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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

The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day (R)

If I didn't know better, I'd have guessed that The Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day was meant to be some sort of attempt at parody. It's an orgy of sexualized violence that's both riotously awful and simultaneously vile with no point except to give itself something to jerk off to. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

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

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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

*Fantastic Mr. Fox (PG)

Wes Anderson directs this stop-motion animated adaptation of Roald Dahl's 1970 children's novel. It's a surprisingly adult-ish film featuring George Clooney voicing the title role and Meryl Streep as his no-less-fantastic wife. — Jeff Sneider

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

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

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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)

In 2004 Baghdad,

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 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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The Men Who Stare at Goats (R)

Reporter Bob Wilton 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

Tinseltown

Ninja Assassin (R)

A man who was taken from the streets as a youth and raised to be a killer by a secret clan, frees himself after the murder of his friend, and waits for a chance for revenge. — Not reviewed

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

Old Dogs (PG)

Robin Williams and John Travolta star as middle-aged bachelors who unexpectedly find themselves in charge of 6-year-old twins while in the midst of the most important business deal of their careers. — Not reviewed

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

*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 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 in to 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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