Jeremie Elkaim and Valerie Donzelli in Declaration of War, your LiC pick of the week

If you live in New York or Los Angeles, go see Declaration of War this weekend. If you’re in the mood for cheap January action thrills, go see Liam Neeson in The Grey.  If you’re intrigued by the Oscar nominations, note that The Artist , The Descendants , Hugo and Pina are all getting significant expansions this weekend to capitalize on their recent recognition. If none of the above or below tickle your fancy, check out the Now Playing page for a full list of what’s good and/or popular including links to reviews, showtimes and trailers.

  • Declaration of War Based on the real-life experiences of the film’s French co-stars and co-writers (Valerie Donzelli who also directs and Jeremie Elkaim), Declaration of War tells the story of a young married couple whose lives are forever changed when their baby son is diagnosed with a life threatening illness. Surprisingly entertaining and upbeat, the film is much more a celebration of life and all its slings and arrows than it is a dirge on mortality. (Limited)
  • The Grey. When Liam Neeson’s plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness, a nasty pack of rogue wolves stand between him and the bank where he’ll cash the paycheck he gets from this movie. Joe Carnahan (Narc, Smoking Aces) directs. Frank Grillo, Dermot Mulroney and James Badge Dale co-star. (Wide)

  • Albert Nobbs Technically Albert Nobbs opened for a 1-week Oscar qualifying run (which had zero effect) back in December, but now it’s getting a for reals release. Here’s what I said about it at the time: This story of a woman (Glenn Close) passing as a male butler at a 19th century Dublin hotel starts off promisingly enough, a quietly sweet and sad examination of the loneliness of a life lived in secret, but it never quite takes off. Instead, it crashes and burns at the end of the runway. Some terrific production design plus a nice performance by Close, her co-star Janet McTeer and a fine supporting cast including Aaron Johnson and Mia Wasikowska are sadly wasted. (Limited)
  • One For the Money. I’ll keep my money and you can keep Kathryn Heigl. Deal? Deal. To be fair, she at least plays against type here, this time as Jersey girl Stephanie Plum who takes a job at a bail bonding company to make ends meet. One of her first targets? A guy who dumped her in high school. Based on a character from the reportedly best-selling series of Novels by Janet Evanovich. (Wide)
  • Man on a Ledge. Framed for the theft of a rare diamond, Sam Worthington steps out on a ledge to prove his innocence! That’s fine, but I’m still waiting for him to step out on a ledge and prove he’s an interesting movie star. In films like Avatar, Terminator and Clash of the Titans he’s shown us all the charisma of an Ikea loveseat. Elizabeth Banks, Jamie Bell, Anthony Mackie, Ed Haris and Edward Burns perhaps pick up the slack. (Wide)
  • The Wicker Tree. Not exactly a sequel to Robin Hardy’s 1970s cult classic The Wicker Man, but close enough for government work. A couple of young American missionaries head for Scotland where they run afoul of the local pagans. Forget about the comically bad 2006 remake… or better yet, run out and rent it. At least it’s good for a laugh. (Limited)

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