This week: George Clooney plays a Hawaiian landowner who must reconnect with his two daughters after his wife suffers a terrible accident in "The Descendants," the drama by writer-director Alexander Payne that just won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay.
Also new is Steven Spielberg's motion-capture 3-D animated film "The Adventures of Tintin," the maudlin Lars von Trier drama "Melancholia," Michelle Williams' turn as Marilyn Monroe in "My Week With Marilyn" and the Blu-ray debut of Martin Scorsese's controversial "The Last Temptation of Christ."
Box Office: $81 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 89% Fresh
Storyline: Matt King (George Clooney) is a Honolulu lawyer who tries to connect with his two daughters when his wife slips into a coma after a boating accident. As his family comes to terms with his wife's secret life, Matt wrestles with the decision to sell 25,000 acres of pristine Kauai land in this acclaimed comedy-drama based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings.
Extras! The Blu-ray has interviews with Clooney and director Alexander Payne during which the two explain their desire to be as faithful as possible to the source material.
We Say: "The Descendants" won an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for its whip-smart dialogue and features a more restrained performance by Clooney than one might expect.
'The Adventures of Tintin'
Box Office: $77 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 74% Fresh
Storyline: Steven Spielberg's first foray into animation is based on the European comic books about a young journalist named Tintin (Jamie Bell) who embarks on an adventure with his dog Snowy and a drunken captain (Andy Serkis) to find sunken treasure.
Extras! The Blu-ray has a feature-length 96 minutes of behind-the-scenes material that can be watched in 11 separate parts or as one documentary.
We Say: The motion-capture 3-D animation is unquestionably impressive, but this zany adventure with cutesy action for the kids is jarringly punctuated by gunfire, some bloodshed and a running joke about alcoholism that makes one question for whom the movie is really intended.
Box Office: $3 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 78% Fresh
Storyline: The strained relationship between two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) is put to the test following Dunst's wedding party as a rogue planet named Melancholia threatens to collide with the Earth. Kiefer Sutherland and Alexander Skarsgård costar.
Extras! Both the DVD and Blu-ray contain the illuminating HDNet special "A Look at 'Melancholia.'"
We Say: Writer-director Lars von Trier justifiably received condemnation for his jokes about Nazis and Jews during the Cannes Film Festival, but this arty, plodding, pseudo-existential exercise in which all the actors seem to be sleepwalking should have been the real target of criticism.
'My Week With Marilyn'
Box Office: $14 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 84% Fresh
Storyline: Aspiring filmmaker Colin Clark (Eddie Redmayne) charms his way onto the London production of Laurence Olivier's (Kenneth Branagh) new film "The Prince and the Showgirl" and ends up becoming an unexpected confidant of star Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) in this biographical film directed by Simon Curtis.
Extras! "The Untold Story of an American Icon" featurette takes you behind the scenes of the production as the cast and crew sing the praises of Williams' performance as Monroe.
We Say: Williams won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Oscar for conveying the fragility of the screen icon during a challenging production. You decide if there is a lick of truth to Clark's story about his connection with Monroe.
'The Last Temptation of Christ' Blu-ray
Box Office: $8 million
Rotten Tomatoes: 83% Fresh
Storyline: Martin Scorsese's controversial 1988 adaptation of the novel by Nikos Kazantzakis depicts the more human side of Jesus Christ (Willem Dafoe) and his struggle with temptation, including his lust for Mary Magdalene (Barbara Hershey).
Extras! This Criterion Collection Blu-ray debut features an interview with composer Peter Gabriel, who here has crafted one of the most haunting and evocative film scores of the modern era.
We Say: Although it's always going to be treated as blasphemous by devout Christians, this gorgeously shot drama challenges viewers to consider what the flesh-and-blood Jesus might have really experienced.
Also New This Week:
"Happy Feet Two"
"The Three Musketeers"
"American Pie" (Blu-ray)
"American Pie 2" (Blu-ray)
"American Wedding" (Blu-ray)