Film » Movie Picks

Movie Picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*(500) Days of Summer (PG-13)

Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as Tom, a romantic soul writing platitudes for a Los Angeles greeting-card company, when into his life steps his boss' assistant, Summer (Zooey Deschanel), inspiring an instant infatuation. As charming as the film may be when it's funny, it's even better when it's poignant. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

9 (PG-13)

9's story is a familiar post-apocalyptic scenario in which machines have gotten the best of humans by exterminating them and laying waste to the planet. But hope is not lost: There are little puppets. — Jonathan Kiefer

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Adam (PG-13)

Adam is a new movie about a guy with Asperger's syndrome. The guy's name is Adam. He's more than a neurological disorder, however, thank you very much. In fact, he's a token nonthreatening movie version of one. And that's about all there is to it. — Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Peak Three

Aliens in the Attic (PG)

When a few teens discover aliens in their vacation house, they realize they must save their parents and the planet from the invaders. — Not reviewed

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All About Steve (PG-13)

A woman who creates crossword puzzles for a living — played by Sandra Bullock — falls for a TV cameraman whose buddies encourage her to pursue him across the country. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*District 9 (R)

District 9 opens with "documentary" footage of bureaucrat Wikus Van De Merwe, who will head up the massive task of relocating 1 million otherworldly refugees living in a ghetto outside Johannesburg — while a weapons manufacturer tries to figure out how the aliens' weapons work. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

*Extract (R)

Joel Reynold (Jason Bateman) owns a mid-sized flavor-extract factory in a mid-sized American city, and he and his wife are in danger of turning into "one of those brother-sister couples." On the Mike Judge movie continuum, Extract is about average: less timely and exact than Office Space, but less creaky and wild swinging than Idiocracy. — Jonathan Kiefer

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Final Destination (R)

After a teenager's vision helps prevent a fatal car accident, Death comes looking to claim those who got away. — Not reviewed

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

*Funny People (R)

George Simmons (Adam Sandler) is a successful but miserable comedy star whose jaded soul gets a jolt when he's diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease. Ira Wright (Seth Rogen) lands a dubious gig as George's assistant. — Jonathan Kiefer

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G-Force (PG)

A team of guinea pigs, specially trained as high-tech spies through a secret government program, embarks on a mission to save the planet. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (PG-13)

A team of elite soldiers must take on a dangerous group known as Cobra, which is led by a nefarious weapons dealer. — Not reviewed

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

Gamer (R)

In the not-so-distant future, online gamers use real people (prisoners) as avatars, to play their deadly games. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Halloween II (R)

Director Rob Zombie remakes this horror sequel in which killer Michael Myers is still on the loose looking for his younger sister Laurie, and wreaking havoc on Halloween night. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG)

Half-Blood Prince is far less dense with magical action than its predecessors, and perhaps that makes it feel mostly like a stage-setter for the finale that will be Deathly Hallows. Yet it's so rich with characterization that it scarcely matters. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG)

This time out, Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) is about to be a dad, but complications ensue as Diego the tiger beings to feel left out, and Sid the sloth adopts some dinosaur eggs. Which leaves me thinking: There are a couple of things that we should let go extinct. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Inglourious Basterds (R)

Quentin Tarantino's "Basterds" comprise a squad of Jewish soldiers behind enemy lines in occupied France with Lt. Aldo Raine (Brad Pitt) as their leader. Serious Holocaust Drama this is not. It's more like a smug, glamorous, violently inclined cartoon. — Jonathan Kiefer

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

*Julie & Julia (PG-13)

Meryl Streep is delightful as cooking legend Julia Child. Endearing Amy Adams plays her counterpart Julie Powell, a would-be novelist who decides to launch a blog in which she'll chronicle preparing every recipe from Julia's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

My Sister's Keeper (PG-13)

What would happen if a child conceived as a biological donor to her desperately ill older sister suddenly decided she was done being poked, prodded and sucked dry of her bone marrow? My Sister's Keeper wants you to sob with bittersweet acceptance and saccharine grief. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian (PG)

Director Shawn Levy and screenwriters Robert Garant and Thomas Lennon found an even cooler idea for this sequel to the 2006 film Night at the Museum — the biggest, most diverse museum on the planet comes alive at night — and they squandered it in an even bigger way. — MaryAnn Johanson

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*Public Enemies (R)

Being a Michael Mann film, this boils down to two elegant men on opposite sides of the law: gangster John Dillinger (Johnny Depp) and Special Agent Melvin Purvis (Christian Bale). — Jonathan Kiefer

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*Shorts (PG)

Shorts is a zippy, slapsticky romp about a suburban town gone bonkers when a wish-granting, rainbow-colored rock falls out of the sky. — Jonathan Kiefer

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Star Trek (PG-13)

While Trekkies may find it difficult to accept a U.S.S. Enterprise without William Shatner at the helm, Abrams' reboot exists in its own universe, where the next generation of Trek stars proves worth the wait. — Jeff Sneider

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*Taking Woodstock (R)

Taking Woodstock may not be a look at the Woodstock that was, but it's a fairly charming look at the Woodstock that we wish it had been. The film, adapted from the memoir by Elliot Tier and Tom Monte, follows young Elliot through the summer of 1969 as he lands the festival kicked out of other towns. — Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Peak Three

Terminator Salvation (PG-13)

It's 2018 and Skynet, the extremely pro-death-penalty artificial intelligence network, is just about finished scouring humanity from the face of the Earth. Christian Bale stars as John Connor, the leader of the human resistance. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13)

Henry DeTamble suffers from a genetic anomaly that causes him to become displaced in time, at random moments he can't control. People and events draw him like gravity. This is science fiction that knows what sci-fi is all about. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (PG-13)

Director Michael Bay presides over another bloated backstory connecting kick-ass fights between giant robots. — Scott Renshaw

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*Up (PG)

Elderly curmudgeon Carl (Edward Asner) launches his house into the air with a massive cascade of balloons and a plan to head to a South American jungle. —Scott Renshaw

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