HAPPY TEARS (R) — Parker Posey and Demi Moore are estranged sisters forced to reunite to take care of their ailing father (Rip Torn), who suffers from dementia. Sounds grim, but this is actually a quirky comedy. Having Posey back in a starring role is a treat, and her sisterly bond with Moore is wholly convincing. But director Mitchell Lichtenstein lays on the whimsy a bit too thickly.
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SHUTTER ISLAND (R) — Delayed from October, Martin Scorsese’s first feature film since his Oscar-winning The Departed centers on U.S. marshals (Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo) who investigate the disappearance of a prisoner at a remote asylum for the criminally insane. The movie downplays the surprise twists from the Dennis Lehane novel in favor of atmospherics, a creepy Gothic mood, DiCaprio’s intense performance and Scorsese’s bravura directorial stylings.