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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

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

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

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

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

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

A team of elite soldiers must take on a dangerous group known as Cobra, which is led by a nefarious weapons dealer. — 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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*The Hurt Locker (R)

Set in Baghdad in 2004, The Hurt Locker follows a fictional U.S. Army bomb squad, whose members are formally known as Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians, and casually known as the bravest sons of bitches you can imagine. — Jonathan Kiefer

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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 Informant! (R)

Aren't we due for a great black comedy about white-collar crime? The Informant! isn't it. — Jonathan Kiefer

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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

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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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Love Happens (PG-13)

After a widower 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

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The Men Who Stare at Goats (R)

Reporter Bob Wilton finds himself distraught after his wife leaves him. Determined to throw himself into his work, he heads to the Middle East to find a story in the Iraq war, but uncovers a U.S. military operation created to develop soldiers with psychic abilities. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Hollywood Interquest

Michael Jackson's This Is It (PG)

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

Chapel Hills 15

*Pirate Radio (R)

Pirate Radio is set in 1966, when British radio stations didn't carry rock 'n roll. It's also set on a seafaring broadcast operation, with an assortment of deejays-at-sea that fill the recipe for great comedy. — Scott Renshaw

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

Ponyo (G)

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

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*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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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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*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. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

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