- Portland Tribune - Features
Movies with a * are recommended
'All the King's Men' (PG-13)
In another not-so-good remake of a wonderful classic film, Sean Penn takes on the role of corrupt Southern politician Willie Stark.
The message of Robert Penn Warren's 1946 novel gets a muddled treatment by writer-director Steven Zaillian, while Penn flails, spits and chews up the scenery.
Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Evergreen Parkway, Division Street
* '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.
'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, Lloyd Mall, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street
'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, Hilltop, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark 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.
'The Devil Wears Prada' (PG-13)
Anne Hathaway plays Andy Sachs, an earnest young would-be journalist in her first post-college job, as an assistant to the legendarily witchy editor (Meryl Streep) of a Vogue-like fashion magazine.
Kennedy School, St. Johns Dome, Cinemagic, 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, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street
'Facing the Giants' (PG)
Fear and failure are the giants that an underdog football team from a Christian high school must face in this spiritually uplifting film.
Century Eastport, Lloyd Mall, Evergreen Parkway, Division Street
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.
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, Fox Tower, 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, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street
'The Guardian' (PG-13)
It's sink or swim as a rookie in the Coast Guard (Ashton Kutcher) gets some life lessons from a hard-bitten instructor (Kevin Costner).
Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street, Roseway
'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.
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.
Fox Tower, Lloyd Mall
'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.
Fox Tower, Lloyd Mall
* '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.
'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
'Jet Li's Fearless' (PG-13)
This inspirational biopic about martial artist Huo Yuanjia, who rallied Chinese national pride amid the growing Western influence of the early 20th century, blends fast and furious action, melodrama and sentimentality with the usual Hong Kong exuberance.
Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street
'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, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Movies on TV, 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, Movies on TV, St. Johns Theater, Moreland
'Open Season' (PG)
'Hunting season' takes on new meaning in this animated comedy about a bear and a deer who decide to fight back.
Cinetopia, Century Eastport, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Evergreen Parkway, Movies on TV, Division Street, Stark Street
'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 Science of Sleep' (R)
Director Michel Gondry's third feature is his first without a script by Charlie Kaufman ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind').
Gael García Bernal stars as the fantasy-prone Stéphane, whose fantasies are rendered in a variety of whimsical styles.
* 'Scoop' (PG-13)
Unable to resist getting one last scoop from beyond the grave, a dead journalist (Ian McShane) passes a story on to a young journalism student (Scarlett Johansson) and hack magician (Woody Allen). It's a lightweight film, but a very funny one.
Laurelhurst, Academy, Valley
'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.
*'Superman Returns' (PG-13)
Bryan Singer's film about the Big Blue Boy Scout isn't about big set pieces, explosions and fancy special effects. It's a sad, moving, sometimes funny, often thrilling adventure, and not a slam-bang, loud, stupid popcorn-muncher. Still, you should see it on the big screen.
Bagdad, Kennedy School, Mission, Academy, Valley
'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.
* '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 an environmentally friendly wonder.