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In theaters this week

Neil Young Journeys Jonathan Demme's third concert film starring Neil Young lives up to its title, inviting fans to sit back and enjoy the guided ride. It all starts with the singer-songwriter driving around his birth home of Omemee, Ontario, as he points out the local landmarks he remembers from his childhood. Then Young is onstage, strumming an acoustic guitar at the venue where he got his start, Toronto's Massey Hall. And for the rest of the movie, the setting switches back and forth between these two scenes: Young's physical journey through his hometown and his musical journey through his music. As he travels through his past, he reveals a glimpse of the man behind all those classic songs; he's nostalgic, sweet, and funny. But he's even better when he's onstage, giving terrific solo performances of favorites like "Ohio" and "Down by the River." Aside from a few uncomfortably close camera shots, Neil Young Journeys proves that beneath this enigmatic artist beats a genuine heart of gold. Opens Friday at the Cedar Lee Theatre. (PG) (Julia Eberle)

Step Up Revolution (PG-13) — Step Up Revolution has a message at its core: Don't let anyone determine your fate, Sean (Ryan Guzman) and Emily (Kathryn McCormick) tell each other as they try to overcome obstacles (he's the son of Cuban immigrants hoping for something better than his waiter job; she's a rich chick trying to get into a prestigious dance program). Set in Miami, the fourth movie in the franchise features some incredible choreography made all the more incredible by snazzy 3D. But the plot about disaffected youth looking for meaning through dance is a tired one. (Jeff Niesel)

Ruby Sparks (R) — Calvin (Paul Dano) is a neurotic young writer crumbling under the pressure of his reputation as a literary genius. Then inspiration finally strikes when his shrink asks him to write a story about the fictional Ruby Sparks (Zoe Kazan), a quirky redheaded painter who also happens to be Calvin's idea of the perfect girlfriend. Through some unexplained movie magic, Calvin wakes up one morning to discover that his dream girl has become a reality and is standing in his kitchen. The movie starts sweet, but quickly turns dark as Calvin finds that he can't handle losing control of his creation. (Eberle)

The Watch (R) — After a security guard is murdered in his store, Costco manager Evan (Ben Stiller) vows to catch the killer. When he receives no help from the lazy local cops, he starts a neighborhood watch with police academy reject Franklin (Jonah Hill), British oddball Jamarcus (Richard Ayoade), and guy's-guy Bob (Vince Vaughn). At first, no one takes them seriously. Then they stumble across a glowing silver orb that has the power to blow shit up. After responding to a call, they discover an alien at the crime scene, and suddenly the fate of the world is in the hands of this unlikely group of heroes. Most of The Watch's jokes are crude and kinda immature, which is what you'd expect from this bunch (director Akiva Schaffer is part of the Lonely Island crew). Still, it's the best movie with aliens and dick jokes since Paul. (Eberle)

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Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • The Vessel @ Cleveland Cinematheque

    • Sat., Dec. 10
  • Dirty Gertie from Harlem U.S.A. @ Cleveland Cinematheque

    • Sun., Dec. 11
  • Prince of the City @ Cleveland Museum of Art

    • Sun., Dec. 11

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