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Year: Stars: Rating: Reviewer:

13 Assassins (2011)

Think The Seven Samurai with a revisionist twist. Yes, there’s a villain with murderous henchmen terrorizing the countryside. Yes, a master samurai must gather a team to confront the bad guys. But this time, the villain is royalty, the kind of guy the samurai usually live to serve. And this ... (R)

2.0 starsMatthew Lickona

1911 (2011)

It’s being touted as his 100th starring role, but Jackie Chan’s heroics take a backseat to Winston Chao’s endless speech-making in this commemorative retelling of the birth of the Republic of China. Unless you have more than a working knowledge of the subject, this could conceivably be the longest two ... (R)

1.0 starsScott Marks

30 Minutes or Less (2011)

Fargo: the Next Generation? Perhaps, if by that you mean “brisk, violent, and largely unsentimental about the depths of human folly.” It’s also the least preening of Summer 2011’s many raunch comedies, content to spend its time among the genuinely raunchy. A would-be white-trash criminal mastermind (Danny McBride) straps a ... (R)

2.0 starsMatthew Lickona

3 Backyards (2011)

Moody and delicate — and imposing, if you surrender to it. Eric Mendelsohn’s second feature (Judy Berlin came out in 1999) considers a summer day in suburban Long Island. Kasper Tuxen’s light-entranced imagery wraps sensual sites around people whose feelings often fail to find words: an alienated husband (Elias Koteas), ... (R)

3.0 starsDavid Elliott

50/50 (2011)

A slice-of-life indie-looking movie about a peevish, aimless young man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) facing cancer. Except it’s mostly not really about the young man’s struggle with cancer; it’s about his difficulties with girls (Mom included). Once you have that down, it’s easier to see why most of the film seems to ... (R)

1.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Abduction (2011)

A young man finds his baby photo plastered across a missing persons website. A solid foundation for a thriller wasted on still another attempt to renew interest in director John Singleton’s faded reputation, this time via a Taylor Lautner vehicle. From *Boyz n the Hood* to a boy made of ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsScott Marks

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are Beautiful People in Love who just want to be together, darn it. But The Chairman (i.e., God) has other plans — or rather, The Plan. So the Chairman dispatches his agents (including Terence Stamp and Mad Men’s John Slattery) to keep the lovers apart. ... (PG-13)

1.0 starsMatthew Lickona

The Adventures of Tintin (2011)

Three of the Franco-Belgian comic-book yarns by Hergé are smoothly poured into a pretty, motion-capture animation by Steven Spielberg. Short on real cartooning, long on quaintness, short on story, long on hectic action, it is for unimaginative boys 7 to 12. For the rest of us, it is a kind ... (PG)

1.0 starsDavid Elliott

African Cats (2011)

Documentary about cheetahs and lions living wild on the savannah. Expect some carnage. Narrated by Samuel L. Jackson. (G)

None stars

A Little Bit of Heaven (2011)

There’s a gay, black BFF living down the hall, a suffocatingly adorable mom, a handsome Jewish doctor, the obligatory Hallmark greeting card romantic interlude (parasailing, anyone?), characters who break out into spontaneous sing-alongs, and Whoopi Goldberg as God. What separates this from all the other chick flicks out there? Colon ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsScott Marks

Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (2011)

It’s possible that the eight- to ten-year-old set has not been sufficiently exposed to Lady Gaga. This should fix that. It’s also possible that comedian David Cross was not yet bereft of human dignity. This should fix that, too. And in case you’d forgotten how much you loved Tom Hanks ... (G)

1.0 starsMatthew Lickona

Americano (2011)

Mathieu Demy's Americano (which he wrote, directed, and stars in) is a loving tribute to his parents, divine cinematic beings Agnes Varda and Jacques Demy. Don't worry, though; even if you can't screen Lola, The Model Shop, and Jacquot de Nantes in advance, Americano stands on its own as an ... (NR)

3.0 starsScott Marks

America the Beautiful 2: The Thin Commandments (2011)

Darryl Roberts’s sequel to his 2007 documentary about slenderness obsession brings the male-fitness element forward — along with, as before, girls and women subjected to extreme beauty regimens. (NR)

None stars

Amigo (2011)

The 17th feature film from veteran director John Sayles. Joel Torre plays a village mayor caught in the crossfire of the Philippine-American guerrilla war. With Chris Cooper, DJ Qualls, Ronnie Lazaro. (R)

None stars

Anonymous (2011)

Never before has a “Shakespearean” movie been this lousy. Rafe Spall plays the bard as a bumpkin, virtually illiterate, but the dim actors think he created the great plays scripted in secret by the haughty snob Edward, 17th Earl of Oxford (Rhys Ifans, desperate to hold on to some dignity). ... (PG-13)

0.0 starsScott Marks