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Stars May Shine, But Nine Still Suffers from Sensory Overload

Even with five Oscar-winning actresses delivering fantastic performances without really having that much to work with, the screen adaptation of Broadway musical Nine may have the star wattage but ultimately does little in the way of actually illuminating the audience.

Meryl Streep Shines Once Again in It's Complicated

Between serving up a pitch-perfect portrayal of Julia Child in this summer's Julie & Julia, voicing George Clooney's wife in Fantastic Mr. Fox and proving that 50 is apparently the new 30 in the saucy rom-com It's Complicated, it's been another dazzling year in cinema for the Oscar winner.

Imagination Reaches Overload in The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus

The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus is so bursting with visual wonders and ideas about faith and belief that one viewing can't do it justice. With only time for one viewing, this reviewer absorbed enough, however, to understand that, despite some memorable moments, the film is a disjointed mess.

Crazy Heart Tells It Like It Is

It's an old tale told a thousand times—the washed up, boozed up, aging singer, who's making his rounds at bars and music dumps, hoping for one more chance at life and love. That's Crazy Heart in a nutshell. And that's where this review would end if it were not for a stellar performance by Jeff Bridges.

Costumes, Art Direction Trump Performances in The Young Victoria

The Young Victoria is not the best film currently playing, or even a particularly good one, because the story has a split personality. But some beautiful interior shots and costuming compensate somewhat for this period piece's identity crisis.

Heartbreak Overshadowed by Special Effects in The Lovely Bones

Those hoping for glimpses of Peter Jackson's stunning foray into dream-like drama with 1994's Heavenly Creatures will be sorely disappointed in The Lovely Bones. Not only does it lack the book's emotional gravitas, but the choice of garish, Cirque du Soleil visuals end up downplaying the story's real focus.

Watson Keeps Entertaining Sherlock Holmes Chugging Along

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's detective has been reinvented for the Jason Bourne age. Adding to the brawn and brains is a dash of romance. But the main chemistry is between Holmes and Dr. Watson, a sidekick who just can't kick the habit of helping Holmes solve another case.

By-the-Books Smarts VS Life Experience Debated in An Education

In addition to an old-fashioned love story complete with a gloriously throwback aesthetic, An Education poses the age-old question of which educational experiences are really the most important: what happens in the classroom or in "the real world."

The Blind Side Shows Faith in Action

After burnishing her star power with the summer hit The Proposal, Sandra Bullock embodies Leigh Anne Tuohy in The Blind Side and, in the process, creates one of the year’s more memorable characters. And she’s no fictional creation.

Quirky Fantastic Mr. Fox Lives Up to Its Title

It's nearly impossible to overstate how wonderful this movie is. Living up to its title as well as any film of recent memory, Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox is a whirlwind of madcap humor, surprising emotion and true artistry.

Brothers Buries Its Most Interesting Themes

Just in time for Christmas—and for President Barack Obama's newly announced strategy for the war in Afghanistan—comes Brothers, director Jim Sheridan's (In America) remake of a Danish drama about sibling and generational conflict among one military family.

Not Perfect, The Men Who Stare at Goats Still Good for Laughs

Though not perfect, The Men Who Stare At Goats still makes for a good time at the movies. At this time of year when many films are self-important Oscar-baits, it’s refreshing to have one that’s main goal is to simply make us laugh.

Action and Heartbreak the Focal Point of New Moon

With a strikingly different tone than its swoony, spooky counterpart, New Moon actually answers the age-old question that most romantic comedy scripts never have the opportunity to: What happens after the girl actually lands the man of her dreams?

Some of the Old Disney Magic Exists in The Princess and the Frog

Disney gets nostalgic and tries capitalizing on everything that's worked so well in the past, while taking advantage of new technology. Not only are there plenty of show-stopping musical numbers, but the colorful, hand-drawn animation has never been more spectacular.

Appealing Aesthetics and Emotional Depth Propel Astro Boy

There's a surprisingly human element woven in with the science of Astro Boy. Not only does the protagonist make many self-sacrificing choices, but his underlying desire to connect with others is something that virtually anyone can relate to.

Witless Morgans Aren't Really Worth Hearing About

In yet another instance where a trailer doesn't remotely match the tone of the actual film, (yes, the only funny bits were there, but the end product is far more dramatic), Did You Hear About the Morgans? is a surprisingly flat rom-com that doesn't make the most of its cast.

Heart, Humor and a Timely Launching Pad Elevate Up in the Air

With director Jason Reitman's trademark satirical bite, plenty of romantic turbulence and great starring turns from leads George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Twilight's Anna Kendrick, Up in the Air tugs at your emotions one moment and has you laughing out loud the next.

Poverty, Abuse and Hope Unflinchingly Portrayed in Precious

Not only are there Oscar-worthy performances here from newcomer Gabourey Sidibe and Mo'Nique, who is, hands down, one of the scariest villains since Heath Ledger's Joker in The Dark Knight, but director Lee Daniels gets the story just right by not shying away from the ugly truth of poverty, illiteracy and abuse.

So-So Planet 51 Gets a Boost from Much Better Movies

While recycling old ideas was basically status quo, surprisingly enough, borrowing from other otherworldly space-age flicks including Stars Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T. and Alien actually elevates Planet 51’s overall enjoyment factor.

Old Dogs Could've Used a Few New Tricks

Old Dogs could've used a few new tricks, namely a stronger, less-schmaltzy script, a more convincing friendship between protagonists played by John Travolta and Robin Williams, and well, a few more laughs that don't involve bodily functions.

Example: "Gen 1:1" "John 3" "Moses" "trust"
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