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Published: Thursday, 5/26/2011

Movie reviews: 5-26

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.

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) (MIT)

Bridesmaids. Judd Apatow produced this comedy strictly to his formula of the outsider with a good heart who faces big obstacles on her way to happiness. In this case, the outsider is Kristen Wiig, who plays one of five bridesmaids trying to plan the perfect wedding for their friend (Maya Rudolph). Unfortunately, the film is only sporadically funny, and the cast isn't really adept at getting the small laughs between the big jokes. R ** 1/2 125 minutes. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, SDI)

Everything Must Go. A relapsed alcoholic (Will Ferrell) who loses his job, his wife, and his home holds a yard sale in an attempt to start over. It's based on a short story by Raymond Carver, and you can almost feel writer-director Dan Rush trying to pad the scant theme with subplots, but it's a wonderful showcase for Ferrell and his multiple talents. R *** 96 minutes. (Vancheri) (LC)

Fast Five. It offers one of the better car-chase sequences in recent memory, as well as one of the more implausible, so leave logic at home and roll with what this latest Fast and Furious sequel gives you. Fugitives Dominic (Vin Diesel) and O'Conner (Paul Walker) team up with a specialized crew to steal millions from a ruthless crime lord in Rio de Janeiro. Dwayne Johnson is the U.S. superagent sent south to bring the pair back to justice. PG-13 *** 130 minutes. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC)

Hop. Live-action and animation blend in this comedy about a man (James Marsden) who accidentally hits the son of the Easter bunny (voiced by Russell Brand) with his car and ends up with the world's worst houseguest. The premise is promising, but the end result is about as bland as carrot-flavored jelly beans. PG ** 1/2 90 minutes. (Wire review) (MIT)

Jumping the Broom. Two families from different socioeconomic backgrounds must find a way to get along when they attend a wedding on Martha's Vineyard. Angela Bassett, Paula Patton, and Mike Epps are some of the folks attending the ceremony in this comedy that plays like a Tyler Perry movie, only with polish. PG-13 *** 113 minutes. (Wire review) (FP, FT)

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. The fourth voyage of the successful franchise ditches the cumbersome subplots and overwrought CGI in favor of a more streamlined story and lighter tone. Johnny Depp returns as Capt. Jack Sparrow, this time leading a search for the fabled Fountain of Youth. Among the searchers are the pirate Blackbeard (Ian McShane) and his daughter Angelica (Penelope Cruz). The film has a breezy summer-movie feel, thanks to Rob Marshall (Chicago), who takes over directorial work from Gore Verbinski. PG-13 *** 1/2 137 minutes. (Baird) (Fox, FP, FT, LC, SDI)

Priest. In the ravaged, post-apocalyptic remnants of a long war between humans and vampires, a warrior priest (Paul Bettany) disobeys his superiors to try to rescue a girl who's been abducted by bloodsuckers. The film is little more than a mad mash-up of sci-fi, Western, sacreligious silliness, and vampire movies. PG-13 * 1/2 87 minutes. (Wire review) (FP, FT)

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) (MIT)

Something Borrowed. After a night of too much partying, a lonely-hearts attorney (Ginnifer Goodwin) gets lucky with the guy she's had a crush on since college (Colin Egglesfield). The only problem: He's engaged to marry her best friend (Kate Hudson). The characters are so ill-defined or unlikable, it's hard to care whether they get out of this tricky situation. PG-13 * 1/2 103 minutes. (Wire review) (FP, FT, LC)

Thor. As the movie debut of the mythological god with the hammer of thunder, Thor falls somewhere in the middle of the pack of comic-book adaptations. Chris Hemsworth excels as the title character, having the look of a Norse god and the sly wink to pull off some of the film's surprising comedic moments. His impressive work on camera, though, is often upstaged by director Kenneth Branagh's clumsy failure behind it. Thor is a should-have-been superhero film of mostly unrealized potential. PG-13 ** 1/2 130 minutes. (Baird) (FP, FT, LC, SDI)



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