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Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

The Adventures of Tintin (PG)

Visually, Tintin offers an exponential leap in the potential for motion-capture adventure, with action set pieces. But there are vacant human spaces in the center. It's like Raiders of the Lost Ark, if Indiana Jones had been played by Taylor Lautner. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15

Albert Nobbs (R)

Glenn Close stars as the titular character, a woman passing as a male waiter at an upscale hotel in 19th-century Dublin. Overall, the film is as stilted as the hotel's service. — Tricia Olszewski

Kimball's Peak Three

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (G)

After surviving the sinking of their cruise ship, Alvin, Simon and Theodore must survive on a Polynesian island. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*The Artist (PG-13)

The Artist is at turns funny, heartbreaking, thrilling and a visual marvel with only the aid of Ludovic Bource's sublime score to guide our reactions. The film is art that stands on its own, a reflective surface of some of cinema's best ideas. — Justin Strout

Hollywood Interquest, Kimball's Peak Three, Tinseltown

Beauty and the Beast (G)

A chance to catch Walt Disney Pictures' 30th animated film on the big screen once again. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Contraband (R)

Chris Farraday long ago abandoned his life of crime, but after his brother-in-law, Andy, botches a drug deal, Chris is forced back in. — Not reviewed

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

*The Descendants (R)

The film is an almost dirge-like story about grief, but so much more than that. George Clooney plays Matt King, a Hawaiian real-estate baron; it's a triumph for all, especially the audience. — Justin Strout

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest

The Devil Inside (R)

In 1989, emergency responders received a 9-1-1 call from Maria Rossi confessing that she had brutally killed three people. Twenty years later, her daughter Isabella seeks to understand the truth about what happened that night. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10

Dolphin Tale (PG)

Swimming free, a young dolphin is caught in a crab trap, severely damaging her tail. This is the amazing true story of a brave dolphin and the compassionate strangers who banded together to save her life. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (PG-13)

The tale of a boy's (Thomas Horn) search across New York City for a key left in a lock-box by his father (Tom Hanks), who was killed by the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (R)

The mood is by turns brooding and cheeky, the method technically exacting, the temperature not warm. The movie works briskly through its sadistic cycle of brutal violence, a very dark space in which actors lurk and give off glints of their charisma. — Jonathan Kiefer

Tinseltown

The Grey (R)

The plane carrying an unruly group of oil-rig roughnecks crashes into the remote Alaskan wilderness. Battling mortal injuries and merciless weather, the survivors have only a few days to escape the icy elements — and a vicious pack of rogue wolves on the hunt — before their time runs out. — Not reviewed

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

Happy Feet Two (PG)

Weirdness, as Rango proved, isn't an automatic deal-breaker when it comes to animated features. But nothing here coheres in a meaningful way. It's all a big pile of crazy, with no one scooping up after it. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

Haywire (R)

In an electrifying tale of espionage and betrayal, a female covert operations specialist, who works in the deadly world of international operatives, strikes back after discovering she's been double-crossed by someone close to her in the agency. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Hugo (PG)

Hugo is about both the dreamers and the keepers, and a masterful clarion call for new ones like them, from a man (Martin Scorsese) who's been both. It's a deeply personal animated film that doesn't preach, and a majestic love letter to the cinema. — Justin Strout

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Immortals (R)

Immortals is pretty much completely bonkers — that is its secret and its glory. It's sort of about mad King Hyperion, but what's important here isn't what's going on, but how what is going on is presented. The style is substantial, the meat of the meal here. And it is hugely intriguing. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

The Iron Lady (PG-13)

The film waffles too much over what to do with Margaret Thatcher, and spends too much time on the seemingly obligatory montages of rioting laborers, soldiers in the Falklands and other events of the time. Meryl Streep's presence guarantees you won't doubt for a moment that you've seen the story of Thatcher; the rest of the film can't decide what that story is. — Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Peak Three, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

J. Edgar (R)

Clint Eastwood directs Leonardo DiCaprio as one of America's most polarizing figures. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

Jack and Jill (PG)

Family man Jack (Adam Sandler) must deal with his twin sister, Jill, when she visits for Thanksgiving and then will not leave. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Joyful Noise (PG-13)

The small town of Pacashau, Ga., has fallen on hard times, but the people are counting on the Divinity Church Choir to lift their spirits by winning the National Joyful Noise Competition. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Man on a Ledge (R)

An ex-cop turned con threatens to jump to his death from a Manhattan hotel rooftop, and the NYPD dispatches a female police psychologist to talk him down. However, unbeknownst to the police on the scene, the suicide attempt is cover for the biggest diamond heist ever pulled. — Not reviewed

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

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol (PG-13)

A bomb destroys the Kremlin and the IMF is blamed. Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team must unravel the conspiracy. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

New Year's Eve (PG-13)

New Year's Eve is a unique movie experience — as unique as it gets from director Garry Marshall and screenwriter Katherine Fugate, who subjected us to Valentine's Day just 20 months ago. But basically, the ball drops and, unfortunately, everyone involved in the making of this movie was not beneath it. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

One for the Money (PG-13)

Desperate for some fast cash, born-and-bred Jersey girl Stephanie Plum turns to her last resort: convincing her sleazy cousin to give her a job at his bail bonding company ... as a recovery agent. — Not reviewed

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

Paranormal Activity 3 (R)

Two sisters try to make sense of the supernatural events they experienced as children. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Puss in Boots (PG)

Puss in Boots takes arguably the best part of the last two Shrek movies, stretches it as thin as can be, and leaves us hating cats. — Dan Hudak

Picture Show

Real Steel (PG-13)

Hugh Jackman, in a story set in the near-future, where the sport of boxing has gone hi-tech. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Red Tails (PG-13)

A story highlighting the heroic contributions to the World War II effort by the Tuskegee Airmen, the first African-American military pilots in the U.S. armed forces. Produced by George Lucas, it stars Cuba Gooding Jr. and Terrence Howard. — Not reviewed

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

*Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (PG-13)

Guy Ritchie's latest installment is fun, witty and, perhaps most shocking of all, occasionally restrained. It's more satisfying than its predecessor. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Sitter (R)

Jonah Hill has a wild night to remember when he agrees to babysit three challenging kids. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*Tower Heist (PG-13)

I'm truly stunned by how much I love Tower Heist. But delightedly so. Seriously, see this movie and ask yourself why more big, silly entertainments can't be this smart. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (PG-13)

Bella and Edward, plus those they love, must deal with the chain of consequences brought on by a marriage, honeymoon and the tumultuous birth of a child. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Underworld: Awakening (R)

After awakening from a 15-year coma, Selene discovers that she now has a 14-year-old vampire-Lycan hybrid daughter. — Not reviewed

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

War Horse (PG)

War Horse boasts plenty of terrific individual scenes, but Spielberg falls back on his old bag of tricks to make sure we grasp Significance: his trademark slow zoom-in; under-the-chin hero shots; glorious landscapes set to John Williams' music. — Scott Renshaw

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

We Bought a Zoo (PG)

Let's face it, when you take your family to the zoo, safe and predictable is exactly what you're looking for. It isn't, however, what you look for in a Cameron Crowe movie. — Anders Wright

Tinseltown

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

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