Film » Movie Picks

Movie Picks

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Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*3:10 to Yuma (R)
A remake of the 1957 Western, this solid adaptation of an Elmore Leonard short story stars Christian Bale and Russell Crowe on opposite sides of the law. Jeff Sneider

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*American Gangster (R)
Russell Crowe plays a rough-edged, working-class cop who's trying to better himself. Denzel Washington is his childhood friend who's now a Mafioso. And you can't forget either of them. Mary Ann Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

August Rush (PG)
Two musicians connect on a magical evening, then are torn apart from the child born as a result, until he uses his own musical gifts to search for them. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Bee Movie (PG)
Jerry Seinfeld plays the voice of Barry Benson, a bee graduated from college in Hive City. There's a fair number of funny individual jokes. What it lacks is any idea how to tie them all together Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Bella (PG-13)
A former soccer star and waitress overcome odds and come together through the power of love and kindness. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Beowulf (PG-13)
In this animated feature based on the epic poem, director Robert Zemeckis spent who knows how many dollars in an attempt to perfectly simulate the human face. As he surely discovered too late in production, there is no number of cleverly drawn lines around the eyes, individually drawn facial hairs or specifically calculated skin pores that can enliven a dead cartoon face. MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Tinseltown

*The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13)
This third installment improves upon a franchise that just keeps getting better. The badass with a grudge may be an action-movie staple, but few play it with this kind of resigned, single-minded determination. Scott Renshaw

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*Dan in Real Life (PG-13)
Steve Carell plays an advice columnist in this film about family and it's about family in a more genuine way than most movies are able to manage. Jeff Sneider

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Darjeeling Limited (R)
Owen Wilson, Adrien Brody and Jason Schwartzman star in this melancholic, serio-comedy about three estranged brothers who reunite for a journey to India. With this film, director Wes Anderson cements his status as one of the most distinctive and original voices working in American cinema today. Jeff Sneider

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Elizabeth: The Golden Age (PG-13)
Torture! Intrigue! Sex! Treachery! Holy War! Cate Blanchett in royal drag! Clive Owen in pirate drag! Why don't they teach us history in school like this, full of passion and power and people when they're as mesmerizing and complex as this? MaryAnn Johanson

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Fred Claus (PG)
Vince Vaughn plays Santa's not-so-warm-and-fuzzy older brother as they are reunited at the North Pole. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Hairspray (PG)
There are sprigs of bitter irony, but, mostly, Hairspray wears its tender heart on its sleeve, singing itself hoarse on chipper tunes about being nice, being in love and being yourself. MaryAnn Johanson

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*Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (PG-13)
With directorial flair, David Yates has managed to take a blockbuster fantasy and craft a dark, coming-of-age drama. Scott Renshaw

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*Into the Wild (R)
Director Sean Penn thoroughly and satisfyingly retells the tale of Christopher McCandless' wilderness journeys, which author Jon Krakauer first eloquently brought to light in his 1996 best-selling book. Cole Smithey

Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

The Kingdom (R)
The bombing of Westerners living in Saudi Arabia leads an FBI agent to gather a special team to find the villainous mastermind behind the plot. Not reviewed

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*Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13)
It's debatable as to whether audiences are interested in a mature, adult film with a ridiculous premise about a man who falls in love with a life-size, anatomically correct silicone doll. But the truth is that the film is one of the year's most pleasant surprises. Jeff Sneider

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Lions for Lambs (R)
Plenty of people will be put off by this film perhaps by its Blue State sensibility or nakedly emotional call to action. I can nod in agreement, even as I find it impossible to deny that the earnest, awkward little movie did something special: It made me want to be a better American. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Love in the Time of Cholera (R)
For the most part, Love in the Time of Cholera, the famed 1985 novel from Nobel Prize winner Gabriel Garca Mrquez, trips up in its ambitious but off-key cinematic adaptation but not with the casting of Javier Barden as its romantically enthusiastic protagonist. Cole Smithey

Cinemark 16

*Martian Child (PG)
John Cusack plays a fiction writer that adopts a troubled 8-year-old who believes that he's "from Mars." This is, wonderfully, a smart and snappy yet never sappy portrait of a budding family Mary Ann Johanson

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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)
When the eccentric owner of magical toy store (Dustin Hoffman) turns over his store to its manager (Natalie Portman), changes begin to take place. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

No Reservations (PG)
This romantic comedy features Catherine Zeta-Jones as a chef whose high-powered career path is altered when she receives custody of her niece (Abigail Breslin). Not reviewed

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Ratatouille (G)
Ratatouille marks the first occasion where a Pixar film manages to get only the visual presentation right, while serving up a recipe we've sampled many times before. Scott Renshaw

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Rush Hour 3 (PG-13)
Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker accidentally get themselves involved with the Chinese Triad crew. Not reviewed

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Saw IV (R)
Detectives are thrown into a madman's deadly trap while searching for answers to his grizzly murders. Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (NR)
Dolly, a curious dolichorhynchops of the Late Cretaceous period, maneuvers her way through dangerous waters and encounters fellow sea creatures in this computer-animated journey. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Superbad (R)
There's a thin line between smart juvenilia and plain silliness and Superbad weaves back and forth across it like Lindsay Lohan at a traffic stop. Scott Renshaw

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Underdog (PG)
Based on the classic cartoon series, this live-action film stars Shoeshine, a crime-fighting dog with superpowers. Not reviewed

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