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NIM'S ISLAND (PG) When Nim's father goes missing from the magical island they live on, Nim must find help from the author of her favorite books. Based on the book by Wendy Orr.
PRINCE CASPIAN 2 stars (PG) Thirteen hundred years after they ruled Narnia, the Pevensie siblings (Georgia Henley, Skandar Keynes, William Moseley and Anna Popplewell) return to the magical realm to help rightful Prince Caspian (Ben Barnes) overthrow a tyrant. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe featured a greater sense of wonder, better special effects and stronger supporting performances (Peter Dinklage proves the sole saving grace here). Caspian builds to some lavish sword-and-sorcery eye candy in its second half, but takes a long, joyless slog to get there. -- Holman
REDBELT 3 stars (PG-13) A Los Angeles jujitsu teacher (Chiwetel Ejiofor) finds both his skill and integrity tested when he encounters such diverse, troubled characters as an attorney with a drug habit (Emily Mortimer) and a self-loathing movie star (Tim Allen, nicely cast against type). In the 10th film by Glengarry Glen Ross playwright David Mamet, Ejiofor bites into the filmmaker's terse trademark dialogue and delivers the kind of charismatic performance that should make him an A-list leading man. It's shamelessly corny and features enough plot for three Jackie Chan films, but offers more substance than the usual martial arts movie. -- Holman
THE RUINS (R) Four young tourists wander away from American-friendly Cancun and into a terrifying bloodbath.
SEX AND THE CITY (R) See review.
SHUTTER (PG-13) After a tragic car accident, photographer Ben (Joshua Jackson) and his new wife, Jane (Rachael Taylor), find disturbing humanlike figures blurring Ben's photos. Jane thinks it could be the spirit of the girl murdered in the car crash, seeking vengeance. From the executive producers of The Grudge and The Ring.
SON OF RAMBOW 3 stars (PG-13) In the early 1980s, two outcast English schoolboys (Bill Milner and Will Poulter) band together to film a home movie "sequel" to First Blood. Writer/director Garth Jennings captures the low-key charms of Bill Forsythe comedies such as Local Hero while leaving room for some short, surreal fantasy scenes and the always-hilarious sight of a young English pipsqueak imitating Sylvester Stallone's Vietnam vet/killing machine. Some of the jokes overstay their welcome, but it's hard to resist Son of Rambow's generosity of spirit and its notion that creative fantasies can bring disparate people together. -- Holman
SPEED RACER 2 stars (PG) Competitive driver Speed Racer (Emile Hirsch) and his jumping hot rod, "the powerful Mach 5," clash with corporate conspirators in this aggressively fake, CGI-heavy adaptation of the cult anime TV series from the late 1960s. Hirsch, John Goodman, Christina Ricci and Susan Sarandon struggle to put soul into the trippy but incoherent and lifeless proceedings. The Wachowski Brothers, creators of the Matrix trilogy, spent a fortune just to give audiences a splitting headache. -- Holman
THE SPIDERWICK CHRONICLES 3 stars (PG) The Grace kids (Sarah Bolger, and Freddie Highmore playing twins) stop worrying about their parents' separation when one of them discovers an ancestor's field guide to magical creatures. Too intense and violent for pretweens, The Spiderwick Chronicles' fast-paced adventure scenes evoke 1980s family adventures such as Gremlins and The Goonies without being quite so obnoxious, and retains the books' more serious themes of broken homes. -- Holman
THE STRANGERS (R) While spending a romantic evening in a remote suburban home, a couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) is targeted by masked strangers.
STREET KINGS 3 stars (R) The LAPD's Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) -- one of those hotshots who doesn't play by the rules, like Dirty Harry -- risks implicating himself when he unravels cover-ups and conspiracies following the death of his ex-partner. Thin and predictable, Street Kings' noisy shoot-outs still hold your interest and the script (co-written by L.A. Confidential novelist James Ellroy) features some credible little details about police work. But will people buy movie tickets for Street Kings' portrait of LAPD corruption when they can watch basically the same thing on "The Shield" for free? -- Holman
SUPERHERO MOVIE (PG-13) Writer Craig Mazin (Scary Movie) is back with another spoof on recent films. Superhero Movie pokes fun at flicks such as Spider-Man, X-Men and a multitude of others.
THEN SHE FOUND ME 3 stars (R) Oscar- and Emmy-winning actress Helen Hunt makes an impressive debut as a director in adapting Elinor Lipman's novel about a thirtysomething woman (Hunt) who wrestles with the complexities of motherhood. Bette Midler delivers a surprisingly nuanced performance as the birth mother who barges into her life, while Colin Firth and Matthew Broderick providing her flawed romantic options. -- Simmons
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