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Movie Picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

All Along (NR)

A family man (Bill Page) going through a midlife crisis begins to entertain some of his fantasies and seeks the help of a psychologist (Krista Allen). (All movies in this Independent Film Series are $5.) Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Bedtime Stories (PG)

A hotel maintenance man (Adam Sandler) tells stories to his niece and nephew and they begin to come true. 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, Anne Hathaway) become adversaries in a race to outdo each other. Not reviewed

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Confessions of a Shopaholic (PG)

A woman with a shopping addiction somehow lands a job at a financial magazine giving advice to consumers. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Coraline (PG)

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

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, 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 ages in reverse, Brad Pitt's heavily made-up face is superimposed over a succession of variously sized bodies. Scott Renshaw


Fired Up! (PG-13)

Producer Matthew Gross admits the movie is based upon his own experience when he and a friend joined the high school yell squad in order to meet girls. The two pals here are absurd even when grading on the idiot-comedy curve. MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, 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. The look-at-me cinematic theatricality of director Marcus Nispel works perfectly here, because this genre needs its scares to be over-the-top and obviously phony. Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10

*Gran Torino (R)

Meet Walt Kowalski: Korean War vet, retired autoworker, widower, ornery racist coot. But he's played by Clint Eastwood, 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

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Hotel for Dogs (PG)

A young boy and girl save stray dogs by hiding them in an abandoned house. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*Inkheart (PG)

Brendan Fraser stars as a "silvertongue," a person who can read aloud from a book and make it come to life, in this charming and cheerfully creepy fantasy. MaryAnn Johanson

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*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 (Clive Owen) who yells at banksters. MaryAnn Johanson

Cinemark 16

Jonas Brothers: The 3D Concert Experience (G)

See footage from the teen group's Burning Up tour and a behind-the-scenes look at the brothers off stage. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Let the Right One In (R)

Not to be confused with Twilight, a so-called "modern day love story between a vampire and human" set in rural Washington, Let the Right One In is the one set in Sweden and transcendentally good. It is a rare movie indeed that comes across as instant horror classic, preteen wish fulfillment fantasy and Euro-arty critical darling, all at once. Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Twin Peak

Marley & Me (PG)

A couple (Owen Wilson, Jennifer Aniston) learn important lessons from a troublesome golden retriever. Not reviewed

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The Metropolitan Opera: Madama Butterfly Encore (NR)

An encore presentation of Giacomo Puccini's opera with soprano Cristina Gallardo-Doms in the title role, Marcello Giordani as Pinkerton, and Patrick Summers conducting. 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, Chapel Hills 15, 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. You might be hoping the comedian's sequel isn't completely shameful. Wrong. Tricia Olszewski

Hollywood Interquest

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

The Reader (R)

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


*Slumdog Millionaire (R)

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

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li (PG-13)

This video game-inspired film tells the story of a woman in search of justice. Not reviewed


Taken (PG-13)

In addition to 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. Jonathan Kiefer

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, 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. But 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, a high schooler, and Edward, the totally cute vampire teenager she meets. MaryAnn Johanson

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Tyler Perry's Madea Goes to Jail (PG-13)

Tyler Perry plays the fiery grandmother Madea, who gets into trouble with the law after leading police on a car chase. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (R)

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

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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

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Valkyrie (PG-13)

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

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Watchmen (R)

What is truly amazing about Watchmen, the highly anticipated film version of the much-adored graphic novel about costumed crusaders investigating the murder of one of their own against an alt-history backdrop, is how forcefully the movie negates the book's most basic intentions. Jonathan Kiefer

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

*The Wrestler (R)

It's a mistake to suggest The Wrestler is all about watching Mickey Rourke apply his wrecked face and ripped body to this character, a washed-up wrestler. 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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