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· MARCH OF THE PENGUINS 2 stars. (G) This French documentary, a kind of inferior, nonflying version of Winged Migration, concerns the annual migration of Antarctica's emperor penguins from their bachelor digs across inhospitable climes to their mating grounds. The doc features adorable birds, cloying, hard-to-take narration from Morgan Freeman and the not exactly original assessment that nature is cruel. -- Feaster
· MEMORY OF A KILLER (R) Called The Alzheimer Case in its native Belgium, this police thriller follows two police detectives on the trail of a ruthless murderer, despite the senior partner's memory-impairing illness.
· PROOF 2 stars. (PG-13) Director John Madden's film joins Gwyneth Paltrow's Sylvia and that other bug house drama Girl, Interrupted in the sorority of films about beautiful, tortured women that give paltry indications of what that pain feels like. Paltrow has delivered the actorly goods in previous work such as Shakespeare in Love, but her mumbling monotone becomes irritating as a too-easy shorthand for depression. Her golden girl radiance could have used a brown rinse to convince us she is the self-defeating, shut-in math genius worried that she may have inherited her brilliant father's (Anthony Hopkins) propensity for mental illness. -- Feaster
· ROLL BOUNCE (PG-13) The artist known as Bow Wow stars in this coming-of-age comedy set primarily in a 1970s roller rink. If you've been longing for a throwback to the era of Roller Boogie, this is your chance.
· THE THING ABOUT MY FOLKS (PG-13) For this week's family road trip comedy, Paul Reiser wrote, produced and stars in this schmaltzy project about a son trying to patch things up between his bickering parents (Peter Falk and Olympia Dukakis).
· THUMBSUCKER 5 stars. (R) An endearing, lo-fi angst-fest about a kid (Lou Taylor Pucci) who at 17 years old is still sucking his thumb, this adaptation of Walter Kirn's novel is also an insightful vision of a world where hypnosis and pharmaceuticals are the pathways to success, though they can't hide the mess the world is in. Boasting a sublime cast including Tilda Swinton and Vincent D'Onofrio as the thumbsucker's equally damaged parents and Vince Vaughn as a dingy debate coach, Thumbsucker manages to go deep and provide some pretty scathing commentary on American life without being glib or cruel about it. -- Feaster
· TIM BURTON'S CORPSE BRIDE 3 stars. (PG) A misunderstood young artiste (voiced by Johnny Depp) finds himself married to a half-skeletal dead woman (Helena Bonham Carter) in this stop-motion animated film co-directed by Tim Burton. The morbid animation style and Danny Elfman songs evoke memories of The Nightmare Before Christmas, but the thin story fails to measure up. Nevertheless, nearly every frame of Corpse Bride offers a clever, memorable image, and the comedy clicks in the last act when the dead reunite with the living. -- Holman
· TWO FOR THE MONEY 2 stars. (R) Al Pacino's back in full manic mode in this malnourished morality tale not dissimilar in structure to other Pacino vehicles in which he serves as a shady mentor to a hot young actor (The Devil's Advocate, The Recruit, etc.). Here, he plays Walter Abrams, the head of a sports consulting firm who finds his protégé in Brandon Lang (Matthew McConaughey), a naïve guy with a near-psychic ability to accurately handicap gridiron match-ups. Brandon's picks make both men rich, but personality conflicts threaten to derail both their careers. The film's entertainment value can be found in its incoherence -- this movie is so ludicrous on so many fundamental levels (unexplained character motivations, clumsy scene transitions) that it almost crosses over into camp territory. -- Brunson
· THE UNTOLD STORY OF EMMET LOUIS TILL 4 stars. (NR) Keith Beauchamp's documentary is one of the rare films to make a difference in the real world: as a work in progress, it inspired the justice department to reopen the notorious, 50 year-old lynching case of teenage Emmet Till in Mississippi. Beauchamp breaks no stylistic ground in the film, but the chronicle of injustice in the Jim Crow era South remains as shocking now as then, and features powerful archival material of Southern racism and the birth of the dawn of the Civil Rights movement. -- Holman
· WAITING ... (R) This raunchy comedy stars Ryan Reynolds, Anna Faris and Justin Long as the restless, partying, sex-obsessed waitstaff of a chain restaurant called "Shenanigan's."
· WALLACE & GROMIT: THE CURSE OF THE WERE-RABBIT 3 stars. (G) Inane inventor Wallace (voiced by Peter Sallis) and his silent, sensible dog Gromit take on an oversized rabbit-monster before their town's beloved vegetable competition. Compared to Chicken Run and the Claymation duo's short films, Were-Rabbit's script feels thin and puns feel forced, but the film's brilliant set-pieces wittily lampoon horror film clichés. -- Holman
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