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New movie reviews: Critics' picks

Mr. Turner

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

Mike Leigh delivers a naturalistic, stunningly shot biopic about the working life of J.M.W. Turner. Timothy Spall plays the legendary painter with brave and captivating restraint.

The Interview

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

In the unlikely event that this subversive Seth Rogen comedy proves to be Sony’s downfall, at least they'll go out with a bang—the jokes are wonderfully lowbrow.

Winter Sleep

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

This year’s winner of the Palme d’Or is a nearly four-hour drama about a curmudgeon who lives in Turkey's remote mountains. Despite that, it’s pretty great.

Inherent Vice

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Like watching The Maltese Falcon through a cloud of your own bong smoke, Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel is a sunbaked noir for the ages.

Top Five

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Chris Rock is back in a big way with this hilarious, cameo-loaded Annie Hall riff about a fading movie star who falls for a journalist assigned to profile him.

The Imitation Game

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Benedict Cumberbatch shines in this gripping biopic about a brilliant man who saved England from WWII, but failed to save himself from England.

The Babadook

  • Rated as: 5/5
  • Critics choice

A grieving widow and her troubled son are terrorized by the monster from a pop-up storybook in Aussie filmmaker Jennifer Kent's horrifying and absolutely confident first feature.

The Theory of Everything

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Critics choice

Eddie Redmayne digs deep for a soulful performance as young Stephen Hawking, reaching for the stars while his deteriorating body has other plans.

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New movie releases

Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb

  • Rated as: 2/5

There's a layer of accidental poignancy, thanks to the sight of Robin Williams.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

  • Rated as: 3/5

It's a whole lot more of Jackson’s proven formula: battles, creatures, action.

Song of the Sea

  • Rated as: 3/5

Tomm Moore has followed up 2009’s The Secret of Kells with another gorgeously rendered work of 2-D animation.

Annie

  • Rated as: 2/5

Today's thoroughly modern Annie is a candied corporate fantasia that could only take place in Taylor Swift’s New York.

Exodus: Gods and Kings

  • Rated as: 1/5

It plays like a miniseries that’s been disemboweled of its imagination with a butter knife.

Magician: The Astonishing Life and Work of Orson Welles

  • Rated as: 3/5

Lush-looking film clips energize this biographical profile of cinema’s great enfant terrible.

The Pyramid

  • Rated as: 2/5

This enjoyable-despite-itself horror flick has precisely nothing new to offer—with the arguable exception of a monster in a miniskirt.

Wild

  • Rated as: 3/5

As a heroin addict, a cheater, a crunchy soul-searcher and a bit of a space-case, Reese Witherspoon feels miscast.

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