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Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules. In this sequel to 2010’s surprise hit, Greg Heffley, the kid who made “wimpy” cool, begins seventh grade and tries to deal with his parents’ misguided attempts to make him bond with his older brother, who is his chief tormentor. PG 96 minutes (Fox, FP, FT, LC)
Sucker Punch. Five young women (Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens and Jamie Chung) institutionalized in a mental hospital try to escape through an alternate reality filled with dragons, monsters, and peril as a means of escape. PG-13 120 minutes (FP, FT, LC)
Summaries are condensed from Blade reviews and reflect the theater schedule starting Friday. 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.
Fox: Fox Theater, 3725 Williston Rd., Northwood,; 419-690-0187
FP: Rave Franklin Park 16, 5001 Monroe St.; 419-472-1816.
FT: Rave Fallen Timbers, 2300 Village Drive West, Maumee; 419-878-0005.
LC: Rave Levis Commons, State Rt. 25 and I-475, Perrysburg; 419-874-5693.
MIT: Maumee Indoor Theater, 601 Conant, Maumee; 419-897-8901.
KEY TO RATINGS
G: GENERAL AUDIENCES: All ages.
PG: PARENTAL GUIDANCE SUGGESTED. Some material may not be suitable for children.
PG-13: PARENTS STRONGLY CAUTIONED. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
R: RESTRICTED. Under 17 requires youth to be accompanied by parent or adult guardian.
The Adjustment Bureau. Making a good, detail-oriented science-fiction film is tough enough, let alone cramming a love story into the mix. But The Adjustment Bureau successfully pulls it off, thanks to writer and first-time director George Nolfi, working from a 1954 short story by Philip K. Dick, about godly destiny vs. human freewill. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt are well cast as new lovers kept apart by enforcers of a supreme plan that dictates they are not meant to be together. But the pair will not give up so easily. PG-13 ** 1/2 99 minutes. (Baird) (Fox, FP, FT, LC)
Battle: Los Angeles. Aaron Eckhart, Michelle Rodriguez, and Bridget Moynahan are among the U.S. Marines drawing a line in the sand against alien invaders in this special-effects extravaganza. Because the film doesn't deviate from a successful formula, it's mostly entertaining, and the underrated Eckhart turns out to be its saving grace. PG-13 *** 116 minutes. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)
Beastly. This modern retelling of Beauty and the Beast has Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) as the handsome but cruel young man who is transformed into a hideous monster so he can understand the true meaning of love. Witty, warm, well-cast, and often wickedly funny, it lets Vanessa Hudgens shine and Pettyfer give a hint of what all the fuss over him is about. PG-13 *** 95 minutes. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
Gnomeo & Juliet. Shakespeare's best-known tragedy gets a kid-friendly reimagining as an animated tale of two warring clans of garden gnomes. Emily Blunt is Juliet and James McAvoy is Gnomeo, who fall in love, try to keep their feelings secret from their families, and wind up caught in the backyard feud. Despite a few inspired moments, Gnomeo & Juliet, like its bland animation and soundtrack by Elton John, is a mostly ordinary and dull affair. G ** 1/2 84 minutes. (Baird) (LC)
Hall Pass. Another strikeout from Bobby and Peter Farrelly, the writing-directing brothers who have stalled out their careers after Something About Mary and Kingpin. They take a promising premise -- two husbands with roving eyes who are given week-long reprieves from their marriages by their wives -- and waste it on stale gross-out gags and moderately amusing comedy scenes. R ** 1/2 98 minutes. (Baird) (FP)
Just Go With It. In order to convince the girl of his dreams that he's a family-oriented guy, a man (Adam Sandler) enlists the help of a single mother (Jennifer Aniston) and her kids. It's a rarely amusing movie overwhelmed by grating kids, unfunny sidekicks, half-hearted Sandler funny voices, and Aniston's growing fear of smiling. PG-13 * 110 minutes. (Wire review) (FT, LC)
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The King's Speech. Colin Firth plays the man who becomes King George VI after his brother abdicates. Plagued with a dreadful stutter, he hires an unorthodox speech therapist (Geoffrey Rush) to help him. The meeting of the unstoppable force that is Rush's speech therapist and the immovable object that is Firth's future English king is as good as one-on-one acting gets. R ***** 118 minutes. (Wire review) (FT, LC)
Limitless. Bradley Cooper plays a slacker whose life is slowly falling apart -- until he starts popping illegal pills that turn him into a supergenius. But the drug, of course, has unforeseen side effects. Directed with nimble efficiency and a sense of visual humor by Neil Burger, the film is a nifty, stylish little exercise in drug-fueled paranoia. PG-13 *** 1/2 105 minutes (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
The Lincoln Lawyer. Matthew McConaughey is perfect as Mick, a slick, smarmy, hustling lawyer who generally defends hookers, pushers, and bikers. When he's hired to represent a very rich, perhaps dangerous young man (Ryan Phillippe), Mick finds he's in way over his head. The supporting cast in this adaptation of Michael Connelly's novel is also superb, and the plot has twists and turns aplenty. R **** 119 minutes. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
Mars Needs Moms. Disney revisits 1950s sci-fi with its latest animated feature about a boy (voiced by Seth Green) fighting to rescue his mom after she's kidnapped by Martians. The animated tale is touching, but it lacks a much-needed sense of fun. PG ** 1/2 88 minutes (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
No Strings Attached. Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutchner co-star as a pair of friends with benefits -- until romantic feelings start getting in the way of their purely sexual relationship. Portman shows off considerable comedy chops, and Kutcher finally lands a big-screen role in which he doesn't flounder. The sturdy but unspectacular film is sometimes funny and occasionally insightful. R *** 110 minutes (Baird) (MIT)
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Rango. Johnny Depp provides the lead voice in this animated tale of an adventurous chameleon that must protect a small Western town from bandits. Timothy Olyphant, Abigail Breslin, Alfred Molina, and Ned Beatty round out the cast of this exuberant, audacious love letter to spaghetti Westerns. PG * ** * 107 minutes. (Wire review) (Fox, FP, FT, LC)
Red Riding Hood. Director Catherine Hardwicke (Twilight, Thirteen) turns the old fable into a medieval horror film starring Amanda Seyfried as the young woman trying to outrun a werewolf. The dialogue is cut-and-paste pabulum, and attempts to leaven the overly serious tone of the film fall flat. PG-13 * 1/2 110 minutes (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)
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 minutes (Baird) (MIT)