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Published: Thursday, 5/3/2012

Movie reviews: 5-03

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, FT)

Big Miracle. In a small town in Alaska, a news reporter recruits his ex-girlfriend -- a Greenpeace volunteer -- on a campaign to save a family of gray whales trapped by rapidly forming ice in the Arctic Circle. PG *** 123 min. (Wire review) (MIT)

The Cabin in the Woods. Horror films undergo a major metamorphosis once a decade when a new movie reconstitutes genre conventions. The self-conscious and clever Cabin in the Woods is just such a film, as what seems a routine premise -- five college coeds find horror in a secluded cabin -- proves anything but. See the film before its twisty, surprising plot is ruined, and feast on the fun Josh Whedon along with co-writer and first-time director Drew Goddard have in store. R **** 95 min. (Baird) (FP, LC, FT, SDI)

Chimpanzee. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps, who'd rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar's family is confronted by a rival band of chimps, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever. G *** 1/2 78 min. (Wire review) (FP, FT)

The Five Year Engagement. Beginning where most romantic comedies end, a look at what happens when an engaged couple, Violet and Tom, keeps getting tripped up on the long walk down the aisle and the strain it puts on their relationship. R ** 124 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT, SDI)

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. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

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) (SDI)

The Lucky One. A U.S. Marine Sergeant returns from his third tour of duty in Iraq, with the one thing he credits with keeping him alive -- a photograph he found of a woman he doesn't even know. Learning her name and where she lives, he shows up at her door, and ends up taking a job at her family-run local kennel. Despite her initial mistrust and the complications in her life, a romance develops between them, giving Logan hope that she could be much more than his good luck charm. PG-13 ** 101 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

Mirror Mirror. A fresh and funny retelling of the Snow White legend, Mirror Mirror features breakout star Lily Collins as Snow White, a princess in exile, and Julia Roberts as the evil Queen who ruthlessly rules her captured kingdom. Seven courageous rebel dwarfs join forces with Snow White as she fights to reclaim her birthright and win her Prince in this magical comedy filled with jealousy, romance, and betrayal. PG ** 1/2 106 min. (Wire review) (FT)

The Pirates: Band of Misfits. Filmmakers Peter Lord and Jeff Newitt never met a pirate pun they didn't like. And if they have, they certainly didn't bother to include it in their new animated film, The Pirates! Band of Misfits. Based on a series of humorous books by Gideon Defoe, who also wrote the screenplay, The Pirates! Band of Misfits is the tale of the Pirate Captain who desperately wants to win the coveted Pirate of the Year award. The film has jokes for kids and adults, and offers a spectacular blend of claymation and CGI. Featuring the voices of Hugh Grant as Pirate Captain and Martin Freeman as his first mate, with cameos by Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek as rival pirate captains. PG *** 88 min. (Baird) (FP, LC, FT)

The Raven. When a madman begins committing horrific murders inspired by Edgar Allan Poe's darkest works, a young Baltimore detective joins forces with Poe in a quest to get inside the killer's mind in order to stop him from making every one of Poe's brutal stories a blood chilling reality. A deadly game of cat and mouse ensues, which escalates when Poe's love becomes the next target. R ** 1/2 103 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

Red Tails. Red Tails is an account of the Tuskegee Airmen, an all-black World War II fighter pilot squad. The squadron, which was sent to North Africa and Italy to escort white bomber pilots, consisted of some of the best fighter pilots in the Air Corps. PG-13 120 min. ** (Wire review) (MIT)

Safe. A second-rate cage fighter on the mixed martial arts circuit, Luke Wright lives a numbing life of routine beatings and chump change...until the day he blows a rigged fight. Wanting to make an example of him, the Russian Mafia murders his family and banishes him from his life forever. But when he witnesses a frightened twelve-year-old Chinese girl, Mei, being pursued by the same gangsters who killed his wife, Luke impulsively jumps to action...and straight into the heart of a deadly high-stakes war. R *** 95 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

Think Like a Man follows four interconnected and diverse men whose love lives are shaken up after the ladies they are pursuing buy a book and start taking the advice it offers to heart. When the band of brothers realize they have been betrayed by one of their own, they conspire using the book's insider information to turn the tables and teach the women a lesson of their own. PG-13 *** 1/2 122 min. (Wire review) (FP, LC, FT)

The Three Stooges. Left on a nun's doorstep, Larry, Curly, and Moe grow up finger-poking, nyuk-nyuking, and woo-woo-wooing their way to uncharted levels of knuckleheaded misadventure. Out to save their childhood home, only the Three Stooges could become embroiled in an oddball murder plot ...while also stumbling into starring in a phenomenally successful TV reality show. PG *** 92 min. (Wire release) (FP, LC, FT)

Titanic 3-D. An epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic, the pride and joy of the White Star Line and, at the time, the largest moving object ever built. She was the most luxurious liner of her era -- the ship of dreams -- which ultimately carried over 1,500 people to their death in the ice cold waters of the North Atlantic in the early hours of April 15, 1912. In 3-D at select locations. PG-13 *** 194 min. (Wire review) (LC)



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