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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

African Cats (G)

The story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother's strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a once banished lion. — Not reviewed

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Battle: Los Angeles (PG)

What were once just sightings will become a terrifying reality when Earth is attacked by unknown forces. — Not reviewed

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*Bridesmaids (R)

In plenty of ways, the film sticks to a successful Apatow formula. The story structure is never so rigid that it won't allow room for freelancing a randomly (and hilariously) off-color conversation. The dialogue snaps with intelligence, and while belly laughs are the meat on the menu, there's a sentimental side. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Fast Five (PG-13)

Maybe I'm just getting too old for this, but I'm tired of seeing people who do bad championed as heroes merely because the bad they do isn't that bad. — MaryAnn Johanson

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*The First Grader (PG-13)

Once you learn the true story behind The First Grader as well as the commendable manner in which it was filmed, it's unavoidable to feel even more fondness for an already lovable movie. — Matthew Schniper

Kimball's Peak Three

Green Lantern (PG-13)

Each sector of space is protected by a Green Lantern, possessing a power ring that uses a powerful green energy to do anything within the limits of the user's imagination and will power. When the Green Lantern assigned to this sector of space finds himself dying on planet Earth, he tells the ring to find a suitable successor. — Not reviewed

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

The Hangover Part II (R)

Generally, it feels exactly like a script that was thrown together quickly to capitalize on an unexpected success, duplicating the execution — and the flaws — of the first. — Scott Renshaw

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

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil (PG)

This sequel finds our heroine training with a mysterious covert group called the Sisters of the Hood. But, Red is forced to cut her training short when she gets an urgent call from Nicky Flippers. — Not reviewed

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Hop (PG)

A comedy about E.B., the teenage son of the Easter Bunny. On the eve of taking over the family business, E.B. leaves for Hollywood in pursuit of his dream of becoming a drummer. — Not reviewed

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Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (PG)

This summer, third grader Judy Moody is planning the most super-duper, double-rare summer vacation ever with best friends Rocky and Amy. Except that it turns out Rocky is going to circus camp to learn to tame lions, and Amy is headed off to Borneo. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

Kung Fu Panda 2 (PG)

Po is now living his dream as the Dragon Warrior. But his new life of awesomeness is threatened by the emergence of a formidable villain, who plans to use a secret, unstoppable weapon to conquer China and destroy kung fu. — Not reviewed

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

*The Lincoln Lawyer (R)

The Lincoln Lawyer features a completely different Matthew McConaughey. He's gaunt, mature and compelling in this enthralling, gritty crime drama from young director Brad Furman. — Justin Strout

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*Midnight in Paris (PG-13)

The film is a nicely executed, clever idea, if neither as groundbreaking nor as intelligent as Woody Allen's earlier work. — Anders Wright

Kimball's Peak Three

Mr. Popper's Penguins (PG)

This material deserved the Big Fish treatment, something with scope and intimacy, absurdist flourishes and a warm palette. Instead, the new film starring Jim Carrey, isn't an adaptation, it's a crime scene. — Justin Strout

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

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (PG-13)

The creative team seems to have learned little from the mistakes of the past. The attempt to give Jack Sparrow a romantic subplot feels like a misunderstanding of the character's nature, and there's never a genuine spark between Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Rango (PG-13)

Rango isn't just a great feature-length cartoon: It's effortlessly the best movie of 2011 so far, and it's the best Western in ages. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Rio (G)

Blu thinks he's the last of his kind, but when he learns about another Macaw who lives in Rio de Janeiro, he heads to the faraway and exotic land to find Jewel, his female counterpart. — Not reviewed

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Something Borrowed (PG-13)

Rachel is a talented attorney at a top New York law firm, a generous and loyal friend and, unhappily, still single, until one night when she ends up in the bed of the guy she's had a crush on since law school. — Not reviewed

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Soul Surfer (PG)

The true story of teen surfer Bethany Hamilton, who lost her arm in a shark attack and overcame all odds to become a champion again. — Not reviewed

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Source Code (PG-13)

Where the whole endeavor could have been kinda OK but not really all that great, it ends up being distasteful, and idiotic for not realizing it. — MaryAnn Johanson

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Super 8 (PG-13)

When J.J. Abrams gets away from the strengths of his own story, he turns it into something merely pretty good, instead of the kind of movie other filmmakers will be referencing a generation from now. — Scott Renshaw

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

*Thor (PG-13)

Thor shows that director Kenneth Branagh grasps these fundamental realities: He nails a unique tone, and he has a lead actor who understands how to play a god. — Scott Renshaw

Tinseltown

Water for Elephants (PG-13)

During the Great Depression, Jacob, a penniless and recently orphaned veterinary school student, parlays his expertise with animals into a job with a second-rate traveling circus. — Not reviewed

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*X-Men: First Class (PG-13)

It's not Shakespeare — silly inner fangirl — but, as breezy, thoughtful summer comic-book movies go, it's damn close. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

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

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