Crazy Heart *** ( 3 STARS) There's a powerful symmetry at work in "Crazy Heart" that's impossible to resist. It's a parallel between protagonist Bad Blake, a country singer whose entire life has led him to a nadir of disintegration, and star Jeff Bridges, whose exceptional film choices have put him at the height of his powers just in time to make Mr. Blake the capstone role of his career. It's a mark of how fine a performance Bridges gives that it succeeds beautifully even though the besotted, bedeviled country singer has been an overly familiar popular culture staple (Rip Torn in "Payday," Robert Duvall in "Tender Mercies," Hank Williams and Merle Haggard in their own lives) for forever.
Opening next Friday
Dear John: (Screen Gems) A soldier falls for a conservative college student while he's home on leave. With Channing Tatum and Amanda Seyfried. Based on the book by Nicholas Sparks.
From Paris with Love : (Lionsgate) A young bureaucrat and an American spy join forces to stop a terrorist attack in Paris. With John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee : (Screen Media Films) A married woman leading a seemingly idyllic life embarks on a journey of self-discovery after moving to a retirement community with her older husband. With Robin Wright Penn.
Opening Feb. 12
Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief: (20th Century Fox) A young boy discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle a battle between the gods. With Logan Lerman and Rosario Dawson.
Valentine's Day: (New Line Cinema) Intertwining couples and singles in Los Angeles break up and make up based on the pressures and expectations of Valentine's Day. With Taylor Lautner, Anne Hathaway and Taylor Swift.
Release dates are subject to change.