Movie picks 

Films recommended by our reviewers are indicated by an *.

The American (R)

George Clooney stars as Jack, an assassin holed up in a small medieval town. His life seems free of danger, but by stepping out of the shadows, he may be tempting fate. — Not reviewed

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

Avatar: Special Edition in 3D (PG-13)

A return to James Cameron's Avatar with an additional nine minutes of footage. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore (PG)

Former cat spy Kitty Galore has gone rogue and launched a plan to leash her canine enemies as well as her former kitty comrades, making the world her scratching post. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Picture Show

Despicable Me (PG)

The whole enterprise feels somewhat lazy, the creation of people who want to make a movie without having anything interesting to say. — Scott Renshaw

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Dinner for Schmucks (PG-13)

Few moviegoing experiences are as excruciating as watching two gifted comics struggle with terrible material. The guilty parties in this comedy, are Steve Carell and Paul Rudd. — Tricia Olszewski

Chapel Hills 15

Eat Pray Love (PG-13)

A woman (Julia Roberts) who once made it her goal in life to get married, rear children and achieve domestic bliss, finds her priorities suddenly shifting in this adaptation of Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling memoir. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Expendables (R)

Sylvester Stallone directed, wrote and stars in the film along with a gaggle of other fading sorta-action heroes. A more proper name for this ensemble would have been The Meatheaded Geriatrics. — Tricia Olszewski

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

Get Low (PG-13)

How should an audience respond when a performance comes so naturally to the great actor Robert Duvall that he all but renders the film itself superfluous? — Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Peak Three

Going the Distance (R)

Going the Distance should seem comfortingly, chord-strikingly familiar, like watching your friends striving against long odds in an uphill battle of being together. Oh, wait, actually, that's really awkward, isn't it? Yeah, well so's this movie. — Jonathan Kiefer

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

Grown Ups (PG-13)

Five guys reunite for the funeral of their former basketball coach. None of them have actually grown up, merely gotten older and, it seems, infinitely more malicious. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

*I Am Love (R)

Once heated, all this sumptuous imagery — and for that matter, all this plot — often comes close to a ruinous boil. But Tilda Swinton keeps stirring the pot at just the right moments. — Jonathan Kiefer

Kimball's Peak Three

*Inception (PG-13)

Christopher Nolan's film proves remarkably nimble at getting us to the payoff, and what a payoff it is. — Scott Renshaw

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

The Karate Kid (PG)

In this remake of 1984's The Karate Kid, martial arts master Jackie Chan will enunciate the movie's moral and then young Dre will repeat it back later, for audience members who've awakened from their naps. — MaryAnn Johanson

Picture Show

*Knight and Day (PG-13)

Knight and Day plays out like a James Bond movie from the Roger Moore days: too busy inspiring smiles to generate concerns about plausibility. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

The Last Airbender (PG)

In this live-action fantasy from M. Night Shyamalan, Aang (Noah Ringer) discovers he is the lone avatar with the power to manipulate all four elements: air, earth, fire and water. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*The Last Exorcism (R)

The film's surprising message provide some compensation for its misguided attempts to thrill and chill. It's as if director Daniel Stamm saw Jesus Camp and thought, "Now, that's a horror film." He's right, of course.— Justin Strout

Carmike 10, Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Tinseltown

Lottery Ticket (PG-13)

I'm presuming Lottery Ticket may have been intended to indulge some sort of wish fulfilment fantasy, but what it ends up becoming instead is a movie you wouldn't wish even on your worst enemy. — MaryAnn Johanson

Carmike 10

Machete (R)

A blade-wielding ex-member of the Mexican Federal Police hides out as a day laborer when he is double-crossed by a corrupt senator. — Not reviewed

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

*Nanny McPhee Returns (PG)

The character Nanny McPhee is the perfect antidote for the upside-down fantasy of parental indulgence, and tolerance of "cute" munchkin monsters, that threatens to become the norm. — MaryAnn Johanson

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Other Guys (PG-13)

In this serviceable comedy, Will Ferrell plays an NYPD forensic accountant who loves his desk job. His resentful partner is played by Mark Wahlberg, who adds some comic embellishments of his own. — Marjorie Baumgarten

Chapel Hills 15, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Piranha 3D (R)

When a tremor in Lake Havasu, Ariz., cracks the lake floor open, a prehistoric strain of fish is set loose and people begin to disappear. — Not reviewed


Predators (R)

Set 13 years after the events in Predator 2, the film follows Royce (Adrien Brody), a mercenary soldier, who is dropped on an alien world where humans are hunted for sport by the Predators. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (PG-13)

Sure, Prince of Persia is watchable, but only as a video game that's been rendered unplayable. — Jonathan Kiefer

Picture Show

Ramona and Beezus (G)

The adventures of young Ramona Quimby (Joey King) and her big sister Beezus (Selena Gomez) come to life in this film based on the best-selling books by Beverly Cleary. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

*Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (PG-13)

On the surface, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World seems like a meticulously faithful adaptation But in the end, it struggles to find the rhythms that gave the original its soul. — Scott Renshaw

Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

*Shrek Forever After (PG)

Many of us have suspected it all along, but it's official: The Shrek film series is actually a sitcom. For those who won't find a change of personality any great loss, however, it's a pleasant surprise. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show

Step Up 3D (PG-13)

The good news: The 3D in Step Up 3D looks great — it's bold, striking and vivid. The bad news: Everything else about the movie is terrible. — Dan Hudak

Carmike 10

The Sorcerer's Apprentice (PG)

Balthazar Blake (Nicolas Cage) is a master sorcerer in modern-day Manhattan trying to defend the city from his arch-nemesis. — Not reviewed

Picture Show

The Switch (PG-13)

A single woman (Jennifer Aniston) decides it's time to have a baby — even if it means doing it by herself with a little help from a charming sperm donor. — Not reviewed

Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

Takers (PG-13)

A notorious group of criminals continue to baffle police by pulling off perfectly executed bank robberies, when their plans are interrupted by a hardened detective who is hell-bent on solving the case. — Not reviewed

Carmike 10, Cinemark 16, Hollywood Interquest, Tinseltown

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (PG-13)

This is also fundamentally an adolescent melodrama, and melodrama is hard for even the best actors in the best circumstances. Neither is the case here. — Scott Renshaw

Picture Show, Tinseltown

Vampires Suck (PG-13)

In this parody of angst-filled vampire mega-movies, high schooler Becca is torn between two boys. — Not reviewed

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

What If ... (PG)

Ben Walker left his college sweetheart Wendy, and his calling to be a preacher, 15 years ago in order to pursue a business opportunity, but God has other plans. — Not reviewed

Chapel Hills 15

*Winter's Bone (R)

Most films waste little time introducing critical characters, and in the rural film-noir thriller Winter's Bone, it's the place (the Missouri Ozarks) that lives and breathes. Equally remarkable is that the story's human protagonist proves just as compelling. — Scott Renshaw

Kimball's Peak Three


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