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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

*50/50 (R)

As stridently as the comedy-drama 50/50 works to avoid sentimentality, it manages to be more than a collection of caustic anecdotes because of how committed Joseph Gordon-Levitt is to his character's humanity. Which makes it all the more frustrating that 50/50 is merely good instead of great. — Scott Renshaw

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

Abduction (PG-13)

The film focuses on a youth who discovers the parents who raised him aren't his real folks, a revelation that triggers events and leaves him running for his life. — Not reviewed

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

Bad Teacher (R)

After being dumped by her current boyfriend, a foul-mouthed, gold-digging seventh-grade teacher sets her sights on a colleague who is 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

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Cars 2 (G)

It felt like Pixar promised us that it would remain grounded in something more vital than the sparkle and speed of contemporary computer-generated movie-making. But with Cars 2, it feels as though that promise has been broken. — Scott Renshaw

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*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, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Courageous (PG-13)

As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, David Thomson and Shane Fuller are confident and focused. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, 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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Dolphin Tale (PG)

The amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. — Not reviewed

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

Dream House (PG-13)

A suspense thriller about a family that unknowingly moves into a home where grisly murders were committed only to find themselves the killer's next target. — Not reviewed

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

Drive (R)

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

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Faust: Live from the Royal Opera House (NR)

Faust, an aging philosopher, trades his soul to the Devil in exchange for youth and the love of the beautiful Marguerite. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Final Destination 5 (R)

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

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Friends With Benefits (R)

This film tries to make fun of rom-com conventions and subvert them, but then ends up in the same place that all rom-coms end up. It's a nice idea, but when you veer too far off course, everything is bound to crumble, and it does. — Dan Hudak

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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, Picture Show

The Help (PG-13)

Set in Mississippi in the '60s, 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 lives taking care of prominent southern families. — Not reviewed

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)

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

Chapel Hills 15

Killer Elite (R)

Every Jason Statham flick is the same. Is the action any fun? Not even. Newbie director Gary McKendry doesn't know much about staging an interesting fight. He does love him some metaphors, though. — MaryAnn Johanson

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

*Moneyball (PG-13)

Based on the real-life story of turning around the Oakland A's, it could have been a standard-issue "underdog sports team" tale, and in some sense, it is. But Moneyball takes angles on these components that are at times completely original, and at times so well-executed that they feel completely original. — Scott Renshaw

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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*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

Tinseltown

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 and into our world. They must find a way home. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

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

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*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 new movie is entertaining, engrossing and inspiring. — Anders Wright

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

What's Your Number (R)

Ally Darling, an offbeat young woman, decides after hitting the un-magical number of 20 lovers, that she will embark on a mission to re-visit all her ex-boyfriends in the hopes of finding the man of her dreams. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, 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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