Before Midnight

Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy | R |

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ROMANCE

When it comes to romantic love, movies prefer it in first flower—like in 1995's Before Sunrise, the film that launched director Richard Linklater's magical series chronicling the bond between two wandering Gen-Xers. This third entry, following their Paris reunion in 2004's Before Sunset, dives heart-first into love's messy aftereffects, and the results are both devastating and beautiful.

This time we catch the pair, now parents of young twins, on the last day of a summer respite on a picturesque Greek island. They negotiate topics small—the ethics of finishing their kid's half-eaten apple while she's sleeping in the backseat—and large, like the nature of human connection in the digital age. Hawke and Delpy (who cowrote the screenplay with Linklater) respond to each other with such easy intimacy that it's impossible to imagine that they haven't spent the last nine years together.

The second half of the film finds them in a hotel suite for what was meant to be a glorious night of romance but ends up in a soul-baring fight as raw and honest as anything you've seen at the movies in years. The epic confrontation will resonate with you long after you've for-gotten the CGI clang of summer.

Now You See Me

Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Isla Fisher, Woody Harrelson | PG-13 |

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ACTION

Magicians get a raw deal in pop culture, so this caper film's attempt to up their cool quotient is commendable, if ultimately futile. Now You See Me tells the story of a quartet of skilled magicians (Eisenberg, Fisher, Harrelson and Dave Franco) who are recruited by a mysterious benefactor to become a stage act able to pull off elaborate heists in front of spellbound audiences. But corny lines and implausible twists undercut the fun of being fooled. By the time we reach the final eye-rolling reveal, it feels less like hocus-pocus than just plain hokum.

The Kings of Summer

Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally | R |

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COMEDY

This wry film - about three teens who ditch their parents and build a house in the woods - may not be overly ambitious, but it's still funny, with real-life couple Offerman and Mullally hilarious as parents. It's fun to watch the boys delight in their scrap-metal manse, but Kings' true charm is that it catches a moment in adolescence and holds it, glowing like a lightning bug in summer.

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INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS

The Coens' comic exploration of the '60s folk scene, starring Justin Timberlake and Oscar Isaac, won the Grand Prix award.

THE BLING RING

Newcomer Katie Chang dazzled as the leader of a gang of teens who break into celeb homes, with Emma Watson adding spot-on satire.

ALL IS LOST

Screen icon Robert Redford makes a riveting star turn in this dialogue-free tale about a man lost at sea.

NEBRASKA

Talk about Alexander Payne's follow-up to The Descendents focused on Bruce Dern, who won Best Actor as an alcoholic dad convinced he's won a sweepstakes.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES

While crowds booed this Ryan Gosling crime drama, Kristin Scott Thomas's turn as a drug lord generated plenty of excitement.

FRUITVALE STATION

The true-life drama about a man (Michael B. Jordan) killed by a transit officer drew a 10-minute ovation.

Just seven months old when he famously hitched a ride strapped to Zach Galifianakis in 2009's The Hangover, scene-stealing Grant Holmquist again brings the cute in The Hangover: Part III. Now 5, Holmquist - who shared screen time with twin sister Avery and six other babies in the first film - had "such a good experience" in III, says his mom, Carrie. "Between takes the guys would be on the floor with him, making him laugh."

MICKEY SUMNER

Frances Ha explores many themes: friendship, career dreams, love. Could you relate to any of those?

Pretty much all. I came to New York when I was 20, and we shot the film when I was 27. I had that awkward transition between college and career. You're sort of a woman but not really. New York is a struggle. I felt undatable. I still do.

How did your parents, Sting and Trudie Styler, feel when you decided to pursue acting?

I wanted to act since I was a little girl, but I didn't tell anyone. It was sort of my secret. I was really shy as a kid and didn't want to make waves. So my parents were just sort of like, "okay..." because I had never expressed that desire. They were supportive, but they told me I had to study. There was no delusional moment where they led me to believe it would be easy. It's not easy no matter who your parents are.

How do you unwind?

I'm a big foodie. I like to cook pot-luck dinners with my friends. I make a really good rice and quinoa dish. I used to make a good pasta sauce, but my boyfriend at the time called it "slop." So I've sort of lost my confidence in that dish.

PARKER

Mindless? Sure. But the point of Jason Statham's bloody action films is to give your eyeballs candy while your brain naps. This time he's a double-crossed gangster out for revenge, with gutsy Realtor Jennifer Lopez as his sidekick.

THE LAST STAND

Arnold Schwarzenegger goes all Clint Eastwood on a drug kingpin who's using his souped-up car to race through Sheriff Schwarzenegger's tiny hamlet. Johnny Knoxville as a trigger-happy local makes for surprisingly solid comic relief.

WARM BODIES

The best of the bunch stars Nicholas Hoult as a lonely zombie who falls for wary but understanding Julie (Teresa Palmer). The DVD packs in a dozen extras, including a sly featurette on Rob Corddry's zombie acting tips.