Reel Picks: More about movies playing this week


The Artist (PG-13)

A black-and-white, mostly silent film. It’s Hollywood, 1927. Silent movie star George Valentin wonders if the arrival of talking pictures will cause him to fade into oblivion, when he falls for a young dancer set for a big break. Nominated for 10 Oscars. Directed by Michel Hazanavicius, starring Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo. Dujardin won Best Actor at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Big Miracle (PG)

In a small Alaska town, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend — a Greenpeace volunteer — on a campaign to save a family of gray whales. Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, John Pingayak.

Contraband (R)

To protect his brother-in-law from a drug lord, a former smuggler heads to Panama for one final run, hoping to return with millions in counterfeit bills. Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi, Kate Beckinsale.

The Descendants (R)

A land baron (George Clooney) tries to re-connect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a boating accident. Directed by Alexander Payne, and with Shailene Woodley and Amara Mille. Nominated for five Oscars, including best picture and best actor (Clooney).

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (PG-13)

Nine-year-old Oskar, an inventor, letter writer, and amateur detective, finds a key in a vase in a closet a couple of years after his father died in 9/11. He searches New York City for the lock that matches the mysterious key left behind by his father. Starring Thomas Horn, Tom Hanks, Sandra Bullock.

The Grey (R)

In Alaska, an oil-drilling team struggles to survive after a plane crash strands them in the wild. Liam Neeson leads the unruly group battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt. Also stars Dermot Mulroney and Frank Grillo.

Haywire (R)

A highly trained operative and super soldier (Gina Carano) seeks payback after she is betrayed and set up during a mission. Directed by Steven Soderbergh. Also starring Ewan McGregor, Michael Fassbender, Michael Douglas.

Hugo (PG)

Martin Scorsese’s animated, melodramatic version of the award-winning children’s book set in Paris in 1931. Twelve-year-old Hugo keeps all the clocks ticking in the train station with the help of a mysterious mechanical man. With his friend Isabelle, Hugo finds the spare parts needed to keep Hugo going.

The Iron Lady (PG-13)

An unvarnished biographical study of the life of Margaret Thatcher, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power. It is another star turn for Meryl Streep with support from Jim Broadbent and Richard E. Grant. Nominated for two Oscars including best performance by an actress in a leading role, Streep.

Red Tails (PG-13)

Based on the true story of the World War II crew of African American pilots in the Tuskegee training program. Facing segregation, they are kept mostly on the ground during World War II, but are finally called into action. Terrence Howard, Cuba Gooding Jr., Gerald McRaney, David Oyelowo.

We Bought a Zoo (PG)

Based on a true story, a widowed father buys a dilapidated zoo in hopes of making a fresh start. Directed by Cameron Crowe. Starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson. Icelandic musician Jón Þór “Jónsi” Birgisson, the lead singer of the band Sigur Rós, composed the music.