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Arts and Culture (Movie Reviews)

Circus folk get squished between rogue cowboys and vengeful ninjas in this strange bit of camp.

Yang (Dong-gun Jang: The Promise) is the greatest swordsman of mankind and the deadliest assassin of the Sad Flutes, a Korean warrior clan. He has become his own clan’s worst enemy, though, after failing to take the life of a baby girl for the sake of wiping out a rival clan. Escaping retribution, Yang flees with the child to America and into western badlands. There he settles in among sad carnies in a dead town and teaches a plucky dame how to wield a blade....

A lewd romantic dramedy with gratuitous nudity bouncing around the conceit of trying to say something profound.

What an odd little romance.

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Wizards and muggles will find fun and suspense as Harry’s magical world collapses around him

When the screen faded to black at the end of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows there was an audible protest from the audience. The fact that a packed house sat still for 146 minutes and begged for more when the credits rolled is probably the best recommendation I can give.

But they pay me to write more than a paragraph.

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A veteran engineer and novice conductor race to subdue a rampaging locomotive in this fun chase.

Frank (Denzel Washington: The Book of Eli) is a veteran railroad engineer trying to train up a distracted rookie, Will (Chris Pine: Star Trek). They’ve just hit the main line when they find out a fully loaded runaway train with tankers full of highly explosive cargo — “a missile the size of the Chrysler Building” — is roaring through southern Pennsylvania towns at speeds over 70 miles per hour toward a dangerous S-curve....

Evil makes good in this amusing superhero farce.

Megamind (Will Ferrell: The Other Guys) is the brainiac supervillain of Metro City. He terrorizes the town in his repetitive quest to defeat superpowered arch nemesis and golden boy Metro Man (Brad Pitt: Inglourious Basterds). That is, until the villain finally knocks the hero out of the picture. Finally, Megamind owns the town, but without a rival to challenge him the fun is gone....

A sister struggles to free her innocent brother in this jumbled biographical legal drama.

Betty Anne (Hilary Swank: Amelia) and Kenny (Sam Rockwell: Iron Man 2) are tight-knit siblings bound by hardship and mischief. Kenny’s a little more mischievous, though, and the favorite suspect of local cops winds up serving a life sentence without parole when they pin him for a vicious murder....

This meditative speculation on the spiritual realm is easily the quietest death-minded movie in the Cineplex this Halloween.

Three strangers are wrestling with death. Marie (Cécile De France: Mesrine: Killer Instinct), a French journalist, is revived after nearly being consumed by the Indian Ocean tsunami and emerges shaken by her brush with the afterlife. Marcus, a British schoolboy, is left rudderless when his twin brother Jason is stolen by tragedy (Frankie and George McLaren in their debut)....

A bigger budget means louder, not scarier, thrills in this horror prequel

I don’t think of myself as a horror wimp. I’ve seen it all, and I’ll watch the sequels. That said, the first Paranormal Activity creeped me out. Days later an unexplained noise or a movement in my peripheral vision would cause me to tense and search for its demonic origins. Paranormal Activity 2 is a worthy step in the series, but it nowhere nears the original’s scare-power.

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Superspy sages come out of retirement swinging in this snappy comic action flick.

Frank Moses (Bruce Willis: Cop Out) is a lonely guy, quietly whiling away retirement with regular phone calls to his federal pension agent, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker: TV’s Weeds). Dimmed verve gets a jolt, though, when a hit squad comes crashing through his home in the dead of night. Suddenly he’s crisscrossing the country, fighting off a kill order and CIA hotshot William (Karl Urban: Star Trek) even while connecting with mothballed allies and assets....

An upstart horse owner rocks the racing world in this capable equine sports drama.

Penny (Diane Lane: Nights in Rodanthe) is a Denver housewife returned to the family’s Virginia horse farm by her mother’s death. She means to stay just long enough to set the stables in order. But Penny’s equestrian id returns full force, and her passion flares when she’s gifted with the prize foal that will become Secretariat. She’s hooked....