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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

30 Minutes or Less (R)

Director Ruben Fleischer, a former reality-show writer, is hardly the only culpable party in this wreck, in which Nick (Jesse Eisenberg), an overgrown pizza boy, is mugged and forced to wear a vest full of dynamite until he successfully robs a bank. — Justin Strout

Chapel Hills 15

Apollo 18 (PG-13)

In December of 1974, two American astronauts were sent on a secret mission to the moon funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. What you are about to see is the actual footage which the astronauts captured on that mission. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Bad Teacher (R)

Dumped by her boyfriend, a foul-mouthed, gold-digging seventh-grade teacher sets her sights on a colleague dating the school's model teacher. — Not reviewed

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Captain America: The First Avenger (PG-13)

This is a WWII-set comic book adventure about a once-meek U.S. soldier turned hero thanks to an experimental super serum that grants strength and agility far beyond that of a normal human being. — Not reviewed

Tinseltown

*Contagion (PG-13)

This is no mere disaster movie; it's a meticulous doomsday scenario imagined by someone with a clear need to visualize the worst as a salve to his anxiety. — Justin Strout

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

Cowboys & Aliens (PG-13)

Neither homage nor satire, it's more like a brainstormed shorthand checklist of plot points and payoffs. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*The Debt (R)

This thriller fleshes out a great scenario with fresh action beats, some killer acting and interplay between Jessica Chastain and Helen Mirren. — Justin Strout

Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

*Don't Be Afraid of the Dark (R)

The haunted-house thriller sometimes feels like a lost art. But like Insidious earlier this year, Don't Be Afraid of the Dark is a triumph of mood and tone that dutifully holds us in suspense until the very end. — Dan Hudak

Tinseltown

Drive (R)

Drive is a movie about sexy people and cars. Or maybe not cars, but the experience of being in them, with sexy people. It's ridiculous, but differently than you might expect — neither all that fast nor especially furious. — Jonathan Kiefer

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

Final Destination 5 (R)

Death makes a killing in the next installment of this horror series. — Not reviewed

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*The Guard (R)

Even when the movie ends in a hail of violence, you don't know whether you're being played by the cop in question, a bad man in the eyes of society, but who is good at the end of the day. And that is exactly how they want it. — Anders Wright

Kimball's Peak Three

*Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (PG-13)

It's fair to say that while Hallows 2.0 is far from a perfect piece of filmcraft, director David Yates and screenwriter Steve Kloves know exactly how to guide us through this final chapter. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15

The Help (PG-13)

Set in Mississippi in the 1960s, a southern society girl returns from college determined to become a writer, but turns her friends' lives upside down when she decides to interview the black women who have spent their adult lives taking care of prominent southern families. — Not reviewed

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

*Horrible Bosses (R)

Horrible Bosses is a rarity in that the story holds together throughout while just about every joke, quip, one-liner and physical gag works. — Dan Hudak

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I Don't Know How She Does It (PG-13)

This is the tale of a Boston-based working mother (Sarah Jessica Parker) trying desperately to juggle marriage, children and a high-stress job. — Not reviewed

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

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The Lion King (G)

A chance to catch Walt Disney Picture's 32nd animated film again, in theaters for two weeks only. — Not reviewed

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

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

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

The creative team seems to have learned little from the mistakes of the past, while adding new ones. 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

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*Rise of the Planet of the Apes (PG-13)

Escapism isn't about what happens on the screen, but what happens to us: You want to lose yourself in a movie. Rise of the Planet of the Apes is the essence of the summer flick, and this is how you do it. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Seven Days in Utopia (G)

The film follows the story of Luke Chisolm, a talented young golfer. When his first big shot turns out to be a very public disaster, Luke escapes the pressures of the game and finds himself unexpectedly stranded in Utopia, Texas, home to eccentric rancher Johnny Crawford. — Not reviewed

Tinseltown

Shark Night (PG-13)

Arriving by boat at her family's Louisiana lake island cabin, Sara and her friends quickly strip down to their swimsuits for a weekend of fun in the sun. The college friends soon discover the lake has been stocked with hundreds of massive, flesh-eating sharks. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

The Smurfs (PG)

A hybrid live-action and animated family comedy. When the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, they're forced through a portal into our world, and must find a way home. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (PG)

Marissa Cortez Wilson's world turns upside down when the Timekeeper threatens to take over the planet and she is called back into action by the OSS. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest

Straw Dogs (R)

David and Amy Summer, a Hollywood screenwriter and his actress wife, return to her small hometown in the deep South to prepare the family home for sale after her father's death. Once there, tensions build in their marriage and old conflicts re-emerge. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*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

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Transformers: Dark of the Moon (PG-13)

Dark of the Moon is yet another Michael Bay movie in which any given 10 minutes would almost certainly be better as only three. — Scott Renshaw

Carmike 10, Picture Show

*Warrior (PG-13)

It should be easy to knock down Warrior, the new mixed martial-arts-themed film about two estranged brothers who face off in the cage for a winner-take-all prize. But despite the litany of sports-movie clichés, Gavin O'Connor's latest effort is entertaining, engrossing and actually even inspiring. — Anders Wright

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Zookeeper (PG)

Kevin James stars as a lovelorn zookeeper who gets a little help from his animal buddies in order to find a mate. — Not reviewed

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

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