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Movie picks

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Babel (R)
At least one-fourth of Babel ranks among the year's finest pieces of filmmaking. The problem is the rest of the story isn't nearly as captivating. Portions seem to function strictly as ethnography, rather than fulfill their promise to illuminate how we are separated by continent, culture and language. Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Kimball's Twin Peak

Barnyard (PG)

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*Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan (R)
Sacha Baron Cohen takes reality comedy to new heights as the character he plays, Borat, interacts with real people. The movie's subtitle describes Borat's assignment to visit the United States to bring back information to help modernize his country. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Cars (G)

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*Casino Royale (PG-13)
In lots of little ways the film stays true to the 40-year-old formula, but this adventure is more invigorating than any Bond film in years and Bond (Daniel Craig) is more than just a tuxedo holding a martini. The filmmakers deliver something that fits into the series' history, but isn't trapped by it. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*The Departed (R)
In this film from Martin Scorsese, Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) has risen through the police ranks, though his loyalty lies with a local crime boss (Jack Nicholson). Frustrated by their failures, the police bring in an undercover man (Leonardo DiCaprio). Scott Renshaw

Tinseltown

Everyone's Hero (G)

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Fast Food Nation (R)
Greg Kinnear plays a marketing executive for a fast food chain in the film based on Eric Schlosser's nonfiction book. Most of the story takes place in a nondescript Colorado town that is home to a massive meat-packing plant. Watchful film-goers will note that some of the scenes were filmed in Colorado Springs. Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Twin Peak

Flicka (PG)

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Flags of Our Fathers (R)
The film, directed by Clint Eastwood, is a patriotic look at America's need for heroes and villains when perhaps none exist. It follows three World War II servicemen during a public relations campaign designed to exploit their heroism and sell war bonds. Jeff Sneider

Chapel Hills 15

Flushed Away (PG)
In this animated adventure, Roddy, a spoiled, pet mouse lives in an upper-class English flat when he is flushed down the toilet and must find his way through the sewers of London. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

For Your Consideration (PG-13)
The film, directed by Christopher Guest, follows three fictional Hollywood actors whose work becomes the focus of award ceremony buzz. Not reviewed

Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

The Gridiron Gang (PG-13)

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The Grudge 2 (PG-13)

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The Guardian (PG-13)

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Happy Feet (PG)
In this animated film featuring Elijah Wood, Robin Williams and Nicole Kidman, Mumble is an Emperor Penguin who can't sing like the other penguins to woo a mate, but he can tap dance like mad. Not reviewed

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

Kidtoons: A Christmas Carol (G)

Chapel Hills 15

Let's Go to Prison (R)
In this comedy, a career criminal decides the best way to get revenge on the judge who sentenced him is to put the judge's son in prison and become his cellmate. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Man of the Year (PG-13)

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The Marine (PG-13)

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (PG-13)

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The Prestige (PG-13)
In turn-of-the century England, one man stands accused of murdering another with motives that only become evident in flashback. The two were both stage illusionists with an intense rivalry. Scott Renshaw

Cinemark 16

The Queen (PG-13)
Following the death of Princess Diana, the Royal family and British Prime Minister Tony Blair struggle to balance the family's personal mourning with the nation's tragedy. Not reviewed

Tinseltown

The Santa Claus 3: The Escape Clause (G)
Santa (Tim Allen) aka Scott Calvin must stop Jack Frost (Martin Short) from taking over Christmas. Scott's extended family and lead elf Curtis work together to thwart Frost's plan. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Saw III (R)
Madman "Jigsaw" and his apprentice kidnap Lynn, a hospital employee, and take her to an abandoned warehouse where she must keep the dying madman alive while another victim completes a series of vicious tests. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Tinseltown

Stranger Than Fiction (PG-13)
Will Ferrell plays an IRS auditor who suddenly begins to hear his life narrated by a voice that only he can hear. Not reviewed

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

Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (R)

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Wired To Win (NR)
A documentary about the Tour de France that combines live-action footage with computer and medical imagery to demonstrate how the human brain responds to physical challenge. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

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