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Movie Capsules

  • This publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale in a scene from "August: Osage County." (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Claire Folger)

    This publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale in a scene from "August: Osage County." (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Claire Folger)

  • File photo<br/>Kellan Lutz in a scene from “The Legend of Hercules.”

    File photo
    Kellan Lutz in a scene from “The Legend of Hercules.”

  • This publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows, from left, Julianne Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Margo Martindale in a scene from "August: Osage County." (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Claire Folger)
  • File photo<br/>Kellan Lutz in a scene from “The Legend of Hercules.”

Ratings by the Motion Picture Association of America are: (G) for general audiences; (PG) parental guidance urged because of material possibly unsuitable for children; (PG-13) parents are strongly cautioned to give guidance for attendance of children younger than 13; (R) restricted, younger than 17 admitted only with parent or adult guardian; (NC-17) no one younger than 17 admitted.

When available, movies are rated on a scale of 1 to 4 stars.

47 RONIN — A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun. PG-13. (Source: www.imdb.com)

AMERICAN HUSTLE — Two con men are compelled to work with a wild federal agent to concoct a sting targeting New Jersey power brokers and the mafia in this drama based on the FBI’s Abscam operation of the 1970s. With Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams and Jeremy Renner. Written by Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell. Directed by Russell. (2:17) R.

ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES — The bumbling news anchor Ron Burgundy and his cohorts join the nation’s first 24-hour news channel in this 1980s-set sequel to the 2004 comedy “Anchorman.” With Will Ferrell, Steve Carell, Paul Rudd and Christina Applegate. Written by Ferrell and Adam McKay. Directed by McKay. (1:59) PG-13.

A TOUCH OF SIN — Four independent stories set in modern China about random acts of violence. A “brilliant exploration of violence and corruption in contemporary China” (Jon Frosch, The Atlantic). A film inspired by four shocking (and true) events that forced the world’s fastest growing economy into a period of self-examination. (Source: Amherst Cinema)

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY — When a family crisis brings them back to the Oklahoma house they grew up in, three sisters confront the dysfunctional woman who raised them. With Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Ewan McGregor and Chris Cooper. Written by Tracy Letts. Directed by John Wells. (2:10) R.

FROZEN 3 stars — An optimistic princess sets off on a journey with a rugged mountain man to find her sister, whose icy powers have trapped their kindgom in an eternal winter. With the voices of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff and Josh Gad. Written by Jennifer Lee. Directed by Lee and Chris Buck. In 3-D. (1:48) PG.

THE GREAT BEAUTY — Jep Gambardella has seduced his way through the lavish nightlife of Rome for decades, but after his 65th birthday and a shock from the past, he looks past the nightclubs and parties to find a timeless landscape of absurd, exquisite beauty. Not rated. (Source: www.imdb.com)

GRUDGE MATCH — A pair of aging boxing rivals are coaxed out of retirement to fight one final bout — 30 years after their last match. Stars Robert De Niro, Sylvester Stallone, Kim Basinge. PG-13. (Source: www.imdb.com)

HER — In near-future Los Angeles, a lonely writer trying to recover from a failed relationship downloads an advanced new operating system and begins to fall in love with his virtual companion. With Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Rooney Mara and Scarlett Johansson. Written and directed by Spike Jonze. (2:06) R.

THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG — The reluctant hero Bilbo Baggins continues his quest to face the fearsome dragon Smaug and help 13 dwarves reclaim their lost kingdom in this second installment of a film trilogy adapting J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Hobbit.” With Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage and Benedict Cumberbatch. Written by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Guillermo Del Toro and Peter Jackson. Directed by Jackson. In 3-D, HFR and Imax. (2:41) PG-13.

THE HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE 21/2 stars — A considerable upgrade over the first “Hunger Games” movie, “Catching Fire” comes across more like a remake than a sequel. In the adaptation of the second installation in Suzanne Collins’ young adult trilogy, there’s certainly plenty that has changed. Rebellion against the totalitarian rule of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) in the 12 districts of Panem is growing. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) is now a beloved hero with the weight of celebrity on her shoulders. And Philip Seymour Hoffman, bless him, has found his way into the proceedings. Yet the general plot — a journey from Katniss’ poor hometown of District 12 to a climactic game of human hunting in “the arena,” with high-speed train rides and training sessions in between — is identical to the first “Hunger Games.” More has shuffled behind the camera, and “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” is much the better for it. Francis Lawrence (“I Am Legend”) has taken over directing from Gary Ross, whose poor handling of the first film didn’t stop it from becoming a sensation. Lawrence has given the film (the budget was nearly doubled) a more settled environment heavy on greys and a more appropriately grave emotional atmosphere. These are kids being forced to kill other kids, the franchise seems to have realized. (2:26) PG-13.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS — Amid the Greenwich Village folk scene of 1961 New York, an aspiring musician navigates a series of seemingly insurmountable obstacles, some of which are of his own making. With Oscar Isaac, Carey Mulligan, John Goodman and Garrett Hedlund. Written and directed by Joel Coen and Ethan Coen. (1:45) R.

THE LEGEND OF HERCULES — Betrayed by his stepfather, the mythical Greek hero Hercules is sold into slavery because of a forbidden love and must fight for his life and his kingdom. With Kellan Lutz, Scott Adkins and Liam McIntyre. Written by Sean Hood and Daniel Giat. Directed by Renny Harlin. (1:38) PG-13.

LONE SURVIVOR — Four Navy Seals on a cover mission to take down a high-level al Qaeda operative are ambushed in the mountains of Afghanistan and face insurmountable odds. With Mark Wahlberg, Taylor Kitsch, Emile Hirsch and Ben Foster. Written and directed by Peter Berg. (2:01) R.

NEBRASKA 4 stars — Bruce Dern in a career-defining performance as an ornery coot who believes he’s won a $1 million prize, and heads from Montana to Nebraska to claim it. His son (Will Forte) reluctantly tags along, in Alexander Payne’s funny, sad, poignant, absurd road movie. In black and white. It’s a gem. 1 hr. 55 R (profanity, violence, adult themes) — Steven Rea

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY: THE MARKED ONES — A family is tormented by supernatural forces in this fourth installment of the “Paranormal Activity” series. Written and directed by Christopher Landon. (1:24) R.

PHILOMENA 31/2 stars — An Irish woman enlists a journalist to help her track down the out-of-wedlock son she was forced by her Catholic community to give away for adoption in this drama based on Martin Sixsmith’s 2009 book “The Lost Child of Philomena Lee.” With Steve Coogan and Judi Dench. Written by Coogan and Jeff Pope. Directed by Stephen Frears. (1:35) R.

PUNK SINGER — Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the riot grrrl movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. (Source: Amherst Cinema)

SAVING MR. BANKS — A biographical drama about Walt Disney’s attempts to acquire the screen rights to “Mary Poppins” from the reluctant novelist P.L. Travers. With Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti and Jason Schwartzman. Written by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith. Directed by John Lee Hancock. (2.) PG-13.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS — A young pachyrhinosaurus comes of age and tries to protect his herd on a great migration in this animated film. With the voices of John Leguizamo, Justin Long and Tiya Sircar. Written by John Collee. Directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale. In 3-D. (1:27) PG.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET — Based on the true story of Jordan Belfort, from his rise to a wealthy stockbroker living the high life to his fall involving crime, corruption and the federal government. Stars Leonardo DiCaprio, P.J. Byrne, Jon Favreau. R. (Source: www.imdb.com)

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