The Man With the Iron FistsSee Steven Rea's preview on H2.
The Sessions With the help of his therapist and priest, a 38-year-old man confined to an iron lung formulates a plan to lose his virginity. John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy star.
Simon and the Oaks Two boys from different backgrounds come of age together in Sweden during World War II. Swedish with subtitles.
Sister An employee at a Swiss ski resort steals from guests to support his sister. French with subtitles.
War of the Buttons In occupied France, children from neighboring villages put on a war of their own, with the winner gaining the buttons off the losers' clothing. French with subtitles.
Wreck-It Ralph Animated family feature about a video-game villain (voice of John C. Reilly) who desires nothing more than to be a beloved hero.
Wuthering HeightsSee Steven Rea's preview on H2.
Reviewed by critic Steven Rea (S.R.). W.S. denotes a wire service review.
Searching for Sugar Man A surprising, inspiring documentary about Rodriguez, a forgotten singer/songwriter who recorded a pair of great and greatly overlooked albums in the early 1970s, and who - unbeknownst to him - became a star in South Africa. A beautiful, revelatory film. 1 hr. 25 PG-13 (profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Argo Ben Affleck stars in, and directs, the far-fetched but nonetheless factual tale of a CIA plot to extricate six U.S. Embassy workers from Tehran as the 1979 Iran hostage crisis unfolds. With Alan Arkin, Bryan Cranston, John Goodman, and crackling humor amid the white-knuckle suspense. 2 hrs. R (violence, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.
Looper A slam-bang blast of a time-travel thriller, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as a guy named Joe - yes, they're the same guy, separated by 30 years in the dystopian future. 1 hr. 58 R (violence, nudity, sex, profanity, drugs, adult themes) - S.R.
Alex Cross ** Tyler Perry takes over the role of the psychologist-detective previously played by Morgan Freeman. This time around, Cross faces off against a serial killer who has made their showdown personal. 1 hr. 35 PG-13 (violence, sexual content, profanity, drug references, nudity) - W.S.
Cloud Atlas ** I've looked at Cloud Atlas from both sides now, from up and down, and still somehow, it's Cloud Atlas' confusions I recall. I really don't know Cloud Atlas at all. Epically ambitious, epically ridiculous adaptation of David Mitchell's cosmic connections novel. 2 hr. 52 R (sex, profanity, nudity, violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Here Comes the Boom **1/2 A high school science teacher (Kevin James) becomes a mixed martial arts fighter in an effort to raise money for his struggling school. 1 hr. 45 PG (MMA violence, rude humor, profanity) - W.S.
Hotel Transylvania *** Count Dracula opens a high-end hostelry for the monster crowd, safe from human intrusion until a bratty backpacker finds his way to the inn, and makes eyes at the vampire's teenage (as in 118 years old) daughter. Horror and hilarity ensue in this merrily madcap computer-animated monster mashup. 1 hr. 31 PG (mild scares, cartoon mayhem) - S.R.
Sinister *1/2 A true-crime novelist moves his family into a house where a gruesome murder took place. Ethan Hawke and Vincent D'Onofrio star. 1 hr. 49 R (disturbing violent images and some terror) - W.S.
Taken 2 ** Liam Neeson is back as the super-resourceful ex-CIA guy who saved his daughter from sex traffickers in the 2008 surprise hit. This time, he and his ex (Famke Janssen) and their daughter (Maggie Grace) go vacationing in Istanbul, but menacing Albanians want blood and vengeance. Formulaic and far-fetched, and nowhere near as fun as the first one. 1 hr. 31 PG-13 (violence, adult themes) - S.R.
Theater Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), Howard Shapiro (H.S.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.) Freud's Last Session
(Arden Theatre Company) Sigmund Freud is dying; C.S. Lewis has just found his faith. And World War II is about to begin. They talk. In previews, opens Thursday.
The Liar (Lantern Theatre Company) David Ives' adaptation of Corneille is all swordply and wordplay. Previews Thursday-Nov. 6, opens Nov. 7.
Pretty Fire (Theatre Horizon) This one-woman show opens Horizon's brand-new theater in Norristown. Previews Wednesday and Thursday, opens Friday.
The Assassination of Jesse James (EgoPo Classic Theater) The all-woman cast, while good, somewhat undercuts the effectiveness of this vividly written historical montage. Ends Sunday. - J.R.
Behind the Eye (Gas & Electric Arts) The story of beautiful Lee Miller, whose life was richly lived both before and behind the camera. Through Nov. 18.
What a Glorious Feeling (Bristol Riverside Theatre)
Cooking With the Calamari Sisters (Society Hill Playhouse) Mamma Mia! Two guys portray behavior-challenged adult Italian sisters in a laugh-filled spoof of cooking shows that gets wilder as it progresses. Through Dec. 2.
The Exit Interview (InterAct Theatre Company) Good idea, great cast, silly script about a professor who's been fired. Much too much dialectic in a show held hostage by Brechtian technique. Through Nov. 11. - T.Z.
Gutenberg! The Musical! (Act II Theater) Steve Pacek and Tony Braithwaite are terrific in this coproduction with Montgomery Theater about two producers trying to sell us on their wacky show based on the man credited with inventing the printing press. It's one funny goof. Through next Sunday. - H.S.
Hairspray (Media Theater) The terrific Victoria Mayo leads this sparklingly sung, superbly danced production. Through next Sunday. - J.R.
Next to Normal (Arden Theatre) This fine production of the prize-winning musical tragedy heartbreakingly depicts a family in crisis. Through next Sunday. - T.Z.
Othello (Quintessence Theatre Group) The all-male casting of this riveting production strips away the veneer of civilization to expose the savage heart of military culture. Through Nov. 11. - J.R.
The Outgoing Tide (Delaware Theatre Company) Bruce Graham's poignant play about a man with dementia and his family gets a first-rate production. Ends Sunday. - H.S.
The Runner Stumbles (Curio Theatre Company) A troubled priest in a small Michigan town is suspected of murder. Through Nov. 10.
Seventy Scenes of Halloween (Luna Theater) Seventy scenes, 300 lighting cues, 90 minutes, four terrific actors, and many tricks and treats in this nifty production. Ends Saturday. - T.Z.
Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood (Hedgerow Theatre) A crime, a curse, an oath of secrecy! Sherlock Holmes, too, and a bit rough around the edges, but with its standout moments. Through Nov. 25. - H.S.
Stars of David (Philadelphia Theatre Company) This night of 1,000 Jewish stars, lyricists, and composers sheds precious little light on what it means to be a successful American Jew. Through Nov. 11. - W.R.
This Is the Week That Is: The Election Special (1812 Productions) This skewering of the election year is funny as all get-out, and also dead-on commentary. A fine break from all the real political chatter. Through next Sunday. - H.S.
Video Ruby Sparks ***1/2
Zoe Kazan stars in, and wrote, this ingenious fantasy romance, about a blocked-up novelist (Paul Dano) who starts tapping out a few paragraphs about a dreamy girl on his typewriter, and then suddenly the dreamy girl moves into his house, his life. Whimsical, charming, but it's more than that, too, examining the nature of relationships in darkly serious ways. With Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Steve Coogan, and Elliott Gould. 1 hr. 44 R
(sex, profanity, adult themes) - S.R.