Movies on Maui

These are Maui Scene’s minireviews, excerpts of wire-service reviews and previews provided by studios and other sources.

*****

Opened today

“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” PG-13, 2:41. Adventure, drama, fantasy. Maui Mall Megaplex. (Movie premiered at 12:01 a.m. this morning)

The dwarves, along with Bilbo Baggins and Gandalf the Grey, continue their quest to reclaim Erebor, their homeland, from Smaug. Bilbo Baggins is in possession of a mysterious and magical ring. Stars Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage. Peter Jackson directs.

*****

Opens Friday

“Tyler Perry’s: A Madea Christmas” PG-13, 1:45. Comedy, drama. Maui Mall Megaplex.

Madea dispenses her unique form of holiday spirit on a rural town when she’s coaxed into helping a friend pay her daughter a surprise visit in the country for Christmas. Starring Tyler Perry, Chad Michael Murray and Tika Sumpter. Written and directed by Tyler Perry.

*****

Still Playing

“Black Nativity” PG, 1:33. Drama, musical. Ends today at Maui Mall Megaplex.

A street-wise teen from Baltimore, Md., who has been raised by a single mother, travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with his estranged relatives, where he embarks on a surprising and inspirational journey. Stars Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett and Jennifer Hudson. Kasi Lemmons directs.

“Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” PG, 1:35. Animation, comedy, family. Kaahumanu 6.

Flint Lockwood now works at The Live Corp Company for his idol, Chester V. But he’s forced to leave his post when he learns that his infamous machine is still operational and is churning out menacing food-animal hybrids. Stars Bill Hader, Anna Faris and Will Forte.

“Dallas Buyers Club,” R, 1:57. Drama. Kaahumanu 6.

In the 1980s, the free-wheeling life of cowboy Ron Woodroof (Matthew McConaughey) comes to a screeching halt when he’s diagnosed with HIV and given 30 days to live. The early days of the AIDS epidemic leaves the U.S. divided over how to combat the deadly virus. Inspired by true events, Ron, now shunned and ostracized by many of his old friends, takes matters into his own hands, tracking down alternative treatments from around the world – both legal and illegal. He joins forces with an unlikely group of outcasts in a hugely successful “buyers’ club.” Together, they are an Americans with resilience.

“Delivery Man,” PG-13, 1:43. Comedy. Maui Mall Megaplex.

Underachiever David Wozniak’s (Vince Vaughn) ho-hum life is uphended when he discovers he fathered not one, but 533 children through sperm donations he made decades ago. In debt to the mob and rejected by his pregnant girlfriend, things get even worse when he’s hit with a lawsuit from 142 of the 533 20-somethings who want to know their biological father. As David struggles with the decision over whether to reveal his indentity, he learns lessons about himself and his capacity for fatherhood. Directed and written by Ken Scott.

“Free Birds” PG, 1:31. Animation, comedy. Ends today at Kaahumanu 6.

Two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history – and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. Stars Woody Harrelson, Owen Wilson and Dan Fogler.

“Frozen,” PG, 1:25. Animation, kids and family. Lahaina Wharf Cinemas and Maui Mall Megaplex.

Walt Disney Pictures presents one of its coolest comedy-adventures yet. When a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell), teams up with extreme mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer, Sven. They embark on an epic journey to find Anna’s sister, Elsa, and put an end to the Snow Queen’s icy spell.

“Gravity” PG-13, 1:30. Drama, mystery, sci-fi. Kaahumanu 6 (3-D).

A medical engineer and an astronaut work together to survive after an accident leaves them adrift in space. Stars Sandra Bullock, George Clooney and Ed Harris. Alfonso Cuaron directs.

“Homefront” R, 1:40. Action, crime, thriller. Maui Mall Megaplex.

A former DEA agent moves his family to a quiet town, where he soon tangles with a local meth druglord. Starring Jason Stathan, James Franco and Winona Ryder. Directed by Gary Felder.

“Last Vegas” PG-13, 1:45. Comedy. Maui Mall Megaplex.

Three 60-something friends take a break from their day-to-day lives to throw a bachelor party in Las Vegas for their last remaining single pal. Stars Kevin Kline, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Morgan Freeman will take you on a senior romp through Sin City that will have you in stiches.

Lee Daniels’ “The Butler” PG-13, 2:12, Biography, drama. Ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.

The story of an African-American’s eyewitness accounts of notable events of the 20th century during his tenure as a White House butler. Starring Forest Whitaker, David Oyelowo and Mariah Carey.

“Oldboy” R, 1:44. Action, drama, mystery. Ends tonight at Maui Mall Megaplex.

Obsessed with vengeance, a man sets out to find out why he was kidnapped and locked into solitary confinement for 20 years without reason. Starring Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Olsen and Samuel Jackson. Directed by the venerable Spike Lee.

“Out of the Furnace” R, 1:56. Crime, drama, thriller. Maui Mall Megaplex.

When Rodney Baze mysteriously disappears and law enforcement fails to follow through, his older brother, Russell, takes matters into his own hands to find justice. Starring Christian Bale, Casey Affleck and Zoe Saldana. Scott Cooper directs.

“Philomena” PG-13, 1:38. Drama. Kaahumanu 6.

A world-weary political journalist picks up the story of a woman’s search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Starring Judi Dench, Steve Coogan and Sophie Kennedy Clark. Directed by Stephen Frears.

“The Book Thief” PG-13, 2:11. Drama, war. Kaahumanu 6.

While subjected to the horrors of World War II Germany, young Liesel finds solace by stealing books and sharing them with others. Under the stairs in her home, a Jewish refugee is being sheltered by her adoptive parents. Stars Sophie Nelisse, Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson. Directed by Brian Percival.

“The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” PG-13, 2:26. Action and adventure, science fiction and fantasy. Maui Mall Megaplex and Lahaina Wharf Cinemas.

This middle chapter of “The Hunger Games” franchise doesn’t have a dull moment: Bigger, better, broodier action sequences keep the story a success for many critics. Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) return home after winning the 74th annual Hunger Games, only to have to turn around and leave family and friends for the Victor’s Tour of the districts. Sensing a rebellion is brewing, Katniss moves from survivor to leader. Meanwhile, the districts prepare for the 75th games, a competition that could change Panem forever.

“Thor: The Dark World” PG-13, 2:00. Action, adventure, fantasy. Lahaina Wharf Cinema and Kaahumanu 6 (3-D).

Thor must embark on his most perilous and personal journey yet, one that will reunite him with Jane Foster and force him to sacrifice everything to save us all. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman.

*Movie listings are subject to last-minute changes. For updates, visit www.mauigateway.com/~rw/movie/ or www.fandango.com.