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Movie Picks 

Bad News Bears (PG-13)
See page 37 for a full review.

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Batman Begins (PG-13)
Christopher Nolan's remarkable re-invention of the Batman franchise, rescued from the campy influences of the '60s television series and the various movie incarnations of the last two decades, is amazing. Christian Bale's Bruce/Batman is delightfully dark and tortured. The supporting performances are uniformly strong, including those of an almost unrecognizable Gary Oldman as Lt. James Gordon, the only good cop in Gotham, and of Morgan Freeman as Lucius Fox, a veteran inventor buried in the bowels of Wayne Enterprises who helps outfit and equip the newborn Batman.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Tinseltown

*Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (PG)
First understand: This is a revision, not a remake. Cast presumptive likenesses to 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory to the wind, and let the movies exist as separate entities. To wide-eyed perfection, Freddie Highmore plays Charlie Bucket, a jug-eared boy who lives with his poor parents and his four bed-ridden grandparents in an absurdly ramshackle house in London. Swoon-star Depp is as odd as they come as Wonka. At times appearing intensely determined and, at others, going massively broad, he recalls the way he played Hunter S. Thompson. Director Tim Burton both remains true to Roald Dahl's book and departs wildly from it. Charlie's conclusion tosses some loops -- especially for Wonka -- to create what ultimately is a satisfying twist. Though Charlie isn't all cotton-candy fluff, it's mostly exciting, mindless fun. -- Kara Luger

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

*Cinderella Man (PG-13)
Ron Howard again teams up with screenwriter Akiva Goldman (A Beautiful Mind) and actor Russell Crowe to tell the tale of "Irish Jim" Braddock's descent into poverty at the height of the Depression and his ultimate triumph in the ring over ruthless heavyweight champion Max Baer. Where Rocky had the crowd cheering for the punch-drunk palooka from Nowheresville, Cinderella Man leaves the audience smiling and satisfied, though not particularly stimulated.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

Chapel Hills 15

Dark Water (PG-13)
Jennifer Connelly stars as a single mother who realizes she and her daughter may not be so safe in their apartment. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

The Devil's Rejects (R)
This new film written and directed by Rob Zombie is a sequel to House of 1000 Corpses. Several of the Firefly family members escape and go on a murderous road trip with the law and bounty hunters on their tail. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Fantastic Four (PG-13)
A group of astronauts develops superpowers and proves that it is, indeed, clobbering time. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Forces of Nature (NR)
A National Geographic film showcasing earthquakes, volcanoes, severe storms and interviews with the scientists who study them. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16 IMAX

Guess Who (PG-13)
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Herbie: Fully Loaded (G)
Chapel Hills 15

*Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (PG)
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House of Wax (R)
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*Hustle and Flow (R)
See page 37 for a full review.

Carmike 10, Tinseltown

The Island (PG-13)
Lincoln Six-Echo (Ewan McGregor) is a resident of a utopian 21st-century facility who finds out that he is a clone to be harvested for spare parts. He and Jordan Two-Delta (Scarlett Johansson) escape and race to meet their makers before they are caught. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Kicking and Screaming (PG)
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*Ladies in Lavender (PG-13)
For his directorial debut, British actor Charles Dance rescued a volume of short stories by obscure author William Locke and became entranced with the tale of the Widdington sisters, Janet and Ursula, and a young Polish musician who washes up on the shore below their Cornwall home. Maggie Smith's Janet is solid and unshakable, a capable big sister to dreamy Ursula, whose childlike qualities are tenderly portrayed by Judi Dench. Ladies in Lavender provides a splendid audience with two of the world's great actors. -- Kathryn Eastburn

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Lords of Dogtown (PG-13)
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Madagascar (PG)
This children's computer-animated comedy is packed with madcap humor and outlandish acrobatics at breakneck speed, following the adventures of four animals that live in New York's Central Park Zoo. The storyline never quite comes together in a stirring way, and lacks the same satisfying emotional punch that made Finding Nemo a classic. On the positive side, the action and comedy percolate to make up for some of what the film misses. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

March of the Penguins (G)
This documentary follows the annual journey of Emperor penguins as they march, single file, to their traditional breeding ground in Antarctica. Featuring Morgan Freeman as a narrator. -- Not reviewed

Kimball's Twin Peak

*Millions (PG)
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Monster-in-Law (PG-13)
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*Mr. and Mrs. Smith (PG-13)
Though it's 30 minutes too long (at two hours) and more closely resembles a television miniseries than a movie, Mr. and Mrs. Smith is a snarky romantic comedy disguised as an ultra-violent action thriller, starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. -- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Must Love Dogs (PG-13)
A forty-something divorcee looks to the personals for a change of pace and a relationship. Starring Diane Lane, John Cusack, Elizabeth Perkins, Christopher Plummer, Dermot Mulroney and Stockard Channing. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Pacifier (PG)
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The Perfect Man (PG)
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Rebound (PG)
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Robots (PG)

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Sharks 3-D (NR)
Cinemark 16 IMAX

*Star Wars: Episode III -- Revenge of the Sith (PG-13)
Despite more of the same lousy acting and poor character ideas that marred I and II (the prequels to the well-loved trilogy), Sith wins in the end due to its unrelenting dark vision. When it comes to commanding believable acting and penning good dramatic transitions, Lucas has a wooden heart. As for the showdown between Anakin and Obi-Wan, all there is to say is that it's worth seeing on the big screen.

-- Dan Wilcock

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Tugger: The Jeep Who Wanted to Fly (G)
An animated film about a Jeep who, after being injured in WWII, has his engine fan replaced with a real airplane propellor. The Jeep is then convinced that he was meant to fly. Starring James Belushi and Carrot Top. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Unleashed (R)
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War of the Worlds (PG-13)
Beyond the glitzy surface of expensive special effects and superstar actors, Steven Spielberg's newest blockbuster boils down to one message: Only the strong (and maybe the lucky) survive. Dakota Fanning is the star of the chase, as Tom Cruise's daughter Rachel, her wonderfully expressive face registering terror and resolve as she and her dad slog through pulsating alien slime pools. Cruise wears his usual jocko mask, but luckily it doesn't matter much who is playing the role of Ray. We quickly learn he's just another pitiful human clawing to get by. -- Dan Wilcock

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Wedding Crashers (R)
John (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy (Vince Vaughn), are a pair of best buddies in Washington D.C. who have learned the secret of picking up women by posing as party guests at weddings. The first half of Wedding Crashers is inspired enough that even its late loss of momentum can't completely spoil its pleasures, but it's disappointing to see yet another contender for the lowbrow throne brought down by its lack of resolve. -- Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films showing on Colorado Springs area screens.

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