Varsity Theatre and Ashland Street Cinemas
NOTE: No showings after 5:55 p.m. on Dec. 24; see special notices for other listings
Times: Tues-Sat. early show: 2:10 Daily showtimes: 5:20 8:30
This is a fictional film set in the alluring world of one of the most stunning scandals to rock our nation, "American Hustle" tells the story of brilliant con man Irving Rosenfeld, who along with his equally cunning and seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey power brokers and Mafia that's as dangerous as it is enchanting. Jeremy Renner is Carmine Polito, the passionate, volatile, New Jersey political operator caught between the con-artists and Feds. Irving's unpredictable wife Rosalyn could be the one to pull the thread that brings the entire world crashing down. Directed by David O. Russell. Starring Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Amy Adams, Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lawrence. Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and brief violence/138m.
Saving Mr. Banks
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 12:00 Daily showtimes: 3:00 5:55 8:50
When Walt Disney's daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers' "Mary Poppins," he made them a promise — one that he didn't realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley. Rated PG-13 for thematic elements including some unsettling images/125m.
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 12:10 Daily showtimes: 2:50 5:30 7:55 (No 7:55 showing Dec. 19)
When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna, a fearless optimist, teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer, Sven, on an epic journey to find Anna's sister Elsa, the Snow Queen, and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction. Directed by Chris Buck. Starring Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff, Santino Fontana, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad. Rated PG for some action and mild rude humor/105m.
Blue is the Warmest Color (La Vie d'Adèle)
Times: Daily showtimes: (Dec. 19 only) 3:40 7:30
See review, Page 11.
Out of the Furnace
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 1:10 Daily showtimes: 3:50 6:30 9:10
Russell Baze has a rough life: He works a dead-end, blue-collar job at the local steel mill by day, and cares for his terminally ill father by night. When Russell's brother, Rodney, returns home from serving time in Iraq, he gets lured into one of the most ruthless crime rings in the Northeast and mysteriously disappears. The police fail to crack the case, so — with nothing left to lose — Russell takes matters into his own hands, putting his life on the line to seek justice for his brother. Directed by Scott Cooper. Starring Christian Bale, Woody Harrelson, Casey Affleck, Forest Whitaker. Rated R for strong violence, language and drug content/116m.
Times: Sat-Tues. early show: 12:40 Daily showtimes: 3:10 5:40 8:10 (No 8:10 showing on Dec. 19)
Falling pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena was sent to the convent of Roscrea to be looked after as a "fallen woman." When her baby was only a toddler, he was taken away by the nuns for adoption in America. Philomena spent the next 50 years searching for him in vain. Then she met Martin Sixsmith, a world-weary political journalist who happened to be intrigued by her story. Together they set off for America on a journey that would not only reveal the extraordinary story of Philomena's son, but also create an unexpectedly close bond between them. Directed by Stephen Frears. Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark. Rated PG-13 on appeal for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual references/100m.
The Book Thief
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 12:30 Daily showtimes: 6:05
This is narrated by Death and set in Nazi Germany — a place and time when, as the narrator notes, he was extremely busy. Under the watchful eye and caustic musings of Death, a young girl named Liesel embarks upon a journey marked by discovery, courage, friendship and the power to triumph over the most daunting obstacles. Directed by Brian Percival. Starring Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Sophie Nelisse. Rated PG-13 for some violence and intense depiction of thematic material/131m.
Dallas Buyers Club
Times: Daily showtimes: 3:25 9:00 (No 3:25 showing on Dec. 24)
Matthew McConaughey stars as real-life Texas cowboy Ron Woodroof, whose free-wheeling life was overturned in 1985 when he was diagnosed as HIV-positive and given 30 days to live. These were the early days of the AIDS epidemic, and the U.S. was divided over how to combat the virus. Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, and bereft of government-approved effective medicines, decided to take matters in his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from all over the world by means both legal and illegal. Also starring Jennifer Garner, Jared Leto, Denis O'Hare. Rated R for pervasive language, some strong sexual content, nudity and drug use/117m.
Ashland Street Cinemas
Schedule effective Dec. 19-24
NOTE: No showings after 6 p.m. on Dec. 24; see special notices for other listings
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
Times: (Dec. 19 only) Daily showtimes: 2:50 5:40 8:30
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 12:20 Daily showtimes: 3:10 6:00 8:50
With the 70's behind him, San Diego's top-rated newsman, Ron Burgundy returns to the news desk in "Anchorman 2: Directed by Adam McKay. Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Steve Carell, David Koechner, Paul Rudd, Kristen Wiig, James Marsden, Dylan Baker. Rated PG-13 for crude and sexual content, drug use, language and comic violence/119m.
Walking with Dinosaurs 3-D
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 1:10 (2-D) Daily showtimes: 3:25 (3-D) 5:40 (2-D) 7:50 (3-D)
For the first time in movie history, audiences will truly see and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Recent discoveries and a breakthrough in technology will introduce new and unique dinosaurs that are more real than ever before and put moviegoers in the middle of a thrilling prehistoric adventure, where an underdog dinosaur triumphs against all odds to become a hero for the ages. Starring Charlie Rowe. Rated PG for creature action and peril, and mild rude humor/87m.
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug 3-D
Times: Sat.-Tues. early show: 12:10 (3-D) 1:40 (2-D) Daily showtimes: 3:45 (3-D) 5:10 (2-D) 7:15 (3-D) 8:40 (2-D)
The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece "The Hobbit," by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" continues the adventure of the title character, Bilbo Baggins, as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf and 13 dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield, on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor. Directed by Peter Jackson. Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving. Rated PG-13 for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence and frightening images/161m.
Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Times: (All times for Dec. 19 only) Daily showtimes: 5:50 9:40
Katniss Everdeen has returned home safe after winning the 74th Annual Hunger Games along with fellow tribute Peeta Mellark. Winning means that they must turn around and leave their family and close friends, embarking on a "Victor's Tour" of the districts. Along the way Katniss senses that a rebellion is simmering, but the Capitol is still very much in control as President Snow prepares the 75th Annual Hunger Games. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Stanley Tucci. Rated PG-13 for intense sequences of violence and action, some frightening images, thematic elements, a suggestive situation and language/146m.