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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

17 Again (2009)

Second-chance fantasy that, through the agency of a bewhiskered supernatural school janitor, sends the middle-age-crazy hero not back in time, but back in age, back to the high school of his youth, so that he must fend off the incestuous flirtations of his teenage daughter and make age-inappropriate advances to ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

2012 (2009)

Roland Emmerich's widest view of disaster to date: the sky-high eruption of Yellowstone (Old Faithful gone Vesuvius), the toppling of the Washington Monument and St. Peter's Basilica (the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower would be so old-hat), the block-by-block collapse of Los Angeles (a rented limo outrunning the ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

44 Inch Chest (2009)

Four chums of a catatonic cuckold devise a plan to help him regain his manhood: abduct the offender so that the offended may exact revenge. An initial hint of stylishness yields to staginess, despite the flashbacks, the fantasies, and the illustrative footage from Cecil B. De Mille’s Samson and Delilah. ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

500 Days of Summer (2009)

Chronicle of the relationship of a young couple brought together at the office, a greeting-card company, through their shared taste for the music of the Smiths, among other things: “She likes Magritte and Hopper!” It is a maddeningly mixed experience, beginning (and continuing) with the two leads. A dimply Joseph ... (PG-13)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

9 (2009)

Post-apocalyptic computer cartoon by Shane Acker, set in a rusty, dusty, color-deprived future. “But life,” intones the rumbling narrator at the outset, “must go on,” even if only in the form of Lilliputian cloth-doll automatons hounded by Brobdingnagian mechanized cutlery. The realistic graphic style displays an endless devotion to tactility ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

$9.99 (2009)

Animation for adults, not solely because of a sex scene or two but because of the total tapestry of lost souls and losers around an apartment building in Sydney, one of whose residents sends away for a book, at the titular price, that promises to disclose to his uncritical eye ... (R)

2.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

About Elly (Darbareye Elly) (2009)

A little fib snowballs into an avalanche of lies over the course of a three-day family getaway. For the first 30 minutes, writer-director Asghar Farhadi acts the role of magician, using sleight-of-hand to sufficiently divert audience attention away from the cataclysmic events about to take place. It’s when Elly (Taraneh ... (NR)

2.0 starsScott Marks

Adam (2009)

Asperger’s romance (and high time, too, after Tourette’s, Alzheimer’s, etc., have had a whirl at romance) about a socially handicapped astronomy buff and his pretty upstairs new neighbor, an aspiring children’s writer, in a New York apartment house. Hugh Dancy and Rose Byrne, the afflicted and the normal respectively, play ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Adventureland (2009)

Coming-of-age comedy with airs. Jesse Eisenberg for all intents and purposes plays an extension of his pretentious youth in The Squid and the Whale, a virginal egghead (“I read poetry for pleasure sometimes”) obliged to take a minimum-wage summer job at a Pittsburgh amusement park while awaiting admission to the ... (R)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Ajami (2009)

Set in the roiling melting pot of Jaffa, the writing and directing collaboration of Jewish and Palestinian Israelis, Yaron Shani and Scandar Copti, is a push-and-pull of contradictions: a balanced and even-handed treatment of tremulous sensationalized subject matter (a mafia-like blood feud, drug traffic, forbidden love, illegal immigration, hate crime, ... (NR)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Alien Trespass (2009)

To feel affection for the grade-Z science-fiction films of the Fifties, especially as their descendants get ever more deluxe, is perfectly natural and no cause for shame. (A Not-Guilty Pleasure.) To set out in the 21st Century to make a grade-Z science-fiction film of the Fifties, purportedly shelved and now ... (PG)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

All's Faire in Love (2009)

Scott Marshall’s comedy, sprinkled with romance, about the rivalry of two modern renaissance faires. With Christina Ricci, Matthew Lillard, Ann-Margaret, Owen Benjamin, Cedric the Entertainer. (PG-13)

None stars

Amelia (2009)

Punishingly dull biopic on history's most fabled aviatrix, Amelia Earhart (portrayed by Hilary Swank, with traces of Katharine Hepburn rather than of Kansas wheatfields in her speech), her final flight endlessly interrupted by how-she-got-there flashbacks. The only suspense is in whether the film is going to offer an ending or ... (PG)

0.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

Amreeka (2009)

Divorced Palestinian single mother (Nisreen Faour, a good actress in bad photography) moves to Illinois for a better life at the worst time — the thick of Operation Iraqi Freedom — and settles for a demeaning job at White Castle ("Support our oops" on the signboard outside), meets a sympathetic ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsDuncan Shepherd

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