to navigate) the post-college, New York City world of roommates, boyfriends, jobs, and money woes. Noah Baumbach directs. 1 hr. 25 R (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Mud Matthew McConaughey has the title role, as a mysterious fugitive discovered by two boys on an island in the Arkansas Delta, in Jeff Nichols' scary, surprising, magical, and downright remarkable film. An instant American classic. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.

Very Good (***1/2)

Deceptive Practice: The Mysteries and Mentors of Ricky Jay

Charmingly seductive portrait of the card-slinging conjurer, exploring Jay's technique and trade, but also revealing the philosophy behind his art - a view of life that examines illusions from every which way, and finds meaning in the magic. 1 hr. 52

No MPAA rating

(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. 2 hr. R (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Something In the Air A French teen comes of age amid the social unrest of the '60s and '70s. French with subtitles. 2 hrs. 05 No MPAA rating (sex, nudity, street protests) - W.S.

Star Trek Into Darkness J.J. Abrams' reboot sequel is as good as, if not better than, the 2009 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 exhilirating action and spectacular visual effects. Beam us up, Scotty. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (violence, interspecies sex, adult themes) - S.R.

What Maisie Knew Involving update of the Henry James novel about a 6-year-old shuttlecock in her parents' unforgiving game of custodial badminton. With Onata Aprile, Steve Coogan, Julianne Moore, and Alexander Skarsgard. 1 hr. 38 R (emotional abuse, profanity, discreet drugs) - C.R.

Also on Screens

Epic **1/2

A magical world of flying leaf warriors, talking slugs, and faerie queens is discovered by a feisty teenager in her kooky scientist dad's backyard. A less-than-seamless mix of fantasy and action in this computer- animated entry from the folks behind

Ice Age

. 1 hr. 42

PG

(action, cartoon violence, adult themes) -

S.R.

Fast & Furious 6 *** Vin Diesel and Paul Walker bring the old gang together for the most souped-up installment of this action franchise. Yet. With Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriquez, Gina Carano, and Luke Evans. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (intense action, adult themes) - D.H.

The Great Gatsby ** "Less is more"? Not if Baz Luhrmann is around. The Australian auteur's adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Jazz Age tragedy is a dizzying display of excess, like Busby Berkeley on steroids, with a Jay-Z-produced soundtrack. But at the heart of it all, there is no heart - it's impossible to care. With Leonardo DiCaprio as the mysterious millionaire Gatsby, and a callow, shallow Tobey Maguire as Nick Carraway, our narrator. Carey Mulligan and Joel Edgerton are Daisy and Tom Buchanan, play-acting in glorious Roaring Twenties getups. 2 hrs. 23 PG-13 (sex, profanity, violence, adult themes) - S.R.

The Hangover Part III ** The Wolfpack is back, but the basic post-binge amnesia premise is gone, replaced by a crazed conflation of kidnapping/hostage/ gangland shenanigans, with an expanded role for the lunatic Leslie Chow (Ken Jeong). Extreme comedy, for sure, but not that funny. 1 hr. 40 R (violence, drugs, profanity, sex, nudity, adult themes) - S.R.

Iron Man 3 **1/2 Robert Downey Jr. climbs back into the alloy-plated suit - actually, a bunch of 'em - and has to reckon with a nemesis who wreaks havoc on his home, and his homelife. With Gwyneth Paltrow as live-in girlfriend Pepper Potts, and Ben Kingsley as a bin Laden-like villain. Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, and Don Cheadle also show up in this overlong, overblown sequel. 2 hrs. 10 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.

Pain & Gain ** Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson star as Florida lugheads on a doomed crime spree in this comedy that turns wrenchingly grisly. 2 hrs. 09 R (graphic violence, nudity, sex, profanity, drugs, adult themes) - D.H.

Theater

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

.

New This Week

A Little Night Music

(Arden Theatre) Sondheim's waltz-time elegy to old love, new love, and, yes, even true love. In previews, opens Wednesday.

American Sligo (New City Stage) Pro wrestler "Crazy Train" Sligo is facing his final match - and his family. Previews Thursday and Friday, opens Saturday.

Barcelona (People's Light and Theatre) Drunk, she bails on her own bachelorette party with a handsome older Spaniard for a night of - what? Previews Wednesday-Friday, opens Saturday.

Cirque de Soleil's Totem (Camden waterfront) Jugglers, acrobats, aerialists, and contortionists journey through all of evolution under the Big Tent. Opens Thursday.

Some Other Kind of Person (InterAct) Americans abroad, trying oh-so-hard to do the right thing. Previews Thursday-June 4, opens June 5.

Uncle Tom's Cabin (EgoPo) A rare staging of this pre-Civil War classic - and the slaves are white. Previews Wednesday and Thursday, opens Friday.

Venus in Fur (Philadelphia Theatre Company) Vanda wants the part and, in this extreme-audition David Ives sex comedy, she'll do anything to get it. In previews, opens Wednesday.

Continuing

Bootycandy

(Wilma Theater) Robert O'Hara's vulgarity-laced comedy succeeds most in its moments of polished drama about growing up gay and African American. Through June 16.

- J.R.

Dino! (Walnut Street Theatre Independence Studio) Bad weather maroons his band, so Dean Martin turns a Latin Casino appearance into a solo in this low-maintenance, low-ambition cabaret show. Through June 30. - D.P.S.

Failure: A Love Story (Azuka Theatre) It's hard to imagine a better production of this lovely, bittersweet play. Splendid direction of a superb cast. Ends Sunday. - T.Z.

Grease (Walnut Street Theatre) Great choreography, some fine secondary performances, but on the whole the spirit is missing. Through July 14. - W.R.

Heroes (Lantern Theater) These old soldiers are fading away to various degrees, raising questions about what makes life worth living. Through June 9. - D.P.S.

The Hound of the Baskervilles (Curio Theatre Company) A "deliberately tatty" makeover of the Sherlock Holmes classic is out to amuse, but does so rarely. Ends Saturday. - T.Z.

Inherit the Wind (Bristol Riverside Theatre) Evolution takes center stage at the 1925 Scopes monkey trial. Through June 9.

Into the Woods (McCarter Theatre) Stephen Sondheim's enchanting tangle of fairy tales spins them further in this pared-down, often brilliant production. Through next Sunday. - D.P.S.

Lend Me a Tenor (Act II Playhouse) Perfect casting in Act II's production elevates this oft-produced comedy into an evening of fantastical farce. Through June 8. - J.R.

The Lysistrata Project (Simpatico Theatre Project) Ribald humor and strong performances get this updating of Aristophanes' comedy about two-thirds of the way there. Through next Sunday. - D.P.S.

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

Pride and Prejudice (Hedgerow Theatre) The romantic trials of the Misses Bennet get a farcical treatment in this stage adaptation. Through June 16. - W.R.

Spring Awakening (Theatre Horizon) This Tony-winning musical vibrates with teenage desire and exuberance in repressive 19th-century Germany. Through June 9.

Video

Lore ***1/2

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.

Our critics recommend...

At 2 p.m. Sunday, WRTI-FM (90.1) will broadcast a recording of the Philadelphia Orchestra in concert under guest conductor Donald Runnicles. The program includes Brahms' Symphony No. 2, Elgar's Cockaigne Overture, ("In London Town"), and Curtis graduate Jonathan Biss performing Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 13.

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