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Movie Picks

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Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

Australia (PG-13)

For the first 85 minutes, Australia's a sprawling Western set in 1939 (starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman). The second half is an epic wartime romance. But the film overreaches as it tries to staple two together. Scott Renshaw

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Bedtime Stories (PG)

A hotel maintenance man (Adam Sandler) enjoys telling imaginative bedtime stories to his niece and nephew when the stories begin to come true. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (PG)

Drew Barrymore provides the voice of Chloe, a chihuahua who finds herself lost on vacation in Mexico. Not reviewed

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Bride Wars (PG)

When their weddings are mistakenly booked on the same day, two best friends (Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway) become adversaries in a race to outdo each other. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

City of Ember (PG)

The people of Ember have lived in their city of lights for years. When the generator begins to fail, two teens must find the secret. Not reviewed

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*The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13)

While Benjamin Button's chronology spans decades, its ideas don't actually feel particularly sweeping stuff along the lines of "Life is short and precious, and you should live it to the fullest while you still have the chance." Simplistic though it is, the message does prove potent. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Day the Earth Stood Still (PG-13)

This is The Day the Earth Barely Even Notices We're on the Brink of Doom, and Why Don't Those Damn Hippies Just Shut Up About Global Warming Already? I'll be damned if there's any indication why the aliens prefer to save the planet over us, or why the audience should understand it either. MaryAnn Johanson

Cinemark 16 IMAX

*Doubt (PG-13)

Inspired by news of church cover-ups regarding molestation of the children by priests, Doubt unsurprisingly turns into a Hoffman-Streep throwdown. Both Serious Actors deliver passionate performances. Tricia Olszewski

Tinseltown

Eagle Eye (PG-13)

Two strangers (Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan) end up fighting for their lives when an unexpected phone call puts them into dangerous situations. Not reviewed

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Fireproof (PG)

In an attempt to help their failing marriage, a fireman and his wife enlist in a stunt called "The Love Dare." Not reviewed

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Four Christmases (PG-13)

A couple (Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn) attempt to visit all four of their parents' homes for the holidays. Not reviewed

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*Frost/Nixon (R)

Frost/Nixon dramatizes the origin and accomplishment of the 1977 TV interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former President Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprise their roles from the award-winning play, and so it should be; the casting is definitive. Jonathan Kiefer

Cinemark 16

*Gran Torino (R)

Meet Walt Kowalski: Korean War vet, retired autoworker, widower, ornery racist coot. But he's played by Clint Eastwood, in an Eastwood-directed movie, so no matter what kind of bastard Walt is, you know you're probably going to like him. Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (G)

As the end of high school approaches, Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and the rest of the gang put on a musical. Not reviewed

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Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)

In this animated sequel, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) and his zoo friends board a flight to New York City, only to end up in Africa. Not reviewed

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Marley & Me (PG)

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as a couple who learns important lessons from a troublesome golden retriever. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Metropolitan Opera: La Rondine Encore (NR)

A production of Puccini's opera starring soprano Angela Gheorghiu and tenor Roberto Alagna. Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Milk (R)

If no single moment can be completely fitting for a biographical drama about martyred civil rights hero Harvey Milk, this moment, 30 years after his assassination, sure feels close. In the end, Milk transcends its historical duty, seeming both timely and timeless. Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Twin Peak

Not Easily Broken (PG-13)

An auto accident threatens to shatter the already rocky marriage between Clarice (Taraji P. Henson) and Dave (Morris Chestnut). Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Quantum of Solace (PG-13)

Quantum of Solace is a mean little film, grim and single-minded, without the pleasure or mischief that has made James Bond so endearing. Jonathan Kiefer

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Role Models (R)

Role Models is that usual assemblage of tittering about bodily fluids, casual homophobia, random sex acts and other expressions of apparently unoutgrowable male adolescent anxiety that passes for comedy today. MaryAnn Johanson

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The Secret Life of Bees (PG-13)

What makes this kind of glorified TV-movie so frustrating? You know it's never going to dig at anything. The film does show (discreetly) the arbitrary violence against Southern blacks, but there's little pretense that the film is more than a pep rally for female strength. Scott Renshaw

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Seven Pounds (PG-13)

In a world where trailers usually give away the entire plot, Sony Pictures has been downright elusive about this one. Maybe we can tell it's a drama with some tragic elements but we can be sure is that Will Smith is the hero. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Slumdog Millionaire (R)

Now we know why the world has been overrun by idiotic game shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Without them we wouldn't have Danny Boyle's surprising, fresh and enchanting new movie about a poor Mumbai teen poised to win 20 million rupees on the Indian version of the game. MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Twin Peak

*The Tale of Despereaux (G)

You wouldn't think there would be any more lovely stories to tell about cute furry creatures (like Despereaux the mouse) who defy odds, embrace danger, find love and celebrate honor all from the confines of a cartoon. But with this delightful, inventive film, we find there's at least one more. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Twilight (PG-13)

OMG! This is the best movie ever (if you're a 12-year-old fan). Twilight is all about Bella, who's a junior in high school, and Edward, who is the totally cute vampire teenager she meets at school. MaryAnn Johanson

Tinseltown

The Unborn (PG-13)

When a woman is troubled by strange dreams and odd happenings, she grows to believe she is being haunted by her twin brother who died before birth. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Valkyrie (PG-13)

A group of German officers led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during the World War II. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Yes Man (PG-13)

In this comedy, Jim Carrey plays a man whose life has becoming boring and routine until he pledges to say "Yes" to everything asked of him for an entire year. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

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