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Published: Thursday, 3/29/2012

Movie reviews: 3-29

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.

21 Jump Street. Schmidt and Jenko are more than ready to leave their adolescent problems behind. Joining the police force and the secret Jump Street unit, they use their youthful appearances to go undercover in a local high school to investigate a violent and dangerous drug ring. But they find that high school is nothing like they left it just a few years earlier -- and neither expects that they will have to confront the terror and anxiety of being a teenager again and all the issues they thought they had left behind. R ** 109 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

A Separation. Wanting to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh, Simin makes all the necessary arrangements. However, her husband Nader refuses to leave behind his father who suffers from Alzheimer's. Determined to leave, Simin sues for divorce, and when her request is rejected, she moves in with her parents. Her daughter Termeh chooses to stay with her father with the hope that one day her mother will change her mind. PG-13 ***** 123 min. (Wire review) (LC)

A Thousand Words. Fast-talking agent Jack's insincere patter is his chief weapon, but it irritates his assistant Aaron, threatens his marriage to Caroline and gets him into trouble repping guru/author Dr. Sinja. Jack suffers karmic repercussions from Sinja's magical Bodhi tree, which sheds one leaf for each word Jack speaks. After one thousand words, Jack will die. PG-13 * 91 min. (Wire review) (FP)

Act of Valor follows a Navy Seal squad on a covert mission to recover a kidnapped CIA agent, and in the process takes down a complex web of terrorist cells determined to strike America at all costs. The filmmakers had unprecedented Naval access resulting in high-octane combat sequences and never-before-seen military operation scenes which are composited from actual events in the lives of the men appearing in the film and their comrades. R ** 1/2 101 min. (Wire review) (LC, FT)

Beauty and the Beast. Walt Disney Pictures' magical animated classic returns to the big screen in Disney Digital 3-D, introducing a whole new generation to the Disney classic. Shown in 2-D on select show times. G ***** 84 min. (Wire review) (MIT)

Friends with Kids is a daring and poignant ensemble comedy about a close-knit circle of friends at that moment in life when children arrive and everything changes. The last two singles in the group observe the effect that kids have had on their friends' relationships and wonder if there's a better way. They decide to have a kid together -- and date other people. R **** 100 min. (Wire review) (LC)

The Hunger Games. Set in a future where the Capitol selects a boy and girl from the twelve districts to fight to the death on live television, 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place for the latest match. If she's ever to return home, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. PG-13 **** 142 min. (FP, LC, FT, SDI)

The Iron Lady. A look at the life of Margaret Thatcher (Meryl Streep), the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, with a focus on the price she paid for power. PG-13 *** 105 min. (Baird) (MIT )

John Carter. War-weary former military captain John Carter is inexplicably transported to Mars where he becomes reluctantly embroiled in a conflict of epic proportions amongst the inhabitants of the planet. In a world on the brink of collapse, Carter rediscovers his humanity when he realizes that the survival of the people rests in his hands. In 3-D at select theaters. PG-13 ** 139 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

Journey 2: Mysterious Island. The new journey begins when young adventurer Sean receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist -- a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean's new stepfather joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter, they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever. In 3-D at select locations. PG ** 1/2 94 min. (Wire review) (FP)

The Lorax. This is an adaptation of Dr. Seuss' classic tale of a forest creature who shares the enduring power of hope. The animated adventure follows the journey of a boy as he searches for the one thing that will enable him to win the affection of the girl of his dreams. To find it he must discover the story of the Lorax, the grumpy yet charming creature who fights to protect his world. In 3-D at select locations. PG *** 95 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

Project X. Three high school seniors attempt to make a name for themselves by throwing one unforgettable house party. As word spreads, the party takes on a life of its own and before the night is over, dreams are ruined, records are blemished, and legends are born. R **** 88 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT, SDI)

Silent House. A young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) finds herself sealed inside her family's secluded lake house. With no contact with the outside world, and no way out, panic turns to terror as events become increasingly ominous in and around the house. R *** 88 min. (Wire review) (SDI)

This Means War. Chris Pine and Thomas Hardy are two CIA agents who launch into spy-vs.-spy antics when they discover they are dating the same woman (Reese Witherspoon). PG-13 ** 98 min. (Wire review) (FT)

The Vow. Based on the true story of a newlywed couple recovering from an accident that puts the wife in a coma. She wakes up with severe memory loss and can't remember any of her life with her new husband -- so he has to fight to win her heart all over again. PG-13 *** 104 min. (Wire review) (FT)

War Horse. Set against a sweeping canvas of rural England and Europe during the First World War, War Horse begins with the remarkable friendship between a horse named Joey and a young man called Albert, who tames and trains him. When they are forcefully parted, the film follows the extraordinary journey of the horse as he moves through the war, changing and inspiring the lives of all those he meets -- British cavalry, German soldiers, and a French farmer and his granddaughter -- before the story reaches its emotional climax in the heart of No Man's Land. PG-13 *** 146 min. (Wire review) (MIT)



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