* Recommended

'Amazing Grace' (PG)

This standard-issue inspirational saga tells the story of William Wilberforce (Ioan Gruffudd), the youthful member of Parliament who waged a long, difficult battle for the abolition of the slave trade in late 18th- and early 19th-century Britain.

Cinetopia, Lloyd Mall, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'Black Snake Moan' (R)

Writer-director Craig Brewer ('Hustle and Flow') sucks you in with the exploitation-flick promise of this Southern gothic gem, and then seduces with a story that's dark, funny and touching. Samuel L. Jackson is the best he's ever been as Lazarus Long, a hardworking Christian man who confronts the town hussy (Christina Ricci).

Lloyd Mall, Division Street

* 'Breach' (R)

Inspired by the February 2001 arrest of FBI traitor Robert Hanssen, 'Breach' is a high-stakes but personal-scale thriller, shot in shades of gray and brought to life with a masterful performance from Chris Cooper.

Broadway, Lloyd Mall, Bridgeport

'Bridge to Terabithia' (PG)

Based on the popular children's book about outsiders who discover a magical world of their own, this is a serious film, not suitable for children under 10.

Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

'Children of Men' (R)

Set in the dystopian future of 2027, where people no longer can reproduce, this is the story of a disillusioned London bureaucrat (Clive Owen) who becomes a reluctant revolutionary and guardian of the only pregnant woman on Earth.

Broadway, Clinton Street Theater

'Dance Party USA' (NR)

After receiving good press in New York, this slice of life about bored teenagers, which was made in Portland, returns for a hometown premiere.


'Dead Silence' (R)

Wooden acting and stilted dialogue mar this horror flick about evil ventriloquist's dolls that terrorize a small town.

Broadway, Lloyd Mall, Division Street, Bridgeport

'El Topo' (NR)

The term 'cult film' may well have been coined for this, Alejandro Jodorowsky's violent, tripped-out allegorical western from 1971.

Clinton Street Theater

'Eugenio, I Love You' (NR)

A man with Down syndrome has more to offer the world than the petty strivers who surround him in this Italian feature.

Living Room

'Ghost Rider' (PG-13)

Are there two Nicolas Cages? If so, 'Ghost Rider' stars the cheesy one from 'The Wicker Man,' not the talented one from 'World Trade Center.'

Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'The Host' (R)

When a toxic waste flush at a U.S. military base spawns a huge mutant tadpole that terrorizes Seoul, a severely estranged family must pull together to save its youngest member. South Korean director Joon-ho Bong takes unpromising movie elements and fuses them into a spookily funny, riotously scary stunner.

Fox Tower

'Music and Lyrics' (PG-13)

Cute meets cute when a 'washed up' pop star (Hugh Grant, looking fresh as a daisy) teams up with a 'quirky loser' (Hollywood princess Drew Barrymore) to pen the perfect love song.

Pioneer Place, Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'Notes on a Scandal' (R)

Two of cinema's finest actresses chew scenery with delicious abandon as a tightly wound, embittered spinster schoolteacher (Judi Dench) becomes fascinated with the beautiful new art teacher (Cate Blanchett).


'The Number 23' (R)

Director Joel Schumacher and star Jim Carrey attempt to conjure an experimental thriller with supernatural overtones, but once we get past the central gimmick, the tale gets stupider and stupider with every twist of the plot.

Lloyd Mall, Hilltop, Division Street

* 'Old Joy' (NR)

Based on a story by local author Jonathan Raymond, the film follows 30-something Portland friends Mark (Daniel London) and Kurt (musician Will Oldham) as they take a trip to Bagby Hot Springs. There's something quiet and lovely about the film, which doesn't appear to be about much of anything on the surface but resonates in surprising ways.

Living Room

* 'Pan's Labyrinth' (R)

In the post-civil war Spain of 1944, young Ofelia retreats into the forest, where she discovers a labyrinth occupied by an ancient faun. Rarely has the term 'magic realism' suited a work of art more perfectly than it does this dazzling work from Guillermo del Toro.


* 'The Queen' (PG-13)

Helen Mirren most definitely rules in this fascinating film about the British royal family's misjudged response to the death of Princess Diana.

Lloyd Mall, Hollywood

* '300' (R)

Based on the graphic novel by Frank Miller, this story of the 300 Spartans and the Battle of Thermopylae uses all the latest cinematic tricks and gadgetry to pull the audience smack into the middle of battles that are as exquisite in their presentation as they are horrifying in their brutality.

Cinetopia, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'Volver' (R)

Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar examines mothers, daughters and death with a lighter touch than usual, making something that teeters delicately on the edge of black comedy while still warming the heart.


* 'Where's Molly?' (NR)

Local filmmaker Jim Daly's search for his younger sister, Molly - whisked away with no explanation in 1957 - led to this superb documentary that chronicles not just his discovery of his long-lost sibling, but the appalling way that society has traditionally treated citizens with disabilities.

Living Room

'Zodiac' (R)

A killer and a cop play cat and mouse. David Fincher ('Se7en') directs, and Jake Gyllenhaal stars.

Cinetopia, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

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