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STEP BROTHERS 2 stars (R) Two immature fortyish men (Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly) become despised roommates after the wedding of their single parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins). Ferrell and Reilly seem to have had more fun making the movie than the audience has watching it, and though Ferrell's and Reilly's sibling rivalry generates some belly laughs, the familiar premise and thin story make the film perfectly forgettable. On the plus side, it's the least unfunny of this summer's big, star-driven comedies. -- Holman
SWING VOTE (PG-13) Due to a ballot error in the presidential election, the fate of the free world hangs on the vote of one man -- apathetic single father Bud Johnson (Kevin Costner).
TELL NO ONE (NR) Pediatrician Alexandre Beck (François Cluzet) finds out his wife, murdered eight years earlier, might still be alive and is instructed to "tell no one" in this adaptation of Harlan Coben's international best seller.
TOWELHEAD 3 stars (R) A 13-year-old Lebanese-American girl (Summer Bishil) struggles with problems involving racist classmates, her brow-beating father (Peter Macdissi), an attractive but pervy neighbor (Aaron Eckhart) and her own dawning sexuality. "Six Feet Under" creator Alan Ball presents an uneasy mixture of black comedy and awkward, shame-inducing ordeals, set against the backdrop of the first Gulf War. Despite the film's drastic shifts in tone, Bishil offers a sensitive portrayal of anguished adolescence, while Macdissi delivers a complex performance as the father, who can alternate between being a tyrannical brute and a humorous hypocrite. -- Holman
TRAITOR (PG-13) Guy Pierce stars as an FBI agent investigating an international conspiracy, when he finds that all the clues seem to lead back to a former U.S. Special Ops officer named Samir Horn (Don Cheadle).
TRANSSIBERIAN 3 stars (R) A middle-American couple (Emily Mortimer and Woody Harrelson) hope to rekindle their marriage on an "adventurous" trip across Asia on the Transsiberian Railway, but when they meet a mysterious younger pair (Eduardo Noriega and Kate Mara), they find more excitement than they bargained for. Director Brad Anderson proves to be a close student of Alfred Hitchcock thrillers, cultivating a skin-crawling sensation of paranoia amid the former Soviet locations. It's the perfect film for audiences who find the Hostel films too lowbrow, and The Darjeeling Limited too twee. -- Holman
TROPIC THUNDER 2 stars (R) A Hollywood cast and crew (including Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, Brandon T. Jackson and Jay Baruchel) on location for a Vietnam War movie gets plopped into real danger thanks to some studio shenanigans. Stiller's script, co-written with Justin Theroux and Idiocracy screenwriter Etan Cohen, delivers spot-on jokes about Hollywood and war-movie clichés, and with comedic talents such as Downey, Black and surprising scene-stealer Baruchel, there's enough hammy fun to last a while. But Stiller's grating dullard character wears thin fast, and the drawn-out conclusion robs the comedy of its zip. -- Simmons
TROUBLE THE WATER 4 stars (NR) This award-winning documentary begins with such compelling "home movie"-style footage of Hurricane Katrina, it could be called The Blair Hurricane Project. Documentarians Carl Deal and Tia Lessin present the amateur footage of Kim Rivers Roberts and her husband, Scott, a pair of self-described hustlers and drug dealers, as they chronicle the storm's destruction of their home in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. When Deal and Lessin switch to the couple's attempts to put their lives back together following the hurricane, it loses a little urgency but gains in its moving character study of two people who never conform to expectations, as well as a timely condemnation of governmental paralysis in the face of disaster. -- Holman
VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA 3 stars (PG-13) During a summer in Spain, two smart American hotties (Scarlett Johansson and the impressive newcomer Rebecca Hall) become romantically involved with a smoldering artist (Oscar-winner Javier Bardem) who has an unbalanced ex-wife (the superb Penelope Cruz). Perhaps the warm weather and flamenco music invigorated 72-year-old writer/director Woody Allen, whose creative juices were clearly flowing with this film's lively, stormy love affairs. Allen still overthinks his dialogue and ideas, but this time they don't muffle the sensuality of the film's locale or the characters. -- Holman
WALL-E 4 stars (G) "WALL-E," a lonely, trash-compacting machine that might be the last entity on Earth, pursues his love for a sleek, feminine robot to the titanic starship that contains the human race. Finding Nemo director Andrew Stanton crafts a story with the intelligence and heart that's the trademark of Pixar Studios (creators of the Toy Story movies), as well as the stunning images and visionary ideas of the best science fiction. Some audiences may be put off by the film's sharp-edged satire of consumer culture, but WALL-E, like its robotic namesake, should last another 700 years. -- Holman
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