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Published: Wednesday, 12/15/2010

Movie reviews: 12-16

Summaries are condensed from Blade reviews and reflect the theater schedule starting tomorrow. Films are rated on a scale of 5 stars (best) to Bomb (worst). The reviewer’s name, movie running time, and abbreviations of the theaters where the movie is playing are at the end of each summary.

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Like its two film predecessors, Dawn Treader fails to live up to the magic and wonder of C.S. Lewis’s books. The story centers on the youngest Pevensie children, Edmund (Skandar Keynes) and Lucy (Georgie Henley), and their annoying cousin Eustace (Will Poulter), who are called back to Narnia to help King Caspian fight off a mysterious evil. From the acting to the effects, most of the film is little more than a third-rate fantasy experience. PG ★ (Baird) (Fox, FP, FT, LC)

Despicable Me. The world’s most nefarious villain (voiced by Steve Carell) is planning the greatest crime in history — stealing the moon. But the arrival of three orphaned girls throws a wrench into his plans. Julie Andrews, Will Arnett, and Russell Brand round out the voice cast of this computer-animated comedy. PG ★★★ 95 minutes. (Wire review) (MIT)

Due Date. Robert Downey, Jr., plays an uptight businessman whose race home for his child’s birth sets him on a bumpy road trip with an aspiring actor (Zach Galifianakis). Often shocking and wildly inappropriate, it’s still hilarious, thanks to a lot of riffing by a very funny cast. R ★★★ 95 minutes. (Wire review) (FP)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 marks the beginning of end for the beloved series. And what a finale it turns out to be as Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his faithful friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), embark on a desperate quest to stop the evil Lord Voldemart (Ralph Fiennes) once and for all. Even without a true ending — that will come next summer with Part 2 — the dark, gloomy, and exciting Deathly Hallows doesn’t disappoint, casting a spell that is impossible to resist. PG-13 ★★★★ 150 min. (Baird) (Fox, FP, FT, LC)

Love and Other Drugs. Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal) is a pharmaceuticals salesman and ladies man who prefers one-night stands over long-term commitments. Maggie Murdock (Anne Hathaway) is a sassy, independent spirit Jamie cannot seem to resist or tame. Their relationship is only part of the story, as the film explores bigger topics including our need for cure-all pills, and a system designed to exploit that. R ★★★ 112 min. (Baird) (FP)

Megamind. Brad Pitt, Will Ferrell, and Tina Fey provide voices for an animated comedy about a supervillain whose life is empty after defeating his superhero nemesis. The plot is uninspired and predictable, and there’s not nearly enough humor to cover for it. PG ★★ 96 minutes. (Wire review) (FP)

Red. Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, and Helen Mirren star as a team of retired CIA agents framed for murder by their former bosses. The plot is strictly pedestrian, but the A-list cast lifts the action flick to B-movie fun. PG-13 ★★★ 111 min. (Baird) (MIT)

Tangled. The magic at the Mouse House continues with this twisted take on the classic Rapunzel tale. The film offers wondrous 3D animation, laughs, an enjoyable song or two, and loads of fun. PG ★★★100 min. (Baird) (Fox, FP, FT, LC)

The Tourist. Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp play, respectively, a woman of interest to European law enforcement agencies because of her connection to an international thief and the American mathematician she uses to fool the authorities. The romance and danger increase from there, but there’s still nothing remarkable about this remake of the 2005 French film Anthony Zimmer. ★★ 104 min. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)



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