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Saturday, December 20, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 30.0° F  Overcast
The Daily


Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche steam up the screen as damaged prep-school instructors in Words and Pictures

Words and Pictures has a pretty creaky storyline, but who cares when actors Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche are so sublime together? Even though the film creates an artificial construct that rings hollow, the two central characters generate great heat and interest. Their presence is enough to keep the film's nattering foolishness at bay. >More
 In Edge of Tomorrow, a man discovers how to fight and love by reliving an alien invasion

Doug Liman, director of the terrific new sci-fi thriller Edge of Tomorrow, is best known for propulsive action movies like Go and the original Bourne Identity. But what he really wants to be, it seems, is contemporary cinema's foremost chronicler of relationships under pressure. >More
 Cancer looms over two teenagers in The Fault in Our Stars

Teenagers are prone to hyperbole, but when 16-year-old Hazel calls herself a grenade in The Fault in Our Stars, she's not far off the mark. Diagnosed with Stage IV cancer in her early teens, she (Shailene Woodley) has gained a few years with the aid of an experimental drug, but she's still a terminal case. >More
 In A Million Ways to Die in the West, Seth MacFarlane unbridles irreverent jokes on the frontier

Seth MacFarlane, creator of the anarchic cartoon comedy Family Guy, is Hollywood's barbarian at the gate. Right now he's kicking down the barriers that have trapped him in television animation. In addition to directing, producing and cowriting the live-action feature A Million Ways to Die in the West, he cast himself in the lead role. It's the first of many overindulgences, but somehow, none of these missteps are grievous enough to scuttle the film. >More
 In Chef, an unemployed cook finds his calling in a food cart

A man goes back to the basics to rediscover his passion, reclaim his soul and reconnect with his 10-year-old son. This storyline may not be particularly fresh, but it works in Chef thanks to up-to-date elements like a food truck and Twitter. More importantly, the tale is served up with warmth and verve. >More
 Rooftop Cinema avant-garde film series at MMoCA focuses on animation in 2014 season

With lush plants, modern sculpture and and a view of the Capitol, the rooftop of the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is one of downtown's most beautiful hangouts during the summer. The surroundings are even more impressive on Rooftop Cinema nights, when the museum shows films on a large screen set against a starry night sky. >More
 Gia Coppola's Palo Alto is a shattering tale about reckless suburban high schoolers

It's a storied tradition, the teenagers-in-trouble movie. One of my favorites is 1983's WarGames, which dates back to my own adolescence and concerns a teenager in trouble for bringing the world to the brink of nuclear annihilation. The stakes aren't quite as high in Palo Alto, but it's an apocalyptic vision all the same. At chaotic parties, kids swig liquor, smoke weed and have sex. >More
 X-Men: Days of Future Past goes forward to move backward

Director Bryan Singer, reclaiming the X-Men film franchise he launched in 2000, means to establish from the first reel that X-Men: Days of Future Past is not messing around. Via voiceover, Professor X (Patrick Stewart) explains the catastrophic present, in which killing machines called Sentinels have wiped out most of the world's mutant population and many of their human defenders. >More
 UW Cinematheque's summer 2014 season to feature von Trier and Ayoade local premieres, French New Wave and cult classics

For many movie lovers, summer in Madison wouldn't be complete without the UW Cinematheque and its free screenings in June, July and August. All of this season's films will be shown on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays at 7 p.m., at either the Chazen Museum of Art or the Marquee Theater at Union South. >More
 Marcus Theatres' lavish Palace Cinema in Sun Prairie to replace Eastgate

Griping about the price of movie admission is a local pastime, and with good reason: A full-price ticket to an evening screening is now at least $10 at most Madison-area theaters. Add a few bucks if you want to see a movie like Godzilla in 3D, and even more if you're attending a broadcast of a West End theater production or a Metropolitan Opera performance. >More
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