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      • Under the Sea poster image

        Under the Sea

        Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune

        Jim Carrey narrates "Under the Sea 3D," a new installment in the underwater 3-D filmmaking that IMAX pretty much owns these days. Nothing compares to the images in these films, and director Howard Hall, whose previous offerings include the IMAX hits "Deep Sea 3D" and "Into the Deep 3D," knows his way around the underwater camera - all 1,300 pounds of it - and personally tallied 358 hours of the dive team's 2,073 hours under the sea (accomplished in 1,668 total di... (read more)

      • Coraline poster image

        Coraline

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        "Coraline" may not be for all tastes and it's certainly not for all kids, given its macabre premise. But writer-director Henry Selick's animated feature advances the stop-motion animation genre through that most heartening of attributes: quality. It pulls audiences into a meticulously detailed universe, familiar in many respects, whacked and menacing in many others. Unlike other recent films shot in 3-D ("Bolt" comes to mind), this one takes rich advantage of the process, ... (read more)

      • Slumdog Millionaire poster image

        Slumdog Millionaire

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        "Slumdog Millionaire" is a ruthlessly effective paean to destiny, leaving nothing to chance. It also has a good shot at winning this year's Academy Award for best picture, if the pundits, Allah, Shiva and Fox Searchlight Pictures have anything to say about it. Each life-or-death cliffhanger and meticulous splash of color, every arrow plucked from director Danny Boyle's sari-wrapped quiver takes aim at the same objective: to leave you exhausted but wowed. The end-credits sequence, a ... (read more)

      • Gran Torino poster image

        Gran Torino

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        If Clint Eastwood wins his first Academy Award for acting come February, besting Sean Penn for "Milk" and Mickey Rourke for "The Wrestler" among other probable nominees, it'll be like 1971 all over again, the year Helen Hayes snagged a supporting actress statuette for her shifty-stowaway routine in "Airport." Longevity and sentiment count for a lot with the Oscars. And Eastwood is a titan. He's an international movie star who developed into a confident, defiantly... (read more)

      • Hellboy II: The Golden Army poster image

        Hellboy II: The Golden Army

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        I can barely keep up with the mythology put forth by the "Hellboy" series, but I enjoyed the first film, and I enjoyed the new one. The best scene in "Hellboy II: The Golden Army," writer-director Guillermo Del Toro's sequel to his comic book adaptation "Hellboy," involves tooth fairies. These are not the sort of tooth fairies you want 'round your pillow at night. These tooth fairies eat teeth, and conjured by an underworld prince hell-bent on taking over the pla... (read more)

      • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull poster image

        Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        Really, it would have been fantastic if the new Indiana Jones movie had turned out gangbusters. Failing that, a good, solid sequel would have been nice - proof that a handsomely graying collection of world-class cinematic entertainers, both behind and in front of a defiantly non-digital camera, were right to haul out the fedora and the bullwhip for one more adventure. But the movie with the title that does not know when to quit, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," ... (read more)

      • Wild Ocean poster image

        Wild Ocean

        Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune

        When "Wild Ocean" leaves the surface of the Earth for aerial shots of South Africa's Wild Coast and the nearby waters, IMAX is in its element. Sharp plunging cliffs or tumbled rock shorelines with waves breaking over them are incredible. Looking down on huge shoals of sardines migrating along the coast with telltale shadows of sharks, dolphins or other predators menacing their flanks gives the impression of the vast areas that have seen little encroachment by man. The giant screen's... (read more)

      • In Bruges poster image

        In Bruges

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        I'm of two minds regarding "In Bruges," the feature film directorial debut from Irish playwright and screenwriter Martin McDonagh. His subjects are a couple of eccentric hit men on enforced vacation, and along with serial killers with twisted, "imaginative" moral agendas, the conceit of the eccentric, colorful hit man has nearly run its course in the movies. But McDonagh writes awfully sharp dialogue, and he has the good dramatic sense to bring the "cool" factor ... (read more)

      • There Will Be Blood poster image

        There Will Be Blood

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        As surely as our country's multiple personalities owe a great deal to both religious fervor and the oil industry, "There Will Be Blood" reminds us that the greatest screen performances don't settle for capturing one trait, a dominant emotion or an easy way in. The very best of them are symphonies of paradox, forcing us to reckon with the ramifications. This is what Daniel Day-Lewis achieves in director Paul Thomas Anderson's majestic crackpot of a film. It runs 158 minutes on a broo... (read more)

      • No Country for Old Men poster image

        No Country for Old Men

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        As pure craftsmanship, "No Country for Old Men" is as good as we've ever gotten from Joel and Ethan Coen. Only "Fargo" is more satisfying (it's also a comedy, which this one isn't), certainly among the brothers' pictures driven by the evil that men do and all that can go wrong under the precepts of Murphy's law. It took me two viewings of the film, set in the early 1980s along the West Texas/Mexico border, to appreciate it fully for what it is, a viciously effective exerc... (read more)

      • The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford poster image

        The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" will drive a lot of people to distraction, if they're even attracted to it in the first place. A meditation on celebrity, 19th century frontier fan boys and the myths America feeds to its young, this superbly realized adaptation of Ron Hansen's novel runs about 160 minutes, and while there aren't many individual acts of violence, they are painful and, more importantly, carry a moral consequence. The film does not concern i... (read more)

      • 3:10 to Yuma poster image

        3:10 to Yuma

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        Two of the finest westerns of the 1950s traded in a particularly wily brand of snake-charming antagonist, an outlaw being brought to frontier justice but vexing the vulnerable protagonists something fierce en route. One was "The Naked Spur," in which Robert Ryan's manic chortle sent shivers down the spine of James Stewart. The other was "3:10 to Yuma," a terrific and melancholy wonder featuring Glenn Ford in his most compelling portrayal, opposite Van Heflin, whose woeful ... (read more)

      • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix poster image

        Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        He's back, and he's hacked off. The most striking aspect of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" is its contrast between the hormonally and supernaturally tormented teenager at its center and the modestly well-made and easygoing picture unfolding all around him. No. 5 in the omnipresent global franchise, "Order of the Phoenix" lies at a no-nonsense halfway point between the best of the Potter films ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") and the most ... (read more)

      • Hot Fuzz poster image

        Hot Fuzz

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        In its climactic village assault, the English comedy "Hot Fuzz" risks becoming the excessive, slow-mo-slaughter affair it's satirizing. But the best of it is a riot - a "Bad Boys II" fireball hurled with exquisite accuracy at a quaint English town peopled by Agatha Christie archetypes. On the strength of "Shaun of the Dead," his droll zombie bash, the spot-on "Don't Scream" trailer in "Grindhouse" and now this, director Edgar Wright is one of ... (read more)

      • The Nativity Story poster image

        The Nativity Story

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Few stories are more familiar than the one told in "The Nativity Story," a new film about the trials of Mary and Joseph, the journey from Nazareth to Bethlehem and the birth of Christ. So it seems a wonder at times that director Catherine Hardwicke and writer Mike Rich still manage to make the tale seem fresh and vital. Their movie is reverent without seeming too pious-minded, and loving without being sticky. And it has actors in the central roles, Keisha Castle-Hughes and Oscar Isa... (read more)

      • Deck the Halls poster image

        Deck the Halls

        Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune

        Gather round the fireplace, kids, and I'll tell you a Christmas story brimming with cliched life lessons and manic, empty energy. It will hold your attention for 90 minutes or so, long enough for your parents to accomplish some serious holiday shopping. Beyond this minor accomplishment, however, "Deck the Halls" has little to recommend it. Matthew Broderick, whose movie career has apparently careened completely off the rails, plays Steve Finch, an optometrist in the idyllic hamlet ... (read more)

      • The Departed poster image

        The Departed

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        After the dolled-up theatrics of his last few features, from "Casino" (1995) up through "The Aviator" (2004), it's a kick to find director Martin Scorsese back in prime form, at least in the terrific first half of "The Departed." The second half of this Boston-set thriller, based on the sleek, more sparingly brutal 2002 Hong Kong export "Infernal Affairs," can't quite match it, despite a few bursts of startling violence handled as only a first-rate dire... (read more)

      • V for Vendetta poster image

        V for Vendetta

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        If the h-for-hype "V for Vendetta" connects with a wide American audience, then something truly has shifted in the homeland-insecurity pop landscape of the early 21st century. It means we're ready for a cultured, sophisticated, man-about-town terrorist who espouses the belief that "blowing up a building can change the world." Finally, a film to unite movie-mad members of al-Qaida with your neighbor's kid, the one with the crush on Natalie Portman. Various film enthusiasts,... (read more)

      • Deep Sea IMAX 3D poster image

        Deep Sea IMAX 3D

        Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune

        Director Howard Hall (?Into the Deep,? ?Island of the Sharks?) and the underwater IMAX film team do their usual splendid job of making the sea and its often-hungry denizens look beautiful in ?Deep Sea 3D.? While the film spans the oceans, much of it takes place in near-shore areas such as coral reefs and kelp forests - areas teeming with life from minuscule plankton to a hefty (though still youthful) right whale, not to mention rays, eels, a multitude of crustaceans, anemones, seastars, barra... (read more)

      • Curious George poster image

        Curious George

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        You can say several things in favor of ?Curious George,? a mild off-season cinematic bid for the young and the restless. The movie, a G-rated, 86-minute affair, isn?t glib or assaultive in the ?Shrek? vein, though Joe Stillman, a ?Shrek? alum, is one among many uncredited screenwriters on this project. Jack Johnson?s songs slide in one ear and out the other. Filmed primarily in traditional two-dimensional animation, though without much wit or distinction, director Matthew O?Callaghan?s featur... (read more)

      • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire poster image

        Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Unlike Peter Pan, that other magical airborne boy of British literature and film, J.K. Rowling?s Harry Potter just keeps growing up. So do the Potter movies, in size, in ambition and in visual splendor - and with increasingly stunning results. ?Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire? is the latest film adventure for the bespectacled student sorcerer of Rowling?s amazingly well-imagined Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And it may be the best-filmed Potter of them all - though last year... (read more)

      • Ballets Russes poster image

        Ballets Russes

        Sid Smith, Chicago Tribune

        ?Ballets Russes? may not be the greatest dance documentary ever made, but it could well be the most accessible and touching. It tells the straightforward history of the renowned Ballets Russes troupe from 1929 until its demise in 1962, providing ample commentary, wit and whimsy, as well as tidbits on ballet aesthetics, backstage gossip and clip after clip of rare footage. But it also, almost slyly, does something else, arguably as important. Taking the cue from its opening line of narration -... (read more)

      • Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang poster image

        Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        Harry Lockhart (Robert Downey Jr.) is as inept a thief as he is a narrator in ?Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang,? a rich, pulpy meta-movie that?s a guilty pleasure you don?t have to feel guilty about. As a Sam Spade-like narrator, Harry?s terrible. He even admits it, as the film yanks us from the past to the present to the past again, just so Harry can illuminate that one detail that makes the previous scene make sense. But who can blame him? Harry only fell into acting when a robbery went bad, cops chas... (read more)

      • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit poster image

        Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        Most of us come from common clay. Wallace & Gromit do not. The jolly inventor with the sausage-shaped smile and his patient, silent yet wondrously expressive dog are the stuff of uncommon clay, the synthetic material known as Plasticine, of which two of modern cinema's loveliest comic creations are molded. "Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" is the first feature-length showcase for these indelible characters, and it's a good one. For 40 minutes or so it's really good, i... (read more)

      • Crash poster image

        Crash

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        "Crash" starts like a tinderbox suddenly aflame, with two deceptively collegiate-looking African-American guys (Larenz Tate and Chris "Ludacris" Bridges) ambling through an upper-middle-class L.A. neighborhood and joking about racism, then abruptly carjacking a Lincoln Navigator - which belongs to an ambitious white district attorney (Brendan Fraser) and his smug, prejudiced wife (Sandra Bullock). Soon afterwards, two white cops (Matt Dillon and Ryan Philippe) investigati... (read more)

      • Dust to Glory poster image

        Dust to Glory

        Kevin Williams, Chicago Tribune

        Filmmaker Dana Brown makes a lot of mistakes in his "Dust to Glory" documentary, a chronicling of the Baja 1000 off-road race travails. His major error is that he doesn't just shut up and get out of the way. The SCORE Baja 1000 is either big-time cool or too stupid to contemplate, depending upon how much chest-thumping machismo courses through your veins. Watching a lone rider on a motorcycle, hurtling at 100 mph along a rocky, sandy, narrow disaster of a road that even cattle esche... (read more)

      • Brick poster image

        Brick

        Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune

        The hard-bitten language in writer-director Rian Johnson's debut feature, a noir mystery in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler set in the high school hallways and highways of Southern California, is challenging to follow, at best. In "Brick," "gum" means "to mess things up," "heel" is "to walk away from," "jake" stands for drugs, and "yeg" is just another word for "guy." If this yeg doses bad ... (read more)

      • The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou poster image

        The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Wes Anderson's "The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou," in which Bill Murray plays a shaggy-dog American version of oceanographer-filmmaker Jacques-Yves Cousteau, is a comedy that seems to have most everything going for it but the ability to make us laugh. Despite its cast and director, it's an amazingly unfunny movie, drowned in its own conceits, half-strangled by the tongue so obtrusively in its cheek. Anderson, the writer-director of "Rushmore" and "The Royal Tenenbau... (read more)

      • The Incredibles poster image

        The Incredibles

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        If "The Incredibles" did not exist, it would be necessary to invent them. It's amazing that this cartoon super-family wasn't created sooner, given the recent blockbuster status of both superheroes ("Spider-Man 2") and computer-animated movies ("Shrek 2," "Shark Tale"). With "The Incredibles," Pixar's first PG film, writer/director Brad Bird delivers the perfect parody of, and valentine to, the superhero genre. At its center, Mr. Incredible (vo... (read more)

      • Surviving Christmas poster image

        Surviving Christmas

        Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune

        Ben Affleck: great talk show guest, bad actor. Fun guy to have a beer with - not so much if he's acting. This, of course, does not mean that Benny shouldn't be in pictures. I mean, come on, it's Hollywood. What he needs to do - as an acteur - is to find projects in which it just doesn't matter, in which he can simply be Ben. "Armageddon" - the greatest asteroid-drilling film of all time - was one of those projects. "Surviving Christmas" is another. His latest foray into br... (read more)

      • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban poster image

        Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        Just as J.K. Rowling's "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" represents a step in maturity beyond the series' first two books, director Alfonso Cuaron's film version improves upon its predecessors. This third "Harry Potter" movie shakes the candy coating off of the franchise without violating its spirit. Chris Columbus, who directed the first two, is skilled at assembling the elements and moving a story along, but he doesn't leave behind ideas that haunt or images tha... (read more)

      • Mean Girls poster image

        Mean Girls

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        The biting teen comedy "Mean Girls" heralds the silver-screen big bang of two promising careers: actress Lindsay Lohan and comedy writer/actor Tina Fey. In one movie, Lohan ("Freaky Friday") goes from a Disney-sculpted actress to her own star, transported by "Saturday Night Live" head writer Fey's nervy comic script. Lohan stars as 15-year-old Cady Heron, whose childhood in Africa with her zoologist parents leaves her ill-equipped for the jungle politics of high ... (read more)

      • Shaun of the Dead poster image

        Shaun of the Dead

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        Following the success of "28 Days Later," this year's remake of "Dawn of the Dead" and the recently released "Resident Evil: Apocalypse," you would think the zombie genre has ambled its course. Think again. With "Shaun of the Dead," British filmmakers Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have rolled out a gleefully gory, pitch-perfect parody of George Romero's zombie films. But this isn't a movie about other movies. "Shaun of the Dead" stands on its ow... (read more)

      • Two Brothers poster image

        Two Brothers

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        Forget about taming tigers - pity the fool who tries to tame a live-action animal movie. Coaxing "performances" out of wild animals is tricky enough, but even more daunting may be the challenge of establishing a tone that walks the fine line between cute fantasy and harsh reality. French director Jean-Jacques Annaud achieved this feat with 1989's "The Bear," and after some less thrilling human adventures ("Seven Years in Tibet," "Enemy at the Gates"), h... (read more)

      • Hellboy poster image

        Hellboy

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        Ron Perlman is no one's idea of a superhero, which is what makes "Hellboy" interesting. The hulking, chiseled, 53-year old actor is most famous for starring in TV's long-gone "Beauty and the Beast" series, but he's wearing a different kind of makeup in this would-be franchise based on Mike Mignola's popular, dry-witted Dark Horse Comics books. Hellboy is a big red dude with an oversized right hand of stone and two disks sticking out of his forehead like embedded goggles, t... (read more)

      • Clean poster image

        Clean

        Jessica Reaves, Chicago Tribune

        Does anyone ever truly change? Can we alter our personalities by sheer force of will? Can we ever leave the past behind us? There are lots of provocative questions embedded in "Clean," Olivier Assayas' lyrical meditation on human nature - and, happily, no pat answers. Maggie Cheung plays Emily Wang, a junkie whose longstanding addiction has addled her brain and poisoned her relationship with Lee Hauser (James Johnston), a struggling musician whose primary claim to fame is music he m... (read more)

      • Napoleon Dynamite poster image

        Napoleon Dynamite

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        "Napoleon Dynamite" may have been the surprise comedy hit of the last Sundance Film Festival - and its 24-year-old director/co-writer, Jared Hess, may be a helmer with a future - but that doesn't mean it will make you laugh out loud. It didn't tickle me much, anyway, though it did hand me a few smiles, and it may work for others. Hess, his co-writer wife Jerusha Hess and some buddies from Brigham Young University have imagined a screw-loose parody of the small Idaho city where Hess ... (read more)

      • Bad Santa poster image

        Bad Santa

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        You may never hear as much swearing around kids as in "Bad Santa." There are some lessons here: 1. Don't take kids to "Bad Santa." 2. Don't see "Bad Santa" if you're offended by swearing around kids. But for those who can laugh at the profane, who miss the toxic bite of early National Lampoon, who long for a comedy that would rather offend some than please everyone, who now require insulin shots from prolonged exposure to "Love Actually," who tire of Ch... (read more)

      • Elf poster image

        Elf

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        Writer David Sedaris launched his career in 1992 with "The SantaLand Diaries," a scorching, hilarious account of his brief career as a Macy's Christmas elf. Given the reaction to that story, which is still in regular holiday-season rotation on public radio and has been sold in book form, it's astonishing that Hollywood didn't move faster on this fertile elfin ground. While "Elf" doesn't have Sedaris (his sister Amy has a small part, however), it does have "Saturday Ni... (read more)

      • Love Actually poster image

        Love Actually

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        The ensemble romantic comedy "Love Actually" opens with one of its least familiar actors, Bill Nighy, as a wonderfully crooked-faced pop singer recording a lame, Christmas-themed remake of the Troggs' "Love Is All Around." The running joke, which provides the movie's most reliable laughs, is that this old-timer is so candid and good-natured about the record's crassness that the British public sends it zooming up the charts. Alas, "Love Actually" has more in comm... (read more)

      • Lost in Translation poster image

        Lost in Translation

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        In her brief career, Sofia Coppola has established herself as a remarkably intuitive director. While most directors use structure, plot and dialogue as their storytelling building blocks, Coppola seems to work through her material by feel. Both of her movies, her 2000 adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides' "The Virgin Suicides" and now "Lost in Translation," zero in on emotions and moods, making them uncannily vivid. She was able to capture the tricky tragedy-turned-misty-memory... (read more)

      • Freaky Friday poster image

        Freaky Friday

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Jamie Lee Curtis can still be a sensational, sexy actress. And she proves it again in, of all movies, "Freaky Friday." The movie itself isn't much at least without her. An uninspired remake of the 1977 Disney comedy (which had Barbara Harris and Jodie Foster as the mother-daughter team who switch bodies one hectic Friday), it's a likable but flimsy retread that's barely worth the effort. Director Mark Waters (who made the arch satire The House of Yes") and writers Heather Hach... (read more)

      • Finding Nemo poster image

        Finding Nemo

        Roger Moore, Chicago Tribune

        It's the details that stand out whenever a classic film is converted to 3-D. With "Finding Nemo 3D," the shimmering sea surface, scratches on the lens of a diver's goggles, and smudge marks Nemo the clown fish makes when he mashes his face up against the glass wall of the aquarium that imprisons him all pop off the screen in the reissue of Pixar's undisputed masterpiece. The fish seem to float in between the surface of the screen and the deep blue underwater backgrounds of the South... (read more)

      • The Italian Job poster image

        The Italian Job

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Heist movies tend to be about irresponsible, illegal thrills or "left-handed forms of human endeavor," as John Huston described them in "The Asphalt Jungle" and "The Italian Job" is one robbery thriller that starts off with a spectacular rush. Director F. Gary Gray and company (including actors Mark Wahlberg and Ed Norton) give us an incredibly elaborate burglary in a sumptuous Venetian palazzo and a nerve-jangling, chaotic motorboat chase through the Venetian ... (read more)

      • Frailty poster image

        Frailty

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Most horror movies depend on our susceptibility to cliched scare setups and prefab gore. But most of "Frailty" is so good done in a low-key, realistic mood of genuine creepiness and dread that it doesn't need formula shocks. Then, unfortunately, the last third of the movie leads to a surprise ending that reverses the meaning of most of what we've seen. Up to then, Bill Paxton's directorial debut film about a family of small-town Southern serial killers is impressive. Paxton also... (read more)

      • Blade II poster image

        Blade II

        Robert K. Elder, Chicago Tribune

        As issues stack up, comic-book characters tend to sag under the weight of their soap-operatic narratives. When Superman got older, the cosmic Boy Scout needed to be reinvented and stripped down for each era so that new readers didn't have to keep track of complex and conflicting story lines and an ever-changing cast of characters. Marvel Comics recently did the same with a Spider-Man reboot, making Peter Parker a teen again in "Ultimate Spider-Man." "Blade II," starring We... (read more)

      • Ice Age poster image

        Ice Age

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        John Leguizamo, an actor of almost dizzying versatility, can do lots of good things in diverse formats, from scintillating one-man multi-character stage shows like "Freak" and "Mambo Mouth" to great roaring musicals like "Moulin Rouge," where he's a pop Toulouse-Lautrec. But who could have guessed Leguizamo also might be the new Mel Blanc? In the all-digital feature cartoon "Ice Age," an enjoyable slapstick family romp, Leguizamo plays Sid the Sloth, a ... (read more)

      • Monsters, Inc. poster image

        Monsters, Inc.

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        The main characters of "Monsters, Inc." are fantasy beasts who frighten children and capture their screams to use as fuel in the monsters' homeland. And they're the good guys. Given that Shrek was an ogre who disliked cuddly fairytale characters, we've obviously entered a new era for animated heroes, at least of the computer-generated kind. The "Toy Story" movies' Woody and Buzz Lightyear, after all, just wanted to make kids happy. Nevertheless, James P. Sullivan (a.k.a. &... (read more)

      • Memento poster image

        Memento

        Mark Caro, Chicago Tribune

        Memento is a thriller for people who are sick of thrillers, a puzzle movie in which the puzzle is actually worth the time and effort to solve. Suspense movies of late have been anything but suspenseful. The lead character faces some mystery, travels down right and wrong paths, gets double-crossed in an out-of-nowhere "surprise" and winds up in a chase in which the villain ultimately buys the farm. Young British writer-director Christopher Nolan (Following) turns the formula on its... (read more)

      • Titanic poster image

        Titanic

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        The ship so nice they sank it twice, the RMS Titanic has resurfaced from the icy depths of the Atlantic only to be subjected to a second dunking, this time with a 3-D up-charge, under the stewardship of Capt. James Cameron, master and commander. This week, Cameron's 1997 film -- perhaps you've heard of it? -- returns to theaters on both regular and IMAX-sized screens, just in time for this month's 100th anniversary of the doomed vessel's maiden and farewell 1912 voyage. How's the 3-D? It's fi... (read more)

      • Jurassic Park poster image

        Jurassic Park

        Roger Moore, Chicago Tribune

        Forget blowing the images up to Imax size and converting the lunging velociraptors and T. rexes into 3-D. The best reason to revive "Jurassic Park" for its 20th anniversary is Jeff Goldblum. Yes, children, there was a time when Goldblum was sci-fi's "ultimate explainer," as producer Dean Devlin labeled him in "Independence Day." Goldblum's bug-eyes said "scientist-smart," and his mannered, considered and hesitating line readings reinforce that. His very... (read more)

      • The Last Waltz poster image

        The Last Waltz

        Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune

        Martin Scorsese's 1978 film of The Band's all-star farewell concert, "The Last Waltz," is the greatest rock concert movie ever made and maybe the best rock movie, period. Now being re-released with restored picture and sound, for the original concert's 25th anniversary, "The Last Waltz" is a movie that exactly fits the words of Bob Dylan, who helps close the show with "Forever Young." This movie and the event it records with such rapture and passion is forever... (read more)

      • Home Again poster image

        Home Again

        Katie Walsh, Chicago Tribune

        The name "Meyers" has come to signify a very specific type of film in Hollywood -- the shiny, gentle, comforting and aspirational romantic family comedies that writer/director Nancy Meyers has perfected ("Something's Gotta Give," "The Holiday," "It's Complicated"). Her daughter, Hallie Meyers-Shyer, keeps that legacy alive with her directorial debut, "Home Again." Call it nepotism, call it a legacy, or simply call it the family business, which... (read more)

      • Mountain Patrol poster image

        Mountain Patrol

        Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune

        The descriptor is vague, but making a narrative feature in the "National Geographic style" can mean good things and less good things. In the case of "Mountain Patrol: Kekexili," which was co-produced by National Geographic World Films, it's a compliment. Shot in splendidly stark sections of the northwestern Tibetan plateau, the film - not a documentary, although it feels like one - tracks a group of volunteers who risk their lives trying to stop poachers from wiping out a ... (read more)

      • Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure poster image

        Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure

        Michael Esposito, Chicago Tribune

        National Geographic's "Sea Monsters 3D: A Prehistoric Adventure" dives into the toothy Cretaceous era's undersea world where the Great Plains were part of the seabed in an inland sea, a North American Mediterranean, 80 million years ago. The stories, narrated by Liev Schreiber, are based on fossil records. For example, the star of the film is a female dolichorhynchops or "doli" (pronounced "dolly"), a dolphin-sized marine reptile that fed mainly on fish and squid... (read more)

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        Marcus Campus Cinema
        103 Watson St.
        920-748-2506
        Rogers Campus 4
        1601 Sixth Avenue
        715-341-6161
        Tupelo Commons Cinema
        3088 Tupelo Commons Ave.
        662-205-3020