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FOOD, INC. 4 stars (PG-13) Director Robert Kenner serves a harrowing sampler’s platter of themes from such recent culinary exposes as Super Size Me, King Corn and the docudrama Fast Food Nation. The film offers a devastating portrait of how the admirable goal of cheap, plentiful foodstuffs has had unintended consequences that can harm the health and employability of the American work force, while forcing small farmers out of business. Despite icky food revelations and grim tales of corporate bullying, Food, Inc. includes enough positive examples to hold out hope for the future. — Holman
G-FORCE (PG) Remember Spy Kids? Think of this as Spy Pets. A highly-trained team of cute fluffy animals, including guinea pigs and a mole, go on espionage missions in this 3-D comedy with such voice talents as Nicolas Cage, Tracy Morgan and Penelope Cruz.
THE HANGOVER 3 stars (R) The morning after a raucous Vegas bachelor party, the hungover groomsmen (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifianakis) woozily retrace their steps to find the mysteriously missing groom. From Old School director Todd Phillips, The Hangover overstays its welcome by about 10 minutes and doesn't quite live up to its own trailer, which gives away some of the best gags. It still offers laughs most of the way through, and while Cooper gets top billing and Galifianakis plays the craziest character, former Atlantan Helms owns the movie as he captures the crumbling composure of a preppie dentist. — Holman
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE 4 stars (PG-13) The romantic misadventures of Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his pals Ron and Hermione (Rupert Grint and Emma Watson) distract them from the secret plans of Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) to respectively hinder and help the malevolent Lord Voldemort. The sixth Harry Potter film conspicuously lacks the headlong momentum and political metaphors of Order of the Phoenix, director David Yates' previous effort. Between a suspenseful first section and an eventful (if anticlimactic) finale lies a pleasant but draggy stretch primarily about teen hormones and magic charms, but it's all essentially a prelude to the final two films. — Holman
THE HURT LOCKER 5 stars (R) In 2004 Baghdad, two U.S. "bomb techs" (Anthony Mackie and Brian Geraghty) hope to finish their tour without getting killed by the confident, reckless Sgt. James (Jeremy Renner in a star-making performance). Director Kathryn Bigelow presents the most original and gripping war film since Saving Private Ryan by crafting bomb disposal set pieces that draw the audience's attention as taut as a tripwire. Compared to other Iraq War films, The Hurt Locker keeps its politics close to the chest, while exploring the psychological impact war can have on our soldiers' psyches. — Holman
ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (PG) In the third, 3-D entry in the Ice Age franchise, the wisecracking prehistoric mammals discover a subterranean realm populated by dinosaurs. Simon Pegg joins the vocal team of Ray Romano, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, et. al.
IL DIVO 4 stars (NR) Director Paolo Sorrentino crafts a thrilling yet confounding biopic of aging, scandal-plagued Italian prime minister Giulio Andreotti (superbly played by Toni Servillo). Il Divo chronicles Andreotti's late career in public life, from his seventh election in 1992 to the "Big Mafia Trial" of his alleged ties to organized crime. Clearly emulating Martin Scorsese's gangster films, Sorrentino attacks the material with the most flamboyant camerawork and conspicuous soundtrack choices imaginable, but if you don't already follow Italian politics, you may be completely confused by its fast-paced narrative density. — Holman
IMAGINE THAT (PG) Eddie Murphy eschews latex makeup for this family comedy in which he plays a workaholic finance executive who discovers that his daughters' imaginary friends may be able to advance his career. It sounds kind of like Adam Sandler's Bedtime Stories, with fewer special effects.
LAND OF THE LOST (PG-13) This big-budget version of the Sid and Marty Krofft cult kid's series from the 1970s stars Will Ferrell, Anna Friel of "Pushing Daisies" and Danny R. McBride (who's in everything these days) as a threesome who hit a time warp and encounter prehistoric monsters and reptilian Sleestaks.
LITTLE ASHES 2 stars (R) This period piece captures three of Spain's most renowned artists in their embryonic state, chronicling the tempestuous relationships of young painter Salvador Dalí (Twilight's Robert Pattinson), budding filmmaker Luis Buñuel (Matthew McNulty) and poet/playwright Federico García Lorca (Javier Beltrán). Little Ashes succeeds better as an art history lesson than a character study, although Dalí and Lorca (who may have been more than friends) offer contrasting examples of artistic political engagement. Pattinson plays Dalí's antics with self-conscious awkwardness, and it's hard to tell whether he's deliberately trying to convey that the artist's outbursts were a pose, or if the actor simply cannot convey the spark of inspiration. — Holman
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