ANNA KARENINA — Leo Tolstoy's literary behemoth about love, betrayal and death among the elite in imperial Russia is boldly set almost entirely within a decaying theater. The result is technically dazzling, a marvel of timing and choreography. R for some sexuality and violence. 130 mins.
ARGO — During the 1979 Iran hostage crisis, a CIA agent leads a daring mission to rescue six U.S. diplomats. R for language, violent imagery. 131 mins.
THE COLLECTION – A few years ago audiences watched in horror as Arkin (Josh Stewart) endured all manner of torture in Marcus Dunstan's The Collector. Now audiences get the chance to cheer/ squirm along as Arkin exacts revenge in Dunstan's follow-up, The Collection. R for strong bloody violence, grisly images, language and brief nudity. 82 mins.
END OF WATCH – Two young officers are marked for death after confiscating a small cache of money and firearms from the members of a notorious cartel during a routine traffic stop. R for strong violence, disturbing images, pervasive language including sexual references and some drug use. 109 mins.
FLIGHT — In this thrilling, and even darkly funny, story, Denzel Washington is an airline pilot and serious alcoholic. Mechanical failure on a flight forces him to pull off a daring crash landing, and he's rightly hailed as a hero, but the subsequent federal investigation also reveals his rampant substance abuse. R for drug and alcohol abuse, language, sexuality/nudity and intense action. 135 mins.
KILLING THEM SOFTLY – An incredibly stylish genre exercise set in the world of mobsters, junkies and lowlifes, this is also trying incredibly hard to be About Something. The 1974 crime novel Cogan's Trade by George V. Higgins is set it in the days before the 2008 presidential election, just as the U.S. economy is in the midst of catastrophic collapse. R for violence, sexual references, pervasive language and some drug use. 97 mins.
LIFE OF PI — Author Yann Martel's tale of a shipwrecked youth cast adrift on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger is one of those lyrical, internalized novels that should have no business working on the screen. But the delicate narrative does work, thanks to Ang Lee's adaptation. PG for emotional thematic content and scary action sequences. 126 mins.
LINCOLN — For anyone who worried this might be a near-parody of a Steven Spielberg film, with its heartfelt proclamations, sentimental tones and inspiring John Williams score, fret not. The movie itself is actually a lot more reserved than that. But this is easier to admire than love; it's impressive but not exactly moving. PG-13 for intense war violence, carnage and brief strong language. 150 mins.
RED DAWN – After North Korean paratroopers invade his hometown in Washington state, high-school quarterback Matt (Josh Peck) says, North Korea? That doesn't make sense. Neither does much else in this jerry-rigged remake. PG for violence. 114 mins.
RISE OF THE GUARDIANS – Based on The Guardians of Childhood books by William Joyce, this dark film reveals that North (Alec Baldwin), better known as Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman), The Tooth Fairy (Isla Fisher) and the Sandman (no voice actor; he never speaks) have a bigger calling than just providing gifts, eggs, quarters and sweet dreams. They've been charged by the Man in the Moon with watching over all the children of the world. They need help when the Bogeyman shows up to bring misery to children everywhere. 97 mins.
SKYFALL — This is easily one of the best entries ever in the 50-year, 23-film series, led once again by an actor who's the best Bond yet in Daniel Craig. Adele's smoky, smoldering theme song over the titles harkens to the classic 007 tales of the 1960s, even as the film's central threat of cyberterrorism couldn't be more relevant. PG-13 for intense violent sequences throughout, some sexuality, language and smoking. 143 mins.