Reel Picks


127 Hours (R)

Thrilling true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston (James Franco), trapped in an isolated canyon in Utah, his arm pinned under a boulder. For five days, Ralston reviews his life and discovers a desire for life compelling enough to enable him to amputate his own arm, and hike over eight miles for rescue.

Barney’s Version (R)

Paul Giamatti as the imperfect 60-something Barney, a touching study in contradictions: the tyrant of a Canadian television empire, unhappily divorced, estranged from his son, and the subject of a new book that accuses him of his best friend’s (Scott Steadman) murder. Minnie Driver playing his second wife, jilted at their wedding for his love-at-first-sight third wife (Rosamund Pike). Dustin Hoffman as his blue-collar father.

The Company Men (R)

A grim look at a harsh, upwardly mobile world. Three corporate men in a Boston company solely dedicated to the bottom line — Bobby (Ben Affleck), an executive with all the material trimmings, Phil (Chris Cooper), an old timer who rose from welder to executive, and second-in-command Gene (Tommy Lee Jones) — deal with downsizing, humiliation, and tough economic realities. Kevin Costner as Bobby’s building contractor brother-in-law, and Rosemarie DeWitt as Bobby’s wife. Fine performances.

The Fighter (R)

Welterweight Micky Ward’s (Mark Wahlberg) true-life story of the triumph of the underdog. The battles are really with hometown expectations, a tragic half-brother Dicky (Oscar-winning Christian Bale), and a domineering mother (Oscar-winning Melissa Leo).

Just Go With It (PG-13)

Adam Sandler at his most crudely predictable as the sophomoric Danny, a Los Angeles plastic surgeon pretending to be unhappily married to avoid commitment. When he decides to marry the perfect Palmer (Sports Illustrated supermodel Brooklyn Decker), he gets his assistant Katherine (Jennifer Aniston) and her kids to act as his estranged family and declare him free to marry. Even with Nicole Kidman as Devlin, Katherine’s old school rival, you’d do well to just go without.

The King’s Speech (R)

Best picture Oscar-winner. The struggle of King George VI (an absolutely brilliant Oscar-winning Colin Firth), with his stammer and his speech therapist Lionel (Geoffrey Rush). Stellar cast: Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Gambon, and Guy Pearce as his brother, King Edward VIII, whose abdication force him to ascend the throne and offer a speech that inspires.

Rango (PG)

A strange, wildly imaginative animated film with a cast of strange icky-looking characters and lots of inside movie humor. Rango (Johnny Depp) sheltered chameleon, whose purpose in life is to blend in, becomes sheriff of the lawless town of Dirt. Bring on the outrageous characters voiced by Stephen Root, Ned Beatty, Alfred Molina, Harry Dean Stanton, a chorus of mariachi owls, and bats with Gatling guns. Fun.