What’s playing in Madison theaters, Nov. 29-Dec. 6, 2013


All week (opened Wednesday)

Oldboy” (Point) — Spike Lee attempts an American remake of Park Chan-wook’s cult classic about revenge, long-held secrets, and unfortunate octopi. Josh Brolin plays an ordinary jerk who gets imprisoned for 20 years, then tries to figure out who did it, and why.

Frozen” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — My full review is here. The folks behind “Tangled” deliver another animated holiday treat, as a princess tries to track down her sister, the Snow Queen, and convince her to relinquish her icy spell.

Black Nativity” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Kasi Lemmons (“Eve’s Bayou”) brings Langston Hughes’ Harlem-set musical to life with an all-star cast that includes Forest Whitaker and Angela Bassett.

Homefront” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — A DEA agent (Jason Statham) retires to a small town but has to deal with local criminals, including James Franco as a guy named Gator.

Philomena” (Point, Star Cinema, Sundance) — Steve Coogan co-wrote and stars as a journalist who helps an elderly woman (Judi Dench) find the son she was forced to give up for adoption a half-century ago.

The Book Thief” (Point, Star Cinema, Sundance) — A German girl hides books, and a Jewish refugee, from the Nazis in this adaptation of the hit young-adult novel.


Elf” (7:30 p.m., Majestic Theatre, 115 King St.) — Don’t be a cotton headed ninny muggins — finish off Black Friday right with a dose of goofy Christmas cheer at the Majestic’s Brew ‘n’ View, with Will Ferrell as a human raised by Santa’s elves. $5, plus free candy canes.


End Game: AIDS in Black America” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre, 1308 W. Dayton St.) — This is an early look at an episode of PBS’ “Frontline” that asks a stubborn and vexing question — why are HIV rates for African-Americans so disproportionately high? A number of campus groups are joining together to present this screening, so I would bet on a post-show discussion. FREE!


White Christmas” (1:20 p.m. and 6:50 p.m., Sundance Cinemas) — Bing Crosby and Danny Kay are ex-GI musicians who stage a big show to save their crusty commanding officer’s inn in this delightful musical heartwarmer.

Sole Survivor” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — Get a free sneak preview of Peter Berg’s new fact-based drama about soldiers trapped in Afghanistan. FREE!


Ride Along” (9:30 p.m., Union South Marquee) — Ice Cube and Kevin Hart play a veteran cop and an excitable rookie out for a wild ride on the streets in this action comedy, which this sneak preview will show over a month before it’s released in theaters. FREE!


Eastern Promises” (6:30 p.m., Madison Central Library, 201 W. Mifflin St.) — My full review is here. Obviously I need to start paying more attention to the new Central Library’s commitment to showing films, if only because I hear they screened “Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo” last week. This Thursday, it’s David Cronenberg’s bloody but familiar spin on the gangster tale, with Viggo Mortensen as a conflicted Russian enforcer. FREE

Ai Weiwei Never Sorry” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — My full review is here. Alison Klayman’s invigorating documentary follows the pugnacious Chinese dissident artist, who speaks out against abuses and cover-ups by his government with his art, his words — and occasionally his middle finger. FREE!

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