Quick look: New this week at the movies - East Valley Tribune: Movies

Quick look: New this week at the movies

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Posted: Sunday, July 13, 2014 8:04 am | Updated: 9:56 am, Fri Jul 18, 2014.

>> This information is provided in community partnership with Harkins Theatres. For showtimes, theater locations and tickets, go to HarkinsTheatres.com.

New this week

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

A growing nation of genetically evolved apes, led by the chimpanzee Caesar, is threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. They reach a fragile peace, but it proves short-lived, as both sides are brought to the brink of a war that will determine who will emerge as Earth’s dominant species. Starring: Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Keri Russell. PG-13

Half of the Yellow Sun

Olanna and Kainene are glamorous twins from a wealthy Nigerian family. Upon returning to a privileged city life in newly independent 1960s Nigeria after an expensive English education, the two women make very different choices. Preoccupied by their romantic entanglements, and a betrayal between the sisters, the events of their life seem to loom larger than politics, as they get caught up in the events of the Nigerian civil war. Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Anika Noni Rose. R

Heli (subtitled)

Heli lives in Mexico with his wife, Sabrina, their young son, his father and sister, Estela. Estela has fallen in love with Alberto, a 17-year-old involved in drug trafficking, who has stolen several packages of cocaine to get the money to marry her, and with her permission, hidden them in their house. When Heli finds the drugs, he destroys them. Then one evening, federal agents burst into the house, kill Heli’s father and take Heli, Estela and Alberto with them. After they torture and kill Alberto, Heli admits to having gotten rid of the cocaine, and they let him go. Heli is seriously injured, but recovers and is determined to find Estela. Starring: Armando Espitia, Linda González, Juan Eduardo Palacios, Andrea Vergara. Not Rated

Ivory Tower

As tuition rates spiral beyond reach and student loan debt passes $1 trillion (more than credit card debt), this documentary asks: Is college worth the cost? From the halls of Harvard, to public colleges in financial crisis, to Silicon Valley, filmmaker Andrew Rossi assembles an urgent portrait of a great American institution at the breaking point. PG-13

22 Jump Street

After making their way through high school (twice), big changes are in store for officers Schmidt and Jenko when they go undercover at a local college. But when Jenko meets a kindred spirit on the football team, and Schmidt infiltrates the bohemian art major scene, they begin to question their partnership. If these two overgrown adolescents can grow from freshmen into real men, college might be the best thing that ever happened to them. Starring: Channing Tatum, Jonah Hill, Ice Cube, Dave Franco, Nick Offerman. R

50 to 1

Misfit New Mexico cowboys find themselves on the journey of a lifetime when their crooked-footed racehorse qualifies for the Kentucky Derby. Based on the inspiring true story of Mine That Bird, the cowboys face a series of mishaps on their way to Churchill Downs, becoming the ultimate underdogs in a final showdown with the world’s racing elite. Starring: Skeet Ulrich, Christian Kane, William Devane. PG-13

America

Someone once observed that “America is great because she is good; if she ever ceases to be good, she will cease to be great.” Today, that notion of the essential goodness of America is under attack, replaced by a story in which theft and plunder are seen as the defining features of American history, from the theft of Native American and Mexican lands and the exploitation of African labor to a contemporary foreign policy said to be based on stealing oil and a capitalist system that robs people of their “fair share.” This movie takes 21st-century Americans into the future by first visiting our past, reminding us that our founding fathers warned that, although the freedoms they gave us were hard fought, they could very easily be lost. PG-13

A Million Ways to Die in the West

When cowardly Albert accidentally saves the life of a mysterious and beautiful woman, she helps him find his courage and learn to stand up for himself. But when her husband, a notorious outlaw, arrives seeking revenge, sheep farmer Albert must triumph over all of the hilariously awful dangers of the Old West in order to save her. Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Liam Neeson, Charlize Theron, Seth MacFarlane, Giovanni Ribisi, Sarah Silverman. R

Begin Again

A soul-stirring comedy about what happens when lost souls meet and make beautiful music together, “Begin Again” is about Gretta and her longtime boyfriend, Dave — college sweethearts and songwriting partners who decamp for New York when he lands a deal with a major label. The trappings of his newfound fame tempt Dave to stray, and a reeling, lovelorn Gretta is left on her own. But a chance encounter with a disgraced record label exec sets in motion an enchanting portrait of a mutually transformative collaboration, set to the soundtrack of a summer in New York City. Starring: Hailee Steinfeld, Keira Knightley, Mark Ruffalo, Catherine Keener, Adam Levine, Mos Def. R

Blended

After a bad blind date, a man and woman find themselves stuck together at a resort for families, where their attraction grows as their respective kids benefit from the burgeoning relationship. Starring: Adam Sandler, Drew Barrymore, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Joel McHale, Kevin Nealon. PG-13

Captain America: The Winter Soldier

After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, is living quietly in Washington, D.C., trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy — the Winter Soldier. Starring: Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Sebastian Stan, Anthony Mackie, Cobie Smulders, Frank Grillo, Emily VanCamp, Hayley Atwell,Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson. PG-13

Chef

Chef Carl Casper suddenly quits his job at a prominent Los Angeles restaurant after refusing to compromise his creative integrity for its controlling owner. Finding himself in Miami, he teams up with his ex-wife, his friend and his son to launch a food truck, reigniting his passion for the kitchen and zest for life and love. Starring: Robert Downey Jr., Scarlett Johansson, Sofía Vergara, Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt. R

Deliver Us from Evil

New York police officer Ralph Sarchie, struggling with personal issues, begins investigating a series of disturbing and inexplicable crimes. He joins forces with an unconventional priest, schooled in the rituals of exorcism, to combat the frightening and demonic possessions that are terrorizing their city. Starring: Eric Bana, Olivia Munn, Joel McHale. R

Earth to Echo

Tuck, Munch and Alex are a trio of inseparable friends whose lives are about to change. Their neighborhood is being destroyed by a highway construction project that is forcing their families to move. But two days before they must part ways, the boys and another school friend, Emma, discover a small alien who has become stranded on Earth. The friends come together to protect the alien and help him find his way home. This journey, full of wonder and adventure, is their story and their secret. Starring: Teo Halm, Reese C. Hartwig, Ella Wahlestedt. PG

Edge of Tomorrow

In a near future in which an alien race has hit Earth in an unrelenting assault, Lt. Col. Bill Cage is unceremoniously dropped into what amounts to a suicide mission. Killed within minutes, Cage finds himself inexplicably thrown into a time loop that forces him to live out the same brutal combat over and over, fighting and dying again and again. With each battle, he is able to engage his adversaries with increasing skill — alongside Special Forces warrior Rita Vrataski. As Cage and Rita take the fight to the aliens, each encounter gets them one step closer to defeating the enemy. Starring: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton. PG-13

Godzilla

An epic rebirth to Toho’s iconic Godzilla, this spectacular adventure pits the world’s most famous monster against malevolent creatures who, bolstered by humanity’s scientific arrogance, threaten our very existence. Starring: Ken Watanabe, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Bryan Cranston. PG-13

How to Train Your Dragon 2

In the sequel to the 2010 animated hit, Viking teenager Hiccup and his dragon Toothless discover new lands, hundreds of new wild dragons and a mysterious dragon rider who turns out to be Hiccup’s long-lost mother. Together, they must fend off a mad conqueror who poses a serious threat to humans and dragons alike

Starring: Jay Baruchel, Gerard Butler, Cate Blanchett, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse. PG

Jersey Boys

Four young men from the wrong side of the tracks came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons. This story of their trials and triumphs is accompanied by songs that influenced a generation, including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man,” “Dawn,” “Rag Doll,” “Bye Bye Baby,” “Who Loves You” and many more. Starring: Christopher Walken, Vincent Piazza, Freya Tingley. R

Life Itself

This documentary recounts the inspiring and entertaining life of world-renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert — a story that is by turns personal, funny, painful and transcendent. Based on his bestselling memoir of the same name, it explores the legacy of the late Ebert’s life, from his Pulitzer-Prize-winning film criticism at the Chicago Sun-Times to becoming one of the most influential cultural voices in America. Starring: Roger Ebert. R

Maleficent

In this untold story of Disney’s iconic villain from the 1959 classic “Sleeping Beauty,” Maleficent is a beautiful, pure-hearted young woman with stunning black wings, growing up in a peaceable forest kingdom — until an invading army of humans threatens the harmony of the land. Maleficent rises to be the land’s fiercest protector, but she ultimately suffers a ruthless betrayal that begins to turn her heart to stone. Bent on revenge, Maleficent places a curse upon the human king’s newborn infant, Aurora. As the child grows, Maleficent realizes that Aurora holds the key to peace in the kingdom — and to Maleficent’s happiness.Starring: Angelina Jolie, Elle Fanning, Jude Law. PG

Neighbors

A young couple suffering from arrested development are forced to live next to a fraternity house after the birth of their newborn baby in this comedy. Starring: Zac Efron, Dave Franco, Rose Byrne, Seth Rogen, Jake Johnson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Lisa Kudrow, Halston Sage, Carla Gallo, Chasty Ballesteros. R

Night Moves

Three environmentalists’ homegrown plot to blow up a controversial dam unravels into a journey of doubt, paranoia and unintended consequences. As organic farmer Josh, high society dropout Dena and ex-Marine Harmon plan, carry out and then witness the fallout of an attention-grabbing act of sabotage, they find their personal limits tested. Starring: Dakota Fanning, Alia Shawkat, Jesse Eisenberg. R

Obvious Child

For aspiring comedian Donna Stern, everyday life as a female 20-something provides ample material for her incredibly relatable brand of humor. But when Donna gets dumped, loses her job and finds herself pregnant just in time for Valentine’s Day, she has to navigate the murky waters of independent adulthood for the first time. As she grapples with an uncertain financial future and a surprising new suitor, Donna begins to discover that the most terrifying thing about adulthood isn’t facing it all on her own; it’s allowing herself to accept the support and love of others. Never failing to find the comedy and humanity in each awkward situation she encounters, Donna finds out along the way what it means to be as brave in life as she is on stage. Starring: Jenny Slate, Gaby Hoffmann, Richard Kind. R

Snowpiercer

In this sci-fi epic, a failed global warming experiment kills off most life on the planet. The survivors board the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine. When cryptic messages incite the passengers to revolt, the train thrusts full-throttle toward disaster. Starring: Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, Jamie Bell, Ed Harris. R

Tammy

After losing her job and learning that her husband has been unfaithful, a woman hits the road with her profane, hard-drinking grandmother. Starring: Melissa McCarthy, Susan Sarandon, Dan Aykroyd, Allison Janney, Kathy Bates. R

The Fault in Our Stars

Hazel and Gus are two extraordinary teenagers who share an acerbic wit, a disdain for the conventional, and a love that sweeps them — and us — on an unforgettable journey. Their relationship is all the more miraculous given that they met and fell in love at a cancer support group. Starring: Shailene Woodley, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Mike Birbiglia. PG-13

The German Doctor

Patagonia, 1960. A German doctor meets an Argentinean family and follows them on a long desert road to a small town where the family will be starting a new life. Eva, Enzo, and their three children welcome the doctor into their home and entrust their young daughter, Lilith, to his care, not knowing that they are harboring one of the most dangerous criminals in the world. At the same time, Israeli agents are desperately looking to bring the German doctor to justice. Starring: Natalia Oreiro, Àlex Brendemühl, Diego Peretti. PG-13

The Grand Seduction

A small fishing village must procure a local doctor to secure a lucrative business contract. When unlikely candidate and big-city doctor Paul Lewis lands in their lap for a trial residence, the townsfolk rally together to charm him into staying. As the doctor’s time in the village winds to a close, acting mayor Murray French has no choice but to pull out all the stops and begin The Grand Seduction. Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Liane Balaban. Not Rated

The Internet’s Own Boy

Programming prodigy and information activist Aaron Swartz’s fingerprints are all over the Internet, from his help in the development of the basic Internet protocol RSS to his co-founding of Reddit. But it was Swartz’s groundbreaking work in social justice and political organizing — combined with his aggressive approach to information access — that ensnared him in a two-year legal nightmare. It was a battle that ended with the taking of his own life at the age of 26. Aaron’s story touched a nerve with people far beyond the online communities in which he was a celebrity. Starring: Tim Berners-Lee, Cory Doctorow, Peter Eckersley. Not Rated

Think Like a Man Too

In this highly anticipated sequel, which was inspired by Steve Harvey’s best-selling book “Act Like a Lady,” all the couples are back for a wedding in Las Vegas. But plans for a romantic weekend go awry when their various misadventures get them into compromising situations that threaten to derail the big event. Starring: Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Dennis Haysbert, Taraji P. Henson. PG-13

Third Person

Three couples in three cities find love and heartbreak in three interlocking stories. A married writer and a single girl sadistically toy with each other in Paris, a corporate thief on the run from the law meets a beautiful gypsy woman in Rome, and a failed soap star wages a custody battle for the son she endangered in New York. Starring: Liam Neeson, Mila Kunis, Adrien Brody, James Franco, Olivia Wilde, Maria Bello, Kim Basinger. R HOLD; last-minute change from Harkins:They Came Together

When Joel and Molly meet, it’s hate at first sight. His big Corporate Candy Company threatens to shut down her quirky indie candy shop. Plus, Joel is hung up on his sexy ex. Somehow, they fall in love, until they break up about two thirds of the way through, and Molly starts dating her accountant. But then right at the end — well, you’ll just have to see. Starring: Cobie Smulders, Michael Shannon, Paul Rudd. R

Transformers: Age of Extinction

As humanity picks up the pieces following the conclusion of “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” Autobots and Decepticons have all but vanished from the face of the planet. However, a group of powerful, ingenious businessman and scientists attempt to learn from past Transformer incursions and push the boundaries of technology beyond what they can control, all while an ancient, powerful Transformer menace sets Earth in his cross-hairs. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Stanley Tucci, Kelsey Grammer. PG-13

Words and Pictures

Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus laments his students’ obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. When Dina Delsanto — a painter and new teacher who was once celebrated for her art — arrives on campus, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish. Jack hatches a plan to galvanize student interest in their studies: He declares a war between Words and Pictures. Dina accepts the challenge, and the battle lines between English and art students are drawn. Starring: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche. PG-13

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from “X-Men: First Class” in an epic battle that must change the past in order to save our future. The X-Men send Wolverine to the past in a desperate effort to change history and prevent an event that results in doom for both humans and mutants. Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Hugh Jackman, Michael Fassbender, Ian McKellen, James McAvoy, Patrick Stewart. PG-13

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