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* 'The Beauty Academy of Kabul' (NR)

Liz Mermin's documentary follows a group of American hairdressers as they barrel into Afghanistan and open a school for beauticians. Combs and curling irons may seem like odd weapons, but the stylists wield them in order to help these Afghan women regain their place in their country - with lovely results.

Hollywood

'The Black Dahlia' (R)

Brian De Palma's film, based on the James Ellroy novel, is a convoluted story of dirty cops, damaged dames, crooked politicians and murder, adapted for the screen in such a way that every detail is whisked on and off the stage far too quickly to give the audience a chance to catch up.

Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street

'Cars' (G)

An egocentric race car (voiced by Owen Wilson) finds himself stranded in a Route 66 burg populated by small-town types, including the town mechanic (Paul Newman) and a vixenish Porsche (Bonnie Hunt) and thus becomes a better person, er, car.

Bagdad, Kennedy School, Mission, Academy, Valley

'Clerks II' (R)

Either you find Kevin Smith ('Dogma,' 'Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back') funny or you don't. If you do, then this sequel to Smith's breakthrough 1994 indie comedy will be like manna from movie heaven, chock-full of rude humor, geeky in-jokes and stoner vulgarity.

Bagdad, St. Johns Dome, Laurelhurst

'Confetti' (R)

'Best in Show' meets 'The Wedding Singer' in this romantic comedy about a competition between three engaged couples to determine who has the most original wedding plans.

Fox Tower

'The Covenant' (PG-13)

An ancient supernatural power unites four studly teenage boys, until the forces of evil threaten to make them less popular and totally ruin their clique.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street

'Crank' (R)

Imagine if that bus in 'Speed' were a human being, and you get the premise for this 200-beats-per-minute tale of vengeance.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Division Street

'The Descent' (R)

Two parts suspenseful adventure film, one part ultragory monster flick, this little horror masterpiece by director Neil Marshall ('Dog Soldiers') is definitely not for folks who are claustrophobic or sensitive to realistic, explicit violence.

Laurelhurst, Academy, Valley

'Everyone's Hero' (G)

A young boy helps Babe Ruth win the World Series in this inspirational animated adventure.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Division Street, Stark Street

'Factotum' (R)

Henry Chinaski is a sultan of the skids, a barstool bard whose daylong benders fuel nightlong writing jags. This is a considerably less pungent portrait of cult author Charles Bukowski than 1987's 'Barfly' - it could use more of that earlier film's vivid wino-breath sting and miasmatic romance.

Laurelhurst

'Flyboys' (PG-13)

America's very first combat pilots fought with the French army before the U.S. officially entered World War I. This is their story.

Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street

'Gridiron Gang' (PG-13)

Troubled youths find redemption through sport … again. This time it's football and coach Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson.

Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street

'Half Nelson' (R)

Dan Dunne (Ryan Gosling) is a Brooklyn junior-high history teacher with a drug habit in this drama, which takes an admirably cliché-free look at a teacher-student relationship.

Fox Tower

'Hollywoodland' (R)

Adrien Brody, Diane Lane and Ben Affleck star in this whodunnit focused around the death of George Reeves, a real-life actor who will always be known as television's Superman.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, Division Street

'The Illusionist' (PG-13)

In early 1900s Vienna, the mysterious feats of a stage magician (Edward Norton) incur the threatening interest of the Crown Prince (Rufus Sewell), whose fiancée (Jessica Biel) is the magician's long-lost love.

Cinetopia, Fox Tower, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV

* 'An Inconvenient Truth' (PG)

Director Davis Guggenheim creates a surprisingly gripping cinematic interpretation of former Vice President Al Gore's globe-trotting slide show presentation on global warming. Gore makes his case for an imperiled planet with expected thoroughness but perhaps surprising personality - dare we say charisma?

Cinemagic

'Invincible' (PG)

Based on a true story, this inspirational tale about a sports underdog who defies the odds is the kind of warmhearted family film you just don't see anymore.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Stark Street

'Jackass: Number Two' (R)

Johnny Knoxville and the crew are back with more of the disgusting, dangerous and humiliating stunts that made them famous.

Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street, St. Johns Theater

'The Last Kiss' (R)

Zach Braff plays a 29-year-old architect who is frightened about his impending fatherhood and scared that his life soon will sink into dull, repetitive tedium - a fear shared by his three self-involved, idiot friends, who all treat the women in their lives abominably.

Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Evergreen Parkway, Division Street

'Little Miss Sunshine' (R)

This dysfunctional family saga concerns a misfit brood taking the 7-year-old daughter to a little-girl beauty pageant in Southern California. The cast includes Steve Carell, Alan Arkin, Toni Collette and Greg Kinnear.

Century Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, St. Johns Theater, Moreland

'Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest' (PG-13)

This sequel to 'Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl' is heaped to the point of creaking with even more of what made the original such unexpected fun.

Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Movies on TV, Stark Street

'The Protector' (R)

Martial arts sensation Tony Jaa ('Ong-bak') must use his amazing Muay Thai fighting style against all comers in order to rescue some kidnapped elephants.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV, Division Street

'Quinceañera' (R)

Not yet 15 years old, Magdalena (Emily Rios) is kicked out by her sternly religious father, and moves in with her kindly uncle and her tough cousin.

Hollywood

'Snakes on a Plane' (R)

Aviophobia meets ophidiophobia in this tale of horror starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Bagdad, Kennedy School, Mission

'A Scanner Darkly' (R)

Richard Linklater returns to the rotoscoped style of his 'Waking Life' for this intriguing but never quite gripping adaptation of the 1977 novel by Philip K. Dick.

Laurelhurst, Academy

'Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby' (PG-13)

NASCAR star Ricky Bobby (Will Ferrell) is at the top of the heap, until a French racer threatens his domination.

Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Stark Street

* 'Thank You for Smoking' (R)

In his best role since 'In the Company of Men,' Aaron Eckhart stars as a tobacco lobbyist so slick he can come off as the good guy when appearing on a TV panel with antismoking advocates and a cancer-stricken kid.

Laurelhurst

'This Film Is Not Yet Rated' (NR)

Filmmaker Kirby Dick takes a much-needed shot across the bow of the Motion Picture Association of America's cabalistic ratings board.

Hollywood

'The Wicker Man' (PG-13)

A strait-laced cop (Nicolas Cage) meets up with some sinister neopagans in this remake of the 1973 British cult favorite.

Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Movies on TV

* 'Who Killed the Electric Car?' (PG)

In the mid-1990s, drivers sang the praises of the EV1, a new electric car. This documentary chronicles General Motors' development, and subsequent destruction, of this environmentally friendly wonder.

Valley

* 'World Trade Center' (PG-13)

Port Authority cop Will Jimeno (Michael Peña) and veteran police officer Lt. John McLoughlin (Nicolas Cage) are first responders to the site of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks.

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