Movie Picks 

click to enlarge Hugh Grant stars in About a Boy, opening this week
  • Hugh Grant stars in About a Boy, opening this week

Changing Lanes (R)
Changing Lanes isn't a masterpiece of filmmaking -- and its answers come a little bit too easily -- but for a product of the Hollywood studio system, it does a much better job than most at showing the moral ambiguity and complexity possible in one crazy, messed up, very bad day. Both Ben Affleck and Samuel L Jackson are strong in the film, although Jackson outshines the newbie by quite a margin, and a compelling supporting cast backs them up. -- Andrea Lucard

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Deuces Wild (R)
Described as "West Side Story without the music," this film's about a gang war in Brooklyn, 1958, the year the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

High Crimes (PG-13)
While Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd repeat their successful screen chemistry after Kiss the Girls (1997), the narrative twist that concludes High Crimes comes as a reprehensibly cheap device that perverts the film's scathing commentary on the U.S. military and its terribly flawed military court system. I've never seen anything like it in the more than 4,000 movies I've seen -- and I hope I never see it again. -- Cole Smithey


*Ice Age (PG)
Ice Age eschews the inside adult humor that infiltrates so many other animated children's movies. Where movies like Shrek attempt to cater to adult audiences with not-so-subtle sexual innuendo and overloaded pop-culture cross-referencing, Ice Age stays the course of its genre's Bugs Bunny slapstick humor. Although the actors recorded their parts separately, there's chemistry between the cartoon characters that plays like a symphony of toy instruments playing a well-rehearsed Duke Ellington tune. -- Cole Smithey

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Joshua (G)
A stranger named Joshua arrives in a small town, gets a job working as a carpenter, and proceeds to perform acts that appear to be miracles, leading many of the locals to suspect that he may be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Life, or Something Like It (PG-13)
When reporter Lanie Kerrigan interviews a psychic homeless man for a fluff piece about a football game's score, he tells her that her life has no meaning, and it's going to end in just a few days ... Starring Angelina Jolie and Edward Burns. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Murder by Numbers (R)
Two gifted high-school students commit a series of "perfect murders" and engage in a battle of wits with the detective who's hot on their trail. Starring Sandra Bullock, Ryan Gosling and Michael Pitt. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The New Guy (PG-13)
After a few years of being the "uncool kid," a high school student (played by DJ Qualls) gets himself expelled and ends up in prison. While there, his cellmate gives him some tips on how to remake his image. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Panic Room (R)
Panic Room seems to be more of a failed film-school exercise in pure plot than a look at fear, our need for security, our national obsession with surveillance, class differences, and a host of other things it could've been. -- Noel Black

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Rookie (G)
Based on the true story of high-school science teacher and baseball coach Jim Morris, who joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at the age of 35 after making a deal with his high school team: If they make the playoffs, he'll try out for the major league. Starring Dennis Quaid and Rachel Griffiths. -- Not reviewed

Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

The Scorpion King (PG-13)
Action/horror film about a peasant in ancient Egypt who exacts revenge on a marauding army who pillaged his village ... and eventually becomes known as the Scorpion King, the First Pharoah of Egypt. -- Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Spider-Man (PG-13)
One of this movie's central moral taglines is: "With great power comes great responsibility." Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) passes along ye olde wisdom as Peter (Tobey Maguire) begins to discover his superpowers after being bitten by a genetically mutated spider (you know the story, hopefully). It's fine and dandy to ask superheroes to uphold this axiom, but how about studio executives, producers and directors? From the script to the editing and acting, everything is just ... just so enh. Computers have rendered the charming reality of human error obsolete, making this film feel just too sterile. There are some clever cameos and campy nods to film history, but unfortunately, overall Spider-Man just doesn't pack a punch. Pow. Bam. -- Noel Black

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills, Cinemark 16, Cinemark IMAX Theater, Tinseltown

Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (G)
Matt Damon narrates this story of an untamed horse in the wild West, who's captured by the cavalry, broken and becomes a mount. Told from the viewpoint of the horse. -- Not reviewed

Cinemark IMAX

*Y Tu Mama Tabien (R)
Like Amores Perros (now on video and DVD), Y Tu Mama takes an empathetic, but unflinching look at the complexities of Mexican society, and succeeds by doing it through a timeless and sexually complex coming-of-age story. Masterfully executed are the highly charged and erotically explicit sex scenes that crack open every taboo in the book including premature ejaculation, homosexuality, and having sex with your best friend's girlfriend, "y tu mama tambien,"... and your mother too. -- Noel Black

Kimball's Twin Peak


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