New and Notable


* Recommended

Theater addresses follow the reviews.

'Alvin and the Chipmunks' (PG)

Computer animation and live action combine for this newest movie concerning those high-pitched singing squirrels from the 1960s cartoon series. Jason Lee (from television's 'My Name Is Earl') plays the human friend of the rodent trio.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Broadway, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

'American Gangster' (R)

Though this tale of a real-life Harlem drug kingpin stands fairly tall among its contemporaries, it can't quite emerge from the shadow of the films it recalls and sometimes references directly.

'American Gangster' always is solid and engrossing without ever establishing its own iconic identity, lacking the classic grandeur of 'The Godfather,' the propulsive ferocity of 'The French Connection,' or even the wacked-out rabidity of 'Scarface.'

Bagdad, Mission, St. Johns Dome, Laurelhurst, Academy, Valley,

'Atonement' (R)

This adaptation of the acclaimed novel by Ian McEwan is all spiffed up for Oscar night.

Although director Joe Wright (2005's 'Pride and Prejudice') dresses it up nicely, he never really lets it breathe. It's attractive, polite, respectable and almost too poised to live, like 'Masterpiece Theatre' with more theater than masterpiece.

Clackamas Town Center, Fox Tower, Bridgeport

'Bee Movie' (PG)

It'll take a while for 'Bee Movie' to win you over. But once the plot kicks in - a young bee named Barry (Jerry Seinfeld) sues humanity when he discovers that we enslave bees and steal their honey - 'Bee Movie' becomes seriously weird. And gets much, much funnier.

Bagdad, Kennedy School, Mission, Academy, Valley

'Before the Devil Knows You're Dead' (R)

Two brothers (Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke) in financial straits decide to rob their parents' jewelry store, with catastrophic results. Director Sidney Lumet shakes off the years and shakes things up with the perfect family film for the holidays. The kind of family the Greeks used to write about.


* 'Casablanca' (PG)

Venture back to a little piano bar called Rick's Café Américain in Morocco.

White suits, black ties, a movie legend who goes by the name of Humphrey Bogart, an elegant Swedish star known as Ingrid Bergman, and one timeless tune can all be found in 'Casablanca.'

'Casablanca' returns in high-definition for a run at the Living Room Theaters. It's a classic that defines the word, even as time goes by.

Living Room

* 'Charlie Wilson's War' (R)

Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman, with the help of Julia Roberts, form an alliance to get the U.S. to back Afghanistan against the Russians in the 1980s. The sharply written - and occasionally glib - account of true events captures the color of the characters while encapsulating the complexity of international politics and the fickle and self-serving nature of the U.S.'s concern with suffering abroad.

Cinetopia, Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place, Division Street, Stark Street, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

'Chuck Close' (NR)

Marion Cajori's documentary examines the painstaking artistic process of the Northwest painter. It's a terrific primer for the Portland Art Museum's current exhibition of Close.

4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 30, Whitsell Auditorium

'Dan in Real Life' (PG-13)

Ads for this film feature Steve Carell's head pillowed on a stack of syrupy pancakes, and the syrup flows freely as widower Carell takes his daughters to a big family get-together and promptly falls in love with the new girlfriend (Juliette Binoche) of his brother (Dane Cook).

It's cheaper to just stay at home and guzzle syrup, without the benefit of pancakes.

Academy, Valley

'The Darjeeling Limited' (R)

Writer-director Wes Anderson unleashes another überhip comedy-drama centering on eccentric family members.

Owen Wilson and Adrien Brody are brothers on a train passing through India. If you prefer ironic nodding to boisterous laughing, dive in.

Kennedy School, Mission, St. Johns Dome, Laurelhurst, Academy, Valley

* 'Diva' (R)

Whitney. Cher. Celine. Mariah. These money-note nightingales might be who springs to mind when the word 'diva' is tossed out. But for film buffs, the name just might be Wilhelmenia Fernandez.

She's the American singer who starred in this stylish and spellbinding French film from 1982. The film is being re-released to mark its 25th anniversary.

Cinema 21

'Enchanted' (PG)

Disney pulls out all the stops for this star-studded holiday blockbuster. When a fairy princess is thrust into modern-day New York City, the world of fantasy (and animation) collides with the realities of everyday living.

Of course, romance pops in there somewhere, and the poor princess's heart is pulled by two heartthrobs: Patrick Dempsey and James Marsden. Julie Andrews narrates. Oh, and Susan Sarandon plays the evil Queen Narissa.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Lloyd Center, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'For the Bible Tells Me So' (NR)

The question of what the Bible says versus what it reads, as the Rev. Dr. Laurence C. Keene sums it up, is a natural one in the context of director Daniel Karslake's film, which tells the stories of several different sets of religious parents of gay children.

What's so strange is that a film with the basic message of 'love thy neighbor' should be considered controversial and inflammatory - perhaps even an abomination - by people who consider themselves Christians.

Living Room

'The Golden Compass' (PG-13)

In a perfect world, Hollywood muckety-mucks would realize that some books are just too big to make into a 113-minute movie.

That's is the only real problem with this adaptation of Philip Pullman's fantasy kid-lit classic - but it's a huge problem, resulting in a film that gallops along so fast that it may make your head spin.

As complicated as it is, most kids probably will enjoy the fast pace, happily glossing over the plot details and enjoying the armored bears.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

'I Am Legend' (PG-13)

Director Francis Lawrence's 'I Am Legend' is the third official adaptation of Richard Matheson's 1954 sci-fi/horror novel, previously filmed in 1964 as 'The Last Man on Earth' and in '71 as 'The Omega Man.'

Lawrence, of the wacky 2005 comic-book adaptation 'Constantine,' simply animates the remains of other digitally plagued blockbusters to suck the dark mythic life out of Matheson's enduring tale.

Go out during the day and get the book to read at night.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

* 'I'm Not There' (R)

Portland-based director Todd Haynes' film is a magical, fictional kinda-sorta biography in which a number of different characters represent the various facets of Bob Dylan.

It isn't an easy film to digest, but it's an extraordinary experiment that may confound as much as it entertains. If you love movies, or you love Bob Dylan - or, hopefully, both - it's not to be missed.

Fox Tower, Hollywood

* 'Juno' (PG-13)

A killer cast and an endearing screenplay help this oddball comedy from Jason Reitman ('Thank You for Smoking') rise above its self-consciously hip approach.

It's cynical, yet sweet, sympathetic and charmingly askew.

Cinetopia, Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Bridgeport, Cinemagic

'King of California' (PG-13)

Michael Douglas has been earning raves for his turn as Charlie, a former jazz musician just out of a two-year stint in a mental institution in this comedy-drama.

Evan Rachel Wood plays Charlie's teenage daughter who is tempted to follow Pop on his quest to find what he thinks is buried treasure.

Living Room

'The Kite Runner' (PG-13)

Like another current Oscar-runner, this is the story of an adult's attempts to atone for a haunting childhood betrayal.

Bland and milky right down to the visuals (which include typically cartoony digital effects, this time of soaring kites), 'The Kite Runner,' however, feels at once hurried and drawn out.

There's a very good supporting performance - from Homayoun Ershadi as the protagonist's father - that stands out amid the wishy-washiness, but a story like this needs to inspire more than a vague warm and cozy feeling.

Clackamas Town Center, Fox Tower, Bridgeport

* 'Lars and the Real Girl' (PG-13)

Coming out of the gate as a quirky, dark comedy with a bizarre premise, director Craig Gillespie's feature about a man who is in a relationship with a love doll seamlessly transforms into a touching examination of depression, family and grief. It's unexpected and utterly unique.

Laurelhurst, Academy, Valley

'My Kid Could Paint That' (PG-13)

Can a 4-year-old truly have the aesthetic sense to create great artworks, comparable to Picasso? Director Amir Bar-Lev's documentary dives into the art world's current obsession with one paintbrush-toting toddler who is earning thousands for her masterpieces.

Living Room

'National Treasure: Book of Secrets' (PG)

Nicolas Cage dons the treasure hunter hat again for the sequel to the 2004 flick, which delves 'Da Vinci Code'-like into mysteries of American history.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport, St. Johns Theater

* 'No Country for Old Men' (R)

The Coen brothers, adapting Cormac McCarthy's novel, bring a biblical severity to bear on a tale that already combines Western and noir elements with a mesmerizingly controlled ferocity.

This is no movie for those who prefer to zone out and watch the robots. Its precision isn't measured in pixels, but in scenes drawn so tight your breath just has to wait.

Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Division Street, Bridgeport, St. Johns Theater, Moreland

'P.S. I Love You' (PG-13)

Did you love 'Message in a Bottle,' 'A Walk to Remember' and 'The Notebook'? Then you'll likely cringe - not weep - during each frame of this sappy rip-off of romance-master Nicholas Sparks' novels-to-movies.

Hilary Swank sheds her previous, muscular personas, playing a grieving widow who discovers letters her husband (Gerard Butler) wrote to her before he died. Sequel idea: long-lost Post-Its reminding her to clean the cat box.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Broadway, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport

'The Rape of Europa' (NR)

While the recent film 'Who the (Bleep) Is Jackson Pollock?' took the art world to task for its highbrow sensitivities and highly subjective art analysis, this documentary celebrates the deeds of a number of heroic curators and art historians who rescued and tracked down great works stolen during and after World War II by the Nazis. Joan Allen ('The Bourne Ultimatum') narrates.

Living Room

'The Savages' (R)

A tense and tightly written family drama featuring a pair of powerhouse acting talents: Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. They play brother and sister sparring over care for their ailing father.

Fox Tower

* 'Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street' (R)

Director Tim Burton's version of the deliriously dark tale of murder and meat pies is a near-perfect piece of cinema, truncating the original three-act musical while still celebrating its essence.

It's one of the very best films of the year - and one of the very best films in Burton and Johnny Depp's respective filmographies.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Pioneer Place, Lloyd Center, Division Street, Bridgeport

* 'Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story' (R)

The Judd Apatow gang gives the Hollywood biopic (especially the music-star variety currently in vogue) just what it deserves in this affectionate and often hilarious tale of the periodic risings and fallings of a hillbilly singer played to perfection by John C. Reilly.

Eastport, Clackamas Town Center, Broadway, Lloyd Center, Hilltop, Division Street, Stark Street, Bridgeport


Academy Theater

7818 S.E. Stark St.


Bagdad Theater

3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.

503-249-7474, ext. 1

Bridgeport Village

7329 S.W. Bridgeport Road


1-800-326-3264, ext. 1728

Broadway Metroplex

1000 S.W. Broadway

1-800-326-3264, ext. 321

Century Clackamas Town Theater

12000 SE 82nd Ave. Suite 3000


Cinema 21

616 N.W. 21st Ave.



2021 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.


Century Clackamas Town Theater

12000 SE 82nd Ave. Suite 3000



11700 S.E. Seventh St.

Vancouver, Wash.


Clinton Street Theater

2522 S.E. Clinton St.


Division Street

16603 S.E. Division St.

1-800-326-3264, ext. 323

Fox Tower

846 S.W. Park Ave.

1-800-326-3264, ext. 327


325 Beavercreek Road

Oregon City

1-800-326-3264, ext. 319

Hollywood Theatre

4122 N.E. Sandy Blvd.



2735 E. Burnside St.


Living Room Theaters

341 S.W. 10th Ave.


Lloyd Center

1510 N.E. Multnomah St.

1-800-326-3264, ext. 325

Lloyd Mall

320 Lloyd Center Mall

1-800-326-3264, ext. 326

McMenamins Kennedy School

5736 N.E. 33rd Ave.

503-249-7474, ext. 4

Mission Theater

1624 N.W. Glisan St.

503-249-7474, ext. 5

Moreland Theater

6712 S.E. Milwaukie Ave.


OMSI Omnimax Dome Theater

1945 S.E. Water Ave.


Pioneer Place

340 S.W. Morrison St.

1-800-326-3264, ext. 683

Roseway Theatre

7229 N.E. Sandy Blvd.


St. Johns Cinema and Pub

8704 N. Lombard St.


St. Johns Dome

8203 N. Ivanhoe St.

503-249-7474, ext. 6

Stark Street

2929 N.E. Kane Drive


1-800-326-3264, ext. 314

Valley Cinema-Pub

9360 S.W. Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway



Whitsell Auditorium

Portland Art Museum

1219 S.W. Park Ave.


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