BAD TEACHER

If this comedy from director Jake Kasdan (

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) about the slacker teacher (Cameron Diaz) trying to land the rich, hot substitute (Justin Timberlake) is like its current trailer, it should be a kinda/sorta funny foray into raunch comedy. If it is at all like the red band trailer that came out a few months ago, it could be a

hilarious

dose of raunch comedy.

Opens June 24

.

A BETTER LIFE

About a Boy

director Chris Weitz helms this heartstrings-tugging drama about a Los Angeles gardener (Demian Bichir) working to lay low from immigration and keep his son (Jose Julian) out of gangs. The trailer suggests it’s aiming for a modern-day

The Bicycle Thief

melodrama.

Opens June 24.

CARS 2

Owen Wilson, Larry the Cable Guy, and Bonnie Hunt return to lend their voices to this sequel to the 2006 animated flick about an automotive adventure, this time around joined by the likes of Michael Caine, Emily Mortimer, and the irrepressible Eddie Izzard.

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Opens June 24

.

THE MADNESS OF KING GEORGE

Who says they don’t make politically conservative movies? This film, adapted by Alan Bennett from his stage play

The Madness of George III

, advances the most genuinely conservative argument of all—that mass democracy is a dangerous thing and that kings, however dotty, are preferable to demagogues. The amazing thing is that Bennett and director Nicholas Hytner advance their case so faultlessly that even the most devoted republican (lowercase) will wind up agreeing with them. And that agreement stems, in large part, from the brilliantly sympathetic performance Nigel Hawthorne gives as a monarch who is losing his mind because he has lost America. By turns tyrannical and tender, lucid and lost, dazed and defiant, this is a George III you root for as he races headlong to save his crown from the machinations of the Whig Parliamentarian Charles James Fox, an 18th-century English Gingrich. Scatologically funny, intellectually rich, and profoundly skeptical,

The Madness of King George

is simply extraordinary. (Jack Purdy)

At the Johns Hopkins Medical Institution's Mountcastle Auditorium June 23 at 7:15

p.m

.

THE MIRACLE WORKER

Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke star in Arthur Penn’s 1962 adaptation of William Gibson’s play about a young and deaf/blind Helen Keller and her teacher Anne Sullivan. The always-stellar Bancroft won a Best Actress Oscar for her solid work here.

At the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Southeast Anchor Branch June 25 at 1

p.m

.

SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE

Set in Mumbai/Bombay,

Slumdog Millionaire

’s vivid colors backdrop the squalor and desperation that seethes just under the city’s surface. Here, Muslim brothers Jamal (Dev Patel) and Salim (Madhur Mittal) Malik were born and somehow survived. Jamal has defied his violent youth and grown into a soft-spoken, gentle 18-year-old who, in the opening sequence, has just answered the penultimate question on India’s version of /Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?/ His triumphant moment is juxtaposed against his torture that night by the local police, who presume an uneducated “slumdog” couldn’t have gotten so far on the show unless he cheated. And they want to know how. Jamal’s answer is the basis of the movie; for most of the remaining running time, he explains each of his answers and how his tragic life experiences provided him with them. Sure, Jamal is a Dickensian orphan who becomes, in his way, a gentleman, but this fairy tale never realizes what it wants to be. (Cole Haddon)

At the Village of Cross Keys June 25 at 6

p.m

.

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