From left, Ben Kingsley, Harrison Ford and Asa Butterfield star in “Ender’s Game.”
In Free Birds, Wilson tries to save fellow turkeys; Kingsley, Ford star in Ender’s Game. A number of new movies will hit theaters this week, including the following films opening in wide release:
Ender’s Game Genre: Action, adventure and science fiction Cast: Asa Butterfield, Hailee Steinfeld, Ben Kingsley, Viola Davis, Abigail Breslin and Harrison Ford Director: Gavin Hood Rated: PG-13
In the near future, a hostile alien race called the Formics have attacked Earth.
If not for the legendary heroics of International Fleet Commander Mazer Rackham (Ben Kingsley), all would have been lost. In preparation for the next attack, the highly esteemed Colonel Hyrum Graff (Harrison Ford) and the International Military are training only the best young minds to find the future Mazer.
Ender Wiggin (Asa Butterfield), a shy but strategically brilliant boy, is recruited to join the elite. Arriving at Battle School, Ender quickly and easily masters increasingly difficult challenges and simulations, distinguishing himself and winning respect amongst his peers. Ender is soon ordained by Graff as the military’s next great hope, resulting in his promotion to Command School. Once there, he’s trained by Mazer Rackham himself to lead his fellow soldiers into an epic battle that will determine the future of Earth and save the human race.
Free Birds Genre: Animation, comedy and family Cast: Owen Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Amy Poehler, Dan Fogler, Lesley Nicol, George Takei, Colm Meaney, Keith David, Eddie "Piolin" Sotelo and Dwight Howard Director: Jimmy Hayward Rated: PG
On a quaint, family-owned farm, a giant turkey flock lives a quiet, complacent, corn-stuffed life.
All everyone cares about is feeding time and grazing in the sun with the Farmer, who they swear will bring them to “Turkey Paradise.” Everyone, that is, except for Reggie (Owen Wilson), a whip-smart turkey whose badmouthing of the Farmer and disinterest in the mundane, overfed turkey existence makes him an outcast among his flock.
Reggie’s life is changed forever when an unexpected visit from the President of the United States lands him the esteemed honor of “Pardoned Turkey.” This means living the plush life at Camp David, complete with TV On Demand and cheese pizza. By being pardoned, Reggie has found his own Turkey Paradise – a place where he (and he alone) calls all the shots. That is until Reggie is plucked from his paradise by Jake (Woody Harrelson), the relentless founder – and only member –of the “Turkey Freedom Front.”
Jake has only one mission: to change history forever and save all of turkey-kind. But he can’t do it alone: a mission like this needs brain and brawn, and that’s why he needs to induct Reggie into his effort. “It’s our destiny!” he proclaims, much to Reggie’s scoffing. Despite Reggie’s refusal to abandon his life of luxury, Jake kidnaps him, and together they break into a top-secret government lab and hijack a time machine named S.T.E.V.E (George Takei), taking them back to the year 1621, just days before the first Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, as soon as they arrive in the past, they find themselves in the crosshairs of Plymouth Colony Commander Myles Standish (Colm Meaney), an avid hunter on his own mission to capture enough birds to feed the colonists and their Native American allies for the upcoming Harvest Feast. Before Reggie and Jake become a main course at Standish’s dinner, they are rescued by Jenny (Amy Poehler), the beautiful and fierce daughter of the Wild Turkeys’ Chief
Broadbeak (Keith David). Jenny leads the pair to the edge of the forest where the rest of her flock is hiding from the Pilgrims. Jake must teach the wild flock about the future and rally support for his mission to change history, but Reggie is apparently on a mission of the heart: falling beak-over-tail for Jenny.
Inspired by Jenny’s bravery, Reggie leads a daring raid on the Pilgrim village to free their captured comrades. However, their rescue plans backfire when Jake’s feather-brained scheme actually leads Standish and his hunters to the flock, putting Jenny, her family, and the future of all turkey-kind in jeopardy.
Disheartened, Reggie flees to the present day with S.T.E.V.E., following his long-held philosophy that “it’s better off if you go it alone.” But his life at Camp David no longer feels like it’s enough without Jenny and Jake around. Reggie finally realizes that Jake’s crazy mission IS his destiny, and he and S.T.E.V.E head back to help fulfill Jake’s effort to get turkeys off the menu for good.
Last Vegas Genre: Comedy Cast: Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, Mary Steenburgen, Jerry Ferrara, Romany Malco and Roger Bart Director: Jon Turteltaub Rated: PG-13
Michael Douglas, Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman and Kevin Kline star as lifelong friends who opt to stop acting their age and relive their glory days when the pack's sworn bachelor decides to get married to his girlfriend (who is half his age).
The destination? Las Vegas. But the four quickly realize that passing decades changed the game: Sin City has had its own coming-of-age and a rivalry has strained the bonds of their friendship.
The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it's these guys who are taking over Vegas.
The following will open in limited release. It may be several weeks before these films appear in local movie theaters.
The Broken Circle Breakdown Genre: Drama Cast: Veerle Baetens, Johan Heldenbergh, Robby Cleiren and Geert Van Rampelberg Director: Felix Van Goreningen Not rated
Elise (Veerle Baetens) and Didier (Johan Heldenbergh) fall in love at first sight.
She has her own tattoo shop and he plays the banjo in a bluegrass band. They bond over their shared enthusiasm for American music and culture, and dive headfirst into a sweeping romance that plays out on and off stage – but when an unexpected tragedy hits their new family, everything they know and love is tested. An intensely moving portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, propelled by a soundtrack of foot-stomping bluegrass, “The Broken Circle Breakdown” is a romantic melodrama of the highest order.
Dallas Buyers Club Genre: Drama Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Jennifer Garner and Jared Leto Director: Jean-Marc Vallee Rated: R
In the fact-based drama, Spirit Award winner Matthew McConaughey portrays real-life Texas electrician Ron Woodroof, an ordinary man who found himself in a life-or-death battle with the medical establishment and pharmaceutical companies.
In 1985, Ron was blindsided by being diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. With the U.S. still internally divided over how to combat the virus and restricting medications, Ron grabbed hold of nontoxic alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Seeking to avoid government sanctions against selling non-approved medicines and supplements, he established a “buyers club,” which fellow HIV-positive people could join for access to his supplies.
Mr. Nobody Genre: Drama Cast: Jared Leto, Sarah Polley, Diane Kruger, Linh-Dan Pham, Rhys Ifans, Natasha Little, Toby Regbo and Juno Temple Director: Jaco Van Dormael Rated: R
A young boy stands on a station platform.
The train is about to leave. Should he go with his mother or stay with his father? An infinity of possibilities rise from this decision. As long as he doesn’t choose, anything is possible. Every life deserves to be lived.
Sal Genre: Biography and drama Cast: Val Lauren Director: James Franco Not rated
James Franco's Sal chronicles the final day in the life of actor Sal Mineo (Val Lauren), 1950s teen idol and an Academy Award nominee for his roles in “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Exodus.”
Almost two decades later, Mineo is no longer the marquee sensation he had once been – but after years of public struggles with drugs and alcohol, he has become open about his homosexuality and is finding his way to becoming the actor and director he has always wanted to be. Featuring a magnetic performance by Lauren, Franco's intimate portrait finds the human details in a larger-than-life Hollywood story.
Le Week-end Genre: Drama Cast: Jim Broadbent, Lindsay Duncan, Jeff Goldblum, Olly Alexander and Judith Davis Director: Roger Michel Not rated
In “Le Week-end,” Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan play a long-married middle-class British couple who attempt to reinvigorate their marriage by visiting Paris for the first time since their honeymoon.
While there, they run into an old friend (Jeff Goldblum) who acts as a catalyst for them to recapture their youthful fearlessness, lack of responsibility and idealism.