A look at movies currently in theaters.


 

ALEXANDRA (Not rated) Director Aleksandr Sokurov’s “Alexandra” is a war film without bullets, bloodshed or battles, yet replete with casualties. An exquisitely acted, uplifting anti-war war story. (A)

BABY MAMA (PG-13) Tina Fey (“30 Rock”) plays a busy career woman who hires a surrogate mother (Amy Poehler) so she can avoid maternity leave and stay on the corporate fast track. (B)  

BRA BOYS (R) Russell Crowe narrates the story of the Bra Boys, a group of poor, mostly fatherless children with chips on their shoulders and surfboards under their feet. A sad, exhilarating film. (B)

BRICK LANE (PG-13) A teen forced into an arranged marriage moves from Bangladesh to London, where she enters into a passionate affair that forces her to choose. (Not Reviewed)

THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN (PG-13) The Pevensie kids return to Narnia to find a new tyrannical leader whom they attempt to unseat, assisted by the chatty critters that helped make the first film so enchanting. (B)

THE EDGE OF HEAVEN (Not rated) Award-winning assemblage of stories exploring issues of chance, fate and irony and how all affect three families caught in a tempest that crosses borders, cultures and ideology. (B+)

ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD (G) Werner Herzog (“Grizzly Man,” “Rescue Dawn”) travels to the South Pole and encounters a strange but fascinating collection of scientists, researchers and laborers. (A-)

THE FALL (R) An injured girl (Catinca Untaru) is befriended by another hospital patient who is bedridden and (Lee Pace) enchants her with a story that takes her to colorful, imaginative places. (B)

FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (R) Jason Segel is an insecure loser whose girlfriend (Kristen Bell) leaves him. A raucous, raunchy and sweet film that veers between dizzying happiness and lovelorn sadness. (B)

GET SMART (PG-13) The hit ‘60s TV show changed from a comedy with action to an action film with comedy. Steve Carell fills the shoe phones of Maxwell Smart. But is it as good as the TV show? Missed it by that much. (B)

GONZO: THE LIFE AND WORK of DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON (R) Disappointing examination of the ‘70s cult hero whose writing style evolved into what is now known as Gonzo journalism. The film concentrates on his peak years, 1965 to 1975. (C+)

HANCOCK (PG-13) A new take on the superhero genre. Will Smith plays a drunken, abrasive superhero who leaves destruction in the wake of his acts of goodness. Time to change his image, and maybe the guy, too. (A-)

THE HAPPENING (R) M. Night Shyamalan’s latest effort about a deadly, unseen monster terrorizing a small town is really bad. Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel star. (D-)

 HELLBOY II: THE GOLDEN ARMY (PG-13) Guillermo del Torro outdoes himself with the sequel to the 2004 flick about the comic book character. Absurd humor, great visuals, and Ron Perlman nails the title role. (B)

THE INCREDIBLE HULK (PG-13) Sequel to the 2003 film “Hulk,” Edward Norton stars as that mutating scientist Bruce Banner. Much better writing than the first film, with lots of action and special effects. (B)

INDIANA JONES...KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL (PG-13) Long on action, short on story, and it’s hard to believe that Harrison Ford at age 65 can leap off waterfalls or hop from a speeding car. It’s the worst one of the franchise. (D)

IRON MAN (PG-13) Robert Downey Jr. stars as a billionaire industrialist and genius inventor who builds a high-tech suit of armor to escape captivity. It’s mostly bad. (C)

 JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH (G) The 3D special effects are spectacular but otherwise this is an unnecessary remake of the great 1959 classic based on the Jules Verne novel. (C-)


KIT KITTREDGE: AN AMERICAN GIRL (G) Abigail Breslin stars in this Depression-era drama based on a character from the American Girl doll series. Breslin creates a heroine for the ages. (B-)

KUNG FU PANDA (PG) Dustin Hoffman and Jack Black lead the voice talent in an animated tale about a panda bear who learns martial arts from a wise old wolf. Nice to look at, but not much else. (C-)

THE LOVE GURU (PG-13) Mike Myers plays an Indian guru who’s hired to straighten out a hockey player’s troubled marriage, which the guru hopes will land him a spot on Oprah. Sophomoric bathroom humor, but undeniably funny, in fits and starts. (B-)

    MEET DAVE  (PG)  Eddie Murphy stars in this comedy about a pint-sized alien who employs  advanced electronics to take full-sized human form. Good for only a very few laughs. (C-)

MONGOL (R) An epic telling of the early years of the man who was to become Genghis Khan. Spectacular photography, thrilling and violent battle scenes, and a love story in the middle of it all. In Mongolian with English subtitles. (B+)

MY FATHER, MY LORD (Not rated) An orthodox rabbi (Assi Dayan) must deal with the knowledge that his obsession with following scripture to the letter inadvertently contributes to his young son’s death. (Not Reviewed)

 MY WINNIPEG  (Not rated) Director Guy  Maddin’s ode to his hometown blends local and personal  history into a surreal  experience. Winner of  Best Canadian Film at  last fall’s  Toronto  International Film  Festival. (A)

THE PROMOTION (R) John C. Reilly and Seann William Scott play rivals battling for the same job with a grocery chain. Woefully lacking in cleverness and humor. Jenna Fischer and Lili Taylor co-star. (C-)

REPRISE (R) Two friends and aspiring novelists send off their first manuscripts. Six months later, one manuscript has proven successful and one a failure. A lame, predictable story. (D)

SEX AND THE CITY (R) If you miss the frank sexual talk between Carrie, Samantha, Charlotte and Miranda, you’re about to get a big fix.  The trio proves to single gals that there’s a happy ending after 40. (B+)

THE STRANGERS (R) A trio of masked intruders terrorize a couple (Liv  Tyler, Scott Speedman) while they cower in fear  inside an isolated cabin. A good, scary horror flick. (B+)

THE VISITOR (PG-13) A serio-comedy about a directionless professor (Richard Jenkins) who finds a new appreciation for life after becoming closely attached to a trio of illegal immigrants. (B)

 THE WACKNESS (R)  A coming-of-age yarn  about a teenaged pot dealer (Josh Peck), his crazy psychiatrist  (Ben Kingsley) and the shrink’s  stepdaughter  (Olivia Thirlby). Great performances, cliched story. (C)

 WALL-E (G) The latest Pixar entry follows the exploits of a robotic trash compactor trying to woo another droid in the year 2805, long after humans have abandoned the Earth. (B)

WANTED (R) Angelina Jolie kicks butt in this intense action flick about a female assassin sent to train a diminutive nerd (James McAvoy) in the ways of professional murder. (B)

YOU DON’T MESS WITH THE ZOHAN (PG-13) Adam Sandler plays an Israeli commando who fakes his death so he can move to New York and become a hairdresser Steady flow of raunchy, off-color humor, reminiscent of SNL. (C)

New England Arts