These are Maui Scene's mini-reviews, excerpts of wire service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" PG-13, 2:49, Kaahumanu Center 6 and Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center.
Actor Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in the fantasy adventure “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
Director Peter Jackson takes you on an edge-of-your-seat journey in this adventure fantasy that lasts for almost three hours. A curious Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, journeys to the Lonely Mountain with a vigorous group of Dwarves to reclaim a treasure stolen from them by the dragon Smaug. Jackson's choice to shoot his epic three-part J.R.R. Tolkien prequel in the format that boosts the number of 48 frames per second to the 24 frames per second standard has some unusual consequences.
"Hitchcock" PG-13, 1:38, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Stars Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren and Scarlett Johansson. The story of influential filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and wife Alma Reville during the filming of the movie, "Psycho" in 1959. The biography drama was directed by Sacha Gervasi.
"End of Watch" R, 1:49, Maui Mall Megaplex (closes tonight).
Written and directed by David Ayer, this crime-drama thriller stars Jack Gyllenhaal, Michael Pena and Anna Kendrick. Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel, during a routine traffic stop.
"Playing For Keeps" PG-13, 1:46, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Gerard Butler, Jessica Biel and Dennis Quaid star in this romantic comedy about a former sports star who has fallen on hard times. He coaches his son's soccer team to get his life together, yet all of his attempts to become an adult are met with challenges from the many attracitive soccer moms who pursue him at every turn. Directed by Gabriele Muccino.
"Killing Them Softly" R, 1:37, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Brad Pitt and Ray Liota star with Richard Jenkins in this crime drama thriller. Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter pens that "the film is terribly smart in every respect, with ne'er-a-false note in its performances and superb craft work from top to bottom. Writer Kevin Jagermauth of The Playlist says that it's "Uncompromising and uncommercial, divisive and brave," that "Killing Them Softly" bitterly boils at the nation.
"The Collection" R, 1:22, Kaahumanu Center 6 (closes tonight).
Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick and Christopher McDonald star in this action-horror-thriller directed by Marcus Dunstan. A man who escapes from the vicious grips of the serial killer known as "The Collector" is blackmailed to rescue an innocent girl from the killer's booby-trapped warehouse. Some say it's freaky, other say it's spooky, and there is a lot of edge- of-your-seat gripping.
"The Sessions" R, 1:35, Kaahumanu Center 6 (closes tonight).
Jon Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy star in the drama about a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity by the use of a professional sex surrogate with the help of his therapist and priest. Directed by Ben Lewen, it also. stars Rhea Perlman and Adam Arkin.
"Life of Pi," PG, 2:07, Maui Mall Megaplex.
Academy Award winner Ang Lee directed this adventure-drama starring Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Akil Hussain. A young man survives a disaster at sea and is hurtled into an epic journey of adventure and discovery. While cast away, he forms an unexpected connection with another survivor . . . a fearsome Bengal tiger. Some call it the "next Avatar," as it's a remarkable breakthrough of 3D technology.
"Red Dawn," PG13, 1:49, Kaahumanu Center 6.
The fight begins at dawn as a group of teenagers looks to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers. Not to be confused with the 1984 version starring Patrick Swayze, this film is directed by Dan Bradley and stars Chris Hemswoth, Isabel Lucas and Josh Hutcherson. But it's it's a remake, nonetheless.
"Rise of the Guardians," PG, 1:49, Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center (closes tonight).
DreamWorks put together this enthralling film that will easily weave a spell over the whole family, parents included. It's inventive, heartfelt and a work of creative genius when it comes to animation. Lending voices are actors Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law and Isla Fisher. Directed by Peter Ramsay.
"The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2," PG13, 1:55, Maui Mall Megaplex, Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center.
Movie goers will want to sink their teeth into this compelling saga that unfolds after the birth of Renesmee. The vampire clans are gathered together to protect the child and lies put the family right in front of trouble in this drama, adventure, fantasy. When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.
"Lincoln," PG13, 1:49, Maui Mall Megaplex.
With Steven Spielberg at the helm as director and Academy Award winners Daniel Day-Lewis and Sally Field in the lead roles, the Civil War continues to rage on in this biographical and historical drama. Lincoln keeps struggling with the horrific carnage of the war while, at the same time, fighting with some of those in his own cabinet on the controversial decision to emancipate slaves.
"Skyfall," PG-13, 2:23, Lahaina Wharf Cinema Center and Kaahumanu Center 6.
James Bond buffs who wish to be shaken, not stirred, will want to watch what director Sam Mendes does with the latest installment in the long-running spy series that now stars Daniel Craig in the cool and collected roll of 007. This time around, M's past comes back to haunt her, and Bond's loyalty to her is put to the test. Action-packed scenes include train-top brawls, explosions and other fun surprises.
"Flight," R, 2:19, Maui Mall Megaplex.
An airline pilot saves a flight from crashing, but an investigation into the malfunctions reveals something troubling. Captain Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington) is behind the controls when treacherous weather and engine failure threatens the lives of the crew and passengers. Whitaker's drug and alcohol issues suggest another title for the film, "Crash Landing." John Goodman and Kelly Reilly co-star. Robert Zemeckis directs.
"Wreck-It Ralph," PG, 1:41, Kaahumanu Center 6.
Wreck-It Ralph (voice of John C. Reilly) longs to be as beloved as his game's perfect Good Guy, Fix-It Felix (voice of Jack McBrayer). Problem is, nobody loves a bad guy. But they do love heroes . . . so when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring tough-as-nails Sergeant Calhoun (voice of Jane Lynch), Ralph sees it as his ticket to heroism and happiness. He sneaks into the game with a simple plan - win a medal - but soon wrecks everything, and accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that threatens every game in the arcade. Ralph's only hope? Vanellope von Schweetz (voice of Sarah Silverman), a young troublemaking "glitch" from a candy-coated cart racing game who might just be the one to teach Ralph what it means to be a good guy. But will he realize he is good enough to become a hero before it's "Game Over" for the entire arcade? Rich Moore directs.
"Argo," R, 2:00, Maui Mall Megaplex.
The Iranian hostage crisis of 1979-81 was a dire turning point in modern history. Based on a "declassified true story," director Ben Affleck handles this political thriller with intelligence, great period detail and a surprising amount of humor. The story begins as the Iranian revolution reaches a boiling point and a mob takes 52 American embassy workers hostage. A CIA "exfiltration" specialist concocts a risky plan to free six Americans.
* Movie listings are subject to last-minute changes. Visit www.mauigateway.com/~rw/ movie/ for updates