Last updated: February 19. 2013 11:50PM - 184 Views

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CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: WORLDS AWAY – Cirque du Soleil movies are a lot like ballet films: long on beauty and artistry, short on story. This is a 3-D catalog of the wonders of the Las Vegas shows, but the spectacle is a little less spectacular on film. PG for dramatic images and mild sensuality. 88 mins.


THE GUILT TRIP – Yentl goes yenta in this creakily old-fashioned comedy that forgot to pack the laughs along with the nudging and kvetching. This mother-son yakfest blows a gasket and four tires before it hits the road. PG-13 for language, risque material. 95 mins.

HITCHCOCK – The man who made Psycho was no lightweight, though he kind of comes off that way here. Starring Anthony Hopkins as Alfred Hitchcock and Helen Mirren as his wife and collaborator, Alma, Hitchcock puts a featherlight yet entertaining touch on the behind-the-scenes struggle to make the mother of all slasher films. PG-13 for violent images, sexual content and thematic material. 98 mins.


THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY — Stuffed with Hollywood's latest technology, Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings prelude is some eye candy that truly dazzles and some that utterly distracts, at least in its test-run of 48 frames a second, double the projection rate that has been standard since silent-film days. PG-13 for extended intense fantasy action violence and frightening images. 169 mins.


JACK REACHER – Whatever you think of Tom Cruise, you know he's not 6 feet 5 and well over 200 pounds, which is the way author Lee Child describes his crime-solving/justice-dispensing ex-military policeman, Jack Reacher. But even if Cruise isn't as physically imposing as the guy, he can still bring the intimidation, as he proves here, in this film based on Child's novel One Shot. PG-13 for violence, language and drug material. 130 mins.


LIFE OF PI — Author Yann Martel's tale of a shipwrecked youth cast adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger is one of those lyrical, internalized novels that should have no business working on the screen. But it does work, thanks to Ang Lee's adaptation. PG for emotional thematic content and scary action sequences. 126 mins.


LINCOLN — For anyone who worried this might be a near-parody of a Steven Spielberg film, with its heartfelt proclamations, sentimental tones and inspiring John Williams score, fret not. The movie itself is actually a lot more reserved than that. But this is easier to admire than love. PG-13 for intense war violence, carnage and brief strong language. 150 mins.

MONSTERS, INC. 3D – Monsters, Inc. may have lost the best animated film Oscar to Shrek. But ask any parent which film is aging better, and which DVD their children wear out, and the real winner emerges. Reason enough for a prequel, Monsters, University, to go into production. It comes out in June. And that's a good excuse for converting the computer-animated Monsters, Inc. to 3-D for a special holiday release. G. 92 mins.


RISE OF THE GUARDIANS – Based on The Guardians of Childhood books by William Joyce, this dark film reveals that North (Alec Baldwin), better known as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman (no voice actor; he never speaks) have a bigger calling than just providing gifts, eggs, quarters and sweet dreams. PG for thematic elements and mildly scary action. 97 mins.


SKYFALL — This is easily one of the best entries ever in the 50-year, 23-film series, led once again by an actor who's the best Bond yet in Daniel Craig. PG-13 for intense violent sequences, sexuality, language and smoking. 143 mins.

THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN — PART 2 — Finally the Twilight franchise embraces its own innate absurdity with this gleefully over-the-top conclusion. This is by far the best film in the series. PG-13 for violence including disturbing images, sensuality and partial nudity. 115 mins.

THIS IS 40 – Stupid freaking Judd Apatow, with his stupid freaking foul-mouthed and sentimental Hobbit-length comedies, his stupid freaking insistence on not only peopling them with his old comic cronies, but his wife and cursing kids. Happy freaking R-rated holidays, America. Here's your Meet the Parents this year — longer and less funny. R for sexual content, crude humor, pervasive language and some drug material. 131 mins.

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