‘Her,’ ‘The Wolf of Wall Street,’ ‘Grudge Match’ and other new movies, reviewed

December 24, 2013

Another week, another four-star movie. Ann Hornaday gave Spike Jonze's "Her" top honors for its sweet portrayal of a man falling in love with his artificially-intelligent operating system. Read on for more about the drama, plus other new releases that could be contenders for Christmas Day entertainment.

 "Her" (R) "What’s surprising is that Jonze has taken what could easily have been a glib screwball comedy and infused it instead with wry, observant tenderness and deep feeling." -- Ann Hornaday

"Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom" (PG-13) "It can feel, at times, both overlong and oversimplified, but the story propels itself along while awakening in viewers some profound emotions. That latter achievement is thanks largely to the film’s star, British actor Idris Elba." -- Stephanie Merry

1/2 "The Wolf of Wall Street" (R) "In “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese’s big, bravura, maddeningly uneven indictment of the extreme financial depredations that characterized the 1990s, DiCaprio plays Jordan Belfort, a real-life swindler and penny-stock con man who made more than $100 million off of unwitting investors." -- Ann Hornaday

"Grudge Match" (PG-13) "Sly’s still got it — when it comes to action. Razor is lured out of retirement for the bout he evaded three decades earlier, and all the requisite training scenes — the jabbing and jogging, raw-egg-swilling and truck-pulling — are nearly as exhilarating as they were in 1976." -- Stephanie Merry

"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" (PG) "The digressions that Stiller takes as a director don’t always bear fruit, and the movie — in which the main plot driver is Walter’s nascent love for a co-worker played by Kristen Wiig — ends with an odd whimper, especially considering the spectacular set pieces that have gone before." -- Ann Hornaday

Washington-area native Stephanie Merry covers movies, theater and art for Weekend and the Going Out Guide. She’s also the section’s de facto expert on yoga, gluten-free dining and bicycle commuting.
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Maura Judkis · December 24, 2013