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STRANGE WILDERNESS (R) In an attempt to turn around poor ratings of his wildlife TV show, "Strange Wilderness," Peter (Steve Zahn) and his sidekick Fred (Allen Covert) set out to document Bigfoot.
SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET 5 stars (R) A wrongfully accused barber (Johnny Depp) returns to Victorian London to wreak bloody vengeance on an evil judge (Alan Rickman). And it's a musical! In adapting Stephen Sondheim's Broadway classic, director Tim Burton casts movie stars whose lack of musical experience doesn't interfere with the show's skin-crawling intimacy and grand passions. Sweeney Todd proves lushly operatic, grotesquely violent and at times darkly funny, with one number suggesting a cannibalistic version of "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver! -- Holman
THERE WILL BE BLOOD 5 stars (R) Drawing from Upton Sinclair's 1927 oil-man opus Oil!, Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) has created a film of stunning sweep and grandeur. In an Oscar-worthy performance, Daniel Day-Lewis plays a dementedly ambitious petroleum titan whose quest for riches comes at the cost of his humanity. A troubling and still-relevant examination of the consuming American dream for wealth turned cancerous, this glorious epic could be the apogee of Anderson's career. -- Feaster
THIS CHRISTMAS 3 stars (PG-13) Preston A. Whitmore writes and directs this dramedy about the holiday reunion of an extended African-American family, which includes an indebted musician (Idris Elba) and an abused wife (Regina King). The plotting's a bit familiar and the first act relies almost entirely on exposition, but the likable cast -- particularly Elba, King and Delroy Lindo -- help make This Christmas low-key but pleasing holiday fare. -- Holman
UNTRACEABLE (R) A serial killer with a knack for technology creates a website depicting his violent murders. Gregory Hoblit directs.
VANTAGE POINT 2 stars (PG-13) An assassination attempt on the U.S. president (William Hurt) unfolds from multiple points of view, including a veteran secret service agent (Dennis Quaid), an American tourist with a camcorder (Forest Whitaker) and a cable news producer (Sigourney Weaver). Vantage Point's multiple-eyewitness shtick takes too long to pay off and its minidramas play as painfully hackneyed, including Whitaker protecting a young bystander and the use of improbably identical "doubles." So why did so many Oscar winners and nominees sign on for such a clunky thriller? Maybe it's some kind of conspiracy. -- Holman
WELCOME HOME ROSCOE JENKINS (PG-13) Martin Lawrence stars as Roscoe Jenkins, a big-shot talk-show host who has all but forgotten his humble beginnings growing up in the Deep South. When he returns for his parents' 50th wedding anniversary, Roscoe starts to rethink his current situation.
WITLESS PROTECTION (PG-13) Larry the Cable Guy stars as a small-town sheriff who stumbles upon what he believes to be the kidnapping of a beautiful woman (Ivana Milicevic). After he rescues her, he learns that her "kidnappers" are really FBI agents sworn to protect her until she can testify in a Chicago crime case, and he must drive her to Chicago himself to keep her safe and solve the case.
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