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Movie picks

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Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

Anonymous (PG-13)

The film speculates on who actually wrote the plays credited to William Shakespeare. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13)

This is a WWII-set comic book adventure about a once-meek U.S. soldier turned hero thanks to an experimental super serum that grants strength and agility far beyond that of a normal human being. — Not reviewed

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Cars 2 (G)

It felt like Pixar promised us that it would remain grounded in something more vital than the sparkle and speed of contemporary computer-generated movie-making. But with Cars 2, it feels as though that promise has been broken. — Scott Renshaw

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*Contagion (PG-13)

This is no mere disaster movie; it's a meticulous doomsday scenario imagined by someone with a clear need to visualize the worst as a salve to his anxiety. — Justin Strout

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Courageous (PG-13)

As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson, and Shane Fuller are confident and focused. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Crazy, Stupid, Love. (PG-13)

For two hours, the film offers up a terrific cast and some genuinely funny moments, but its inability to find real greatness can be encapsulated by one scene — an attempt at sophistication that's too often undercut by sitcom simplicity. — Scott Renshaw

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Dolphin Tale (PG)

Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. This is the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

*Footloose (PG-13)

The fidelity with which this film attempts to reproduce the original is something rarely seen in contemporary remakes. And by virtue of doing very little that's different, it does a whole lot right. — Scott Renshaw

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

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (PG-13)

It's fair to say that while Hallows 2.0 is far from a perfect piece of filmcraft, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves know exactly how to guide us through this final chapter. — Scott Renshaw

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The Help (PG-13)

Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, a Southern society girl returns from college determined to become a writer, but then she turns her friends' lives upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their adult lives taking care of prominent Southern families. — Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest

In Time (PG-13)

Welcome to a world where time has become the ultimate currency. You stop aging at 25, but there's a catch: You're genetically engineered to live only one more year, unless you can buy your way out of it. — Not reviewed

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

The Lion King (G)

A chance to catch Walt Disney Pictures' 32nd animated film again. — Not reviewed

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*Margin Call (R)

The 2008 financial collapse was so large in scale, and so unfathomable to most people, that it practically begged for Hollywood's blustery mythmaking. Margin Call, written and directed by newcomer J.C. Chandor, thankfully resists the urge to go big even as it depicts the very moment when people at a fictional securities firm realize the error of their ways. — Justin Strout

Kimball's Peak Three

*Moneyball (PG-13)

What follows could have been a standard-issue "underdog sports team" tale, and in some sense, it is. But Moneyball takes angles on these components that are at times completely original, and at times so well-executed that they feel completely original. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Paranormal Activity 3 (R)

Two sisters try to make sense of the supernatural events they experienced as children. — Not reviewed

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

Puss in Boots (PG)

Puss in Boots takes arguably the best part of the last two Shrek movies, stretches it as thin as can be, and leaves us hating cats. Well, maybe not hating cats. But this movie plays like one of Puss' tired, well-worn boots — it feels used and recycled, with a few good kicks but really on its last leg. — Dan Hudak

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

Real Steel (PG-13)

A film set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech, Real Steel stars Hugh Jackman as Charlie Kenton, a washed-up fighter who lost his chance at a title when 2,000-pound, 8-foot-tall steel robots took over the ring. — Not reviewed

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

*Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13)

Escapism isn't about what happens on the screen, but what happens to us: You want to lose yourself in a movie. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the essence of the summer flick, and this is how you do it. — MaryAnn Johanson

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The Smurfs (PG)

A hybrid live-action and animated family comedy. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, they're forced through a portal and into our world. They must find a way home. — Not reviewed

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Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG)

Marissa Cortez Wilson's world turns upside down when the Timekeeper threatens to take over the planet and she is called back into action by the OSS. — Not reviewed

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The Thing (R)

Not everything needs to be explained — we're talking about frozen aliens in Antarctica, after all — but it is anyway. The end result is that there's no mystery in The Thing. — Anders Wright

Carmike 10

The Three Musketeers (PG-13)

If Alexandre Dumas wrote a Resident Evil movie, this would be it. This is a terrible, terrible movie: It cheats; it's flat and empty; and it ends with the threat of a sequel. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Tower Heist (PG-13)

I'm truly stunned by how much I love Tower Heist. But delightedly so. Seriously, see this movie and ask yourself why more big, silly entertainments can't be this smart. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

*A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (R)

Of course, there are moments where the jokes don't work, and even though it clocks in at just 90 minutes, the buzz feels like it's wearing off in the movie's later stages. But the movie succeeds by remaining sweet as a sugarplum, and dank as best buds can be. — Anders Wright

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

The Way (PG-13)

Tom is an American doctor who goes to France following the death of his adult son, killed in the Pyrenees during a storm while walking The Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James. — Not reviewed

Kimball's Peak Three

What's Your Number (R)

Ally Darling, an offbeat young woman, decides after hitting the un-magical number of 20 lovers, to revisit all her ex-boyfriends in hopes of finding the man of her dreams. — Not reviewed

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Zookeeper (PG)

Kevin James stars as a lovelorn zookeeper who gets a little help from his animal buddies in order to find a mate. — Not reviewed

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