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December 19, 2008

"Australia"



2 stars (out of four)

155 minutes

Set in pre-World War II, Nicole Kidman stars as the British aristocrat who travels to confront the absent husband she suspects of philandering. PG-13 for some violence, a scene of sensuality and brief strong language. - Associated Press

Overlong and self-indulgent, this homage to epic adventure feels like a slog through the outback itself. A visually wondrous journey, one with striking visuals.




"Bolt"



2-1/2 stars

96 minutes

A scrappy, white shelter mutt named Bolt (voiced by John Travolta) isn't a superhero, but he plays one on TV. When Bolt accidentally gets shipped from Hollywood to New York City, he must make that intrepid trek back home with help from friends. PG for some mild action and peril. - Associated Press

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Bolt is just begging to play ball. The movie is sweet and eager to please but, sadly, nothing terribly special: Girl finds dog, girl loses dog, girl gets dog back.




"The Day the Earth Stood Still"



1-1/2 stars

104 minutes

OPENS FRIDAY

This is a caution about our rapacious treatment of our planet. Keanu Reeves' Klaatu shows up proclaiming he represents a coalition of civilizations that are friends of the Earth. PG-13 for some sci-fi disaster images and violence. - Associated Press

Reeves scores a new high on his own personal Zen-meter, coming across as aloof and lifeless. Exciting visual-effects and devastation through computer-generated imagery.




"Four Christmases"



1-1/2 stars

88 minutes

Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a happily unmarried couple. They lie to their families about doing charity work during the holidays to avoid seeing them. Then, they get roped into seeing both sets of parents. PG-13 for some sexual humor and language. - Associated Press

Vaughn makes the movie tolerable, but this slapsticky physical comedy doesn't suit Witherspoon, and director Seth Gordon fails to make use of her talent.




"Seven Pounds"



1-1/2 stars

118 minutes

OPENS FRIDAY

Will Smith plays a depressed IRS agent who barges into the personal lives of people he's auditing. Costars Rosario Dawson, Michael Ealy, Woody Harrelson. PG-13 for thematic material, some disturbing content and a scene of sensuality. - Scripps Howard

Disguised as a heroic love story, this is a pathetic and disingenuous attempt to pander to your emotions. It's a scattershot, unintelligible affair tied together by a late, all-explaining twist.




"Twilight"



2 stars

121 minutes

The story of Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), an introspective teen who moves from sunny Phoenix to cloudy Forks, Wash., to live with her divorced dad. She is swept up in a supernatural romance with aloof Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). PG-13 for violence and scary situations. - Associated Press

Epic star-crossed romance, melodrama, peril, an attractive young cast and an action-packed finale. But mostly, it has arguably the most passionate fan base of any literary adaptation since Harry Potter.




"Yes Man"



3 stars

108 minutes

OPENS FRIDAY

Jim Carrey plays Carl, an uptight loan officer who cuts loose after attending a self-help seminar that has him psychologically forced to answer "yes" to every opportunity - out of fear that saying "no" will turn the universe against him. PG-13 for crude sexual humor, language and brief nudity. - Scripps Howard

Carrey has a steady build of mania, as he transforms in nearly every scene from a regular guy to an unbridled force of human id. He's a whirlwind of zany reactions, odd voices and athletic pratfalls.

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