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Movie picks


Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*127 Hours (R)

For a movie about a brush with death, Danny Boyle's 127 Hours bursts with life. Its first 20 minutes are a rush of joie de vivre, with pulsing, jubilant Slumdog Millionaire-esque music. — Tricia Olszewski

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Burlesque (PG-13)

A small-town girl heads to the coast and a job in an L.A. burlesque club. — Not reviewed

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Black Swan (R)

Director Darren Aronofsky has a knack for luring brittle, ropy women into masochistic lesbian-tending situations (see also Requiem for a Dream), and for ending movies with a public, possibly fatal final leap (see also The Wrestler). Next, could we forget about passion and maybe see some control? — Jonathan Kiefer

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG)

It doesn't help that the adventures here have no heft or emotion, and that the only truly involving characters are the talking warrior mouse and a dragon who enters the story literally out of nowhere. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest

*Country Strong (PG-13)

Writer-director Shana Feste set herself an uphill climb here, but she scales it effortlessly, too. There's solid workmanship and authentic emotional muscle in this movie. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15

Despicable Me (PG)

There's nothing actively wrong with Despicable Me. It's just that the whole enterprise feels lazy. — Scott Renshaw

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The Dilemma (PG-13)

Ronny's world is turned upside down when he inadvertently sees his buddy Nick's wife out with another man and makes it his mission to get answers. — Not reviewed

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

*Due Date (R)

Even when the structure supporting them is sometimes shaky, it's still hard to resist Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis. — Scott Renshaw

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*The Fighter (R)

The final 20 minutes feels like something of a letdown, but for 90 minutes, The Fighter serves up a marvelously loose-limbed look at fascinating people bumping against one another in a convincingly realized place. — Scott Renshaw

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*The Green Hornet (PG-13)

If the action is out-clevered by the comedy, it's a small price to pay, for the currency of slam-bang movie enjoyment and for some satisfying superhero yuks. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

Gulliver's Travels (PG)

In this contemporary re-imagining of Jonathan Swift's classic tale, Lemuel Gulliver (Jack Black) is a perpetual underachiever and wannabe travel writer at a New York newspaper. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (PG-13)

This Potter falls somewhere between ambitious and momentous in its own way, yet never quite as powerful as it wants to be. — Scott Renshaw

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Inside Job (PG-13)

Yes, this film somehow manages to take a breezy look at a catastrophic economic situation, and is all the more successful for it. As Matt Damon narrates, numbers and abstract economic concepts fly by, yet director Charles Ferguson keeps you riveted. — Tricia Olszewski


*The King's Speech (R)

Viewers expecting the stiff royal drama that the dull title implies will be just as surprised as the stuttering king when he's eventually able to deliver a flawless speech. — Tricia Olszewski

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (PG)

Despite some exceedingly familiar genre elements, Legend of the Guardians proves compelling because it doesn't do everything you would expect an animated feature to do. — Scott Renshaw

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Little Fockers (PG-13)

It's mystifying trying to fathom just what the hell an actor with the stature of Robert De Niro is doing in a movie that finds the height of its humor in a child's projectile vomiting and dick jokes. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Megamind (PG)

Megamind is the most brilliant supervillain the world has ever known, and the least successful. Over the years, he has tried to conquer Metro City and each attempt has been a colossal failure thanks to Metro Man, an invincible hero until the day Megamind actually kills him. Suddenly, he has no purpose. — Not reviewed

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*The Next Three Days (PG-13)

This is Russell Crowe's film, and it is a triumph for him, and for us, in how he lifts the whole endeavor far above genre cheese into the stuff of great and forceful drama. — MaryAnn Johanson

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No Strings Attached (R)

A guy and girl try to keep their relationship strictly physical, but it's not long before they learn that they want something more. — Not reviewed

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

RED (PG-13)

It's not that RED doesn't provide individually entertaining moments. But satisfying performances and a few kicks of adrenaline aren't quite enough to make me care if this particular gun-toting badass can find inner peace. — Scott Renshaw

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The Royal Ballet: Giselle (NR)

Giselle is one of the most influential of all ballets, and one of the greatest and most popular works of The Royal Ballet's repertory. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Season of the Witch (PG-13)

Two knights returning from the Crusades are tasked to transport a suspected witch to an abbey. — Not reviewed

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

Secretariat (PG)

Based on the novel Secretariat: The Making of a Champion by William Nack, Secretariat chronicles the spectacular journey of the 1973 Triple Crown winner. — Not reviewed

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The Social Network (PG-13)

For all its real enough ideas — about young people making jobs instead of taking them— The Social Network falls short of full articulation. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*Tangled (PG)

Why is something with such familiar components so praiseworthy? Because it simply nails those components. The songs are Broadway-catchy, all three central voice performances are terrific, and the comic relief proves genuinely amusing. — Scott Renshaw

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

The Tourist (PG-13)

The Tourist revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. — Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest

TRON: Legacy (PG-13)

Legacy lectures us about immersing ourselves in the digital world at the risk of our interactions in the real world, but we could have enjoyed its candy-coated delights without having to be warned that there's no place like home. — Scott Renshaw

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

*True Grit (PG-13)

It may seem as though the Coen brothers just want to add "vintage Western" to the list of genre roads they've traveled. Instead, they've subtly crafted what may be their most deeply felt movie yet. — Scott Renshaw

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

*Unstoppable (PG-13)

Having played with fighter jets, race cars, submarines and subway trains in Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Crimson Tide and The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3, director Tony Scott still isn't done hurling around huge deadly vehicles. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*The Way Back (PG-13)

Dramatically, The Way Back isn't much more than a linear array of hardships. But what an array. — Jonathan Kiefer

Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three

The Warrior's Way (R)

An Asian warrior assassin is forced to hide in a small town in the American Badlands. — Not reviewed

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Yogi Bear (PG)

Faced with his biggest challenge ever, Yogi must prove he really is "smarter than the average bear" as he and Boo Boo join forces with old nemesis Ranger Smith to find a way to save Jellystone Park from closing forever. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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