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Movie Reviews

A G rating takes the teeth out of this lion and cheetah documentary

Cheetah mother Sita stalks an antelope in the tall grasses of the Kenyan savannah. She chases her quarry, closing the gap between them with bounding strides. Sita leaps, claws out, and lands upon the antelope’s hindquarters.     And cut!     The director returns to Sita later, face smeared with blood, feeding her hungry cubs. The antelope, curiously, is nowhere to be found.

Good slasher fun is marred by lectures about the good old days.

Wes Craven (My Soul to Take) wants you damn kids to get off of his lawn. Also, the director wants the You Tube generation to show some respect for old-school slasher films.     In the reboot of the Scream franchise, the curmudgeon director sets out to prove that fusing old-school scares and new-school pop culture smarts are his forte. Craven’s got a point. When he focuses on the gore and the fun, he makes a smart, scary flick.

An action fairytale pits a little girl against the big bad wolf.

Once upon a time there was teenager named Hanna (Saoirse Ronan: The Way Back) who lived alone in the woods with her father Erik (Eric Bana: The Time Traveler’s Wife). They spend nights reading by the fire, living off the frigid land of Finland and training in the art of the kill.

An uninteresting lead turns a brooding gothic classic into a tepid tale of inconvenient love

There is a fundamental problem with adapting Jane Eyre into film: Most people know what’s in the attic. To counteract the English Lit 101 plot, the movie has to make you invest in the characters so that you dread what you know will befall them.     At the very least, filmmakers need to make that attic creepy.

Great visuals get KO’ed by an insulting, incoherent script

The world has been hard on 20-year-old Babydoll (Emily Browning: The Uninvited). After being assaulted by her stepfather and accidentally killing her sister, Babydoll is committed to an asylum. In five days, she’s scheduled for a lobotomy.

A raunchy alien makes men out of two nerds

Graeme (Simon Pegg: The Chronicles of Narnia) and Clive (Nick Frost: Pirate Radio) are two nerds living the dream. The Brits combine their savings for a trip of a lifetime to California’s Comic Con. Spending money on essentials — a Gorn mask and signed copies of Jeffrey Shadowchild’s (Jeffrey Tambor) latest sci-fi tome — the pair is looking forward to an RV trip to see the great American sights.

A hilarious western cartoon spoof sure to haunt the dreams of young children

Rango (voiced by Johnny Depp: The Tourist) is a chameleon with an identity crisis. Kept in captivity, he makes himself the hero of elaborate plays, using a Barbie torso, a windup fish and a dead bug as a supporting cast.

Do you love the 1980s? Then skip this movie.

Poor Matt Franklin (Topher Grace: Predators) is having a bummer of a year. After graduating from MIT, Matt decides to forgo a career working for the corporate machine. Instead, he works at the mall’s Suncoast Video — which is a corporation, but don’t tell Matt — and makes plans for his future.

Fast cars, naked women and explosions add up to a surprisingly dull ride

Drive Angry 3D After winning the best actor Oscar for Leaving Las Vegas, Nicolas Cage decided to become an action star. For 14 years, Cage has made a career out of kicking ass and taking names. Yet the actor never seems comfortable playing the badass. His oddly nuanced voice and pregnant pauses come off as uncertainty instead of a quirky character trait.

An excellent cast struggles to elevate a spy thriller that thinks it’s smarter than it is

Dr. Martin Harris (Liam Neeson: The Next Three Days) is having a bad day. After realizing that he’s left his briefcase, containing vital information for a bio-medical conference he’s speaking in, at the Berlin Airport, he leaves his wife (January Jones: Mad Men) at their hotel to retrieve the case. One cab crash and concussion later, Martin wakes from a four-day coma and returns to his wife and the conference.