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Published: Thursday, 8/1/2013

Movies currently showing: 8-01

Summaries are condensed from Blade or wire reviews and reflect the theater schedule starting Friday. Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (best) to Bomb (worst). The reviewer’s name, movie running time, and abbreviations of the theaters where the movie is playing are at the end of each summary.

Before Midnight. We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story. R; 3 1/​2 stars; 108 min. (Wire review) (LC)

The Conjuring. Paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren work to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in their farmhouse. Forced to confront a powerful entity, the Warrens find themselves caught in the most terrifying case of their lives. R; 3 stars; 112 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC, SDI)

Despicable Me 2. The animated sequel brings laughs, love, and lots more minions as reformed evil genius Gru (Steve Carell) has settled into single parenthood and suburban life. But his new life is upended when he's recruited by a secret agency to help stop a mysterious new supervillain, and in the process falls for a female agent (Kristen Wiig). In 3-D at select theaters. PG; 3 1/​2 stars; 98 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, BG)

Fast & Furious 6. The Fast and the Furious movies are about souped-up cars and the quirky-but-lovable people who drive them. The sixth installment in the franchise adds even more cars, more mayhem, more action and stunts. There’s also the a thin plot to tie everything together: a former British Special Forces soldier and his road crew are stealing pieces to a destructive new weapon. Stars Vin Diesel and Paul Walker return, along with Dwayne Johnson. PG-13; 3 stars; 130 min. (Baird) (MIT)

Fruitvale Station. The true story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident, who crosses paths with friends, enemies, family, and strangers on the last day of 2008. R; 4 stars; 90 min. (Wire review) (FP)

The Great Gatsby. Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is F. Scott Fitzgerald shaped for the ADHD generation, it’s restless, largely unfocused, and always in motion. It’s also quite dazzling. The latest adaptation of the Roaring Twenties drama about the East Coast elite and those pretending to be stars Tobey Maguire, Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 2 1/​2 stars; 143 min. (Baird) (MIT)

Grown Ups 2. Lenny Feder (Adam Sandler) moves his family back to his hometown to be with his friends, but he finds that — between old bullies, new bullies, party crashers and more — he didn't leave the crazy life behind in Los Angeles. Lenny's friends must also cope with their own challenges: Eric (Kevin James) must face his ultimate fear, Kurt (Chris Rock) has gone back to work as a cable repairman, and Marcus (David Spade) learns that he has an 18-year-old son. PG-13; 1/​2 star; 101 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC, BG, SDI)

The Heat is a buddy-action cop comedy with a feminist twist, as Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock are mismatched law-enforcement agents paired to take down a Boston drug lord. McCarthy and Bullock have great chemistry onscreen. They also have a strong supporting cast and a consistently funny script, as well as the guiding hand of director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids), all of which makes for a winning comedy. R; 3 1/​2 stars; 116 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)

Iron Man 3. After two soaring, roaring solo adventures, it was inevitable that Iron Man would come crashing down. New director and co-writer Shane Black brings superficial complexity to the metal hero as Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) copes with his near death in The Avengers. Downey still has fun with the zingers, but Oscar winner Ben Kingsley as the villainous Mandarin is a wasted opportunity. Iron Man 3 has its moments, but it’s no Avengers, the now gold standard of superhero fun. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 2 1/​2 stars; 130 min. (Baird) (FT)

The Lone Ranger. Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp play the Masked Man and faithful companion Tonto, respectively, in this origin story of the western heroes as they battle ruthless villains and often each other. Director Gore Verbinski's The Lone Ranger is big and overblown, and more about large-scale action sequences than its titular legend. PG-13; 2 stars; 135 min. (Baird) (LC)

Pacific Rim. Colossal alien beasts from another dimension are invading and destroying Earth, so mankind fights back with giant mechanical men controlled by human pilots. Director Guillermo del Toro’s super-sized homage to Godzilla and other Japanese monster films is a grand spectacle made for the big screen (the bigger the screen, the better the experience) and a lot of fun. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 4 stars; 131 min. (Baird) (FP, FT)

Red 2. Retired CIA agent Frank (Bruce Willis) and friend/​fellow killer Marvin (John Malkovich) are erroneously linked to a top-secret deadly project and must evade assassins as they attempt to clear their name. Along for the adventure are Frank's girlfriend (Mary-Louise Parker), British colleague Victoria (Helen Mirren), and a contract killer (Byung-hun Lee). Mindless and fun, Red 2 is an excuse to get the gang together again, and reunite a talented cast in a sequel not to up their level. PG-13; 2 1/​2 stars; 116 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)

R.I.P.D. A murdered cop is recruited to work for an afterlife police force that battles spirits not yet ready to depart this world. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 1 star; 96 min. (Wire review) (FT)

Star Trek Into Darkness. J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek was about restoring a moribund franchise. His sequel is about taking it for a spin. Into Darkness is a wild, action-packed ride, as Captain Kirk (Chris Pine), Mr. Spock (Zachary Quinto), and co. battle against one of their great adversaries (Benedict Cumberbatch), who is waging a one-man war against Star Fleet. PG-13; 4 1/​2 stars; 132 min. (Baird) (MIT)

The To Do List. Feeling pressured to become more sexually experienced before she goes to college, Brandy Clark makes a list of things to accomplish before hitting campus in the fall. R; 3 1/​2 stars; 140 min. (Wire review) (FP)

Turbo. An underdog snail kicks into overdrive when he miraculously attains the power of super-speed. But after making fast friends with a crew of streetwise, tricked-out es-car-goes, Turbo learns that no one succeeds on their own. So he puts his heart and shell on the line to help his pals achieve their dreams, before Turbo-charging his own impossible dream: winning the Indy 500. In 3-D at select theater. PG; 3 stars; 96 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)

The Way Way Back. 14-year-old Duncan's summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and his daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park. PG-13; 4 stars; 103 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC)

The Wolverine. After a lackluster origin story, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine returns to the present and journeys to Japan to protect a young heiress from her family, the mob, and a poisonous mutant. The Wolverine is an excuse to pit the now-mortal and ex-X-men mutant against Japanese samurais and ninjas, and for Jackman to return to the comic-book role that made him famous. Both elements mesh quite well in this summer-fun film. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13; 3 1/​2 stars; 126 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, BG, SDI)



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