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Movie Picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

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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Bolt (PG)

A dog (voiced by John Travolta), who acts in a TV show, thinks he has superpowers until he learns the power of friendship on a cross-country trip. Not reviewed

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Bride Wars (PG)

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

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Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG)

In this film based on the novel by Sophie Kinsella, a woman (Isla Fisher) who has a shopping addiction somehow lands a job at a financial magazine giving advice to consumers. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Coraline (PG)

Coraline, director Harry Selick's beautifully realized and intensely imaginative adaptation of the beloved Neil Gaiman novel, tells the story of a young girl who discovers a portal to an alternate version of her life behind a door in her living room. Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13)

Benjamin Button's unique predicament? He is born an old man. As Benjamin (Brad Pitt) ages in reverse, Pitt's heavily made-up face is superimposed over a succession of variously sized bodies. But while the film's chronology spans decades, its ideas don't feel particularly sweeping. Scott Renshaw


*Defiance (R)

There isn't a lick of phony sentimentality in this tale of three roguish brothers who lead a group of Jews in hiding into Belorussia's forests as the Nazis round up people for the camps. MaryAnn Johanson

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Friday the 13th (R)

This version is not truly a remake, but a mash-up of elements from the first three films about homicidal slasher Jason Voorhees (Derek Mears). The look-at-me cinematic theatricality that spoiled director Marcus Nispel's Texas Chainsaw Massacre remake works perfectly here, because this genre needs its scares to be over-the-top and obviously phony. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*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

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

He's Just Not That Into You (PG-13)

A star-studded ensemble cast (Drew Barrymore, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Affleck, Jennifer Aniston) leads several interwoven stories of miscommunication and misguided romance. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Hotel for Dogs (PG)

A young boy (Jake Austin) and girl (Emma Roberts), living with their cruel foster parents, save stray dogs by hiding them in an abandoned house. Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Inkheart (PG)

Brendan Fraser stars as a man who is a "silvertongue," a person who can read aloud from a book and make it come to life. It's a charming and cheerfully creepy fantasy, one that harkens to pleasantly sinister children's flicks of a generation ago. MaryAnn Johanson

Cinemark 16

*The International (R)

The timing of this smart, savvy thriller couldn't be better, what with its corporate-banks-are-evil theme and a hero who yells at banksters that he wants "some fucking justice." And, of course, Clive Owen is always welcome on my movie screen. MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood

Interquest, Tinseltown

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

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New in Town (PG-13)

Rene Zellweger plays a big-city business woman who is assigned to a factory reorganization project in rural Minnesota, a place she is set to detest, until she meets an intriguing local man (Harry Connick Jr.). Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)

A security guard (Kevin James) must come to the rescue when a mall is taken over by would-be robbers. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Pink Panther 2 (PG)

Steve Martin's 2006 remake of the Peter Sellers' classic may have been widely panned, but if you kept your expectations low, it did offer a few chuckles. So you might be hoping the comedian's sequel isn't completely shameful, maybe a light matinee. Wrong. Tricia Olszewski

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Push (PG-13)

A psychically gifted group of American ex-pats must join together in order to escape a secret government agency. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Quantum of Solace (PG-13)

Quantum of Solace (starring Daniel Craig as James Bond) is a mean little film, grim and single-minded, without the pleasure or mischief that have made Bond films so endearing in the past. Jonathan Kiefer

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The Reader (R)

More than 10 years after his affair with an older woman (Kate Winslet) ends, a young man (David Kross) discovers his former lover standing trial for Nazi war crimes. Not reviewed


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 that Will Smith is the hero. Scott Renshaw

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*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 (Dev Patel) poised to win 20 million rupees on the Indian version of the game. MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

Taken (PG-13)

In addition to, and often as a result of, kicking ass, Liam Neeson or, well, his character, ex-spy Bryan Mills also does a whole lot o' killin'. The reason for his wrath is that his teen daughter has been kidnapped by sex traffickers. It's a good thing Neeson is here to class this stuff up. Except maybe it's not a good thing at all. Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*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

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Twilight (PG-13)

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

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The Unborn (PG-13)

When a woman is troubled by strange dreams, she believes she is being haunted by her twin who died before birth. Not reviewed

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Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (R)

This prequel to Underworld and Underworld 2 explains the animosity between a tribe of aristocratic vampires and a tribe of vampires who were once slaves. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Uninvited (PG-13)

In this remake of a Korean horror film, a young woman returns home after her mother's death to find her father planning to marry her mother's nurse. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16

*The Wrestler (R)

It's a mistake to suggest that The Wrestler is all about watching Mickey Rourke apply his wrecked face and ripped body to this character, a washed-up wrestler hoping to make a comeback. As good as he is, it's more than that; it's one of the most unexpectedly heartbreaking film dramas in a long time. Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Twin Peak

Yes Man (PG-13)

In this comedy, Jim Carrey plays a man who pledges to say "Yes" to everything asked of him for an entire year. Not reviewed

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