BIG BUDGET FILMS
Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance (PG-13 for profanity, intense violence and disturbing images, at left) 3-D Marvel Comics sequel finds stuntman-turned-demon hunter Johnny Blaze (Nicolas Cage) emerging from his self-imposed exile to protect a woman (Violante Placido) with a young son (Fergus Riordan) from the devil incarnate (Johnny Whitworth). Cast includes Ciaran Hinds, Idris Elba and Christopher Lambert.
The Secret World of Arrietty (G) Another animated adaptation of The Borrowers, Mary Norton's children's classic about a family of 4" tall wee people who live unnoticed beneath the floorboards of a house. Voice cast features Amy Poehler, Carol Burnett, Bridgit Mendler, Will Arnett and David Henrie.
This Means War (PG-13 sexuality, violence and profanity) Spy vs. spy comedy about a couple of CIA Agents (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who go from being best friends to sworn enemies after discovering that they're dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). With Chelsea Handler, Angela Bassett and Til Schweiger.
INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS
Circus Columbia (Unrated) Midlife-crisis drama, set in Bosnia in the early Nineties, shortly before the outbreak of the civil war, about a successful businessman's (Miki Manojlovic) scandalous return home from Germany accompanied by a flamboyant mistress (Jelena Stupljanin), much to the chagrin of his estranged wife (Mir Furlan) and teenage son (Boris Ler). With Milan Strljic and Almir Mehic. (In English and Croatian with subtitles)
Jess + Moss (Unrated) Coming-of-age drama about the sexual awakenings experienced by a couple of kissing cousins (Sarah Hagan and Austin Vickers) over the course of a steamy summer in the tobacco fields of Western Kentucky. With Marie Coleman, Don Fleming, Haley Strode and Haley Parker.
Michael (Unrated) Disturbing drama chronicling the 5-month ordeal of a 10 year-old boy (David Rauchenberger) who is kidnapped and repeatedly raped in a soundproof basement by a pedophile (Michael Fuith) passing as a pillar of the community. With Christine Kain, Ursula Strauss and Victor Tremmel. (In German with subtitles)
On the Ice (R for profanity, violence and drug use) Alaskan crime thriller set in a tight-knit community where a couple of teenagers (Josiah Patkotak and Frank Qutuq Irelan) cover-up the killing of a friend (John Miller) by claiming he died in a seal-hunting accident. Support cast includes Adamina Kerr, Sierra Jade Sampson and Teddy Kyle smith.
Putin's Kiss (Unrated) Agitprop expose' chronicling the gradual disillusionment of Vladimir Putin protégé Masha Drakova, a Russian teenager who finally wised up to the fact that she was being used by the Kremlin after the vicious attack of an opposition journalist by government goons. (In Russian with subtitles)
Thin Ice (R for profanity, and brief violence and sexuality) Fargo-inspired crime comedy, set in Wisconsin in the dead of winter, about an insurance agent (Greg Kinnear) who finds himself framed by an unstable locksmith (Billy Crudup) in the theft of a retired farmer's (Alan Arkin) rare violin. Supporting cast includes Bob Balaban, David Harbour and Michelle Arthur.
Undefeated (Unrated) Oscar-nominated documentary recounting how Memphis' Manassas High School football coach Bill Courtney turned around his team's fortunes by employing a tenderhearted, tough-love regimen.