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Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014

Film Clips: Jan. 16

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Devil’s Due R

In this latest entry in the found-footage horror genre, we learn that newlywed, Zach (Zach Gilford), is documenting his bride, Samantha’s (Allison Miller), unexpected pregnancy after a honeymoon night neither one can recall. Home movies of Samantha’s belly distorted by her overactive fetus and the mother-to-be’s propensity to hide in dark corners while ignoring her husband’s pleas are indications the pair won’t have a happily ever after. Hitting the highlights of Samantha’s possession, the trailer depicts a series of miscalculated scares that would be fortunate to earn a film school project a “C-”. (Lisa Miller)

 

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit PG-13

Based on an original screenplay, this reboot struggles to capture author Tom Clancy’s magic. Jack Ryan (Chris Pine) is a junior CIA analyst when he uncovers evidence of an imminent terrorist attack from Moscow. He is promoted to field agent and sent to Russia to investigate further. Keira Knightley co-stars as Ryan’s wife, while director Kenneth Branagh embraces the role of a Russian businessman baddie. Pine is the fourth actor to play Ryan, the memorable hero of The Hunt for Red October (1990), Patriot Games (1992), and Clear and Present Danger (1994). A 2002 reboot effort starred Ben Affleck as a young Ryan in The Sum of All Fears. This is the first Jack Ryan film not based on a specific Clancy novel. (L.M.)

 

The Nut Job PG

Warning that sufficient food stores are needed for winter, Raccoon (voiced by Liam Neeson) orders Surly the squirrel (Will Arnett) to leave the city park after the rodent bungles a heist and destroys a food stand. To redeem himself, Surly plots to rob a nearby store that specializes in nuts. Meanwhile, Raccoon has dispatched resourceful squirrel Andie (Katherine Heigl) and her vain squirrel-partner Grayson (Brendan Fraser) to rob the same location. Timing is everything since the humans running the store (stereotypical Italian gangsters named Lucky, Fingers and Knuckles) are planning to tunnel beneath the street to reach the vault of a nearby bank. The film’s autumn-themed animation is a nice change of pace, though the jumbled script and frenetic action are a letdown no matter what the season. (L.M.)

 

Ride Along PG-13

Hoping to prove himself worthy of marrying Angela (Tika Sumpter), security guard Ben (Kevin Hart) agrees to ride along with her brother James (Ice Cube) on a 24-hour shift patrolling the mean streets of Atlanta. A seasoned detective, James invites Ben along hoping he won’t be able to handle the stress and to show Angela she could do better than spend her life with a video-game-playing junkie. James doesn’t count on a lead that will put him and Ben on the trail of Atlanta’s most notorious criminal, and he certainly fails to foresee that Ben’s rapid-fire mouth will further worsen their precarious situation. Lethal Weapon it ain’t, but Hollywood can’t resist an all-male odd-couple movie even though the stats on such copycat films indicate that temptation’s a bitch. (L.M.)