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PINEAPPLE EXPRESS 2 stars (R) A process server (Seth Rogen) witnesses a murder and goes on the run in Los Angeles with his friendly neighborhood pot dealer (James Franco) in this comedy that would only be more clichéd if they fled cross-country with a bag of money. Grumpy Rogen and half-baked Franco make likable comedic foils, but the film's familiar plotting and surprisingly violent action scenes undermine its attempt to charm the audience. Of all the films by producer Judd Apatow (who worked with Rogen on Knocked Up and Superbad), Pineapple Express disappoints the most, sending high expectations up in smoke. -- Holman
THE ROCKER 2 stars (PG-13) Two decades after being kicked out of a heavy-metal hair act, a bitter drummer ("The Office's" Rainn Wilson) gets another shot at the big time via his teenage nephew's band. Wilson offers an amusing change-of-pace role as a deluded rock star wannabe, but the script betrays him in its ambitions as a School of Rock wannabe with spotty jokes. You know something's wrong when the teen band's songs prove so much less interesting than the funny faux-metal tracks for Wilson's former band, Vesuvius (lead by Will Arnett). -- Holman
THE SISTERHOOD OF THE TRAVELING PANTS 2 (PG-13) This sequel finds best friends Tibby, Carmen, Bridget and Lena reunited after a year away at college and struggling to keep in touch against the odds. Based on the series of novels by Ann Bradshare.
SPACE CHIMPS (G) A group of chimps embark on a dangerous space mission led by Ham III (voiced by Andy Samberg), the slightly incompetent grandson of the first chimp astronaut.
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS 1 star (PG) Jedi knight Anakin Skywalker (voiced by Matt Lanter) and his new apprentice Ahsoka Tano (Ashley Dane) must rescue Jabba the Hutt's kidnapped son, which could tip the scales in an intergalactic war. Set between the events of Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith, this computer-animated lead-in to an upcoming Cartoon Network series revives all of the most irritating aspects of the Star Wars prequels, including horrible dialogue, infantile characterization and bad jokes, without any of the modest virtues, such as intensity and sci-fi skullduggery. If you thought Jar-Jar Binks was annoying, wait'll you meet Jabba's sissy Uncle Ziro. -- Holman
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.
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. 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 low-brow, 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. -- 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
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