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Movie picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

2012 (PG-13)

As the end of the world nears, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, a group of would-be heros struggles to survive.

— Not reviewed

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

Armored (PG-13)

The newest guard at a security firm is persuaded by his colleagues to steal an armored truck containing over $40 million, but the heist goes awry.

— Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Blind Side (PG-13)

The Blind Side takes on the real-life underdog-makes-good story of Michael Oher, currently a first-year left tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. It's not unimpressive because it's a "feel-good" story, but because it's simply a lazy piece of movie-making. — Scott Renshaw

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

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (R)

If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed that The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was meant to be some sort of attempt at parody. It's an orgy of sexualized violence that's both riotously awful and simultaneously vile with no point except to give itself something to jerk off to. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

The Box (PG-13)

A couple discovers a box that will make them rich upon opening it, but will also mean the death of a person they do not know. — Not reviewed

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*Brothers (R)

A soldier is lost in Afghanistan and presumed dead. His family mourns him, then has to readjust when he is found alive. This powerful film represents the stress fractures pulling apart many military families. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

Couples Retreat (PG-13)

This half-assed update of Fantasy Island manages to feel somehow both shriveled to short-sitcom proportions and bloated to feature-film length. — Jonathan Kiefer

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Disney's A Christmas Carol (PG)

A remake of Dickens' classic tale, this time with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge. — Not reviewed

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

*An Education (PG-13)

Until she meets David, a man almost twice her age, 16-year-old Jenny is well-behaved and studious, gifted on the cello and aiming to study literature at Oxford. Ultimately, An Education feels more mature than most coming-of-age movies, and will buoy anyone who remembers taking that first peek into life beyond parents and textbooks. — Tricia Olszewski

Kimball's Peak Three

Everybody's Fine (PG-13)

Everybody's Fine is exactly the kind of role that Robert De Niro doesn't need right now, one so low-key that he doesn't seem to know how to play it. De Niro plays a widowed retiree looking forward to a holiday visit from his grown children. Instead, they each call to bail out. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG)

Wes Anderson directs this stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1970 children's novel. It's a surprisingly adult-ish film featuring George Clooney voicing the title role and Meryl Streep as his no-less-fantastic wife. — Jeff Sneider

Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

The Fourth Kind (PG-13)

This "fact-based" film tells the tale of an Alaskan town whose residents have been disappearing in unexplained circumstances and alien encounters are suspected. — Not reviewed

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G-Force (PG)

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

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*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 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

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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. — MaryAnn Johanson

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The Invention of Lying (PG-13)

In this romantic comedy's alternate reality, even the idea of a lie doesn't exist, until a man (Ricky Gervais) discovers and begins to use the ability to his benefit. — Not reviewed

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*Julie & Julia (PG-13)

Meryl Streep is delightful as cooking legend Julia Child. Endearing Amy Adams plays her counterpart Julie Powell, a woman who decides to launch a blog chronicling her preparation of every recipe from Julia's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. — Scott Renshaw

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Ninja Assassin (R)

A man who was taken from the streets as a youth and raised to be a killer by a secret clan, frees himself after the murder of his friend, and waits for a chance for revenge. — Not reviewed

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

Old Dogs (PG)

Robin Williams and John Travolta star as middle-aged bachelors who unexpectedly find themselves in charge of 6-year-old twins while in the midst of the most important business deal of their careers. — Not reviewed

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

Planet 51 (PG)

In this animated adventure, the residents of a far-off planet live in dread of aliens invading their homeland, when an astronaut shows up confirming their fears. — Not reviewed

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

*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

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The Stepfather (PG-13)

When a student returns home from military school and meets his mother's new boyfriend, he soon suspects the man may be hiding a dangerous past. — Not reviewed

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Surrogates (PG-13)

In a future world where people stay inside while their surrogate robots interact for them, Bruce Willis plays a cop who must emerge to investigate a string of killings. — Not reviewed

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Transylmania (R)

In this horror spoof, a handful of college students travel to Romania to study, and discover the nightlife includes not only partying, but vampires. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (PG-13)

In this second installment based on the books by Stephenie Meyer, Edward, a vampire, and his human girlfriend Bella Swan mope around a lot. Two hours of pretty teenagers — including Bella's werewolf friend, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), who doesn't like vampires but does like Bella — making moon eyes at one another in this love triangle is an hour-forty-five too much. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

*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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*Zombieland (R)

The flesh-eating undead are not, understandably, every movie-goer's taste. But this time, skipping the latest zombie flick will mean missing what may be the funniest American comedy of 2009. — Scott Renshaw

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