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>> THIS HORROR FILM IS AN AUTHENTIC CREEPFEST
Current movie reviews

 Sometimes, finding free kids in the woods just isn't the great deal you expect it to be.
Universal Pictures
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Date published: 1/24/2013

"MAMA" (PG-13)

HHH

JESSICA CHASTAIN, NIKOLAJ COSTER-WALDAU, MEGAN CHARPENTIER

Finally, a scary movie that gives you chills without hacking people to pieces.

This film--about two feral children found in the woods and the sinister force they bring with them--scares the old-fashioned way.

Things move just out of frame. Shadows fall where no one stands. And noises echo through parts of the house that are deserted.

The story moves with great purpose and pace as we find out more about who "mama" actually is and why she's followed these two sweet but sneaky children back to civilization.

It helps that the strong authority figure here is played by none other than Jessica Chastain, worlds away from the role she's nominated for in "Zero Dark Thirty."

Though this doesn't carry an "R" rating, be aware that there are scenes of murder, bent bodies and more that make this something those younger than 13 probably have no business seeing. Unless there are parents who want to deal with kids staying up all night to avoid bad dreams.

Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, disturbing images, thematic elements. 100 min. [MC, PV, RA]

"BROKEN CITY" (R)

HH

MARK WAHLBERG, RUSSELL CROWE, CATHERINE ZETA-JONES, KYLE CHANDLER

This benefits from good performances by Mark Wahlberg and Russell Crowe, but it lacks that something extra that could have made this film more impressive.

Instead, it delivers a pretty good story of a former policeman (Wahlberg) who's used by a conniving mayor (Crowe) in rigging an election.

Wahlberg is solid--though just--as the story plods along to a predictable end.

Rated R for pervasive language, some sexual content and violence. 109 min. [MC, RA, RF]

"THE LAST STAND" (R)

HH

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, FOREST WHITAKER, JOHNNY KNOXVILLE

The only reason this film about a cartel leader escaping across a border exists is for a few monster shoot-outs.

For those excited by that sort of thing, Schwarzenegger and his band do a fair job of dispatching the baddies, though Ah-nold's timing feels rusty, and the action feels flat at the end of the film.

The supporting cast has enough interesting characters to help sustain interest.

Rated R for strong bloody violence throughout, and language. 106 min. [MC, PV, RA]


HOW WE RATE 'EM

H Don't waste your time.

HH Nothing special

HHH You'll be sorry if you miss it.

HHHH A must-see