Film » Movie Picks

Movie Picks


*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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*Alvin and the Chipmunks (PG)

It's cute. Actually, it's indescribably adorable as the chipmunks croon "Had a Bad Day" in falsetto while they stash away nuts for the winter. For a flick with enormous potential for driving you screaming from the theater, it's robustly not-awful. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*American Gangster (R)

Russell Crowe plays a rough-edged, working-class cop who's trying to better himself by studying law at night. Denzel Washington is a ruthless lord of the streets. And you can't forget them. MaryAnn Johanson

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August Rush (PG)

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

Chapel Hills 15

Bee Movie (PG)

Jerry Seinfeld provides the voice of Barry Benson, a bee just graduated from college in Hive City. The film boasts a fair number of funny individual jokes. What it lacks is any idea how to tie them all together. Scott Renshaw

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Bella (PG-13)

A former soccer star and a waitress overcome odds and come together through the power of love and kindness. Not reviewed

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Charlie Wilson's War (R)

Charlie Wilson (Tom Hanks) is a congressman whose pleasures in life are drinking, women and serving America. His interest is piqued by news of Afghan rebels fighting the Soviet army. Turning this nonfiction story into what is essentially a comedy was a bold choice and not a particularly wise one. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Enchanted (PG)

The sweet silliness of the collective Disney-animated, fairy-tale landscape meets the rough reality of Noo Yawk City. Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Enchanted can't go wrong. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Game Plan (PG)

A professional football player and confirmed bachelor discovers that he has a 7-year-old daughter as the result of an earlier fling. Not reviewed

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The Golden Compass (PG-13)

You're probably aware that some religious groups have worked themselves into a lather over The Golden Compass, armed with the knowledge author Philip Pullman is an avowed atheist. As it turns out, no one really needed to be so concerned ... The Golden Compass manages to make heterodoxy as boring as ass. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Hitman (R)

After becoming entangled in an international conspiracy, an assassin called Agent 47 finds himself being chased by Russian soldiers and Interpol agents in this film based on a video game character. Not reviewed

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*I Am Legend (PG-13)

In 2012 Manhattan, Robert Neville (Will Smith) appears to be the only survivor of a virus. There aren't many actors like Smith, who can carry a quiet drama like The Pursuit of Happyness and a science-fiction blockbuster like I, Robot, but he combines those two personas here for an involving portrait of a guy trying to convince himself there's a reason to stay alive. Scott Renshaw

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

*The Kite Runner (PG-13)

This film, which begins in Kabul in 1978, features Amir and Hassan, two boys who spend their days going to the cinema and flying their kites over city rooftops until something bad happens. It is one of the very best films of 2007, and one that perfectly puts a stamp on our confusing and distressing times. Mary Ann Johanson

Kimball's Twin Peak, Cinemark 16

*Martian Child (PG)

John Cusack plays a fiction writer who has adopted Dennis, a troubled 8-year-old who has created a fiction for himself, believing 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 a magical toy store (Dustin Hoffman) turns his store over to its manager (Natalie Portman), changes begin to take place. Not reviewed

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National Treasure: Book of Secrets (PG)

When a missing page of John Wilkes Booth's diary is found, Nicolas Cage launches a search for the truth behind Abraham Lincoln's assassination. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*No Country for Old Men (R)

This tale begins with a simple man making a simple but stupid decision. He stumbles upon a heroin deal-turned-bloodbath with $2 million still at hand. When he grabs the money and runs, he immediately becomes the target of Anton Chigurh, a relentless killing machine. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

P.S. I Love You (PG-13)

After her husband dies, a young woman discovers he left behind messages to help her move on with life. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Resident Evil: Extinction (R)

Survivors of the apocalypse must cross the desert of Nevada and fight killer zombies and other creatures to avoid extinction. Not reviewed

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (R)

A London barber (Johnny Depp) forms a sinister alliance with his neighbor in this musical based on the hit Stephen Sondheim musical. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married? (PG-13)

In this adaptation of the stage play, a man's marriage is threatened when a beautiful, young vixen appears in his life. Not reviewed

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*Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (R)

This flick, a sendup of music biopics, surprisingly manages to walk the fine line between stupid and clever. It looks with a critical moue at how we celebrate bad behavior, and how we approach pop culture on the whole. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

We Own the Night (R)

A nightclub manager, who is the black sheep of a multi-generational family of New York cops, allows himself to become an informant for the police after his brother is shot. The situation is compelling, but the film is confused about how to deal with the people in that situation. Scott Renshaw

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