What’s playing in Madison theaters, Feb. 7-13, 2014


All week

The Monuments Men” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — Despite a powerhouse cast and an intriguing true-life story (historians try to rescue priceless art stolen by the Nazis), early reviews for this George Clooney-directed drama have not been kind.

The LEGO Movie” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema, Cinema Cafe) — My full review is here. Whether you played with LEGOs this morning or during the Carter Administration, you’ll likely be tickled by this sweet and gently subversive animated film.

Vampire Academy” (Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — A half-vampire tries to protect humankind from bloodthirsty creatures — all while attending classes at a tony boarding school.

2013 Oscar Nominated Shorts — Animated” (Sundance) — My full review is here. All five Oscar-nominated shorts will be screened, along with three other acclaimed animated shorts, including “Get a Horse!” and “The Blue Umbrella.”

2013 Oscar Nominated Shorts — Live Action” (Sundance) — My full review is here. The live-action shorts are more of a mixed bag — some are strong, others rely on sentimentality. (The doc shorts are coming next week.)


Blue Jasmine” (6:30 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre, 1208 W. Dayton St.) — My full review is here. Okay, maybe not the best timing for Union South to do a Woody Allen retrospective given the controversy in the news. But if you’ve missed his latest, especially Cate Blanchett’s fantastic performance as an unmoored society wife, rectify that immediately. FREE!

The Spectacular Now” (6:30 p.m., Pinney Public Library, 204 Cottage Grove Road) — My full review is here. James Ponsoldt’s moving and realistic tale of young love between a shy teen (Shailene Woodley) and an amiable underachiever (Miles Teller) is a must see. FREE!

Wolf Children” (6:45 p.m., Alicia Ashman Public Library, 733 N. High Point Blvd.) — Ashman’s long-running anime series continues with this tale of half-breed siblings and the human mother who raised them. FREE!

Hud” (7 p.m., UW-Cinematheque, 4070 Vilas Hall) — Paul Newman plays the charming, reckless antihero who destroys his father’s ranch in this adaptation of an early Larry McMurtry novel, now in a restored print. FREE!


Rush” (9 p.m, Union South Marquee Theatre) — This gritty look at 70’s auto racing and the rivalry between playboy James Hunt (Chris Hemsworth) and control freak Nikki Lauda (Daniel Bruhl) emphasizes character over action, although the action is pretty great too. FREE!

Bad Boys II” (11:30 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre) — Will Smith and Martin Lawrence tear up Miami in the action movie that unwittingly parodies itself. FREE!


Turbo” (10 a.m., Point and Eastgate) — Maybe 2013 was just a weak year for animated movies, but I thought this tale of a snail with a need for speed was quite the charmer. $2 admission and $2 concessions!

Blue is the Warmest Color” (6 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre) — My full review is here. Much talked about for its sex scenes, this intimate Cannes-winning drama about a love affair between a teenager and a more worldly art student is more memorable for how it shows a relationship growing and changing over time. FREE!

Il Futuro” (7 p.m., UW Cinematheque) — A double bill of new Chilean cinema kicks off with a strange and haunting drama about a romance between a college-age girl who has lost her parents and the blind aging actor living in the mansion down the street. The actor is played by Rutger Hauer — I told you it was strange and haunting. FREE!

Aftershock” (9 p.m., UW Cinematheque) — Eli “Hostel” Roth produced and appears in this horror film about an earthquake that ravages a city — and sets the survivors against each other. FREE!

Rush” (9:30 p.m. Union South Marquee) — See Friday listing.

Fargo” (midnight, Union South Marquee) — After seeing “Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter” at Sundance, in which a “Fargo”-obsessed Japanese woman tries to find the money Steve Buscemi hid in the show, I’m dying to see the Coen Brothers’ wintry noir again. FREE!


Turbo” (11 a.m., Point and Eastgate) — See Saturday listing.

Rebecca” (2 p.m., Chazen Museum of Art, 750 University Ave.) — A woman must reckon with the presence of her husband’s first wife in Alfred Hitchcock’s classic. FREE!

Blue Jasmine” (3 p.m., Union South Marquee) — See Friday listing.

Micro-Wave Cinema” (7 p.m., UW-Cinematheque) — This locally-created series of screenings of no-budget films continues with two movies by Kentucker Audley, who will do a post-show chat with the audience via Skype. FREE!

Noriko and Ushio Shinohara in CUTIE AND THE BOXER.Courtesy of RADiUS-TWC


Cutie and the Boxer” (Point and Eastgate) — My full review is here. Marcus Theatres is screening the insightful Oscar-nominated documentary about a brash Japanese-American artist and his wife, also an artist, and how art and marriage have intertwined over the years.

I Wanna Hold Your Hand” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre) — This rarely-seen 1978 Robert Zemeckis movie follows some Beatle-loving New Jersey teens on their way to the Big Apple to see the Mop Tops. FREE!


Hannah and Her Sisters” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — One of Woody Allen’s best films tells the intertwining stories of three sisters — Mia Farrow, Dianne Wiest and Barbara Hershey — and the men in their lives, including one involved with two of them. FREE!


Robocop” (Opens at Point, Eastgate, Star Cinema) — All “I’d buy that for a dollar” jokes aside, do we really need a PG-13 remake of the ’80s action film/merciless satire? Director Jose Padilha’s “Elite Squad” films are masterful at mixing gunfire and political commentary, so I’m holding out hope.

Sleepless in Seattle” (1:35 p.m., 6:50 p.m., Sundance) — Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks get one scene together as a couple who connect from different coasts, but it’s enough to make this a pre-Valentine’s Day classic.

Trouble the Water” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee Theatre) — This Oscar-nominated documentary looks at one family’s attempts to escape Hurricane Katrina in a sobering indictment of failing institutions. FREE!


Inequality for All” (7 p.m., Barrymore Theatre, 2090 Atwood Ave.) — Robert Reich walks the audience through how and why the rich are getting richer and leaving the rest of us behind in this engaging documentary. A post-show panel will discuss the issues raised in the film. A $5 donation at the door is suggested.

Short Term 12” (7 p.m., Union South Marquee) — My full review is here. This tough and compassionate drama looks at workers at a group home for abused teens. FREE!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s