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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Film Clips: Mar. 21

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Admission PG-13

This adaptation of Jean Hanff Korelitz's novel seeks to spice up Princeton's application process with a moral dilemma. Tina Fey portrays Portia Nathan, a 38-year-old admissions officer gunning for promotion. Portia visits New Quest alternative high school at the invitation of former Dartmouth classmate John (Paul Rudd), a New Quest teacher. John confesses his longtime crush on Portia, but even more upsetting, he believes that exceptional New Quest student Jeremiah (Nat Wolff) is the child Portia gave up 18 years ago. Jeremiah's admission merits serious examination, but it receives unsatisfactory consideration from this lackluster comedy. (Lisa Miller)

Olympus Has Fallen R

Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) is riding a desk when the White House is attacked and the president (Aaron Eckhart) is taken hostage. After learning he is the only agent left alive inside the White House, Banning realizes he must stop the hostage-takers from getting their hands on our nuclear arsenal. Pains were taken to construct a plausible attack, and this one's a nail-biter, unfolding in a 20-minute sequence that is both realistic and frightening. Cut from the Die Hard template, this film's R rating indicates a gritty reality that eschews the sanitized violence and toned-down reality of teen-friendly, PG-13 action flicks. (L.M.)

The Croods PG

The prehistoric, vaguely Neanderthal Croods team up with a vaguely modern human named Guy (voice of Ryan Reynolds) to escape the effects of an earthquake. Nicolas Cage voices Crood family patriarch Grug, whose motto is: "Fear keeps us alive. Never not be afraid." Grug's rebellious teen daughter, Eep (Emma Stone), is smitten with Guy. In addition to Grug, the Croods include Eep's mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), her sassy grandmother (Cloris Leachman) and her siblings. Grug is determined to remain in charge, but Guy possesses the fire they will need in order to survive in this colorful and dangerous new world. (L.M.)