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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*Amelia (PG)

The Earhart of Amelia (played by Hilary Swank) is fully formed as a role model from the very first moment, and so she remains all the way through to the end (and beyond). — Jonathan Kiefer

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

Astro Boy (PG)

Dr. Tenma (the voice of Nicolas Cage) is the scientific genius of Metro City, when his boy, Toby, is killed in an accident and Tenma builds a robot version of the boy. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant (PG-13)

There's more than a hint of juvenile wishful thinking to the tale here: Wouldn't it be, like, super-cool if you could get away from boring ol' school and boring ol' adolescence by becoming a vampire and running away to join a freak show? — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs (PG)

This animated adventure is based on the popular children's book about a village where food, rather than rain, falls from the heavens. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16

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

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

The Final Destination (R)

After a teenager's vision helps prevent a fatal car accident, Death comes looking to claim those who got away. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

G-Force (PG)

Guinea pigs, specially trained as high-tech spies through a secret government program, embark on a mission to save the planet. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (PG-13)

A team of elite soldiers takes on a dangerous group known as Cobra, which is led by a nefarious weapons dealer. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*The Hangover (R)

Three groomsmen get so wrecked at a Vegas bachelor party that they lose their memories and their groom. — Jonathan Kiefer

Picture Show

*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 mostly 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

Picture Show

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG)

This time out, Manny the mammoth is about to be a dad, but complications ensue as Diego the tiger beings to feel left out, and Sid the sloth adopts some dinosaur eggs. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

Inglourious Basterds (R)

Quentin Tarantino's "Basterds" comprise a squad of Jewish soldiers behind enemy lines in occupied France. Serious Holocaust Drama this is not. It's more like a smug, glamorous, violently inclined cartoon. — Jonathan Kiefer

Picture Show

Law Abiding Citizen (R)

A decade after the murders of his wife and daughter, a man seeks his own vengeance against the killer. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Love Happens (PG-13)

After a widower (Aaron Eckhart) writes a bestselling book on dealing with loss, he finds himself falling for a woman (Jennifer Aniston) he meets at one of his seminars. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Michael Jackson's This Is It (PG)

This music documentary about Michael Jackson features rehearsals for the London tour that never happened, behind-the-scenes moments, and other footage of the pop star. — Not reviewed

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

*Paranormal Activity (R)

Katie and Micah are a young couple who suspect the presence of a supernatural being in their house, one that first started haunting Katie when she was 8. The film teases, it terrorizes and it will burn images in your brain that will freak you out for days afterward. — Tricia Olszewski

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Ponyo (G)

This animated film from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), tells the story of a young boy and his goldfish who dreams of becoming a princess. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*The Proposal (PG-13)

An editor-in-chief (Sandra Bullock)at a New York publishing house enlists her long-suffering assistant (Ryan Reynolds) for a marriage of convenience when her work visa is about to expire. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

Saw VI (R)

Sneak preview: In this sixth installment of the slasher/horror franchise, Agent Strahm has died and Detective Hoffman stands to carry on Jigsaw's grand scheme. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

A Serious Man (R)

This is the story of a schlemiel who hopes to be a mensch, but only suffers for his efforts. Is the suffering his fault? His family's? His neighbors'? Hashem's? No, it's the Coen brothers'. — Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Peak Three

*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

Picture Show

The Stepfather (PG-13)

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

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13)

Henry DeTamble suffers from a genetic anomaly that causes him to become displaced in time, at random moments he can't control. People and events important to him draw him like gravity. This is science fiction that really knows what sci-fi is all about: what it means to be human. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

*Up (PG)

Elderly curmudgeon Carl (Edward Asner) launches his house into the air with a massive cascade of balloons and a plan to head on an adventure to a South American jungle. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

*Where the Wild Things Are (PG)

You could argue that Where the Wild Things Are is the most ambitious film ever inspired by a short picture-book — but that sentiment doesn't do justice to this prickly, hilarious, devastatingly emotional work of art. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Zombieland (R)

The flesh-eating undead are not every movie-goer's taste. But skipping this zombie flick will mean missing one of the funniest American comedies of 2009. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

  • Our reviewers' recommendations for films playing around the area.

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