Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

2012 (PG-13)

As the end of the world nears, as predicted by the Mayan calendar, a group of would-be heros struggles to survive. — Not reviewed

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

*Amelia (PG)

The Earhart of Amelia (played by Hilary Swank) is fully formed as a role model from the very first moment, and so she remains all the way through to the end (and beyond). — Jonathan Kiefer

Hollywood Interquest

The Box (PG-13)

A couple discovers a box that will make them rich upon opening it, but will also mean the death of a person they do not know. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15

Coco Before Chanel (PG-13)

There's an anesthetized feel to this sedate biopic that suggests problems in its focus. Maybe the more interesting part of her life was after Coco became the fashion icon. — MaryAnn Johanson

Kimball's Peak Three

Couples Retreat (PG-13)

This half-assed update of Fantasy Island, manages to feel somehow both shriveled to short-sitcom proportions and bloated to feature-film length. — Jonathan Kiefer

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Disney's A Christmas Carol (PG)

A remake of Dickens' classic tale, this time with Jim Carrey playing Scrooge. — Not reviewed

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

The Fourth Kind (PG-13)

This "fact-based" film tells the tale of an Alaskan town whose residents have been disappearing in unexplained circumstances and alien encounters are suspected. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

G-Force (PG)

A team of guinea pigs, trained as high-tech spies through a secret government program battle to save the planet. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (PG-13)

A team of elite soldiers must take on a dangerous group known as Cobra, which is led by a nefarious weapons dealer. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (PG)

Half-Blood Prince is far less dense with magical action than its predecessors, and perhaps that makes it feel like a stage-setter for the finale that will be Deathly Hallows. Yet it's so rich with characterization that it scarcely matters. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

*The Hurt Locker (R)

Set in Baghdad in 2004, The Hurt Locker follows a fictional U.S. Army bomb squad, whose members are formally known as Explosive Ordnance Disposal technicians, and casually known as the bravest sons of bitches you can imagine. — Jonathan Kiefer

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (PG)

This time out, Manny the mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) is about to be a dad, but complications ensue. — MaryAnn Johanson

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The Informant! (R)

Aren't we due for a great black comedy about white-collar crime? The Informant! isn't it. — Jonathan Kiefer

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Inglourious Basterds (R)

Quentin Tarantino's "Basterds" comprise a squad of Jewish soldiers behind enemy lines in occupied France. Serious Holocaust Drama this is not. It's more like a smug, glamorous, violently inclined cartoon. — Jonathan Kiefer

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The Invention of Lying (PG-13)

In this romantic comedy's alternate reality, even the idea of a lie doesn't exist, until a man (Ricky Gervais) discovers and begins to use the ability to his benefit. — Not reviewed

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*Julie & Julia (PG-13)

Meryl Streep is delightful as cooking legend Julia Child. Endearing Amy Adams plays her counterpart Julie Powell, a woman who decides to launch a blog chronicling her preparation of every recipe from Julia's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking. — Scott Renshaw

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Law Abiding Citizen (R)

A decade after the murders of his wife and daughter, a man seeks his own vengeance against the killer. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Love Happens (PG-13)

After a widower writes a bestselling book on dealing with loss, he finds himself falling for a woman (Jennifer Aniston) he meets at one of his seminars. — Not reviewed

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The Men Who Stare at Goats (R)

Reporter Bob Wilton finds himself distraught after his wife leaves him. Determined to throw himself into his work, he heads to the Middle East to find a story in the Iraq war, but uncovers a U.S. military operation created to develop soldiers with psychic abilities. — Scott Renshaw

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

Michael Jackson's This Is It (PG)

This music documentary features rehearsals for the London tour that never happened, behind-the-scenes moments, and other footage of the pop star. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Tinseltown

*Paranormal Activity (R)

Katie and Micah are a young couple who suspect the presence of a supernatural being in their house. The film teases, it terrorizes and it will burn images in your brain that will freak you out for days afterward. — Tricia Olszewski

Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

*Pirate Radio (R)

Pirate Radio is set in 1966, when British radio stations didn't carry rock 'n roll. It's also set on a seafaring broadcast operation, with an assortment of deejays-at-sea that fill the recipe for great comedy. — Scott Renshaw


Ponyo (G)

This animated film from Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away), tells the story of a boy and his goldfish who dreams of becoming a princess. — Not reviewed

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A Serious Man (R)

This is the story of a schlemiel who hopes to be a mensch, but only suffers for his efforts. Is the suffering his fault? His family's? His neighbors'? Hashem's? No, it's the Coen brothers'. — Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Peak Three

*Shorts (PG)

Shorts is a zippy, slapsticky romp about a suburban town gone bonkers when a wish-granting, rainbow-colored rock falls out of the sky. — Jonathan Kiefer

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*The Time Traveler's Wife (PG-13)

Henry DeTamble suffers from a genetic anomaly that causes him to become displaced in time, at random moments he can't control. — MaryAnn Johanson

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*Up (PG)

Elderly curmudgeon Carl (Edward Asner) launches his house into the air with a massive cascade of balloons and a plan to head to a South American jungle. —Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

*Where the Wild Things Are (PG)

You could talk about this film by making the argument that Where the Wild Things Are is the most ambitious film ever inspired by a 10-sentence-long picture-book — but that sentiment doesn't begin to do justice to this prickly, hilarious, devastatingly emotional work of art. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Zombieland (R)

The flesh-eating undead are not, understandably, every movie-goer's taste. But this time, skipping the latest zombie flick will mean missing what may be the funniest American comedy of 2009. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15


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