The smart spy thriller, based on a John le Carré novel, stars the late actor as an anti-terror specialist

The actress brings a matter-of-fact toughness to her role as woman with drug-induced mental super powers, but the film becomes a silly mishmash of ideas

The summer box office continued to lack mojo, as the R-rated "Sex Tape" failed to turn on moviegoers over a weekend where "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" maintained its rule.

The unholy bond between religion and politics is the background for “Persecuted,” a confused and confusing thriller about a TV preacher ruined by a sinister government plot.

Attendance keeps climbing as festival refines its mix of recent Japanese films and classics

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The cinematic equivalent of herpes, “Sex Tape” is an uncomfortable embarrassment to raunchy comedies everywhere. Fortunately no medication is required after being exposed to it: The effects are not permanent, only painful.

New DVD release for this week include ‘Rio 2’ and ‘Under the Skin’

“The Grand Seduction” slowly brings its story into focus and then sneaks up and becomes quite funny. It’s an English-language Canadian film based on a 2003 French-Canadian film (“Le Grand Seduction”), which only goes to show that if you have a bilingual country, you can make everything twice.

“Planes: Fire & Rescue” is roughly twice as good as its predecessor, “Planes,” which was so story- and laugh-starved it would have given “direct-to-video” a bad name. Yes, there was nowhere to go but up.

It started as "a narrative problem," writer-director Richard Linklater says. "How do you tell a story, with actors, over a long period of time? You can't re-cast it when you're catching up with somebody, year by year. The change in appearance would be too abrupt."

The monkey business is a good business to be in at the box office.

“Third Person,” the latest interlocking puzzle from Paul Haggis, is about love. But it’s not a soft and fuzzy sort of love. As Leona Lewis put it in the pop hit a few years ago, it’s the “you cut me open and I keep bleeding, keep keep bleeding” sort. Haggis uses a double-edged sword – and a relatively blunt one at that – to hack away at it.

An HBO documentary with Sacramento ties was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award Thursday.

The Zombie Walk that starts it always commands more attention (flesh eaters are such drama queens), but the six-week-long Trash Film Orgy late-night movie series offers its own pleasures.

“Dawn of the Planet of the Apes,” a superior sequel to the already good 2011 film “Rise of the Planet of the Apes,” subtly condemns prejudices born of fear, along with blind loyalty to one’s supposed tribe.

City has paired with Palladio 16 Cinemas operator in a plan to turn the dilapidated 1937 theater, vacant since 2010, into a gleaming multiplex

It has been a banner year for Texas-set indie films. From Nicolas Cage’s comeback in “Joe” and Michael C. Hall’s turn as a man pushed to his limits in the thriller “Cold in July” to the moving slice-of-life drama “This Is Where We Live” – not to mention Richard Linklater’s extraordinary “Boyhood,” which opens next month – the Lone Star State is the backdrop for some of 2014’s best-told cinematic stories.

New DVD releases this week include ‘The Lunchbox,’ ‘The Unknown Known’

In an otherwise bright summer filled with dragon trainers, transforming robots and ninja turtles, here comes “Deliver Us From Evil” – like a dead cat floating in the punch bowl.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

Is college, specifically the elite four-year residential model, overrated? Is it worth its ever-increasing cost? Has it been oversold as the key to a child’s brighter future? The stimulating documentary “Ivory Tower” asks all these tough questions and, most provocatively of all, declines to give definitive answers.

“There’s the Mooch,” says Ben Falcone brightly as his wife, Melissa McCarthy, enters the room.

Adam Levine knows pop stars-turned-actors are greeted suspiciously. And he’s hesitant to make any grandiose declarations about suddenly transforming into an actor. But he can’t help himself.

Keira Knightley’s singing voice, a little too girlish, a bit too breathy yet somehow still lovely, is “Begin Again” at its essence. This film, in which a fledgling singer-songwriter (Knightley) and a foundering record executive (Mark Ruffalo) pair up to make an album, can be picked apart easily. But it shouldn’t be. It is too warm and engaging, too filled with catchy tunes and the wonderful Ruffalo, for that.

Sincere and spirited, the PG-rated “Earth to Echo” evokes those 1980s kid-adventure tales such as “E.T.” and “Stand By Me.” Except the visuals are jerkier and the tug on the heartstrings lighter.

New DVD releases this week include ‘Enemy,’ ‘300 Rise of an Empire’ and ‘Winter’s Tale’

Amalric, Seigner shine in the two-person comedy/mystery directed by Polanski. It plays tonight at the French Film Festival and also can be rented via video on demand

The story sounds apocryphal, but Michael Bay has told it often enough that now it has slipped into something of legend.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

Tony-winning actor/singer John Lloyd Young, born at Mather AFB, also seemingly was born to play Frankie Valli

Sequels, as “22 Jump Street” joked, are always “the same, only worse.”

Complex comedy is king at the 13th Sacramento French Film Festival, running Friday through Sunday and next weekend at the Crest Theatre.

Don’t take Eric’s car. Don’t take Eric’s car. Don’t take Eric’s … you get the idea.

About midway through “Jersey Boys,” a feeling settles in that this story might be bigger than it seems, that this saga of a pop music group is also an important American story, on a scale with previous big American stories directed by Clint Eastwood. The Four Seasons’ music starts to sound, not like disparate hits, but like a whole slice of Americana. And we react in the same way we might to the music of Glenn Miller or Artie Shaw, with the sense that this is how people once were and what it was like.

Action, explosions and indelible comic-book characters helped make “Marvel’s The Avengers,” written and directed by Joss Whedon, wildly successful when it hit theaters in 2012, ultimately becoming the third highest-grossing film of all time.

The latest in a line of documentaries critiquing the American diet, “Fed Up” quickly zeroes in on what would appear to be its villain. According to the film, added sugar, in all forms – including not just the demonized high-fructose corn syrup, but also more natural-sounding throwbacks such as “pure” cane sugar – is almost singlehandedly responsible for what one interview subject calls the obesity tsunami sweeping the nation, as well as the sharp rise in diabetes.

New DVD releases this week include ‘Jack Ryan,’ ‘Non-Stop’

The documentary “Jodorowsky’s Dune,” opening at the Tower, is one of those great lost-masterpiece movies, a worthy addition to a cinematic canon that includes Terry Gilliam’s “Lost in La Mancha,” about his failed attempt to make “Don Quixote” and “It’s All True,” about Orson Welles’ misbegotten South America project of the same name.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The charms of “How to Train Your Dragon 2” are thinned a bit for its sequel, a cartoon with better animation and action, if fewer jokes. And if there’s one thing these sweet-message/great flying sequence movies don’t need, it’s fewer jokes.

You’re pretty much going to have to see “22 Jump Street” twice – just to catch all the jokes the roars of laughter make you miss.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

New DVD releases this week include ‘RoboCop,’ ‘Son of God’

The teen romance in which girl meets boy in a cancer-support group sometimes tugs too hard at the heartstrings, but its stars always are genuine.

The actors excel, but the romantic comedy in which they play dueling prep-school teachers never reaches their level

Focus Features has released the first trailer for “Kill the Messenger,” in which Modesto native and two-time Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner plays late Carmichael resident and Capitol investigative reporter Gary Webb. The movie is scheduled for release in October.

Seth MacFarlane’s “A Million Ways to Die in the West” lopes along, parceling out gags over its two-hour run time and giving the film a welcome, unusually relaxed air for a raunchy comedy.

Current films are reviewed each week to provide parents a guide to decide what may be appropriate to younger viewers

The day after the premiere of their new comedy, “A Million Ways to Die in the West” – and an after-party that rolled on until 4 a.m. – Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron were each recovering in their own ways. He slept in and ate a grilled ham and cheese sandwich; she went to yoga and sipped green tea.

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