Things to do today on Cape Cod

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Things to do today on Cape Cod

Posted on: May 20th, 2014 by tommyj

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Today’s Best Bet:

· The Lower Cape Outreach Council will hold a Beatles anniversary celebration, called “A Little Help from Our Friends,” 5 to 8 p.m. at Wellfleet Preservation Hall, featuring entertainment by Beatles historian and musician Tom Kelley and music by Tim Sweeney and the Fringe, plus food from local restaurants, a cash bar and an exhibit and sale of iconic Beatles-era photographs by Rowland Scherman. The event is part of the council’s annual “Week of Hope,” taking place Saturday through May 23, featuring special offers from more than 100 local businesses. Concert admission is the Week of Hope button ($20 at local businesses) that also works for the discounts. Proceeds help support a food assistance program.


· International folk dance, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Masjah Studio, upstairs, 181 Route 137, East Harwich. $5. 508-237-2650.

· Square and round dancing, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dennis Senior Center, 1045 Route 134. $7. 508-237-3057.

· Patrick’s Trivia Quiz, 7 p.m. Tuesday, O’Shea’s Olde Inne, 348 Main St. (Route 28), West Dennis. 508-398-8887.

· Texas Hold ’em tournaments, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Red Face Jack’s Sports Pub, Route 28, West Yarmouth. $5. 774-208-1112.

· Trivia with Dan, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, The Starvin’ Marlin, 2377 Main St., Brewster. 774-323-0707.

· Trivia with Cubey, 8 p.m. Tuesday, British Beer Company, 412 Main St., Hyannis. 508-771-1776.

Karaoke/open mic:

· Karaoke Dance Party, 9 p.m. Friday and Tuesday, Cape Cod Claddagh Inn, 77 Main St., West Harwich. 508-432-6333.

· Karaoke with DJ Andy, 9 p.m. Tuesday, Liam Maguire’s Irish Pub, 273 Main St., Falmouth. 508-548-0285.


· Sean Brennan and the Skiffs, 9 p.m. Tuesday, O’Shea’s Olde Inne, 348 Main, St., West Dennis. 508-398-8887.


· Gallery talk by Barbara Sparre, 11 a.m. Tuesday, Cahoon Museum of American Art, 9 North St., Mashpee Commons (temporary location). In conjunction with exhibit “Retrospective of the Works by Richard Sparre”; on view through June 8. 508-428-7581.


· Voices of Poetry, 7 p.m. Tuesday, Brewster Ladies’ Library, 1822 Main St. Night of poetry and music. Readings by accomplished poets Elizabeth Bradfield, Leonard Germinara, Kristin Knowles, and Maria Nazos; eight-string guitar by Fred Fried. Refreshments. 508-896-3913. FREE!

Capsule movie reviews

ALAN PARTRIDGE 2 1/2 stars. Steve Coogan imports his long-running stock comic character to the U.S. Partridge, a small-town British DJ, is a vainglorious twit. In this thin feature he gets caught up in a siege at his station that goes on far, far too long. 1 hr. 30 R (profanity, violence, nudity) — David Hiltbrand

THE ATTORNEY 3 1/2 stars. A hustler-attorney’s life changes when he takes on a case involving a student who was arrested and tortured by the South Korean government in this true story. 2 hrs. 07 No MPAA rating (profanity, mild violence, scenes of torture, smoking) — Tirdad Derakhshani

BAD WORDS 2 1/2 stars. Jason Bateman stars as a cynically contemptuous 40-year-old who insists on competing in a national children’s spelling bee. Rohan Chand plays his precocious 10-year-old sidekick. Wicked fun until it elects to go sappy. 1 hr. 28 R (pervasive profanity, nudity, sex, crude humor) — David Hiltbrand

BETHLEHEM 3 1/2 stars. Former Israeli intelligence officer and philosophy scholar Yuval Adler delivers a veritable masterpiece with his feature debut, a taut, edge-of-your-seat espionage thriller about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict co-written by noted Muslim Palestinian journalist Ali Waked. At once a deeply moving, violent tragedy, a rich character study, and a lacerating critique of both sides in the armed struggle, the film centers on the ambivalent relationship between an Israeli Secret Service and a Palestinian teen he cultivates as an informant. It’s sure to haunt you. In Hebrew and Arabic with English subtitles. 1 hr. 39 No MPAA rating (intense battle scenes, violence, profanity, smoking) — Tirdad Derakhshani

BLOOD TIES 2 stars. Celebrated for his extraordinary directorial debut, the lightning-paced Hitchcockian thriller “Ne Le Dis À Personne” (“Tell No One”), director Guillaume Canet’s first English language film is a derivative somnolescent character study set in Brooklyn about two warring brothers on opposite sides of the law. Remade from an equally uneven 2008 French thriller, the film stars Clive Owen as a violent career criminal who returns to his old ways after a 12-year stretch in prison. Billy Crudup plays his baby brother, a timid, cerebral police detective unsure whether he should help his brother or hunt him down. A disappointing work despite a great cast that includes James Caan, Mila Kunis, Marion Cotillard, Noah Emmerich and Lili Taylor. 2 hrs. 07 R (violence, profanity, some sexual content, drug use, smoking) — Tirdad Derakhshani

BREATHE IN 2 1/2 stars. Felicity Jones is the homewrecker from across the pond in this graceful, muted, but ultimately unsatisfying tale of a piano prodigy who moves in with a family (Guy Pearce, Amy Ryan, a daughter played by Mackenzie Davis). Moral of the story: beware the pretty, pouty foreign exchange student, unless you want your whole life busted up. 1 hr. 38 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

BRICK MANSIONS2 stars. Luc Besson produced this tediously felicitous remake of his thrilling 2004 action film District 13 starring the late Paul Walker as a Detroit cop who teams up with an anarchic civilian crime fighter (French parkour maestro David Belle) to take down a drug lord (RZA) who has hijacked a ticking nuclear bomb. See it if you must, but you’ll have a better, happier, more fulfilled life if you rent the original. 1 hr. 30 PG-13 (profanity, violence, drug use, drug selling, guns, sexuality) — Tirdad Derakhshani

CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER 2 1/2 stars. The ninth installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe brings Steve “Cap” Rogers (Chris Evans, sporting Popeye biceps) to modern-day Washington, D.C., where the old school “super soldier” struggles to come to terms with a preemptive, paranoid government mindset. With Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury, and Robert Redford in a sinister supporting role. 2 hrs. 16 PG-13 (action, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

CÉSAR CHÁVEZ 2 stars. This biopic looks at the labor leader’s personal life and professional commitment in gaining rights for farmworkers. 1 hr. 41 PG-13 (violence, profanity, smoking) — Tirdad Derakhshani

DIVERGENT 3 stars. Dystopian teen drama, with Shailene Woodley as a Katniss Everdeen-type, defying the 22nd century post-apocalyptic social order, and Theo James as her mysterious, muscle-y warrior mentor. Adapted from the Veronica Roth novel, and directed, surefootedly, by Neil Burger (“Limitless, “The Illusionist) 2 hrs. 19 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

DOM HEMINGWAY3 stars. Jude Law, with mutton chop sideburns and a fierce swagger, chews up the scenery in this testosterone-fueled talkfest about a safecracker who’s done his time in prison rather than rat out his boss. Twelve years later, Dom emerges from the slammer, looking for his reward. With Richard E. Grant and Demian Bichir. 1 hr. 33 R (violence, profanity, sex, nudity, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

DRAFT DAY2 1/2 stars. Kevin Costner is the beleaguered general manager of the Cleveland Browns, trying to make the right decision on that fateful spring day when the NFL teams go culling through the college rosters. Ah, professional football: The thrill of victory. The agony of defeat. The teleconferencing. With Jennifer Garner and Denis Leary. 1 hr. 52 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ENEMY 2 stars. Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a gloomy Gus college prof, and as a struggling Toronto actor, in this dour doppelganger psycho-thriller from “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve. With Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon and Isabella Rossellini. 1 hr. 30 R (nudity, sex, profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE FACE OF LOVE 1 1/2 stars. Annette Bening and Ed Harris are trapped in Lifetime Channel-like mush, about a widow who meets a man who’s a dead ringer for her dead husband. Love, longing and looniness ensue. 1 hr. 32 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER 4 stars. A fascinating puzzle-piece mystery — and a revelatory portrait of an eccentic figure who worked as a nanny in Chicago, from the ’50s through the ’90s — and who dragged her charges through the city, taking pictures. The heretofore unknown street photographs are nothing less than brilliant; the documentary about this curious figure is a find in more ways than one. 1 hr. 23 No MPAA rating (adult themes) — Steven Rea

FRANKIE & ALICE 2 stars. Halle Berry acts up a storm in a strange, overheated film about a woman with disassociative identity disorder who flips between personalities. Stellan Skarsgard is the psychiatrist trying to help her integrate. 1 hr. 41 R (profanity, sexual themes, drug use) — David Hiltbrand

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL 4 stars. Wes Anderson’s eighth, and most teeming film, is a Between the Wars comic caper set in a fictitious central European land, where Ralph Fiennes is the concierge of an elegant alpine hostelry. When a wealthy guest dies, and the will is read, a mad dash for money and a prized painting ensues. With Adrien Brody, Willem Defoe, F. Murray Abraham, Saoirse Ronan and newcomer Tony Revolori. Sublime. R (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

HATESHIP LOVESHIP 3 stars. Kristen Wiig brings deft comic grace notes to her portrayal of a single, solitary caregiver who becomes the victim of a prank perpetrated by two teenage girls in this pitch-perfect adaptation of an Alice Munro story. Great cast includes Guy Pearce, Nick Nolte, Hailee Steinfeld and Sami Gayle. 1 hr. 44 R (sex, profanity, drugs, adult themes) — Steven Rea

A HAUNTED HOUSE 2 One-half star. A lazy sequel to an already miserable film, this insulting, profane spoof of recent horror hits has Marlon Wayans reprise his role as Malcolm, a reluctant hero who battled a demon who possessed his girlfriend (Essence Atkins) in the first pic. The new one is the same: He battles demons who are after his new lady (Jaime Pressly) and her two kids. 1 hr. 27 R (violence, graphic sexuality, pervasive profanity, ethnic slurs, drugs) — Tirdad Derakhshani

IN SECRET 1 1/2 stars. A kind of Frenchified “Postman Always Rings Twice,” with a rowboating scenario straight out of “A Place in the Sun.” Only, Émile Zola thought of it all first: This overwrought tale of obsessive love-turned-curdled love, of murder, money, and meddlesome acquaintances, is based on his 1867 novel” Thérèse Raquin. Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac, Tom Felton, and Jessica Lange star. 1 hr. 52 R (sex, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

IN THE BLOOD 2 stars. Mixed martial arts champ Gina Carano gets a bloody, B-movie vehicle to star in. When her husband disappears on the couple’s Caribbean honeymoon, matters must be taken into her own hands — and fists, and feet. 1 hr. 47 R (violence, intense action, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

JOE 3 stars. Nicolas Cage flexes his muscles (and flares his nostrils) in this bourbon-soaked character study of a soul-wracked Texas tree cutter and the “little drifter kid” he befriends. With Tye Sheridan, from the not disimilar “Mud.” 1 hr. 57 R (violence, profanity, sex, adult themes) — Steven Rea

KIDS FOR CASH 3 1/2 stars. A no-nonsense, no-stone-unturned documentary about the scandal that rocked Luzerne County, Pa., in 2009, in which a pair of judges pocketed $2.6 million after they helped facilitate the opening of a privately owned juvenile detention center. A center where one of the judges proceeded to send literally thousands of youths who stood before his bench — some of them charged with no more than classroom pranks. Chilling, powerful stuff. 1 hr. 42 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

LE WEEK-END 3 stars. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan, both terrific, are a long-married couple taking a getaway in that most romantic of cities, Paris. A walking and talking (and running) snapshot of a relationship and its ups and downs. With Jeff Goldblum as an old friend, whose invitation to dinner results in some soul-baring revelations. 1 hr. 33 R (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON 4 stars. Winner of the Jury Prize at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Hirokazu Koreeda’s new film explores the bonds between parent and child — and what happens when a well-to-do couple discover their 6-year-old son is not, in fact, theirs. Full of gentle humor and piercing insight, an exploration of themes essential to us all. 2 hrs. 01 No MPAA rating (adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE LUNCHBOX 4 stars. Exquisite and exciting, exotic and inviting, this tale of a romance that begins with a misdelivered meal will put a smile on your face, a tear in your eye. Set in the teeming thrum of Mumbai, Ritesh Batran’s first feature is full of whimsy and wisdom, and boasts a beautifully quiet and wholly realized performance from “Slumdog Millionaire’s” Irrfan Khan. 1 hr. 44 PG (adult themes) — Steven Rea

MR. PEABODY & SHERMAN 3 stars. A time travel movie, a father-and-son movie, a boy-meets-girl movie, a movie that doggedly celebrates the art of the pun. But most significantly, this snappy adaptation of the ’60s “Rocky and Bullwinkle” cartoon segments is a movie about the smartest creature on Earth — who just happens to be a beagle — and his adopted human boy. The bow-tied canine and his bespectacled kid find themselves ricocheting through the centuries, exploring history firsthand, and firstpaw. PG (cartoon violence) — Steven Rea

THE MONUMENTS MEN 2 stars. George Clooney, in epaulets and Clark Gable mustache, leads a gang of art experts, tasked with retrieving troves of artwork stolen by the Nazis in this throwback to Hollywood’s war movies of yore. Alas, it’s a throwback that’s thrown its back out — limping along, trailed by battalions of stereotypes and ammo rounds of cliche. With Matt Damon, John Goodman and Cate Blanchett. 1 hr. 58 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE MUPPETS MOST WANTED 2 1/2 stars. An evil frog is masquerading as Kermit while the real thing is hopping mad in a Russian gulag. The premise doesn’t matter once the songs and gags start flowing. Ricky Gervais, Tina Fey and Ty Burrell co-star in this light entertainment. 1 hr. 52 PG (cartoonish action) — David Hiltbrand

NEED FOR SPEED 3 stars. “Breaking Bad’s” Aaron Paul gets his own starring vehicle — and climbs into several, including a Shelby Mustang and a Koenigsegg Agera, in this cross-country, road-racing, revenge-taking, stunt-driving cannonball of a movie. PG-13 (intense action, violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

NOAH 3 stars. Darren Aronofsky’s audacious, hallucinogenic reimagining of the Old Testament text is the movie equivalent of Christian death metal. It’s an antideluvian “Lord of the Rings,” fist-pumping, ferocious, apocalyptic and wet — very wet. With a brooding, burly Russell Crowe in the title role, and CG-generated rock monsters on hand to help build the fabled ark. 2 hrs. 18 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. I 3 stars. Provocateur and prankster Lars von Trier’s latest stars Charlotte Gainsbourg in the title role, recounting her tales of sexual obsession to a man (Stellan Skarsgård) who finds her in a bloodied heap on the street. A simple story, really, filled with graphic sex and asides about fishing and cutlery. Thin, saucer-eyed British model Stacy Martin stars in the flashbacks, and porn doubles are used for the nitty-gritty bits. In-your-face and, mostly, enjoyably ridiculous. 1 hr. 58 No MPAA rating (graphic sex, nudity, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

NYMPHOMANIAC: VOL. II 2 stars. Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgård resume the discussion — illustrated, graphically, in explicit flashbacks — that they began in the first installment of Lars von Trier’s provocation about sex addiction, social isolation and who-knows-what. 2 hrs. 3 No MPAA rating (graphic sex, nudity, profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

OCULUS 3 1/2 stars. A woman tries to win her brother’s freedom by proving that the murder he was convicted of was committed by a supernatural force. 1 hr. 45 R (scenes of extreme bloody violence, profanity, sexual situations) — Tirdad Derakhshani

ODD THOMAS Adapted from the Dean Koontz novel, “G.I. Joe: Retaliation” director Stephen Sommers’ charming, if a little too cloying, romantic dramedy-slash-supernatural thriller stars Anton Yelchin as Odd Thomas, a small town short order cook who sees dead people — and helps them seek justice against their killers. Co-starring a delightfully goofy Willem Dafoe as the town cop and diminutive girl-next-door turned sexpot Addison Timlin as Odd’s girlfriend, the film pits the ghost detective against a cabal of Satanists. 1 hr. 58 R (profanity, nudity, violence, gore, syphilitic pox-ridden villain) — Tirdad Derakhshani

OMAR 3 stars. From Palestine, a clenched drama about a young resistance fighter, trapped behind the mazelike barriers of the West Bank and caught up in a web of conspiracy, betrayal, paranoia, and, yes, love. Gripping, grim, and a foreign-language Oscar nominee. 1 hr. 38 No MPAA rating (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ONLY LOVERS LEFT ALIVE 3 1/2 stars. Jim Jarmusch’s sly and seductive vampire movie, starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton as two old (very old) lovers, is as much about the life-sustaining force of music as it is about any hankering for blood. With Anton Yelchin, Mia Wasikowska and John Hurt. 2 hrs. 03 R (profanity, nudity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

ON MY WAY 2 1/2 stars. At 70, French cinema goddess Catherine Deneuve continues to enthrall in “On My Way,” a droll, if minor dramedy about Bettie, a former beauty queen from rural France who walks out on her life when her married lover leaves her for a younger man. Refusing to fold, she goes on a road trip with her tween grandson, befriending a motley crew of oddballs on the way. While charming and fresh in its first half, the film falls into a rut in its cliché-driven final part. 1 hr. 56 No MPAA rating (adult themes, profanity, smoking, celebration of cigarettes) — Tirdad Derakhshani

THE OTHER WOMAN 2 stars. Leslie Mann — ditzy and gasping, Lucille Ball and Olive Oyl rolled into one, in panic attack mode — makes this formulaic sex farce tolerable, barely. She’s the wife who discovers her husband is cheating on her with Cameron Diaz, and with Kate Upton. The trio team up, in a spirit of twisted sisterhood, to exact revenge. PG-13 (sex, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

PARTICLE FEVER 4 stars. Shot over seven years, this brilliant, majestic and remarkably accessible science documentary co-produced and narrated by particle physicist David Kaplan chronicles how 10,000 scientists and engineers came together to build what in effect is the ultimate test tube for particle physics, the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator at CERN in Switzerland. Kaplan explains with quiet authority, patience, and great wit how the LHC, one of the largest machine every built, is can help clarify some of the most fundamental questions about the universe: How was matter created, what is the deep foundational theory of nature? 1 hr. 39 No MPAA rating (accessible for all ages) — Tirdad Derakhshani

THE PAST 3 stars. Asghar Farhadi’s followup to his Oscar winning “A Separation” is set in a working-class quarter of Paris, where a woman (“The Artist’s” Bérénice Bejo, amazing) has summoned her estranged husband back from Iran to finalize their divorce, inviting him to stay in the apartment she shares with her new beau and three children. Things get messy in this thickly knotted and compelling tale. PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE RAID 2 3 1/2 stars. Combine every film made by Bruce Lee and muay thai master Tony Jaa and you might get an approximation of the sheer level of martial arts mayhem, gun-and-knife-play, car chases, explosions, murder, maiming and general blood-letting in this extraordinary sequel. Indonesian actor, stunt-man and Silat fighter Iko Uwais returns as Jakarta cop Rama, the sole survivor of a police raid who goes undercover to destroy three gangs, including a group of dirty, deadly cops. R (strong bloody violence, sexuality, profanity) — Tirdad Derakhshani

THE RAILWAY MAN 3 stars. Hang in through the stuffy start and you’ll get an emotionally powerful (though graphic) film about the horrors of (world) war (II) and its aftereffects. With Colin Firth and Jeremy Irvine. 1 hr. 56 R (torture scenes) — David Hiltbrand

RIO 2 2 stars. Blue-feathered 3-D computer-animated Spix’s macaw Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and his mate Jewel (Anne Hathaway) return for another life-, love-, family- and environment-affirming adventure in this muddled, mediocre sequel to the $485 million-grossing hit from 2011. Joined by their motley crew of animal pals (Tracy Morgan, Jamie Foxx, and George Lopez) they trek deep into the Amazon rain forest in search of other members of their nearly-extinct species. The musical numbers are grand and pretty, but the plot is muddled and the message woefully facile. 1 hr. 41 G — Tirdad Derakhshani

THE ROCKET 3 1/2 stars. Australian director Kim Mordaunt made his name with his harrowing docu “Bomb Harvest,” about Laotian children killed each year collecting for scrap metal unexploded bombs that have littered the countryside since the Vietnam War. He returns to Laos for his first drama, an aching, poetic coming of age story about a 10-year-old boy whose family is uprooted from their land and their traditions by the construction of a new dam. A searing, yet hopeful, look at a world where life is unimaginably precarious. 1 hr. 36 No MPAA rating (adult themes, mild violence, some gore, profanity) — Tirdad Derakhshani

SABOTAGE 2 stars. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the head of a DEA squad that is half outlaw. Good cast (including Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Mireille Enos and Olivia Williams) and lots of bang-bang spectacle. Just don’t expect to make sense of what’s going on. 1 hr. 49 R (graphic violence, nudity, sex, pervasive profanity, drug abuse) — David Hiltbrand

THE SINGLE MOMS CLUB 2 stars. In Tyler Perry’s latest, women from different social classes (Nia Long, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Cocoa Brown, Amy Smart and Zulay Henao) bond over the challenges of single parenting. A breezy but banal melodrama. 1 hr. 51 PG-13 (adult themes) — David Hiltbrand

SON OF GOD 2 stars. Condensed and reconfigured from the 10-hour History Channel miniseries, “The Bible,” with Portuguese model-turned-screen player Diogo Morgado in the role of Jesus of Nazareth, inspiring his followers, performing miracles, and getting arrested, tried and nailed to a cross. With its Sunday school narration and periodic flyovers of a computer-rendered Jerusalem, and with a cast that can best be described as handsome, the film reduces the civilization-shaping events in the life and times of Jesus to a cheesy clip reel. 2 hrs. 18 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

STRANGER BY THE LAKE 3 1/2 stars. French Director Alain Guiraudie’s Hitchcockian murder mystery is a stunning, beautiful and stark minimalist piece set at a provincial lake where gay men meet to sunbathe and hook up. The sexually explicit story is about a love triangle of sorts, between the young, handsome Franck, an older, overweight man whom he befriends and a dark, mysterious stranger who fascinates Franck — even after the stranger kills another man. 1 hr. 37 No MPAA rating (male nudity, graphic sex acts, profanity, some violence) — Tirdad Derakhshani

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE 2 1/2 stars. As in the original 300 film, the vastly outnumbered ancient Greeks are trying to hold off the invading Persians. But this time they’re fighting on boats — and against a villainess (Eva Green). And as in the original, you get gruesome stylized violence mixed with visual panache. 1 hr. 42 R (strong violence, sex, nudity, profanity) — David Hiltbrand

TIM’S VERMEER 3 1/2 stars. Fascinating, illuminating documentary about inventor Tim Jenison’s obsessive project to prove that the 17th century Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer, long hailed for his photorealistic style, used optical devices to get the job, and the art, done. Narrated by Penn Jillette, directed by his less gabby show biz sidekick, Teller. 1 hr. 20 PG-13 (adult themes) — Steven Rea

TRANSCENDENCE 2 1/2 stars. Johnny Depp is a superstar in the field of artificial intelligence — you can tell by the glasses he wears — in this big idea thriller where the forces of technology and humanity collide. Even with the snazzy visual effects, it’s a messy, talky endeavor. With Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany, Morgan Freeman and Kate Mara. 1 hr. 59 PG-13 (violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

UNDER THE SKIN 3 1/2 stars. Scarlett Johansson, slightly robotic and definitely hypnotic, stars in this deeply creepy and mysterious noir, about a stranger who trolls around looking for men to seduce, and devour. From filmmaker Jonathan Glazer. 1 hr. 48 R (nudity, sexual violence, profanity, adult themes) — Steven Rea

THE UNKNOWN KNOWN 2 stars. Errol Morris, who won an Oscar for “The Fog of War,” is less impressive with his latest subject, George W. Bush’s controversial secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld. At turns earnest, perplexed and frustrated, Morris tries to get to the truth behind the official line about the War on Terror and its many alleged blunders and atrocities. He’s frustrated at every turn by Rumsfeld’s brilliant cunning in parrying, dodging, twisting and reversing queries. 1 hr. 43 PG-13 (violent images, language, brief nudity) — Tirdad Derakhshani

VERONICA MARS 2 1/2 stars. It’s a reunion for the TV cult fave about the teen private eye, including star Kristen Bell and creator Rob Thomas. The film maintains the kicky, snarky spirit of the series, but is unlikely to claim new fans. 1 hr. 47 PG-13 (adult themes, profanity, violence, drug abuse) — David Hiltbrand

WALKING WITH THE ENEMY 1 stars. The story of a Hungarian Holocaust hero is rendered in the dullest manner imaginable. A thick goulash of bad wigs and worse accents. 1 hr. 59 PG-13 (ruthless violence) — David Hiltbrand

THE WIND RISES 4 stars. A love song about flight, about childhood obsessions realized, Hayao Miyazaki’s latest and possibly last feature (he has announced his retirement, but he’s done that before), has the same dreamlike sense of magic that imbues all of the cartoon maestro’s work — even though it’s a story rooted in fact: the story of aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi. Nominated for the animated feature Academy Award. 2 hrs. 06 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

RATINGS: 4 stars: Excellent; 3 stars: Good; 2 stars: Fair; 1 star: Poor


Capsule Reviews ©2014 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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