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THE GREAT DEBATERS (PG-13) Denzel Washington stars and directs in the true story of Melvin B. Tolson, a professor at Wiley College in Texas. In 1935 Tolson created the school's first debate team, leading them to challenge Harvard in the national championship.
THE HEARTBREAK KID (R) The Farrelly brothers' latest film finds single and indecisive Eddie (Ben Stiller) pressured into proposing marriage to the sexy Lila after dating for one week. On their honeymoon he meets the true woman of his dreams and strives to win her over while dealing with his increasingly awful new wife.
HITMAN (NR) Gun-for-hire Agent 47 (Timothy Olyphant) is hired by a group to kill targets for cash. Xavier Gens directs.
I AM LEGEND 3 stars (PG-13) Will Smith plays the sole human inhabitant of New York City after a genetically engineered virus wipes out most of mankind and turns the rest into blood-crazed mutants. The film offers nearly unbearable suspense scenes and stunning images of postapocalyptic Manhattan, overrun with wild animals with grass growing up through the streets. Despite some heavy-handed, ineffectual philosophizing in the last act, Smith delivers one of his best performances and I Am Legend turns out to be the best "summer movie" of 2007. -- Holman
IMAX THEATER The Alps Follow John Harlin III in MacGillivray Freeman's visually breathtaking documentary as he attempts to climb the same summit that proved fatal to his father 40 years ago.
I'M NOT THERE 3 stars (R) Ambitious, smart but decidedly muddled, cerebral superhipster Todd Haynes' biopicture of enigmatic, chameleonlike singer Bob Dylan features six different actors playing Dylan, including a mind-blowing turn by Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Christian Bale and a young black kid (Marcus Carl Franklin). The film melds an equally diverse array of styles and film allusions from Fellini to D.A. Pennebaker. The film is often gorgeous and clever, though it may be deep Dylan fans who enjoy Haynes' crazy-quilt film the most. -- Feaster
INTO THE WILD 4 stars (R) Emile Hirsch stars as affluent Emory University grad Chris McCandless, who died at age 24 after dropping off the grid to live on his own in the Alaskan wilderness. A surprising amount of transcendence and hopefulness infuses the normally dour Sean Penn's fourth directorial effort about McCandless' physical and interior journey based on Jon Krakauer's nonfiction account. Marked by nods to '60s and '70s cinema, Penn's film also has relevance to our own times as growing eco- and global-awareness have made more and more people take a McCandless look at the bad path "civilization" is on. -- Feaster
I WANT SOMEONE TO EAT CHEESE WITH 3 stars (NR) Still living at home with his mom, struggling actor James (Jeff Garlin) is an overgrown kid who riffs on pop culture and can't get laid. What might be annoying in an 18-year-old is both funny and poignant in a 39-year-old. Garlin, who also directs, very much pulls from the same comedy-of-the-abject highlighted in his day job, "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and like that humor model, can be both annoyingly self-indulgent and perceptive, too. Sarah Silverman co-stars as a funny-creepy combination of kid's book character Junie B. Jones and an oversexed nut job. -- Feaster
JUNO (PG-13) See review.
THE KINGDOM (R) In this Middle-East-meets-West thriller, FBI Special Agent Ronald Fleury (Jamie Foxx) leads an elite team (Chris Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman) in a criminal investigation in hostile Saudi Arabia. Peter Berg (Friday Night Lights) directs.
THE KITE RUNNER (PG-13) See review.
LARS AND THE REAL GIRL (PG-13) Ryan Gosling stars as Lars, a lonely introvert who falls in love with a life-size doll to the dismay of his brother and sister-in-law. Craig Gillespie (Mr. Woodcock) directs.
LIONS FOR LAMBS 3 stars (R) Robert Redford directs and stars alongside heavyweights Tom Cruise and Meryl Streep in this earnest, talky drama. Redford is a Vietnam vet and university professor trying to convince his brightest, apathetic student to take some political stand against the war in Iraq while Streep and Cruise play a lefty reporter and Republican senator with very different views on American engagement abroad. An odd bird indeed, the film is politically impassioned, mixes up endless philosophical talk and war-film action, all as a kind of plea to Americans to engage. The film is imperfect, even clunky, but its passion and balance mark it as one of the more interesting recent fiction films about our murky political climate and the despair and apathy it inspires. -- Feaster
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (R) Based on the beautifully lyric novel by Nobel-Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Mike Newell (Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) directs in this story of love over time. After losing his childhood love, Fermina Daza, Florentina Ariza waits through 50 years and 622 lovers to reclaim her.
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