New This Week

‘Angels Crest'

(Art House, R, 153 minutes)

Ethan (Thomas Dekker) is a young father in the tight-knit Rocky Mountain valley community of Angels Crest, caring for his 3-year-old son Nate. One snowy day, a thoughless action results in tragedy. A local prosecutor (Jeremy Piven) haunted by his past goes after Ethan, and confusion and casting of blame ensue.

Rating: Not yet reviewed

Info for Parents: Rated R for language and some sexual content

‘The Iron Lady'

(DocuDrama, PG-13, 165 minutes)

The Iron Lady is a surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century's most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male-dominated world.

Rating: Not yet reviewed

Info for Parents: Rated PG-13 for brief nudity and violence

OK for all ages

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked

(Animated, G, 88 minutes)

The furry singing sensations may have finally run completely aground. Though the franchise has never been what you'd call high art, there was something of an inspired silliness to the live-action/CGI mash-up that began in 2007 with "Alvin and the Chipmunks." But that streak may have peaked with 2009's "The Squeakquel." Giving voice to the critters is some top tier comic talent, including Justin Long, Amy Poehler, Anna Faris, Christina Applegate and more. But their presence basically goes for naught, with identifying traits or emotional range lost in the helium squeak.

Rating: H1/2

Info for Parents: Rated G

OK for 10 and older

We Bought a Zoo

(Drama, PG, 124 minutes)

This is a holiday movie worth rooting for. Directed by the cinema's last great romantic, Cameron Crowe, it features cute tykes, young romance and a grownup grieving for a lost love, adorable animals and the comically crotchety Thomas Haden Church. Matt Damon stars as Benjamin Mee, widower and father of two who decides to buy a little zoo out in the country. "We Bought a Zoo," with adult themes and dissonant bursts of profanity, kid-friendly romp, and stumbles when it reaches for emotional highs and lows.

Rating: HH1/2

Info for Parents: Rated PG for language and thematic elements

The Muppets

The big-screen revival of The Muppets, cleverly titled "The Muppets," is a generally charming exercise in nostalgia. The musical comedy whimsically and often cleverly revisits the characters, their shtick and and the TV show and movies that made them most famous. British TV director James Bobin and world's biggest Muppet fan Jason Segel have concocted a wistful walk down memory lane. The songs are amusing enough, and Amy Adams and Segel make a cute duet.

Rating: HHH

Info for Parents: Rated PG for some mild rude humor

Older 13s

Extremely Loud

& Incredibly Close

(Drama, PG-13, 129 minutes)

It's no surprise that the grief-drenched 9/11 drama "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" should turn out incredibly mawkish. Director Stephen Daldry's film, featuring Tom Hanks and Sandra Bullock, centers on the worst day most Americans have lived through. Yet it exists in some bizarrely contrived alternate reality through which Daldry and screenwriter Eric Roth, adapting Jonathan Safran Foer's novel, fabricate the perfect cleansing ritual for a 9/11 Manhattan family in mourning. This story is not a catharsis. It's a cheat that has nothing to do with overcoming sorrow in the real world.

Rating: HH

Info for Parents: Rated PG-13 for thematic material, disturbing images and language

Mission Impossible

- Ghost Protocol

(Action, PG-13, 132 minutes)

They've done without the number this time, but anyone who cares knows that "Mission Impossible - Ghost Protocol" is really "Mission Impossible 4," the fourth time Tom Cruise's intrepid Ethan Hunt has taken on the evildoers of the world. Brad Bird has done a stylish and involving job here, turning in an entertaining production that's got considerable visual flair, especially in its action-heavy Imax sections. There are only 27 minutes of IMAX footage in the film, but every one of those minutes counts, which is one reason why Paramount chose to open this film in IMAX theaters five days before its general release.

Rating: HHH

Info for Parents: Rated PG-13 for intense action and violence

New Year's Eve

(Comedy, Romance, PG-13, 117 minutes)

This is the second in a remarkably shallow series of holiday-themed, celebrity-stuffed confections, following "Valentine's Day." Garry Marshall again directs a script by Katherine Fugate that weaves together a dozen or so plotlines that crisscross a holiday prone to sentimentalizing. Included here are first kisses, midnight rendezvous, dying fathers, newborn babies, husbands at war and trapped strangers.

Rating: H1/2

Info for Parents: PG-13 for language, sexual references.

Mature high-schoolers

The Girl with the

Dragon Tattoo

(Drama, R, 152 minutes)

For the first hour of David Fincher's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," you cringe and wonder why, Fincher bothered to make it. But then comes the first scene in which Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara appear on the screen together - and just like that, all is forgiven. The dynamic between Craig and Mara in "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo" is so spontaneous and sensational, it instantly elevates the movie.

Rating: HHH1/2

Info for Parents: Rated R for vulgar language, nudity, explicit sex, rape, violence, gore, adult themes

Young Adult

(Comedy/Drama, R, 94 minutes.)

Gorgeous but damaged, conceited yet self-loathing, Charlize Theron dares you to like her, and the movie itself dares you to stick with an anti-heroine who makes no apologies for her deplorable behavior. In re-teaming with "Juno" director Jason Reitman, screenwriter Diablo Cody dials down the snark that marked the Oscar-winning script that made her a superstar.

Rating: HHH

Info for Parents: Rated R for language and some sexual content.

The Sitter

(Comedy, R, 81 minutes)

As broad, dumb comedy goes, it's not a bad idea to cast Jonah Hill as a chubby slacker roped into a hellish night tending to a high-maintenance brood. But the movie has nothing going for it, slogging from one rotten gag to the next.

Rating: H1/2

Info for Parents: Rated R for crude and sexual humor, pervasive language, drug material and some violence.