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Movie News & Reviews
Movies opening this weekend - February 28
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Photo by MYLES ARONOWITZ
Liam Neeson stars as U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks and Julianne Moore as Jen Summers in "Non-Stop," a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air.
Miyazaki's The Wind Rises arrives in U.S. theaters; Morgado stars in Son of God. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release.

Non-Stop
Genre: Suspense and thriller
Cast: Liam Neeson, Julianne Moore, Nate Parker, Michelle Dockery and Scoot McNairy
Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Rated: PG-13

Global action star Liam Neeson stars in "Non-Stop," a suspense thriller played out at 40,000 feet in the air.

During a transatlantic flight from New York City to London, U.S. Air Marshal Bill Marks (Neeson) receives a series of cryptic text messages demanding that he instruct the airline to transfer $150 million into an off-shore account. Until he secures the money, a passenger on his flight will be killed every 20 minutes.

The Wind Rises
Genre: Animation and fantasy
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci, Mandy Patinkin, William H. Macy, Werner Herzog, Mae Whitman, Jennifer Grey, Darren Criss and Elijah Wood
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Rated: PG-13

In "The Wind Rises," Jiro (voice of Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (voice of Stanley Tucci). Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world's most innovative and accomplished airplane designers, earning the respect of prominent industry greats, including Hattori (voice of Mandy Patinkin) and Kurokawa (voice of Martin Short).

The film chronicles much of Jiro's life, depicting key historical events, including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan's plunge into war. Jiro meets and falls in love with Nahoko (voice of Emily Blunt), and grows and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo (voice of John Krasinski). Writer and director Hayao Miyazaki pays tribute to engineer Jiro Horikoshi and author Tatsuo Hori in this epic tale of love, perseverance, and the challenges of living and making choices in a turbulent world.

Son of God
Genre: Drama
Cast: Diogo Morgado, Greg Hicks, Adrian Schiller, Darwin Shaw, Sebastian Knapp, Joe Wredden, Simon Kunz, Paul Marc Davis, Matthew Gravelle, Amber Rose Revah and Roma Downey
Director: Christopher Spencer
Rated: PG-13

Now, the larger-than-life story of The New Testament gets a larger-than life treatment in the stand-alone feature "Son of God."

Told with the scope and scale of an action epic, the film features powerful performances, exotic locales, dazzling visual effects and a rich orchestral score from Oscar-winner Hans Zimmer. Portuguese actor Diogo Morgado portrays Jesus as the film spans from his humble birth through his teachings, crucifixion and ultimate resurrection. It marks the first motion picture about Jesus' life since "Passion of the Christ," released 10 years ago.

The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.

Stalingrad
Genre: Drama and war
Cast: Thomas Kretschmann, Pyotr Fyodorov, Sergey Bondarchuk, Maria Smolnikova and Yanina Studilina
Director: Fedor Bondarchuk
Rated: R

The top grossing Russian film of 2013 and first Russian motion picture presented in IMAX 3D, "Stalingrad" is an epic look at the battle that turned the tide of World War II.

A band of determined Russian soldiers fight to hold a strategic building in their devastated city against a ruthless German army, and in the process become deeply connected to a Russian woman who has been living there. In "Stalingrad," directed by Fedor Bondarchuk, the scale of the battle contrasts dramatically with the human drama of the Russian soldiers, the few remaining civilians and their invaders into Stalingrad.

Odd Thomas
Genre: Action and supernatural thriller
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Addison Timlin, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Nico Tortorella, Patton Oswalt and Willem Dafoe
Director: Stephen Sommers
Not rated

Small-town fry cook Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin) is an ordinary guy with a paranormal secret: he sees dead people, everywhere.

When a creepy stranger shows-up with an entourage of ghostly bodachs - predators who feed on pain and portend mass destruction - Odd knows that his town is in serious trouble. Teaming up with his sweetheart Stormy (Addison Timlin) and the local sheriff (Willem Dafoe), Odd plunges into an epic battle of good vs. evil to try to stop a disaster of apocalyptic proportions.

Repentance
Genre: Psychological thriller
Cast: Forest Whitaker, Anthony Mackie, Mike Epps, Sanaa Lathan and Nicole Ari Parker
Director: Philippe Caland
Rated: R

Years after a drunken car crash that almost took his life, Tommy Carter (Anthony Mackie) has reinvented himself as a therapist/spiritual advisor who advocates a synthesis of world religions and positivity.

He's parlayed this vocation into a successful book release that one day draws the attention of Angel Sanchez (Forest Whitaker), a profoundly troubled man fixated on the "untimely" death of his mother. When Carter takes on Sanchez as a personal client in an effort to raise funds for his indebted brother Ben (Mike Epps), things quickly take a turn for the worse.

Angel needs much more than a simple life coach. What may be simple to grasp for some is the idea that single actions in the past comprise tidal waves of reactions in the present.

The Lunchbox
Genre: Drama, fantasy and romance
Cast: Irrfan Khan, Nimrat Kaur and Nakul Vaid
Director: Ritesh Batra
Rated: PG

Middle class housewife Ila is trying once again to add some spice to her marriage, this time through her cooking. She desperately hopes that this new recipe will finally arouse some kind of reaction from her neglectful husband.

She prepares a special lunchbox to be delivered to him at work, but, unbeknownst to her, it is mistakenly delivered to another office worker, Saajan, a lonely man on the verge of retirement. Curious about the lack of reaction from her husband, Ila puts a little note in the following day's lunchbox, in the hopes of getting to the bottom of the mystery.

This begins a series of lunchbox notes between Saajan and Ila, and the mere comfort of communicating with a stranger anonymously soon evolves into an unexpected friendship. Gradually, their notes become little confessions about their loneliness, memories, regrets, fears, and even small joys. They each discover a new sense of self and find an anchor to hold on to in the big city of Mumbai that so often crushes hopes and dreams. Still strangers physically, Ila and Saajan become lost in a virtual relationship that could jeopardize both their realities.
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