Thriller follows the rapid progress of a lethal airborne virus that kills within days. As the fast-moving epidemic grows, the worldwide medical community races to find a cure and control the panic that spreads faster than the virus itself. At the same time, ordinary people struggle to survive in a society coming apart.
Vitals: Director: Steven Soderbergh. Stars: Gwyneth Paltrow, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, John Hawkes, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Tien You Chui, Josie Ho Josie, Daria Strokous, Monique Gabriela Curnen. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $75.178 million, Warner.
Comedic, fish out of water tale of murder, blackmail, drug trafficking and rural police corruption, and the two cops who must join forces to take on an international drug-smuggling gang: an unorthodox Irish policeman and a straitlaced FBI agent. Cynical and crass, Sergeant Gerry Boyle (Brendan Gleeson) is an eccentric small-town cop with a confrontational personality and a subversive sense of humor. A longtime policeman in County Galway, Boyle is a bit of a maverick with his own moral code, not always above the law but certainly with its own high standards. Boyle takes nothing and no one seriously, but when the small town Boyle patrols becomes an important location in the greater scheme of things, he is forced to at least feign interest when dealing with the humorless FBI agent Wendell Everett (Don Cheadle) assigned to the case. Everett looks down on Boyle as a provincial low level cop with a limited view of the world who doesn't take anything seriously. Boyle doesn't have any higher appreciation for Everett, who he sees as a by the book cop with a chip on his shoulder and no understanding of how the real world runs. But events force Boyle to team up with Everett: Boyle's enthusiastic partner disappears, his favorite hooker attempts to blackmail him into turning a blind eye, and finally the drug-traffickers themselves try to buy him off as they have every other member of the local police force. The two eventually team up for an unlikely friendship and explosive finale.
Vitals: Director: John Michael McDonagh. Stars: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Liam Cunningham, David Wilmot, Rory Keenan, Mark Strong, Fionnula Flanagan.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 96 min., Crime Thriller Comedy, Box office gross: $4.984 million, Sony.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark
Redo of the 1973 TV cult classic starring Kim Darby and Jim Hutton. A young girl moves to Rhode Island to live with her father and his new girlfriend in the 19th century mansion they are restoring. While exploring the house, she starts to hear voices coming from creatures in the basement -- whose hidden agenda is to claim her as one of their own. Produced by Guillermo del Toro, who thinks the original is believes is the scariest TV production ever made. Like del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth," the film focuses on a young girl's struggle against menacing and terrifying forces.
Vitals: Director: Troy Nixey. Stars: Katie Holmes, Guy Pearce, Bailee Madison.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 99 min., Horror, Box office gross: $23.866 million, Sony.
Arriving by boat at her family's Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. But when star football player Malik stumbles from the salt-water lake with his arm torn off, the party mood quickly evaporates. Assuming the injury was caused by a freak wake-boarding accident, the group realizes they have to get Malik to a hospital on the other side of the lake, and fast. But as they set out in a tiny speedboat, the college friends discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks. As they face one grisly death after another, Sara and the others struggle desperately to fend off the sharks, get help and stay alive long enough to reach the safety of dry land.
Vitals: Director: . Stars: Sara Paxton, Sinqua Walls, Dustin Milligan, Chris Carmack, Katharine McPhee, Chris Zylka.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 91 min., Horror, Box office gross: $18.656 million, Relativity Media.
I Don't Know How She Does It
Trying to balance work and family is a non-stop juggling act for Kate Reddy (Sarah Jessica Parker). As a determined Boston-based finance executive, she devotes her day to her job and her night to her adoring husband Richard (Greg Kinnear) and their two young children. In between conference calls, meetings, deadlines, and her daughter's school bake sale, Kate manages to survive on a daily basis. But when she gets handed a major new account that will require frequent trips to New York, and Richard also wins the new job he's been hoping for, both will be spreading themselves even thinner. Complicating matters is Kate's charming new business associate, Jack Abelhammer (Pierce Brosnan), a handsome executive whose unexpected emotional support becomes a source of refuge.
Vitals: Director: Douglas McGrath. Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks, Kelsey Grammer, Seth Meyers, Olivia Munn.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 90 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $9.639 million, The Weinstein Company.
Based on Michael Lewis' nonfiction bestseller "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game," about Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, who assembled a contending baseball club on a shoestring budget by employing a sophisticated computer-based analysis to draft players. Brad Pitt stars as Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A's, who continually loses his star players to other teams with bigger budgets. Beane has an epiphany: All of baseballís conventional wisdom is wrong. Forced to reinvent his team on a tight budget, Beane seeks a way outsmart the richer clubs: The onetime jock teams with Ivy League grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) in an unlikely partnership -- using computer modeling -- to recruit bargain players that the scouts call flawed, but all of whom have an ability to get on base, score runs, and win games. Itís more than baseball, itís a revolution -- one that challenges old school traditions and puts Beane in the crosshairs of those who say he's tearing out the heart and soul of the game.
Vitals: Director: Bennett Miller. Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Wright, Chris Pratt, Stephen Bishop, Brent Jennings. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 133 min., Sports Drama, Box office gross: $72.641 million, Sony.
What's Your Number?
After reading a magazine article that insists if a woman has slept with at least 20 people that they have already missed Mr. Right, marketing executive Ally Darling (Anna Faris) begins to panic, thinking that she will be alone forever. With the help of her hunky new neighbor (Chris Evans), Ally starts tracking down all her ex-boyfriends, hoping to find her real true love while she helps him escape his latest fling. Hijinks and adventure ensues as Ally goes on her wild search for the best "ex" of her life, only to find what she is looking has been right in front of her all along.
Vitals: Director: Mark Mylod. Stars: Anna Faris, Chris Evans, Ari Graynor, Blythe Danner, Ed Begley Jr. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 106 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $14.008 million, Fox.
Adapted from Ranulph Fiennes' best-seller "The Feathermen." Based on real events, the story follows a group of former British special forces members who are being hunted by assassins. Statham plays a former Navy Seal who is forced out of retirement to save his closest friend. Not a remake of Sam Peckinpah's 1975 feature "The Killer Elite."
Vitals: Director: Gary McKendry. Stars: Jason Statham, Clive Owen, Robert De Niro, Yvonne Strahovski, Dominic Purcell, Aden Young, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Ben Mendelsohn.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 117 min., Action Thriller, Box office gross: $25.093 million, Universal.
Pregnant, married and awkward at 18 years, Corrine Miller grows more and more interested in Jesus, eventually giving herself over to a radical New Testament church. Amidst her community of self-described "Jesus Freaks," Corrine's daily life consists of hours of Bible study, alternative family practices and bracing for the oncoming Rapture. It's only when her marriage begins to unravel that Corrine dares to question the religious dogma she has embraced for her entire life. Vitals: Director: Vera Farmiga. Stars: Vera Farmiga, Joshua Leonard, Donna Murphy, John Hawkes, Bill Irwin, Dagmara Dominczyk, Norbert Leo Butz.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 109 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.825 million, Sony.
The Ides of March
Idealistic campaign worker Stephen Myers (Ryan Gosling) has sworn to give all for Governor Mike Morris (George Clooney), a wild-card presidential candidate whose groundbreaking ideas could change the political landscape. However, a brutal Ohio primary threatens to test Morris's integrity. Stephen gets trapped in the down-and-dirty battle, discovering himself caught up in a scandal where the only path to survival is to play both sides.
Vitals: Director: George Clooney. Stars: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Marisa Tomei and Evan Rachel Wood.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 101 min., Political Drama, Box office gross: $40.567 million, Company.
A thriller centered on a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website. For as long as he can remember, Nathan has had an unsettling feeling about his life. His feeling is confirmed when he stumbles upon the missing persons website and, just as he begins to uncover the truth about his identity, he finds himself having to run for his life.
Vitals: Director: John Singleton. Stars: Taylor Lautner, Lily Collins, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello, Michael Nyqvist, Sigourney Weaver.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 106 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $27.626 million, Lionsgate.
As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer, yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, they quickly discover that their children are beginning to drift further away from them. When tragedy hits home, these men are left with a newfound urgency to renew their faith and reach out to their own children. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those who are most dear to them?
Vitals: Director: Alex Kendrick. Stars: Alex Kendrick, Ken Bevel, Ben Davies, Kevin Downes, T.C. Stallings. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 129 min., Family Drama, Box office gross: $32.338 million, Sony.
A gritty, white-knuckle, action ride set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. Hugh Jackman stars as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. Now nothing but a small-time promoter, Charlie earns just enough money piecing together low-end bots from scrap metal to get from one underground boxing venue to the next. When Charlie hits rock bottom, he reluctantly teams up with his estranged son Max (Dakota Goyo) to build and train a championship contender. As the stakes in the brutal, no-holds-barred arena are raised, Charlie and Max, against all odds, get one last shot at a comeback.
Vitals: Director: Shawn Levy. Stars: Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Evangeline Lilly, Anthony Mackie, Kevin Durand, Hope Davis, James Rebhorn.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 127 min., Sci-Fi Action, Box office gross: $82.557 million, DreamWorks.
Based on a true story, Whistleblower chronicles the trials of a female cop who serves as a peacekeeper in post-war Bosnia and exposes a United Nations cover-up of a sex trafficking scandal. When Nebraska cop Kathryn Bolkovac (Rachel Weisz) accepts a U.N. peacekeeper position in post-war Bosnia, she uncovers a deadly sex trafficking ring. After learning that fellow peacekeepers and military contractors are involved in the ghastly practice and its cover-up, Bolkovac risks her own life to save the lives of others and expose the corruption.
Vitals: Director: Larysa Kondracki. Stars: Rachel Weisz, Vanessa Redgrave, David Strathairn, Benedict Cumberbatch, Monica Bellucci, David Hewlett.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 112 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $58.000 million, Fox.
Diagnosed with a rare spinal cancer, 27-year-old Adam (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) navigates the road to recovery with the sometimes overbearing support of his crude best friend (Seth Rogen), his smothering mother (Anjelica Huston) and an inexperienced therapist (Anna Kendrick). Inspired by a true story.
Vitals: Director: Jonathan Levine. Stars: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard, Anjelica Huston.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $34.963 million, Summit Entertainment.
Paranormal Activity 3
Second sequel in the popular series of films that document paranormal activity. Here it's 1988, and young sisters Katie and Kristi befriend an invisible entity who resides in their home.
Vitals: Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman. Stars: Christopher Nicholas Smith, Lauren Bittner, Chloe Csengery, Jessica Tyler Brown, Dustin Ingram, Maria Olsen. 2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 83 min., Horror, Box office gross: $103.783 million, Paramount.
Annabel Cotton (Mia Wasikowska) is a charming terminal cancer patient with a deep felt love of life and the natural world. Enoch Brae (Henry Hopper) is a young man who has dropped out of the business of living after an accident claimed the life of his parents. When these two outsiders chance to meet at a funeral, they find an unexpected common ground in their unique experiences of the world. For Enoch, it includes his best friend Hiroshi (Ryo Kase), who happens to be the ghost of a Kamikaze fighter pilot. For Annabel, it involves an admiration of Charles Darwin and an interest in how other creatures live. Upon learning of Annabel's imminent early passing, Enoch offers to help her face her last days with an irreverent abandon, tempting fate, tradition and even death itself. As their unique love for each other grows, so do the realities of the world that they have felt closing in on them. Daring, childlike, and distinctly rare -- these two bravely face what life has in store for them. Fighting pain, anger and loss with youth, playfulness and originality, these two misfits turn the tables on life and play by their own rules. Their journey begins to collide with the unstoppable march of time, as the natural cycle of life comes to claim Annabel. Vitals: Director: Gus Van Sant. Stars: Mia Wasikowska, Henry Hopper, Jane Adams, Ryo Kase.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Drama, Box office gross: $.159 million, Sony.
Ryan Gosling stars as a Los Angeles wheelman for hire, stunt-driving for movie productions by day and steering getaway vehicles for armed heists by night -- navigating the labyrinth of L.A. streets with a mechanical precision that makes him one of the best in the business. Though a loner by nature, Driver can't help falling in love with his beautiful neighbor Irene (Carey Mulligan), a vulnerable young mother dragged into a dangerous underworld by the return of her ex-convict husband, Standard. After a heist intended to pay off Standard's protection money spins unpredictably out of control, Driver finds himself driving defense for the girl he loves, tailgated by a syndicate of deadly serious criminals (Albert Brooks and Ron Perlman). But when he realizes that the gangsters are after more than the bag of cash in his trunk -- that they're coming straight for Irene and her son -- Driver is forced to shift gears and go on the offense.
Vitals: Director: Nicolas Winding Refn. Stars: Ryan Gosling, Carey Mulligan, Albert Brooks, Bryan Cranston, Ron Perlman, Christina Hendricks.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 100 min., Thriller, Box office gross: $34.363 million, Sony.
In the not-too-distant future the aging gene has been switched off and time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: You're genetically-engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. The rich earn decades at a time (remaining at age 25), becoming essentially immortal, while the rest beg, borrow or steal enough hours to make it through the day. When a man (Justin Timberlake) from the wrong side of the tracks is falsely accused of murder, he's forced to go on the run with a beautiful hostage (Amanda Seyfried). Living minute to minute, the duo's love becomes a powerful tool in their war against the system.
Vitals: Director: Andrew Niccol. Stars: Justin Timberlake, Amanda Seyfried, Cillian Murphy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pettyfer, Johnny Galecki.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 109 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $37.076 million, Fox.
"Prelude" to John Carpenter's version of 1982's "The Thing," which hews closer to the original story, John W. Campbell Jr.'s 1938 classic "Who Goes There?" than the 1951 "The Thing From Another World" (but which is a classic in its own right). When paleontologist Kate Lloyd (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) travels to an isolated outpost in Antarctica for the expedition of a lifetime, she joins an international team that unearths a remarkable discovery. Their elation quickly turns to fear as they realize that their experiment has freed a mysterious being from its frozen prison. Paranoia spreads like an epidemic as a creature that can mimic anything it touches will pit human against human as it tries to survive and flourish.
Vitals: Director: Matthijs Van Heijningen. Stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Joel Edgerton, Ulrich Thomsen, Eric Christian Olsen.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: R, 103 min., Science Fiction, Box office gross: $16.907 million, Universal.
Successful publisher Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits his high-profile job in Manhattan to relocate his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and their two daughters to a quaint New England town. But as they settle into their new life, they discover their perfect home was once the murder scene of a mother and her children. When Will investigates, he's not sure if he's seeing ghosts or if the tragic events are somehow related to his past. The only clues come from his mysterious neighbor, Ann (Naomi Watts), who helps him piece together this haunting puzzle ... as they discover that the story of the last man to leave Will's dream house will be just as horrifying to the one who came next.
Vitals: Director:. Stars: Daniel Craig, Naomi Watts, Rachel Weisz, Elias Koteas, Marton Csokas.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG-13, 92 min., Psychological Thriller, Box office gross: $21.283 million, Universal.
The Big Year
Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson are at a crossroads -- one is experiencing a mid-life crisis, another a late-life crisis, and the third, a far from ordinary no-life crisis. They're three friendly rivals who, tired of being ruled by obligations and responsibilities, dedicate a year of their lives to following their dreams: In this case, they try to outdo each other in the ultimate bird-watching competition in 1998 -- the year El Nino brought an unprecedented number of species to North America. Their quest takes them on an unforgettable trek throughout North America.
Vitals: Director: David Frankel. Stars: Steve Martin, Jack Black, Owen Wilson, Joel McHale, Jim Parsons, Angelica Huston, Dianne Wiest, Brian Dennehy, Rashida Jones, Kevin Pollak, Anthony Anderson.
2011, CC, MPAA rating: PG, 100 min., Comedy, Box office gross: $7.204 million, Fox.
All DVDs are screened on a reference system consisting of a
Oppo BDP-83 Blu-ray Disc Player w/SACD & DVD-Audio, a
Rotel RSX-972 Surround Sound Receiver, and Phase Technology 1.1 (front), 33.1 (center),
and 50 (rear) speakers and Power 10 subwoofer.