Movie Picks 

*3:10 to Yuma (R)
A remake of the 1957 western, this solid adaptation of an Elmore Leonard short story stars Christian Bale and Russell Crowe on opposite sides of the law. Jeff Sneider Picture Show
*American Gangster (R)
Russell Crowe plays a rough-edged, working-class cop who's trying to better himself by studying law at night. Denzel Washington is a ruthless lord of the streets. And you can't forget them. Mary Ann Johanson Tinseltown
August Rush (PG)
Two musicians connect on a magical evening then are torn apart from the child that is born as a result, until he uses his own musical gifts to search for them. Not reviewed Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
Awake (R)
Awake is a sublimely awful suspense thriller made especially enjoyable by the wildly varied collection of talent taking one for the team. Unfortunately, no amount of Hayden Christensen's screaming can induce the slightest amount of fear. Cole Smithey Tinseltown
Bee Movie (PG)
Jerry Seinfeld provides the voice of Barry Benson, a bee just graduated from college in Hive City. The film boasts a fair number of funny individual jokes. What it lacks is any idea how to tie them all together. Scott Renshaw Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16
*Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (R)
These are awful people, but the characters of this film are so deliciously amoral that it's coolly insane fun to watch them implode. Watch as they plan to rob the strip-mall jewelry store run by their own parents. MaryAnn Johanson Kimball's Twin Peak
Beowulf (PG-13)
In this animated feature based on the epic poem, director Robert Zemeckis spent who-knows-how-many dollars in an attempt to perfectly simulate the human face. As he surely discovered too late in production, there is no number of cleverly drawn lines that can enliven what's dead. MaryAnn Johanson Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16 IMAX, Tinseltown
*The Bourne Ultimatum (PG-13)
The third installment in Bourne's story improves upon a franchise that just keeps getting better. The badass with a grudge may be an action-movie staple, but few play it with Matt Damon's resigned, single-minded determination. Scott Renshaw Picture Show
The Comebacks (PG-13)
This spoof of sports movies follows an unlucky football coach and his team of misfits who strive to make it to the championships. Not reviewed Picture Show
*Dan in Real Life (PG-13)
Steve Carell stars as an advice columnist in this film about family and it's about family in a more genuine way than most movies are able to manage. Jeff Sneider Tinseltown
Dragon Wars (PG-13)
Based on a legend from Korea, a man and a young girl try to save the planet from mythical creatures. Not reviewed Picture Show
*Enchanted (PG)
The sweet silliness of the collective Disney-animated, fairy-tale landscape meets the rough reality of Noo Yawk City? Why didn't someone think of this sooner? Enchanted can't go wrong. MaryAnn Johanson Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
Fred Claus (PG)
Vince Vaughn plays Santa's not-so-warm-and-fuzzy older brother as they are reunited at the North Pole. Not reviewed Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
The Golden Compass (PG-13)
You're probably aware some religious groups have worked themselves into a lather over The Golden Compass, armed with the knowledge author Philip Pullman is an avowed atheist. As it turns out, no one really needed to be quite so concerned ... The Golden Compass manages to make heterodoxy as boring as ass. Scott Renshaw Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
*Hairspray (PG)
There are sprigs of bitter irony, but, mostly, Hairspray wears its tender heart on its sleeve, singing itself hoarse on chipper tunes about being nice, being in love and being yourself no matter what anyone thinks. MaryAnn Johanson Picture Show
The Heartbreak Kid (R)
This comedic remake of 1972's The Heartbreak Kid follows a newlywed man (Ben Stiller) on his honeymoon, where he meets another woman who may be a better fit for him than his new wife. Not reviewed Picture Show
Hitman (R)
After becoming entangled in an international conspiracy, an assassin called Agent 47 finds himself being chased by Russian soldiers and Interpol agents in this film based on a video game character. Not reviewed Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
The Kingdom (R)
The bombing of Westerners living in Saudi Arabia leads an FBI agent to gather a special team to find the villainous mastermind behind the plot. Not reviewed Picture Show
*Lars and the Real Girl (PG-13)
It's debatable as to whether audiences are interested in a mature, adult film with a ridiculous, almost juvenile, premise about a man who falls in love with a life-size, anatomically correct silicone doll. But the truth is that this is one of the year's most pleasant surprises. Jeff Sneider Kimball's Twin Peak
*Martian Child (PG)
John Cusack plays a fiction writer who has adopted Dennis, a troubled 8-year-old who has created a fiction for himself, believing that he's "from Mars." This is, wonderfully, a smart and snappy yet never sappy portrait of a budding family. Mary Ann Johanson Picture Show
*The Mist (R)
The Mist, which Frank Darabont wrote and directed as an adaptation from a Stephen King novella, is not only one of the best movies of 2007, it's one of the best horror movies ever made. MaryAnn Johanson Tinseltown
Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium (G)
When the eccentric owner of a magical toy store (Dustin Hoffman) turns his store over to its manager (Natalie Portman), changes begin to take place. Not reviewed Tinseltown
*No Country for Old Men (R)
This tale begins with a simple man making a simple but stupid decision. He stumbles upon a heroin deal-turned-bloodbath with $2 million still at hand. When he grabs the money and runs, he immediately becomes the target of Anton Chigurh, a relentless killing machine. Scott Renshaw Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16
Noelle (PG)
A priest is sent to a small fishing town before Christmas intent on shutting down a shrinking parish and becomes wrapped up in the lives of the town's quirky residents with magical results. Not reviewed Tinseltown
Ratatouille (G)
For the most part, Ratatouille marks the first occasion where a Pixar film manages to get only the visual presentation right, while serving up a recipe we've sampled many times before. Scott Renshaw Picture Show
Resident Evil: Extinction (R)
Survivors of the apocalypse must cross the desert of Nevada and fight killer zombies and other creatures to avoid extinction. Not reviewedPicture Show
This Christmas (PG-13)
The Whitfield family celebrates their first Christmas holiday together after being apart for four years. Not reviewed Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown
Underdog (PG)
Based on the classic cartoon series, this live-action film stars Shoeshine, a crime-fighting dog with superpowers. Not reviewed Picture Show
What Would Jesus Buy? (PG)
This new Morgan Spurlock-produced flick, in which the Reverend Billy character attempts to "save Christmas," is aimed at challenging our consumer culture. What Would Jesus Buy? has good intentions, even if it is nothing you haven't heard before. Pete Freedman Kimball's Twin Peak


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