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The week ahead: 'Gravity,' 'Nebraska,' 'Thor: The Dark World' and more

Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are two NASA employees stranded in space in the thriller "Gravity." Bruce Dern plays a cranky grandfather determined to collect a sweepstakes prize in the comedy "Nebraska." Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Tom Hiddleston lead the cast of the superhero sequel "Thor: The Dark World." Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, Javier Bardem, Penélope Cruz and Brad Pitt are part of the all-star cast of the crime drama "The Counselor." These are among the films that premiere on demand from Feb. 24 to March 2, 2014. (Check with your cable or satellite provider for a lineup of on-demand channels on your system.)

Warner Bros. Pictures

Here is a list of those movies and their on-demand premiere dates:

Feb. 25, 2014: "Gravity" (Same day as DVD; weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases; also available in 3-D), Rated PG-13.

Academy Award winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney star in “Gravity,” a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. The film was directed, produced and co-written by Alfonso Cuarón. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (played by Clooney) in command of his last flight before retiring. But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone — tethered to nothing but each other and spiraling out into the blackness. The deafening silence tells them they have lost any link to Earth and any chance for rescue. As fear turns to panic, every gulp of air eats away at what little oxygen is left. But the only way home may be to go further out into the terrifying expanse of space. "Gravity" received 10 Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

For more info: "Gravity" website

Feb. 25, 2014: "Nebraska" (Same day as DVD), Rated R.

After receiving a sweepstakes letter in the mail, a cantankerous father Woody Grant (played by Bruce Dern) thinks he’s struck it rich, and wrangles his son David (played by Will Forte) into taking a road trip to to Nebraska to claim the fortune. They are joined for part of the trip by Woody's feisty wife Kate (played by June Squibb), who is also David's mother. Shot in black and white across four states, "Nebraska" tells the stories of family life in the heartland of America. "Nebraska" received six Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.

For more info: "Nebraska" website

Feb. 25, 2014: "Thor: The Dark World" (Same day as DVD), Rated PG-13.

Thor (played by Chris Hemsworth) battles to save all the Nine Realms from a mysterious enemy older than the universe itself. However, a shadowy race led by Malekith, who is out for revenge, intends to descend the universe into darkness. Confronted by an enemy that even Odin (played by Anthony Hopkins) and Asgard cannot overcome, Thor must reunite with Jane Foster (played by Natalie Portman), enlist the help of his imprisoned brother Loki (played Tom Hiddleston), and set out on a dangerous journey that will force him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

For more info: "Thor: The Dark World" website

Feb. 25, 2014: "The Counselor" -- Unedited Extended Cut (Weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated TV-MA.

Oscar-nominated director Ridley Scott and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Cormac McCarthy have joined forces in the motion picture thriller "The Counselor," starring Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Brad Pitt, Penélope Cruz, and Cameron Diaz. McCarthy, making his screenwriting debut and Scott interweave the author’s characteristic wit and dark humor with a nightmarish scenario, in which a respected lawyer’s dalliance with an illegal business deal spirals out of control.

For more info: "The Counselor" website

Feb. 25, 2014: “After Tiller" (Weeks before Netflix and Redboxes releases), Rated PG-13.

Since the assassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in the country provide third-trimester abortions. With unprecedented access, "After Tiller" is a documentary that goes inside the lives of these physicians working at the center of the storm.

For more info: "After Tiller" website

Feb. 25, 2014: "Blue Is the Warmest Color" (Same day as DVD), Rated NC-17.

In 2013, "Blue is the Warmest Color" made cinema history as the first film ever awarded the Cannes Film Festival's Palme d’Or (the festival's highest prize) to both its director and its actresses. In a star-making role, Adèle Exarchopoulos is Adèle, a passionate young woman who has a yearning she doesn’t quite understand until a chance encounter with the blue-haired Emma ignites a flame and brings her to life. Léa Seydoux gives a fearless performance as Emma, the older woman who excites Adèle’s desire and becomes the love of her life. Abdellatif Kechiche’s intimate epic of tenderness and passion charts their relationship over the course of several years, from the ecstasy of a first kiss to the agony of heartbreak.

For more info: "Blue Is the Warmest Color" website

Feb. 25, 2014: “The Great Beauty” (Weeks before Netflix and Redbox releases), Rated TV-MA.

Rome, in the splendor of summer. Tourists flock to the Janiculum Hill: a Japanese man collapses, felled by such beauty. Jep Gamberdella – a handsome man with irresistible charm, despite the first signs of ageing – enjoys the city’s social life to the full. He attends chic dinners and parties, where his sparkling wit and pleasant company are always welcome. A successful journalist and inveterate seducer, in his youth he wrote a novel which earned him a literary award and a reputation as a frustrated writer. He masks his disenchantment behind a cynical attitude, which makes him view the world with bitter lucidity. "The Great Beauty" received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Film.

For more info: "The Great Beauty" website

Feb. 25, 2014: “Pulling Strings” (Same day as DVD), Rated PG.

After his daughter's Visa request to visit her grandparents in America is rejected, a single father (played by Jaime Camil) and his loyal best friend do everything it takes to win over the Embassy worker who turned her down. Also starring Laura Ramsay and Omar Chaparro.

For more info: "Pulling Strings" website

Feb. 25, 2014: “Uwantme2killhim?” (Before theatrical release)

Sixteen-year-old Mark (played by Jamie Blackley), a handsome and popular high school student, races home every day to chat with his online girlfriend Rachel. Besotted, he promises to do anything for her — even agreeing to befriend her loner brother John (played by Toby Regbo), the perpetual target of school bullies. But when Rachel is killed by her abusive boyfriend and Mark and John vow to avenge her death, their actions draw the attention of an MI5 agent (played by Joanne Froggatt). Soon, a devastating crime has been committed — and an unbelievable truth is revealed. Based on true events in the U.K. in 2003, this movie is a story of a friendship of opposites and the hidden evils that lurk deep within the Internet.

For more info: “Uwantme2killhim?” website

Feb. 25, 2014: “Italy: Love It or Leave It”

In this documentary, directors Gustav Hofer and Luca Ragazzi are two young Italians who over the past few years have witnessd the exodus of many of their friends to Berlin, London or Barcelona. Gustav believes the time has come for them to go abroad too while Luca wants to convince him that there are many good reasons to stay, that Italy is full of passionate and committed people who every day carry on a silent battle to change things for the better.
They agree to give themselves six months to see if they can fall in love with their country again.

For more info: “Italy: Love It or Leave It” website

Feb. 25, 2014: “Showing Up”

In this unprecedented look at the audition, some of our most accomplished working actors reflect on the process of getting work. On the surface, the documentary "Showing Up" explores the actor's audition. Looking deeper, it transcends the profession and examines what it takes for all of us to pursue what we most want to achieve in life.

For more info: “Showing Up” website

Feb. 27, 2014: “Alan Partridge” (Before theatrical release)

Alan Partridge (played by Steve Coogan) has had many ups and downs in his life. National television broadcaster. Responsible for killing a guest on live TV. Local radio broadcaster. A nervous breakdown in Dundee. His self-published book “Bouncing Back” subsequently remaindered and pulped. “Alan Partridge” finds Alan at the center of a siege, when a disgruntled fellow DJ (played by Colm Meaney) decides to hold their station hostage after learning that he’s getting sacked by the new management.

For more info: "Alan Partridge" website

Feb. 27, 2014: “Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me” (Six days after theatrical release), Rated TV-MA.

"Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" is a ferocious, funny and poignant documentary of one-of-a-kind Broadway legend Eliane Stritch as she reaches her 87th year. According to Stritch: "We are all aging." At 87, ferocious and funny Stritch is still here dominating the stage, the screen ("30 Rock"), and giving us her candid reflections on life, her struggle with alcohol and diabetes, and the fear of leaving the follow spot behind.

For more info: "Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me" website

Feb. 28, 2014: “Bottled Up” (Before theatrical release)

In this dramedy, single mother Fay (played by Melissa Leo) lives with her adult daughter, Sylvie (played by Marin Ireland), who still continues to complain of back pain, many months after being in a car accident. After Sylvie refuses physical therapy, it becomes clear to everyone but Fay that Sylvie is addicted to painkillers. When an earnest environmentalist named Becket (played by Josh Hamilton) moves to town, Fay quickly befriends him, hoping that he will be the solution to Sylvie's problems. As Becket finds himself further intertwined in their lives, he inadvertently helps Fay realize the depth of her daughter's problem. Before too long Fay's hand is forced, and she must decide whether to protect her daughter or find the happiness that she has long denied herself.

For more info: "Bottled Up" website

Feb. 28, 2014: “Chlorine” (Same day as theatrical release)

In the town of Copper Canyon, people are cashing in on an economic housing boom, and the local country club is buzzing about the investment opportunity. Once vivacious couple, Roger and Georgie Lent, have settled into a complacent lifestyle of mediocrity where their marriage is falling apart and their children are turning away from them. Nonetheless, desperately discontent Georgie, pushes Roger into finding a way to invest in the market bubble in the hopes that their family can be saved with the money they are sure to make. When local tennis pro and part-time drug dealer, Pat, comes to Roger for investment advice, Roger sees his opportunity. Torn by the reality that his family could be saved by this dirty money, Roger finds himself staring down the barrel of a moral conundrum. Chlorine is the tale of classic American greed. Starring Vincent D’Onofrio, Kyra Sedgwick, Flora Cross, Ryan Donowho, Jordan Belfi, Elisabeth Röhm, Rhys Corio, Michele Hicks, Dreama Walker and Tom Sizemore.

For more info: "Chlorine" website

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