New movies this week
The gist: A based-on-true-life yarn about a reporter and an animal lover who organize a rescue of a family of gray whales trapped under the ice in the Arctic Circle. Gee, d'ya think the mammals will be freed? There would be a lot of disappointed kids if not. PG
The cast: Drew Barrymore, John Krasinski, Vanessa Shaw, John Pinayak, John Chase and Ahmaogak Sweeney.
The buzz: Decent, warmed-over family fare. Not that it's a bad thing. "The genuinely sweet nature of this sometimes clunky movie is mixed with a little sass and wins you over," the New York Daily News reasons.
The Woman in Black
The gist: You can call this one Harry Potter and the Ghost of Some Angry Woman in a Big House. Sorry, Daniel Radcliffe, but you'll be stuck with it for a while. PG-13
The cast: Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, Janet McTeer, Shaun Dooley, David Burke and Liz White.
The buzz: Uneven reviews, but more positive than negative, proving Harry Potter can spin a successful ghost story. "The film, a handsome nerve-jangler co-produced under the storied Hammer horror banner, amps up the scares without turning them into something completely stupid," the Chicago Tribune lauds.
The gist: In this latest entry to the shaky-handheld-camera movie genre, three teenagers crawl into a hole in the ground and gain the power of telekinesis. Flash: They can't handle their new powers very responsibly. This was an episode of The X-Files, wasn't it? PG-13
The cast: Dame DeHaan, Alex Russell, Michael B. Jordan, Michael Kelly and Ashley Hinshaw.
The buzz: Well, it's a surprisingly effective entry to the shaky-handheld-camera movie genre. "Sometimes a movie arrives out of the blue that announces the arrival of considerable new talents," the Chicago Sun-Times' Roger Ebert notes. High praise, indeed.
— Joshua Gillin email@example.com