Movie Picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

Australia (PG-13)

For the first 85 minutes, Australia's a sprawling Western set in 1939 (starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman). The second half is an epic wartime romance. But the film overreaches as it tries to staple the two together. Scott Renshaw

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Bedtime Stories (PG)

A hotel maintenance man (Adam Sandler) enjoys telling imaginative bedtime stories to his niece and nephew when the stories begin to come true. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Beverly Hills Chihuahua (PG)

Drew Barrymore provides the voice of Chloe, a chihuahua who finds herself lost on vacation in Mexico. Not reviewed

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Bride Wars (PG)

When their weddings are mistakenly booked on the same day, two best friends (Kate Hudson, Anne Hathaway) become adversaries in a race to outdo each other. Not reviewed

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

*The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (PG-13)

While Benjamin Button's chronology spans decades, its ideas don't actually feel particularly sweeping stuff along the lines of "Life is short and precious, and you should live it to the fullest while you still have the chance." Simplistic though it is, the message does prove potent. Scott Renshaw

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*The Dark Knight (PG-13)

Batman's purposeful, gadget-abetted vigilantism has shown results, but still he has his work cut out for him. The film offers many thrills, some surprises and a few remarkable character transformations. Jonathan Kiefer

Cinemark 16 IMAX

The Day the Earth Stood Still (PG-13)

This is The Day the Earth Barely Even Notices We're on the Brink of Doom, and Why Don't Those Damn Hippies Just Shut Up About Global Warming Already? I'll be damned if there's any indication why the aliens prefer to save the planet over us, or why the audience should understand it either. MaryAnn Johanson

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*Defiance (R)

There isn't a lick of phony sentimentality in this tale of three roguish brothers who lead a group of Jews into hiding in Belorussia's forests during World War II as the Nazis round up people for the camps. MaryAnn Johanson

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

Fireproof (PG)

In an attempt to help their failing marriage, a fireman and his wife enlist in a stunt called "The Love Dare." Not reviewed

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Four Christmases (PG-13)

A couple (Reese Witherspoon, Vince Vaughn) attempt to visit all four of their parents' homes for the holidays. Not reviewed

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*Frost/Nixon (R)

Frost/Nixon dramatizes the origin and accomplishment of the 1977 TV interviews between British talk-show host David Frost and former President Richard Nixon. Michael Sheen and Frank Langella reprise their roles from the award-winning play, and so it should be; the casting is definitive. Jonathan Kiefer


*Gran Torino (R)

Meet Walt Kowalski: Korean War vet, retired autoworker, widower, ornery racist coot. But he's played by Clint Eastwood, in an Eastwood-directed movie, so no matter what kind of bastard Walt is, you know you're probably going to like him. Jonathan Kiefer

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

High School Musical 3: Senior Year (G)

As the end of high school approaches, Troy (Zac Efron), Gabriella (Vanessa Anne Hudgens) and the rest of the gang put on a musical. Not reviewed

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Hotel for Dogs (PG)

A young boy and girl save stray dogs by hiding them in an abandoned house. Not reviewed

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

Last Chance Harvey (PG-13)

After losing his job and being snubbed by his daughter, Harvey Shine (Dustin Hoffman) meets Kate Walker (Emma Thompson), a woman who's given up on dating. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (PG)

In this animated sequel, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller) and his zoo friends board a flight to New York City, only to end up in Africa. Not reviewed

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Marley & Me (PG)

Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston star as a couple who learns important lessons from a troublesome golden retriever. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

My Bloody Valentine 3D (R)

On the anniversary of a series of gruesome killings, a man returns to his hometown to find himself accused of the murders. Not reviewed

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

Not Easily Broken (PG-13)

An auto accident injures a woman (Taraji P. Henson) and threatens to shatter her already rocky marriage to a man (Morris Chestnut) who is facing temptation in the accident's aftermath. Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

Notorious (R)

Ummm, the late rapper Biggie Smalls' mother produced this movie? And Biggie Smalls' own son stars as the little Biggie? And Sean "Puffy" Combs, Biggie's pal, onetime producer and fellow rapper, helped produce it? Really? The result is a far-too-premature biopic that is way too close to its subject matter for any hint of objectivity and much too forgiving. MaryAnn Johanson

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

Paul Blart: Mall Cop (PG)

An overweight security guard (Kevin James), who patrols his beat on a Segway, must come to the rescue when a mall is taken over by would-be robbers. Not reviewed

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

Quantum of Solace (PG-13)

Quantum of Solace, starring Daniel Craig as James Bond, is so constantly climactic that it's rather anti-climactic. From the cliff-side car chase to the rooftop parkour parade to the tough guys in tensely brutal hand-to-hand combat, it's all a little too hard to follow. Sadly, Quantum of Solace is a mean little film, grim and single-minded, without the pleasure or mischief that has made James Bond so endearing. Jonathan Kiefer

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Role Models (R)

Role Models is that usual assemblage of tittering about bodily fluids, homophobia, random sex acts and other expressions of apparently unoutgrowable male adolescence that passes for comedy today. MaryAnn Johanson

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*Slumdog Millionaire (R)

Now we know why the world has been overrun by idiotic game shows like Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. Without them we wouldn't have Danny Boyle's surprising, fresh and enchanting new movie about a poor Mumbai teen poised to win 20 million rupees on the Indian version of the game. MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Twin Peak, Tinseltown

*The Tale of Despereaux (G)

You wouldn't think there would be any more lovely stories to tell about cute furry creatures (like Despereaux the mouse) who defy odds, embrace danger, find love and celebrate honor all from the confines of a cartoon. But with this delightful, inventive film, we find there's at least one more. MaryAnn Johanson

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Transporter 3 (PG-13)

Jason Statham returns as Frank Martin, a mercenary whose expertise is the delivery of high-risk cargo. Not reviewed

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Twilight (PG-13)

OMG! This is the best movie ever (if you're a 12-year-old fan). Twilight is all about Bella, who's a junior in high school, and Edward, who is the totally cute vampire teenager she meets at school. MaryAnn Johanson


The Unborn (PG-13)

When a woman is troubled by strange dreams and odd happenings, she grows to believe she is being haunted by her twin brother who died before birth and wants another chance to come into the world. Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Valkyrie (PG-13)

A group of German officers led by Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg (Tom Cruise) plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler during World War II. Not reviewed

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Yes Man (PG-13)

In this comedy, Jim Carrey plays a man whose life has become boring and routine until he pledges to say "Yes" to everything asked of him for an entire year. Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

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


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